Mobile Services :
Mobile Service Plans & Mobile Phone Downloads

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Mobile Glossary

Access Charge
A monthly fee for using a wireless phone. It usually includes airtime. The fee is fixed whether the subscriber uses the airtime or not.

Activation Fee
A one-time charge for activating your wireless service plan account to begin the service with a carrier.

Additional Airtime
Minutes purchased at rate, specified in the plan's terms, usually higher than included airtime rates. Additional Airtime is purchased after exhausting the included airtime provided each month.

Airtime
The number of minutes you actually spend talking on the phone. Usually billed by one minute increments.

Anytime Minutes
Minutes which you can use anytime, without regard to peak/off-peak, day/night, or weekday/weeknight restrictions or fees.

Call forwarding
An optional service that automatically transfers incoming calls to another number.

Calling Area
Area where you can use minutes included in the service plan without incurring roaming charges.

Call Waiting
Gives a tone alert if another call is coming in while you're already talking.

Carrier
A company that provides wireless telecommunications services.

Cell Phone
The device interfacing with a carrier's network to provide voice and/or data service to the subscriber.

Coverage Area
The geographic area served by a wireless system. Same as Service Area.

Contract Term
The period of time the carrier requires you to keep and pay for service. For early termination of the contract, there is usually an early termination fee.

Early Termination Fee
The fee you will be required to pay if you cancel your contract with the carrier before the end of its term.

Long Distance Calls
Calling to a number outside your local area.

Mobile-to-mobile minutes
The number of minutes the cell phone service plan includes for calls to other mobile phones either to other people in your calling group or to other people using the same carrier.

National Plan
A cell phone plan that includes roaming and long distance - you have your included airtime minutes even if you leave your home calling area.

Off-Peak
Periods of the day when the cell phone traffic is lighter. Generally corresponds to late nights and weekends.

Peak Time
Time period of greatest demand on the carrier's system. Generally corresponds to all periods except late nights and weekends.

Prepaid Plans
Service plans that provide a specific amount of usage on a prepaid basis.

Roaming
Using a cell phone outside of your service plan's calling area or network. Separate fees usually apply to these calls.

Service plan
A contract between a wireless carrier and a wireless subscriber that details the terms of the wireless service including rates for activation, access and per minute usage.

Subscriber
A cellular phone user.