Phones, Cell Phones & Wireless Telephony

Telecommunications devices, including cell phones, satellite radio or Voice over IP, connect us to one another and to the world of information at our fingertips. Learn all about the technologies we depend upon for efficient communication.

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Can you use a cell phone as a credit card?

Nokia revealed the first fully integrated mobile-payment cell phone, or NFC phone in 2007. Learn about NFC technology and mobile payment trials around the globe.

What is the Apple iPhone?

The renowned iPhone was once just a rumor. Learn why the iPhone was expected to change the industry.

Is Wibree going to rival Bluetooth?

Nokia announced a new short-range wireless technology, Wibree, in October 2006.

Skype vs. Vonage

Currently, there are several VoIP services on the market -- the two most well-known ones are Skype and Vonage. Although they both use VoIP technology, they're quite actually quite different from each another.

How TV Phones Work

Widespread mobile television has been a long time coming. TV-enabled cell phones have been available in Korea since 2002, but the real "mobile TV revolution" is only beginning, as telecom companies release DTV-enabled phones and rush to build the bro

How WiFi Phones Work

Explore WiFi phones and their abilities, as well as the pros and cons of using them. We'll start with a quick review of VoIP and WiFi.

How a BlackBerry Works

The BlackBerry has become a tremendously popular mobile email device. Learn how a BlackBerry works and about BlackBerry hardware, software and patent disputes.

How GPS Phones Work

With the right software or service package, a GPS phone can pinpoint your location, give directions to your destination and provide information about nearby businesses. Find out how a GPS phone works.

How Cell-phone Viruses Work

Although they can't do much damage at present, in the future cell-phone viruses may be as debilitating as computer viruses. How do cell-phone viruses spread? And how can you protect your phone?

How Cell Phone Jammers Work

Cell phones are basically handheld two-way radios. With cell-phone etiquette at an all-time low, some people are exploiting the vulnerability of the radio spectrum to silence blabbering offenders. Find out how.

How Ringtones Work

If the clothes make the man, then the ringtone makes the phone! Find out how a cell phone produces a tune and how you can download (or even create) your own.

How Telephones Work

See how a telephone network works.

How Cell-phone Radiation Works

For years now, we've heard conflicting reports about cell-phone radiation ... and the debate goes on. Find out what the buzz is about and how to protect yourself when choosing and using a cell phone.

What do digits in phone numbers mean?

The phone number you dial to call somebody is basically an address, similar to the street address of your home. Have you ever wondered what all those numbers mean?

Why is the keypad arrangement different for a telephone and a calculator?

It's one of those seemingly-unexplainable lapses in logic -- Why do these two digit-based devices order their number keys in exactly opposite ways?

How Smartphones Work

Smartphones blur the line between cell phones and PDAs. Learn the details of smartphones, read cell phones and PDA reviews and see our buying guide.

Why is a cell phone called a cell phone?

One of the most interesting things about a cell phone is that it is really a radio. What does this have to do with your cell phone?

What does GSM mean in a cell phone?

The most useful thing to know about the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) is that it is an international standard. If you travel in Europe and many other parts of the world, GSM is the only type of cellular service available.

How Cordless Telephones Work

Cordless phones have been around for about 20 years, but lately they're a lot more sophisticated -- it seems like you need a Ph.D. to buy one! Find out how cordless phones work and how to buy the right one.

How does the walkie-talkie feature on a Nextel phone work?

Nextel phones offer a service called Direct Connect that allows you to push a single button and connect with another Nextel user. Find out how this "walkie-talkie" feature works.

How Cell Phones Work

Cell phones have completely changed the way we communicate with one another. These days, they're as common as keys. But what makes them tick?

How does Caller ID work?

How does caller ID work on a telephone? It turns out that the process of making the caller ID display possible is remarkably simple at your end of the line.

How does a fiber optic cable work?

Over the last 20 years or so, fiber optic lines have taken over and transformed the long distance telephone industry. Optical fibers are also a huge part of making the Internet available around the world.

What do the little boxes that the phone company has around our neighborhood do?

If you have underground phone wiring in your neighborhood, rather than pole wiring, you will frequently see these little boxes all over your neighborhood -- one for every two or three houses or so.

How does a vibrating cell phone or pager work?

I have both a pager and a cell phone that vibrate instead of ringing when I get a call. How does that work?