Mobile Jargon-Part 3

Hi all,

This is my last in the three part series to present the common mobile related terms. Hope you have read the first two series. If not the click here for Part1 and Part2. I have tried my best to keep the things simple.  Read on….


Third generation (3G) is the latest phone technology and allows high speed data content transfer. This can mean up to 50 times more data transmitted per minute than with ordinary phones. Video and pictures can be viewed quickly with this technology.


A type of wireless transmission with relatively short range at present (10 – 100 metres). This can be a wireless connection between your telephone, computer, printer or other compatible device.

Bluetooth Headset

A device that sits on or around the ear and allows you to wirelessly connect to your mobile phone with handsfree receiving of calls.

Card Slot

Expand the memory of the phone by slotting in a memory card.


Carkits enable you to use your phone in the car safely and legally, and usually enable handsfree operation and charging of your phone’s battery.


The strength of radio signals.

Digital zoom Each pixel is enlarged to increase the size of the subject, but picture quality is very much reduced.


Refers to the capability of handsets to operate across two frequency bands. Dual-band technology enables a network operator with spectrum at both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz to support the seamless use of dual-band handsets across both frequencies.


General Packet Radio System for Mobile Communications. This is the mobile phone system network for Europe and most of Asia.


Global Positioning Satellite. This technology needs a GPS receiver to calculate from the orbiting satellites your exact location on Earth.


Global system for mobile communications. Second generation network delivering high quality and secure mobile voice and data service with full roaming capabilities across the world. Data connection rate is up to 9.6 Kbps.


Wireless data transfer via an infrared port. For example, between two mobile phones or via other devices such as PC with IrDa port.

Integral Cameras

Allow you to take, send (in the form MMS) and store digital pictures.


A technology to implement java support for various devices such as mobile phone, PDA and digital television.


This technology allows you to download games, applications, ring tones and logos from web sites


Multimedia Messaging Service. A messaging format that allows the transmission of images, sound, video clips and text.

Mobile TV

This technology is seen as the future of the phone and is becoming the complete multimedia gadget. Sky has launched TV which is beamed to your phone for a monthly fee/subscrition. The service includes Sky News,Sports, factual programs and Sky Music and Entertainment.


Digital music files.

MP3 Player

Listen to MP3 encoded tracks at near CD quality. An MP3 track can also be used as a ringtone on some phones.

Optical zoom

The image is enlarged by the use of lenses, unlike digital zoom which reduces the picture quality.


Personal digital assistant is a handheld device that works like a mini personal computer. Some especially modern PDAs contain some mobile phone features.


The larger the quoted number of pixels the better the quality of the images taken by the camera.


Very high quality full-range sound.


Push-to-Talk this is a technology that connects you to work groups and friends with supreme ease.

Quad Band

Allows you to make and receive calls Worldwide, with some exceptions.

QWERTY keyboard

A keyboard with the same letter layout as a computer keyboard.

Refresh Rate

The ability of the screen to keep up, ensuring smooth playback. 15 frames (fps) per second at least is recommended.

Satellite Navigation

Turn-by-turn instructions and on-screen directions on your phone. Can be linked to your phone via Bluetooth or the GPS receiver and navigational software already integrated into your phone.

Screen Resolution

The higher the quoted number of pixels the better the screen. A screen with high resolution will display your pictures and video more clearly.

SD Slot

A secure digital memory card can be inserted to store images and data from your phone.

Service Provider

This is the company that handles your mobile calls. 


A phone that can organize your life as well as make and receive calls. Smartphones can make and send e-mails, maintain a diary, to do lists and are able to store lots of data. Smartphones can also be used as an internet dongle (for your computer), and can connect to a computer, so that you can edit or show a document on-the-go or, download it to another computer. Smartphone OS’s consist of: UiQ (Symbian-based), Symbian, Palm OS, webOS (coming soon to the Palm Pre), Windows Mobile.


Short Messaging Service. Commonly known as ‘Text messaging’.


Different mobile phone networks operate at different frequencies, which means that if you wish to use your mobile phone outside your home country, you generally need a handset that supports multiple frequency bands. A tri-band phone operates on three frequency bands, GSM900, GSM1800 and GSM1900, allowing you to use it in Europe, Africa, Asia, nearly all of North America and Australia. 


T9 stands for “Text on 9 keys”, one of predictive text input’s algorithms. Visit for more information.


VGA (stands for Video Graphics Array) is a default video format for mobile phones (for example, the LG Renoir) but is also the standard for cameras as well. This format uses very little space on the card/disk, and is relatively poor quality, and has small screen space (640×480), so that you can record more video quickly and easily (only recommended for simple videos). Also, Windows uses a system called SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array), which, only can display in poor quality modes, and, is unable to support a big display (SVGA supports 800×600 up to 1680×1050). QVGA (stands for Quarter Video Graphics Array) is the same as VGA, but smaller (320×240)

Video capture

This is the ability to film moving video footage, in the form of video clips. These can either be stored on the phone or sent in the form of MMS.

Virtual Wallet 

Storing credit card details in your mobile phone for m-commerce use. Voice dial – Allows you to call someone in your phonebook by saying his or her name. You will need to store a previous recording of yourself saying the name, for it to work. Voicemail – A mobile phone’s answerphone system.


Wireless Application Protocol. Special Web pages made for small screens on mobiles and PDA’s.


Wireless transmission of data and images with a good range.

WML Wireless markup language is used to produce WAP content. It makes optimum use of the limited size of the displays on handheld devices.

Hope this article gives some insight to the mobile world. Do write in your comments and suggestions.


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