Background article 1: Mobile telephony

Mobile telefony has taken off the last few years. Phones have become fashion statements and a part of our daily live. What sort of phones are available and how do they look? Questions we will address in this article!

Background article 1: Mobile telephony

As announced last month NewMobile will start with an entirely new initiative. They are called Background articles and contain a large number of components within the mobile telephony world that we will show and talk about. The components that are essential will be discussed and we will try to answer burning questions.

More theme stories will be added in the upcoming months, but this is the first one and the subject is the beginning of the general mobile telephony in a nutshell. A good starting point for our new initiative in which we will answer questions like what is mobile telephony and what is a mobile phone.

Through the story will inform you about networks, different mobile phones, parts of mobile phones, a piece of history and tips for every user.

After this story will we discus bigger stories as Live TV on your mobile phone, what is a memory card and which cards are available, what is a smartphone or PDA and what can you do with mobile internet on your mobile. If you an idea, feel free to contact us with your input and ideas.

Mobile telephony; what should been a vogue phenomenon is now a part of our lives.

Almost everyone has a mobile phone in his or her pocket and we cannot do without anymore. In our current life the mobile phone has become an object that is a part of our lives. Everyone wants to be connected each and every minute of the day. But there was a time that it was really different. It is crazy to realise that the mobile phone in its current set-up is just 15 years old.

Since approximately 1993, with the start of the GSM-networks it was still restricted to businesspeople, shipping captains and professional drivers. In the previous years the way in which we use the device has changed and grown to a level where there are more mobile phones than inhabitants in some countries.

The phone has become a fashion statement, no long only a user object that was used as a device to be available on the road. In our eyes it has become an accessory, gadget and component in our daily usage and well-being. We cannot live without it anymore.

What does it imply for everyone that is searching for a new mobile phone? We from NewMobile will guide you through the web of difficult decisions and give you our database that you can use to make a choice. Theme stories will tell what you can buy in the shops. Thus the mobile phone as the first subject should be the item to start with in which we will discuss the following sub-subjects:

- Networks
- Form factors and types of phones
- New components in mobile phones
- Tips & Tricks


A lot of people are not standing still by the fact that their mobile phone is just a pass-through subject for their own conversations. Everyone who wants talk to the other side of the world with a loved one or a business partner takes his or her phone and makes the call. That is all you need to do. The mobile phone will transfer all your spoken words to a digital package and sends to the other side of the world.

The network contains GSM receivers all over the country which pick up the signal and transfer it to the other side of the world by a fixed glassfiber line or through a high-speed connection through the air. The GSM transmitters send out the signal again to the receiver which connects the call. The networks know where you are so this step is quite easy.

The cycle works completely the same around the globe. The principal is the same only the content changes from time to time. Within Europe two different networks are available also familiarized as frequencies that all network providers use. Several countries have both, some only one. It depends on the provider available.

The two networks are GSM 900 and GSM 1800. The differences between both networks have decreased to nil. Sometimes it can occur that the GSM 1800 network has situations in which the reception is lower. These are for instance situations inside a building and in bad weather.

What does the partitioning of networks mean for mobile phones? In the beginning years of GSM only one frequency was available GSM 900, so only single band devices were around. Nowadays we have dual band and tri band devices. They manage to link to networks with GSM 900/1800 frequencies in case of dual band and GSM900/1800/1900 networks in case of tri band. The 1900 networks are only available in the US. The same also applies to the 850 network that is rolled out in countries in South America. Quad band devices can connect to all four networks.

Devices which support these functions can be used on all mentioned networks. That means that one can travel through Europe and America with out changing the mobile phone. It is also possible to change from the networks GSM 900 to GSM 1800 without changing the mobile phone. Only the SIM card needs a swap.

The SIM card is the part in the device that links you to the network and provider. Every user has at least one. The SIM card can be used in multiple devices. Some operators even deliver a duo-card, coupled to the same phone number, when the user uses two devices alternatively without willing to change the SIM card between the devices.

Technical speaking the SIM card has space for multiple phone numbers and some SMS-messages and will ensure the security of the phone conversation, will connect you to the provider and will identify your current location. It is also possible to protect your SIM card with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) code. PIN1 protects the normal use of the mobile device. The second code, PIN2, can be used to protect special functions (for instance when lending your device). Next to this there are two Personal Unblocking Keys, PUK1 and PUK2, respectively to repair PIN1 and PIN2.

Form factors and types of phones

The diversity of mobile phones has grown enormously the previous years and it will grow even further the upcoming time. As already mentioned people want a device with all kinds of particular components as cameras, MP3 players, memory card slots and other components. These changes make it more difficult for the user to choose the correct device of their choice. NewMobile will help you by supporting you with a search page that can be used quite easily.

First of all it is noticeable the form factors have changed a lot in the previous years. We will describe the several types so that it will become clear what form factors are used nowadays:

1. Candybar/Monoblock
2. Clamshell
3. Slider
4. Swivel
5. PDA

1. First the candybar also called monoblock; the form of the very first mobile telephone. The most attentive form which exists nowadays and simply a device with four angles, a screen with below a keyboard and possible folding parts, such as a keyboard or an extending antenna.


2. The clamshell is a form factor that has become more familiar the previous years. It consists of two parts which are linked by a hinge. Both halves can move independently of each other. In a closed situation the device offers protection and can have an external screen which shows information on incoming messages and calls. Once opened a large internal screen becomes visible including a keyboard. Both components are placed on both halves. The clamshell ensures that the device can be designed quite compact. There are even devices that open and close automatically, also called auto folding.


3. The slider is the third form factor and exit of again two halves which move with respect to each other in one or two directions. The device has several functions separated on both halves where generally the numerical keyboard moves under the screen.


4. The swivel is rather new concept where two halves are rotated with respect to each other. The principle is the same as the slider, but now with a rotating movement. The keyboard moves under the screen.


5. The PDA is a special form factor, because of its name. PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant which means a combination between a computer-, telephony-, fax- and network functionalities in a compact phone format. The PDA will be described in a different theme story, only the form factor is discussed here, which indicates a device with a big screen surface and next to that some functional keys and in some cases a complete full-size keyboard. The screen that is used can be touched with a stylus (small pen) to select functions or to enter data. This screen is called a touchscreen.


Next to these five standard form factors are several more, which are a mix of these five or have a totally different style. Any option is possible nowadays.

Types of devices are a second part next to the form factors. There are devices like smartphones, PDA’s, Blackberry models and special music devices or camera phones. But we will not address them here. Special theme stories will be made in which these devices will be discussed.

New components in mobile phones

Phone specifications are expanding and expanding the last few years. Unfortunately a lot of people do not get what is going on, what is really in the devices and what they can do. A number of components are rather logical such as the internal antenna and the arrival of the colour screen. These issues are visible on the outside.

Other components are not visible. Subjects as Bluetooth, Wifi and terms like UMTS, GPRS are new for mobile phones, but we will not discuss them here. We will discuss them in separate stories which have a clear statement and subject as for instance connectivity of mobile internet.

When you have any ideas or recommendations feel free to contact us and address them to us.

Tips & Tricks

We give some special tips which you can use in relation to your mobile phone.

1. In all European Member States the international number 112 can be called even when no SIM card is inserted in the GSM or when the keypad lock is set. It is also possible in your own country in the event that your own network has no coverage. You can call the emergency number then by means of other (competitive) networks. One is then put through with the local help line/police force.

2. Always care that the SIM card is placed correctly inside the device and that the card is not affected by any damage.

3. On a SIM card you can only store phone numbers and names of contacts no other data. Take that into account when changing mobile phone.

4. Keep your device clean regularly, clean it and do not take the device to humid places.

Credits drawings: Deuxani

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