The cell phone industry has grown into a larger than life industry. It has contributed a staggering $92 billion to the US coffers. That constitutes an uncontrollable mega monster in anyones book. Considering the vast sprawling nature of the various networks, it would be easy to understand how one cell phone number can be overlooked.
It does appear that they do have that in hand though. But as far as networking and communication is concerned, todays cell phones are worth their weight in gold. Lets try to clarify what a wireless network is. Just attempting to explain the wireless networks can get a bit perplexing. In point of fact, the wireless networks consist of a string of radio towers.
They are a few miles apart from each other basically forming a grid. The space from one tower to the next is called a cell. These towers are also joined to the landline telephone network. All handsets are equipped with a System Identification Code, SID.
This is a separate five digit number. The FCC assigns this number to each carrier. Whenever it is that you sign a service contract, thats when your cell phone gets its SID code.
After that it is activated. The way it works is like this. When you turn your phone on it searches for a SID on the control channel. If your phone is unable to retrieve it, that will result in the dreaded no service message being displayed.
However, when your cell indeed finds a SID the two are compared to see if they are a match. When a match is made your cell then realizes that it is operating in its own home network. Whenever a match is not made, your cell phone is considered to be roaming.
The system manager whose area it is that your phone is roaming in, contacts the system manager of your home network. Your system manager then checks its own database to confirm that the SID you are using is valid. The other network then tracks your handset as it roams through its cells.
Piggybacking on another network like that incurs an additional expense. As we all know, roaming can become very expensive. Does your carrier offer free mobile-to-mobile minutes? When you sign up for these minutes you can call other cell phone users on the same network at no extra cost. Incredibly, some cell phone companies give the go ahead for you to call any number on any other network and you do not have to use any of your allotted minutes for the month.
Can you imagine? A plan that allows you to call five to ten numbers without loss of allotted minutes. When you get calls from these numbers, it does not cost you anything either! Many cell phone plans appear very generous. However, you must keep your cell phone needs to the forefront. I say this because although a plan may have a really great ring to it, that plan may not line up with your specific needs.
You have to do your homework or your cell phone costs will quickly escalate.
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