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Wireless Glossary


Transmission capacity of a communication channel, or the amount of data that a given piece of equipment or a particular type of cable can carry, typically measured in Hertz or cycles per second. i wireless operates at 1900 MHz.

Dual Mode/Dual Band

Dual mode describes a wireless phone's ability to switch from analog to digital and back.  Dual band represents a wireless phone that has the capability to operate on two different bandwidths. For example, a phone operating on 900MHz and 1900MHz.

ESN (Electronic Serial Number)

An 8-digit code that registers an analog sleeve on a network. Analog sleeves cannot be shared or traded, meaning a sleeve's ESN number must remain with the SIM card on the subscriber's account.

FCC (Federal Communications Commission)    

U.S. government agency responsible for regulating the telephone and radio industries.  The FCC allocates radio spectrum frequencies for certain uses and licenses those frequencies to companies. Also approves equipment types to prevent interference between devices.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)

The General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a non-voice value added service that allows information to be sent and received across a mobile telephone network.  GPRS allows customers to surf the web, send picture messages, download MP3 and polyphonic ringtones, download games, and check email.

Home/Local Call

Call made by a subscriber while traveling in his or her own (home) market.  View i wireless home area coverage.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)

The IMEI contains the equipment's serial number as well as its manufacturer, country of origin and type approval.  It is a 15-digit number unique to each handset.

NPA-NXX (Numbering Plan Area – Network Exchange)
The first six digits of a 10-digit telephone number - the area code (NPA) and exchange (NXX); for example 319-241.

PIN (Personal Identification Number)
Security feature for SIMS. After a SIM is inserted into a mobile phone, the subscriber's PIN must be entered into the phone (if the feature is active). If an incorrect PIN is entered three times, the card will "block" itself, and must be unlocked by a PUK.

The assignment of service definitions needed for a phone to operate on the network.

PUK (Personal Unblocking Key)
The PUK code is an eight-digit number that will unlock a SIM card once its PIN number has been entered incorrectly three times consecutively.  This is a security feature of SIM cards.

When a subscriber travels outside of his or her own (home) market area.  i wireless offers many plans that include nationwide roaming minutes and Nationwide Plans, which include the nationwide map as the primary  market area.  If you have any questions regarding your coverage, please call 1.888.550.4497

SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)
Also known as a “Smart Card,” the SIM holds all of a subscriber's personal information and phone settings. It gives the subscriber the authorization to use their carrier's network. It holds the phone number, personal security key and other data necessary for the handset to function. The card can be switched from phone to phone, making the new phone receive all calls to the subscriber's number.

The SIM is one of the security devices on the GSM network, making it difficult to steal numbers or make fraudulent calls. The card also allows for roaming with other GSM operators. The card stores personal phone numbers, missed calls, voicemail notifications, text messages, etc. The possibilities of SIM card technology are practically endless.

SMS (Short Message Service)
Short Message Service or Subscriber Messaging Service allows customers to send text messages from phone to phone or from a phone to the internet. E-mail and text messages are limited to 160 characters. Any more than that will be broken up into separate messages.