By Cheryl Heppner, 6/26/2012
The Federal Communications Commission recently adopted the new 2011 ANSI HAC
technical standard. This makes it easier for a GSM phone to get an M3
– If you have wi-fi at home, you don’t have to dip into the bucket of
minutes on your plan because the use of wi-fi is essentially free
– The location of the router may influence the quality
– In the future, expanding the covered frequency range from 698 HMz to 6
GHz will enable it to work with new and future smartphones such as LTE
gigabyte cell phones
Questions and Comments
One participant asked if the router installed in her house would cause
electrical interference with her cell phone. The answer was that
wi-fi is just a router like the one that can be used to watch HDTV. It does
not use house current; it uses broadband.
Another individual asked about the problems some people have reported with
being unable to understand a call when they hold a cell phone to their ear.
The response was that holding a device too close to the ear can cause
interference. Each carrier has a customer service line; that is a good
resource to request specialized help if you encounter this problem.
Cell phones can be used to send and receive plain text messages of up to
about 160 characters. This is different from e-mail. Voice communication is
now on the decline. Text messaging has increased a great deal in the past
There are two kinds of text messaging. They are:
SMS (Short messaging service) – up to 160 characters can be typed for each
MMS (multimedia messaging) – gives the ability to add pictures, video or
music to the message
You can use text for communication, games, financial transactions, health
care, to make donations, and to receive emergency alerts.
Many new features have become available in wireless phones, such as:
– Built-in speech to text or text to speech
– Enhanced noise reduction in the handset and Bluetooth
– Additional screen color choices
– Large font choices
– Menu options other than icons
– Calendar with ability to alert with reminders
– One-touch key options
– Two cameras
– Acceptance of additional accessories for accessibility
New Products on the Way
Consumers will soon be seeing many new wireless phone products:- E-readers
– Medical equipment
– Wireless picture frame (to send photos to friends/family)
– Wireless sensors
– Home health monitors
– Cloud services
New From Sprint
Jim Skjeveland of Sprint spoke about the company’s new wireless products:
– Wireless CapTel (free app on Android phones)
– Wireless Relay Conference Captioning (RCC), a captioning service allowing
one or two people with
hearing loss to speak into their mobile device and view captions of
their speech on the browser
– Mobile IP Relay with choice of English or Spanish, ability to save
Questions and Comments
Comment: Because of my unique needs, I would like not to be locked into a
Response: One of the fastest-growing services now is prepaid wireless plans
Comment: Captioning apps take a lot of power from the cell phone.
Response: Power management is on the operating system side. New apps such as
Ice Cream Sandwich cause significant differences in battery life. Before
buying a cell phone, use it to test the battery life. Always use the charger
specific to your phone; the use of others is not always as effective.
Comment: The vibration on cell phones needs to be stronger and longer.
Response: Check the lists on http://www.accesswireless.org/Home.aspx, which
lists features of various cell phones.
Comment: BlackBerry has recently joined Sprint and AT&T in offering CapTel
Comment: There are still problems with interference. Some of the culprits
are electrical grids and lighting. The wireless industry is actively working
to address these concerns.
Comment: Check with your wireless provider to see what data recovery and
backup services they offer with their cell phone plans. This can prevent
complete loss of your data. Keep your cell phone away from water. For those
who use Google, it has become today’s “simcard saver”.