Mobile Phone Training Institute

Cellular Technology Glossary

With cellular technology evolving so quickly, it can be a struggle to keep up with the latest technology jargon. To help you wade through the techno babble, here's a glossary of the most frequently used terms with their simple explanations. This glossary would help even those who've seen the jargon making the rounds but couldn't really understand what they meant. A quick guide to the most commonly used abbreviations and terminology used in the mobile phone segment are given along.



1G ( 1st Generation in Mobile Telephony )
First-generation mobiles or mobile systems ? these were the first-ever mobiles and provide the basis for all of today's smartphones.


2.5G ( Second and a Half Generation in Mobile Telephony )
2.5G or "second-and-a-half generation" ? this was the next step from 2G and provided enhanced data communications services, including Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) as well as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access for emails and web browsing.


2G ( 2nd Generation in Mobile Telephony )
Second-generation mobiles or mobile systems ? 2G mobiles supported data, fax and SMS mobile services. 2G handsets also offer limited data communications.


3G ( 3rd Generation in Mobile Telephony )
Introduced in the UK in 1998, 3G is network technology that allowed users could access the internet at higher speeds than before and download music and video smoothly and quickly.


4G ( 4th Generation in Mobile Telephony )
This is the current standard in mobile phone technology and is capable of super-fast mobile internet speeds of up to 300Mbps.


5G ( 5th Generation in Mobile Telephony )
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, your 4G LTE connection. With 5G, you'll see exponentially faster download and upload speeds. Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with each other wireless networks, will also drastically decrease. It offers speeds hundreds of times faster than 4G. But its greatest impact will perhaps be in the area of the so-called 'internet of things' that will see household goods such as fridges connected to the web. Experts also forecast it could be vital in paving the way for driverless cars becoming mainstream.


AAC ( Advanced Audio Coding )
A music format proposed as a successor to MP3 offering higher sound quality without using more memory.


AC
Alternate Current


A-GPS
A-GPS is technology used by mapping software that speeds up the process of determining your location, so you can get directions faster.


Air time
Air time refers to the monthly allowance of talk minutes you're entitled to with your mobile phone contract.


AMOLED ( Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode )
This refers to Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) display technology. AMOLED screens are sharper than standard LCD screens and are battery-efficient.


Android
This is software developed by Google that powers smartphones manufactured by the likes of Samsung, HTC and Sony. Rather than 'software' Android is more usually referred to as an 'operating system', which is a term you'll find explained below.


APN ( Access Point Name )
An APN can be thought of as being like a gate or portal from the GPRS 2.5G or 3G network into the internet. Each network operator has a different APN which needs to be set up on your phone and the APNs can differ depending on whether you are on Contract or Pay As You Go and whether you wish to use WAP or Mobile Web/Email. Very often the settings are provided automatically via a text message to your phone from the network operator but occasionally the settings need to be input manually.The information required for the UK network providers can be found here.


Audio jack
This is the aperture in your smartphone where you plug in your headphones or a portable speaker.


Auto-focus
Auto-focus is a feature of cameraphones that intelligently and automatically focuses on the subject of your photo without any input required from the photographer.


Bezels
Bezel refers to the outside frame around the phone screen. Some smartphones, such as the Samsung Galazy Edge range have smaller bezels to make room for an edge-to-edge display.


BGA ( Ball Grid Array )
A ball grid array is a type of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits. BGA packages are used to permanently mount devices such as microprocessors. A BGA can provide more interconnection pins than can be put on a dual in-line or flat package


Bluetooth
Bluetooth is technology that creates a 'local' wireless connection. It allows smartphone-owners to exchange data over short distances.


Bps
Bits per second. It indicates the speed of data transfer.


BSI
Battery Status Indicator


Caller display
The screen of your mobile that shows the name and number, and sometimes a picture of the caller on a call.


Camera phone
This is a mobile phone with a built-in camera so you can take pictures and record videos.


CDMA ( Code Division Multiple Access )
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a sort of multiplexing that facilitates various signals to occupy a single transmission channel. It optimizes the use of available bandwidth. The technology is commonly used in ultra-high-frequency (UHF) cellular telephone systems, bands ranging between the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz.


Cloud storage
Cloud storage is a way of storing your music, photos and other files in a secure location online. It means you're not limited by your phone's built-in storage and can access your files from other devices if you need to.


Coverage
This is the area in which you get mobile phone signal from your network. If you have coverage then you can make and receive calls on your mobile phone, send and receive messages and access the Internet.


CPU ( Central Processing Unit )


D-AMPS
Digital-Advanced Mobile Phone Service; the digital wireless standard widely used throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific and other areas. D-AMPS operates on the 800 and 1900 MHz bands.


DC ( Direct Current )


DCT ( Digital Core Technology )


Desktop charger
An accessory - also referred to as a charging dock or cradle - that holds the handset upright on a surface on your desk while it is charging so you can easily view the caller display.


Digital
A method of encoding information. On digital networks, data does not first need to be converted to an analogue signal. Digital networks include mobile systems GSM, D-AMPS, CDMA, TDMA and UMTS and offer improved sound quality and enhanced transmission security when compared to analogue networks.


Digital Zoom
A digital camera phone which uses digital technology to zoom in on an object by enhancing part of a picture rather than by moving the camera lens.


Dual band
This term refers to mobiles that can switch between two frequencies. All new UK mobiles are dual band.


Dual lens
A dual lens camera uses two lenses rather than one to take more detailed photos.


Dual SIM
A dual SIM phone is one able to hold two SIM cards. Some dual-SIM phones require you to switch between SIM cards to be able to use only one or the other and these are known as 'standby dual-SIM'. An 'active dual-SIM' phone is where both SIM cards are active at the same time and it usually has two transceivers. Latest technology 'Dual-SIM Dual-Standby' (DSDS) phones allow two active SIMs using just one transceiver. The advantages of having a dual-SIM phone are that it enables you to effectively have two phones within one; you can use the one phone to keep your work and your private life separate for example. It could also possibly increase your chance of network coverage if you have one SIM using Vodafone on the 900Mhz band and the other one using Orange on the 1800Mhz band say. A dual-SIM phone is also handy for travel use; simply pop in a locally purchased SIM card to keep local call costs down.


Dual-band
A phone that can use both 900MHz and 1800MHz networks. In the UK, Orange and T-Mobile historically used the 1800MHz frequency while O2 and Vodafone used 900MHz. As the airwaves have become more congested the networks are using both frequencies and nearly all new mobile phones are at least dual-band now. See also ?Tri-band? and ?Quad-band?.


Dual-SIM
A dual-SIM phone has two SIM slots and enables you to have two active SIMs at the same time. This means you will have two phone numbers and can receive calls and texts on both lines.


EDGE
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution. EDGE increases network capacity and data transfer rates across a GSM network. It can compete with 3G offering similar data services, and can be used to offer faster transfer rates by operators in areas where there is no 3G coverage.


Fast charging
Fast charging, sometimes known as quick charge, allows you to charge your battery by using higher-than-normal voltage. For this to work, both your phone and your wall charger need to support fast charging.


Fingerprint scanner
A fingerprint scanner adds another layer of security by only allowing you to unlock your smartphone with your unique fingerprint.


FLAC
FLAC or Free Lossless Audio Codec; is an audio format that is similar to MP3 but is 'lossless' which means that it can be compressed without any loss to the audio quality.


GB
Gibabyte; a measurement of data storage. One Gigabyte is equivalent to 1024MB (Megabyte).


GLONASS
Global Navigation Satellite System. Managed by the Russian Space Forces, it is used to calculate the phone?s location by taking a reading from up to 3 satellites.


Gorilla Glass
Gorilla Glass is the name given to an environmentally friendly, lightweight, alkali-aluminosilicate thin-sheet glass produced by Corning who claim it is durable enough to resist many real-world events that commonly cause glass failure. It is often specified for the screens of tough phones.


GPRS
General Packet Radio Service ? This was a way to enhance 2G phones' capabilities so they can send and receive data at a much faster rate. A GPRS connection means the phone is "always on" and can transfer data immediately. General Packet Radio Service; a 2.5G enhancement to GSM networks. The first high speed data service available on digital mobile phones.


GPS
Global Positioning System. Managed by the United States, it is used to calculate the phone?s location by taking a reading from up to 3 satellites.


GSM ( Global System for Mobile Communications )
Global Standard for Mobile communications; a digital mobile phone standard and the de facto standard used in Europe. It is implemented on 800, 900, 1800 and 1900MHZ frequency bands. The most common frequency used is 900MHZ, followed by 1800MHZ.


Handsfree
The ability to make and receive phone calls without physically holding the mobile phone.


Hands-Free
This is a safety feature that allows you to talk without holding the handset to your head and often involves using an extra hands-free accessory such as a Bluetooth earpiece. This is particularly popular with drivers because holding a handset while driving is illegal in the UK.


HSCSD
High Speed Circuit Switched Data; a technology for GSM which boosts the throughput of data and used to obtain faster internet access through older 2G mobile phone networks.


HSDPA
High Speed Download Packet Access; a high speed method of downloading data across a 3G mobile phone network. More commonly called mobile broadband.


HSUPA
High Speed Upload Packet Access; a complementary service to HSDPA.


IC ( Integrated Circuit )
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material that is normally silicon.


IMAP
Internet Message Access Protocol; a method of sending and receiving email where only the header and sender information is initially downloaded, allowing you to choose whether to download the full email or leave it to be accessed from a PC later. Can help reduce data download charges.


IMEI ( International Mobile Equipment Identity )
International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique serial number given to every mobile phone usually found printed under the phone battery. The networks can use the IMEI number to identify a phone reported stolen and block its use in the UK.


Instant messaging
This term refers to services that let you chat to your friends with text messages in real time. Examples of instant messaging apps or services are WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger.


IP rating
Ingress Protection rating; a measure of the degree of protection offered by the phone against the ingress of dirt and water. For more information on IP ratings, click here.


IrDA
Infrared Data Association; the body that specifies IrDA protocols for data exchange between devices using infrared technology. Most newer devices use Bluetooth for data exchange.


Iris scanner
An iris scanner adds another layer of security by scanning your eye to unlock your phone. It is thought to be more secure than fingerprint scanners.


J2ME
Java 2 platform, Micro Edition. The edition of the Java platform for small, standalone or connectable consumer devices.


Java
An industry standard object-oriented language invented by Sun Microsystems.


Kbps
Kilobytes per second; indicates the speed data is transferred by a mobile phone across the phone network.


LCD
Liquid Crystal Display; a type of screen technology used in some mobile phones. TFT displays are considered superior.


LCD screen
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is made up of an array of liquid crystals that get illuminated by a back-light. They are widely used on smartphones because they perform well, even in direct sunlight, and they don't use up too much battery power.


LED ( Light Emitting Diode )
Light Emitting Diode; a small light on a mobile phone, either used as a torch or to enhance poorly illuminated objects when taking a photo.


Li-Ion
An abbreviation for Lithium-ion; used in the construction of high performance mobile phone batteries.


Linux
An open-source operating system modelled on UNIX.


LTE ( Long Term Evolution )
LTE is an abbreviation for Long Term Evolution. LTE is a 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that's designed to provide up to 10x the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots.


MB
Megabyte; a measurement of data storage.


Mbps
Mbps stands for megabytes per second and is a measure of the speed of your internet connection.


Megapixel
A megapixel is one million pixels. Used to describe the resolution of a digital camera. The higher the number, the sharper the picture due to more pixels in the image.


Megapixels
Megapixels are a way of measuring the quality of a camera. In general, the more megapixels the better the camera. But it's not the only thing that determines how good the camera is. The amount of light a lens lets in is also important, for instance. So megapixels aren't the be-all and end-all.


Memory Expansion Slot
A memory expansion slot on a phone allows an increase in the memory capacity of the phone by the addition of a memory card, usually MicroSD format.


microSD card
A microSD card is a tiny storage accessory that you insert in your phone to massively boost capacity.


Micro-USB
Micro-Universal Serial Bus; this is a very small USB port interface. Commonly found on cellphones and other portable devices.


Military Standard
Refers to Military Standard STD-810 which is an equipment testing standard of the United States Department of defence.


MMS ( Multimedia Messaging Service )
MMS a standard for the sending of messages that include multimedia (ie images, video) content to and from mobile phones.


MNO ( Moblie Network Operator )
MNO is also known as a wireless service provider, or mobile network carrier, is a provider of services wireless communications that owns or controls all the elements necessary to sell and deliver services to an end user including radio spectrum allocation, wireless network infrastructure, back haul infrastructure, billing, customer care, provisioning computer systems and marketing and repair organizations.


Modular phone
A modular smartphone can be upgraded by attaching or replacing components, such as a new battery or a better camera. This means that customers only pay for the features they use and can upgrade components as their needs and technologies change. If their phone breaks, they can replace the broken component without having to replace the entire handset.


MP3
Moving Pictures Expert Group Layer 3; a technology standard allowing high compression of digital audio files (to reduce file size) whilst retaining an acceptable level of audio quality.


MP3 Player
This can be a hardware or software built into a mobile phone that allows you to listen to music and podcasts.


Multimedia messaging
This term refers to sending messages between mobile phones that include images and video clips.


Off-Peak
This refers to the period of time after business hours have ended and during which mobile networks tend to offer reduced rates for calls.


OIST ( Optical Image Stabilisation Technology )
Optical image stabilisation technology keeps your smartphone camera steady, so it's to take good photos in low-light conditions. Optical Imaging Stabilization or 'OIS'; is a family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera or other imaging device during exposure. Generally this is used to help reduce the degree of motion along the pan and tilt planes of the devices imaging sensor, helping to reduce 'ghosting' in photographs and 'camera shake' in videos.


OLED
An Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) refers to display technology. Similar to AMOLED, OLED screens are sharper than standard LCD screens and are designed to be energy-efficient.


OS ( Operating System )
Operating System; the basic software that runs and manages devices like computers and mobile phone . An operating system is the software that powers smartphones, as well as other devices such as tablets and PCs. As well as managing your phone's resources so you can do lots of things at once, an operating system is the platform on which your phone runs apps. Examples of operating systems are iOS (iPhone), Android and Windows.


PAC Code ( Porting Authorisation Code )
Porting Authorisation Code or 'PAC'; used by most mobile network operators to facilitate mobile number portability (MNP) Usually 9 characters long and in the format "ABC123456" to generate a unique user identifier. This allows users to retain their mobile telephone number when switching operators.


Pay As You Go (PAYG)
Pay as you go means you're not tied to a contract and only pay for minutes and data when you top up.


PCB ( Printed Circuit Board )
A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate


PCBA ( Printed Circuit Board Assembly )


PDA ( Personal Digital Assistant )
A personal digital assistant, also known as a handheld PC, is a variety mobile device which functions as a personal information manager. PDAs have been mostly displaced by the widespread adoption of highly capable smartphones, in particular those based on iOS and Android


Peak
The time of day when the phone network is busiest. This usually occurs during normal business hours.


PFO ( Power Frequency Oscillator )
P.F.O is found near the Antenna Switch in the Network Section of the Cell Phone PFO. Cell Phone PFO. PCB of Mobile Phone. It is also called P.A (Power Amplifier) and Band Pass Filter. Work: It filters and amplifies network frequency and selects the home network.


PIN ( Personal Identification Number )
PIN is usually a four digit code used to protect against unauthorised use of the mobile phone.


POP3 ( Post Office Protocol 3 )
A protocol for data transmission, used for sending emails across the internet.


PTT ( Push To Talk )
PTT is a technology enabling a mobile phone to be used like a walkie-talkie. Uses data packets over 2G or 3G networks. Users need to be with the same network provider.


PUK ( Pin Unblocking Key )
PUK is a security code used by networks to protect unauthorised use of a sim card if the wrong PIN is entered three times.


Quad-band
A phone that can use all four of the GSM transmission frequencies; 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHZ meaning that it can operate worldwide, including the USA. (GSM 900/1800 MHz bands are used in most parts of the world: Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Africa, whereas GSM 850/1900 MHz bands are used in the United States, Canada, Mexico and most countries of S. America.) See also 'Dual-band' and ?Tri-band?.


QVGA ( Quarter Video Graphic Array )
QVGA is the common screen resolution size for mobile phones is 320 x 240 pixels (76,800 pixel count). It is one quarter in size of a standard VGA display of 640 x 480 which has 307,200 pixels.


RAM ( Random Access Memory )
Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code


Refurbished phone
A refurbished phone is a handset that has been returned to the seller because of some manufacturing and functioning defect. The phone is then repaired, undergoing full quality checks with best industrial standards and sold again.


RF ( Radio Frequency )
RF is a measurement representing the oscillation rate of electromagnetic radiation spectrum, or electromagnetic radio waves, from frequencies ranging from 300 GHz to as low as 9 kHz.


Roaming
This is sometimes referred to as International Roaming and means using your phone in another country and on an another nework. Your network and talk plan will determine how many countries you can roam in and what charges you may incur from using this service.


ROM ( Read Only Memory )
Read-only memory is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device.


RTC ( Real Time Clock )
A real time clock is basically just like a watch - it runs on a battery and keeps time for you even when there is a power outage! Using an RTC, you can keep track of long timelines, even if you reprogram your microcontroller or disconnect it from USB or a power plug.


RX ( Receive / Receiver (Receiving Section) )


SAR ( Specific Absorption Rate )
SAR is the measurement of how much radio frequency energy/ electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by the body. Mobile phones, like televisions, computers, etc emit low levels of electromagnetic radiation. All mobile phones on sale throughout the EU should comply with the recommendations of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection of a SAR limit of 2w/kg (watts per kilogram). The SAR rating of a mobile phone can be found in the phone's instruction manual or on the manufacturer's website.


Secondary camera
This is the front-facing camera that's most often used for 'selfies'.


SIM ( Subscriber Information Module )
SIM is an integrated circuit held on a removable SIM card. It holds a unique serial number (ICCID), the unique number of the mobile user (IMSI), security authentication and ciphering information, temporary information related to the local network, a list of the services the user has access to and two passcodes (PIN and PUK). It is the chip that identifies the mobile number and mobile account to the network. It stores essential data and is required to make or receive calls on your network. There are three types of SIM cards: standard SIMs, microSIMs and nano SIMs. The sole difference between them is size.


SIM only
A SIM-only deal or SIM only contract is that solely includes a SIM card and an amount of monthly usage. Unlike conventional contracts, SIM-only deals don't include a phone. They're especially popular with cost-conscious consumers and customers who have come to the end of their standard contract and feel they don't want or need to upgrade to a newer phone.


SIM-free
SIM-free means you buy the phone of your choice without a SIM card in the package, so you will be free from any contract or commitment to a specific network. SIM-free phones come completely unlocked, letting you decide what SIM card to use in them.


Smartphone
Smartphones' refers to high-end handsets that carry out a whole range of functions. More than just phones, smartphones can surf the web, send and receive emails, record video, take pictures and be used for video games and viewing movies and much, much more. There is no clear definition of a Smartphone but we generally recognise this to be a mobile phone built on an operating system which enables the downloading of additional applications, and having a touchscreen interface as well as camera, video, GPS and fast web browser capabilities.


SMD ( Surface Mount Device )


SMS ( Short Message Service )
SMS is the technology that allows traditional text messages to be sent and received on all mobile phone networks. Short Message Service; available on digital GSM networks allowing text messages of up to 160 characters to be sent and received.


Splash-resistant
WA splash resistant phone should repel splashes and light water on the device but isn't water resistant. Simply put, it should be ok if you take it out in the rain, but probably wouldn't survive being dropped in a puddle.


Standby time
This refers to the number of hours that a mobile phone battery will last without receiving or making any calls. If you use the phone to make calls or send messages then the standby time will be diminished.


Streaming video and music
Streaming is a way to enjoy music and video on your phone without having to download the content first. Instead you watch or listen in 'real time'. Music services Spotify and Deezer use streaming, as so video on-demand services such as NowTV.


Stylus
A stylus is a type of 'pen' that's used for writing or drawing on your smartphone's or tablet's screen. Examples are Samsung's S-Pen and the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro.


Talk time
This is the same as air time and refers to the actual amount of time spent talking on the phone, or in some cases the allowance of time available on your talk plan.


TFT ( Thin Film Transistor )
TFT is used in screens commonly found on mobile phones. TFT displays are considered superior to LCD screens.


Tri-Band
Tri band or Triple band phones can operate across three GSM bands, which means they can be used in more than 100 countries. A phone that can use three of the four GSM transmission frequencies; usually 900, 1800 and 1900MHZ. The 1900MHZ band is used in parts of the USA, Canada and South America. The American continent also uses the 850MHZ band so if you take a phone from the UK to the USA you would really need a Quad-band for it to fully function there. See also 'Dual-band' and 'Quad-band'.


TX ( Transmit (Transmitting Section) )


UEM ( Universal Energy Manager )


UMTS ( Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service )
UMTS is a 3G standard permitting a theoretical data throughput of up to 2 Mbps.


UNIX
An operating system analogous to DOS and Windows, supporting multiple concurrent users. Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, development starting in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others


USB ( Universal Serial Bus )
USB is a connection method for electronic devices usually used for data transfer. Most phones use either mini or micro USB ports and can be sometimes be used as the connection for charging the phone.


USB cable
USB cables are used to connect smartphones to PCs and laptops and for charging your phone from the mains with a plug attachment or directly from your computer. You'll use a USB when you're transfering music, video and photos.


USB-C cable
USB-C is a newer type of USB cable that enables users to transfer data faster and charge their smartphones more efficiently.


USIM ( Universal Subscriber Information Module )
USIM is a later generation of a SIM card with a higher capacity of 64Kb. Also referred to as a 3G SIM card because 3G phones generally need a USIM rather than the older SIM cards. Visually USIMs are no different to SIMs.


VCO ( Voltage Controlled Oscillator )
A voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is an electronic oscillator whose oscillation frequency is controlled by a voltage input. The applied input voltage determines the instantaneous oscillation frequency


VGA ( Video Graphics Array )
A standard screen size of 640 x 480 pixels. Definition of: VGA. VGA. (Video Graphics Array) VGA is an analog interface between a PC and monitor that was widely used prior to DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. VGA was introduced on the IBM PS/2 in 1987, replacing the previous digital CGA and EGA interfaces, which had lower resolution and fewer colors.


Virtual reality headset
Virtual Reality or VR headsets create a convincing replacement of an environment using virtual reality content, such as a movie, a game or prerecorded content from a 360-degree camera. Once wearing the headset, the user will be able to look around and sometime interact with the virtual reality on the screen.


Voice commands
This is a way of using your mobile with your voice. You speak a command and, assuming it understands, your smartphone will carry out the instruction. Voice commands are especially handy when you're driving or in situations where your hands are in use elsewhere.


Voicemail
Voicemail is a service provided by your network. Voicemail records audio messages from callers when you are unable to answer the phone.


WAP ( Wireless Application Protocol )
A Protocol through which older-generation phones could access the internet. WAP is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and instant messaging.


WAP browser
A Wireless Access Protocol browser - allows you to view and navigate various internet services, shown on the phone's screen.


Water-resistant
Water resistant phones can withstand a lot of water without becoming damaged. Their precise imperviousness to liquid veries from phone to phone, but most should survive being submerged in three feet of water for up to half an hour. Water-resistant phones aren't fully waterproof though, so you probably shouldn't take them swimming.


WCDMA ( Wideband Code Division Multiplexing Access )
WCDMA is a part of the newer 3G group of technologies offering much faster data speeds than GSM.


Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi or 'Wireless Fidelity'; is a wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. It describes network components that are based on one of the 802.11 standards developed by the IEEE and adopted by the Wi-Fi Alliance.


Windows Phone
Windows Phone is the term for Microsoft's Lumia range of handsets, which are powered by the Windows operating system.


1G ( 1st Generation in Mobile Telephony )
First-generation mobiles or mobile systems ? these were the first-ever mobiles and provide the basis for all of today's smartphones.


2.5G ( Second and a Half Generation in Mobile Telephony )
2.5G or "second-and-a-half generation" ? this was the next step from 2G and provided enhanced data communications services, including Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) as well as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access for emails and web browsing.


2G ( 2nd Generation in Mobile Telephony )
Second-generation mobiles or mobile systems ? 2G mobiles supported data, fax and SMS mobile services. 2G handsets also offer limited data communications.


3G ( 3rd Generation in Mobile Telephony )
Introduced in the UK in 1998, 3G is network technology that allowed users could access the internet at higher speeds than before and download music and video smoothly and quickly.


4G ( 4th Generation in Mobile Telephony )
This is the current standard in mobile phone technology and is capable of super-fast mobile internet speeds of up to 300Mbps.


5G ( 5th Generation in Mobile Telephony )
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, your 4G LTE connection. With 5G, you'll see exponentially faster download and upload speeds. Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with each other wireless networks, will also drastically decrease. It offers speeds hundreds of times faster than 4G. But its greatest impact will perhaps be in the area of the so-called 'internet of things' that will see household goods such as fridges connected to the web. Experts also forecast it could be vital in paving the way for driverless cars becoming mainstream.


AAC ( Advanced Audio Coding )
A music format proposed as a successor to MP3 offering higher sound quality without using more memory.


AC
Alternate Current


A-GPS
A-GPS is technology used by mapping software that speeds up the process of determining your location, so you can get directions faster.


Air time
Air time refers to the monthly allowance of talk minutes you're entitled to with your mobile phone contract.


AMOLED ( Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode )
This refers to Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) display technology. AMOLED screens are sharper than standard LCD screens and are battery-efficient.


Android
This is software developed by Google that powers smartphones manufactured by the likes of Samsung, HTC and Sony. Rather than 'software' Android is more usually referred to as an 'operating system', which is a term you'll find explained below.


APN ( Access Point Name )
An APN can be thought of as being like a gate or portal from the GPRS 2.5G or 3G network into the internet. Each network operator has a different APN which needs to be set up on your phone and the APNs can differ depending on whether you are on Contract or Pay As You Go and whether you wish to use WAP or Mobile Web/Email. Very often the settings are provided automatically via a text message to your phone from the network operator but occasionally the settings need to be input manually.The information required for the UK network providers can be found here.


Audio jack
This is the aperture in your smartphone where you plug in your headphones or a portable speaker.


Auto-focus
Auto-focus is a feature of cameraphones that intelligently and automatically focuses on the subject of your photo without any input required from the photographer.


Bezels
Bezel refers to the outside frame around the phone screen. Some smartphones, such as the Samsung Galazy Edge range have smaller bezels to make room for an edge-to-edge display.


BGA ( Ball Grid Array )
A ball grid array is a type of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits. BGA packages are used to permanently mount devices such as microprocessors. A BGA can provide more interconnection pins than can be put on a dual in-line or flat package


Bluetooth
Bluetooth is technology that creates a 'local' wireless connection. It allows smartphone-owners to exchange data over short distances.


Bps
Bits per second. It indicates the speed of data transfer.


BSI
Battery Status Indicator


Caller display
The screen of your mobile that shows the name and number, and sometimes a picture of the caller on a call.


Camera phone
This is a mobile phone with a built-in camera so you can take pictures and record videos.


CDMA ( Code Division Multiple Access )
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a sort of multiplexing that facilitates various signals to occupy a single transmission channel. It optimizes the use of available bandwidth. The technology is commonly used in ultra-high-frequency (UHF) cellular telephone systems, bands ranging between the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz.


Cloud storage
Cloud storage is a way of storing your music, photos and other files in a secure location online. It means you're not limited by your phone's built-in storage and can access your files from other devices if you need to.


Coverage
This is the area in which you get mobile phone signal from your network. If you have coverage then you can make and receive calls on your mobile phone, send and receive messages and access the Internet.


CPU ( Central Processing Unit )


D-AMPS
Digital-Advanced Mobile Phone Service; the digital wireless standard widely used throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific and other areas. D-AMPS operates on the 800 and 1900 MHz bands.


DC ( Direct Current )


DCT ( Digital Core Technology )


Desktop charger
An accessory - also referred to as a charging dock or cradle - that holds the handset upright on a surface on your desk while it is charging so you can easily view the caller display.


Digital
A method of encoding information. On digital networks, data does not first need to be converted to an analogue signal. Digital networks include mobile systems GSM, D-AMPS, CDMA, TDMA and UMTS and offer improved sound quality and enhanced transmission security when compared to analogue networks.


Digital Zoom
A digital camera phone which uses digital technology to zoom in on an object by enhancing part of a picture rather than by moving the camera lens.


Dual band
This term refers to mobiles that can switch between two frequencies. All new UK mobiles are dual band.


Dual lens
A dual lens camera uses two lenses rather than one to take more detailed photos.


Dual SIM
A dual SIM phone is one able to hold two SIM cards. Some dual-SIM phones require you to switch between SIM cards to be able to use only one or the other and these are known as 'standby dual-SIM'. An 'active dual-SIM' phone is where both SIM cards are active at the same time and it usually has two transceivers. Latest technology 'Dual-SIM Dual-Standby' (DSDS) phones allow two active SIMs using just one transceiver. The advantages of having a dual-SIM phone are that it enables you to effectively have two phones within one; you can use the one phone to keep your work and your private life separate for example. It could also possibly increase your chance of network coverage if you have one SIM using Vodafone on the 900Mhz band and the other one using Orange on the 1800Mhz band say. A dual-SIM phone is also handy for travel use; simply pop in a locally purchased SIM card to keep local call costs down.


Dual-band
A phone that can use both 900MHz and 1800MHz networks. In the UK, Orange and T-Mobile historically used the 1800MHz frequency while O2 and Vodafone used 900MHz. As the airwaves have become more congested the networks are using both frequencies and nearly all new mobile phones are at least dual-band now. See also ?Tri-band? and ?Quad-band?.


Dual-SIM
A dual-SIM phone has two SIM slots and enables you to have two active SIMs at the same time. This means you will have two phone numbers and can receive calls and texts on both lines.


EDGE
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution. EDGE increases network capacity and data transfer rates across a GSM network. It can compete with 3G offering similar data services, and can be used to offer faster transfer rates by operators in areas where there is no 3G coverage.


Fast charging
Fast charging, sometimes known as quick charge, allows you to charge your battery by using higher-than-normal voltage. For this to work, both your phone and your wall charger need to support fast charging.


Fingerprint scanner
A fingerprint scanner adds another layer of security by only allowing you to unlock your smartphone with your unique fingerprint.


FLAC
FLAC or Free Lossless Audio Codec; is an audio format that is similar to MP3 but is 'lossless' which means that it can be compressed without any loss to the audio quality.


GB
Gibabyte; a measurement of data storage. One Gigabyte is equivalent to 1024MB (Megabyte).


GLONASS
Global Navigation Satellite System. Managed by the Russian Space Forces, it is used to calculate the phone?s location by taking a reading from up to 3 satellites.


Gorilla Glass
Gorilla Glass is the name given to an environmentally friendly, lightweight, alkali-aluminosilicate thin-sheet glass produced by Corning who claim it is durable enough to resist many real-world events that commonly cause glass failure. It is often specified for the screens of tough phones.


GPRS
General Packet Radio Service ? This was a way to enhance 2G phones' capabilities so they can send and receive data at a much faster rate. A GPRS connection means the phone is "always on" and can transfer data immediately. General Packet Radio Service; a 2.5G enhancement to GSM networks. The first high speed data service available on digital mobile phones.


GPS
Global Positioning System. Managed by the United States, it is used to calculate the phone?s location by taking a reading from up to 3 satellites.


GSM ( Global System for Mobile Communications )
Global Standard for Mobile communications; a digital mobile phone standard and the de facto standard used in Europe. It is implemented on 800, 900, 1800 and 1900MHZ frequency bands. The most common frequency used is 900MHZ, followed by 1800MHZ.


Handsfree
The ability to make and receive phone calls without physically holding the mobile phone.


Hands-Free
This is a safety feature that allows you to talk without holding the handset to your head and often involves using an extra hands-free accessory such as a Bluetooth earpiece. This is particularly popular with drivers because holding a handset while driving is illegal in the UK.


HSCSD
High Speed Circuit Switched Data; a technology for GSM which boosts the throughput of data and used to obtain faster internet access through older 2G mobile phone networks.


HSDPA
High Speed Download Packet Access; a high speed method of downloading data across a 3G mobile phone network. More commonly called mobile broadband.


HSUPA
High Speed Upload Packet Access; a complementary service to HSDPA.


IC ( Integrated Circuit )
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material that is normally silicon.


IMAP
Internet Message Access Protocol; a method of sending and receiving email where only the header and sender information is initially downloaded, allowing you to choose whether to download the full email or leave it to be accessed from a PC later. Can help reduce data download charges.


IMEI ( International Mobile Equipment Identity )
International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique serial number given to every mobile phone usually found printed under the phone battery. The networks can use the IMEI number to identify a phone reported stolen and block its use in the UK.


Instant messaging
This term refers to services that let you chat to your friends with text messages in real time. Examples of instant messaging apps or services are WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger.


IP rating
Ingress Protection rating; a measure of the degree of protection offered by the phone against the ingress of dirt and water. For more information on IP ratings, click here.


IrDA
Infrared Data Association; the body that specifies IrDA protocols for data exchange between devices using infrared technology. Most newer devices use Bluetooth for data exchange.


Iris scanner
An iris scanner adds another layer of security by scanning your eye to unlock your phone. It is thought to be more secure than fingerprint scanners.


J2ME
Java 2 platform, Micro Edition. The edition of the Java platform for small, standalone or connectable consumer devices.


Java
An industry standard object-oriented language invented by Sun Microsystems.


Kbps
Kilobytes per second; indicates the speed data is transferred by a mobile phone across the phone network.


LCD
Liquid Crystal Display; a type of screen technology used in some mobile phones. TFT displays are considered superior.


LCD screen
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is made up of an array of liquid crystals that get illuminated by a back-light. They are widely used on smartphones because they perform well, even in direct sunlight, and they don't use up too much battery power.


LED ( Light Emitting Diode )
Light Emitting Diode; a small light on a mobile phone, either used as a torch or to enhance poorly illuminated objects when taking a photo.


Li-Ion
An abbreviation for Lithium-ion; used in the construction of high performance mobile phone batteries.


Linux
An open-source operating system modelled on UNIX.


LTE ( Long Term Evolution )
LTE is an abbreviation for Long Term Evolution. LTE is a 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that's designed to provide up to 10x the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots.


MB
Megabyte; a measurement of data storage.


Mbps
Mbps stands for megabytes per second and is a measure of the speed of your internet connection.


Megapixel
A megapixel is one million pixels. Used to describe the resolution of a digital camera. The higher the number, the sharper the picture due to more pixels in the image.


Megapixels
Megapixels are a way of measuring the quality of a camera. In general, the more megapixels the better the camera. But it's not the only thing that determines how good the camera is. The amount of light a lens lets in is also important, for instance. So megapixels aren't the be-all and end-all.


Memory Expansion Slot
A memory expansion slot on a phone allows an increase in the memory capacity of the phone by the addition of a memory card, usually MicroSD format.


microSD card
A microSD card is a tiny storage accessory that you insert in your phone to massively boost capacity.


Micro-USB
Micro-Universal Serial Bus; this is a very small USB port interface. Commonly found on cellphones and other portable devices.


Military Standard
Refers to Military Standard STD-810 which is an equipment testing standard of the United States Department of defence.


MMS ( Multimedia Messaging Service )
MMS a standard for the sending of messages that include multimedia (ie images, video) content to and from mobile phones.


MNO ( Moblie Network Operator )
MNO is also known as a wireless service provider, or mobile network carrier, is a provider of services wireless communications that owns or controls all the elements necessary to sell and deliver services to an end user including radio spectrum allocation, wireless network infrastructure, back haul infrastructure, billing, customer care, provisioning computer systems and marketing and repair organizations.


Modular phone
A modular smartphone can be upgraded by attaching or replacing components, such as a new battery or a better camera. This means that customers only pay for the features they use and can upgrade components as their needs and technologies change. If their phone breaks, they can replace the broken component without having to replace the entire handset.


MP3
Moving Pictures Expert Group Layer 3; a technology standard allowing high compression of digital audio files (to reduce file size) whilst retaining an acceptable level of audio quality.


MP3 Player
This can be a hardware or software built into a mobile phone that allows you to listen to music and podcasts.


Multimedia messaging
This term refers to sending messages between mobile phones that include images and video clips.


Off-Peak
This refers to the period of time after business hours have ended and during which mobile networks tend to offer reduced rates for calls.


OIST ( Optical Image Stabilisation Technology )
Optical image stabilisation technology keeps your smartphone camera steady, so it's to take good photos in low-light conditions. Optical Imaging Stabilization or 'OIS'; is a family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera or other imaging device during exposure. Generally this is used to help reduce the degree of motion along the pan and tilt planes of the devices imaging sensor, helping to reduce 'ghosting' in photographs and 'camera shake' in videos.


OLED
An Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) refers to display technology. Similar to AMOLED, OLED screens are sharper than standard LCD screens and are designed to be energy-efficient.


OS ( Operating System )
Operating System; the basic software that runs and manages devices like computers and mobile phone . An operating system is the software that powers smartphones, as well as other devices such as tablets and PCs. As well as managing your phone's resources so you can do lots of things at once, an operating system is the platform on which your phone runs apps. Examples of operating systems are iOS (iPhone), Android and Windows.


PAC Code ( Porting Authorisation Code )
Porting Authorisation Code or 'PAC'; used by most mobile network operators to facilitate mobile number portability (MNP) Usually 9 characters long and in the format "ABC123456" to generate a unique user identifier. This allows users to retain their mobile telephone number when switching operators.


Pay As You Go (PAYG)
Pay as you go means you're not tied to a contract and only pay for minutes and data when you top up.


PCB ( Printed Circuit Board )
A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate


PCBA ( Printed Circuit Board Assembly )


PDA ( Personal Digital Assistant )
A personal digital assistant, also known as a handheld PC, is a variety mobile device which functions as a personal information manager. PDAs have been mostly displaced by the widespread adoption of highly capable smartphones, in particular those based on iOS and Android


Peak
The time of day when the phone network is busiest. This usually occurs during normal business hours.


PFO ( Power Frequency Oscillator )
P.F.O is found near the Antenna Switch in the Network Section of the Cell Phone PFO. Cell Phone PFO. PCB of Mobile Phone. It is also called P.A (Power Amplifier) and Band Pass Filter. Work: It filters and amplifies network frequency and selects the home network.


PIN ( Personal Identification Number )
PIN is usually a four digit code used to protect against unauthorised use of the mobile phone.


POP3 ( Post Office Protocol 3 )
A protocol for data transmission, used for sending emails across the internet.


PTT ( Push To Talk )
PTT is a technology enabling a mobile phone to be used like a walkie-talkie. Uses data packets over 2G or 3G networks. Users need to be with the same network provider.


PUK ( Pin Unblocking Key )
PUK is a security code used by networks to protect unauthorised use of a sim card if the wrong PIN is entered three times.


Quad-band
A phone that can use all four of the GSM transmission frequencies; 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHZ meaning that it can operate worldwide, including the USA. (GSM 900/1800 MHz bands are used in most parts of the world: Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Africa, whereas GSM 850/1900 MHz bands are used in the United States, Canada, Mexico and most countries of S. America.) See also 'Dual-band' and ?Tri-band?.


QVGA ( Quarter Video Graphic Array )
QVGA is the common screen resolution size for mobile phones is 320 x 240 pixels (76,800 pixel count). It is one quarter in size of a standard VGA display of 640 x 480 which has 307,200 pixels.


RAM ( Random Access Memory )
Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code


Refurbished phone
A refurbished phone is a handset that has been returned to the seller because of some manufacturing and functioning defect. The phone is then repaired, undergoing full quality checks with best industrial standards and sold again.


RF ( Radio Frequency )
RF is a measurement representing the oscillation rate of electromagnetic radiation spectrum, or electromagnetic radio waves, from frequencies ranging from 300 GHz to as low as 9 kHz.


Roaming
This is sometimes referred to as International Roaming and means using your phone in another country and on an another nework. Your network and talk plan will determine how many countries you can roam in and what charges you may incur from using this service.


ROM ( Read Only Memory )
Read-only memory is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device.


RTC ( Real Time Clock )
A real time clock is basically just like a watch - it runs on a battery and keeps time for you even when there is a power outage! Using an RTC, you can keep track of long timelines, even if you reprogram your microcontroller or disconnect it from USB or a power plug.


RX ( Receive / Receiver (Receiving Section) )


SAR ( Specific Absorption Rate )
SAR is the measurement of how much radio frequency energy/ electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by the body. Mobile phones, like televisions, computers, etc emit low levels of electromagnetic radiation. All mobile phones on sale throughout the EU should comply with the recommendations of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection of a SAR limit of 2w/kg (watts per kilogram). The SAR rating of a mobile phone can be found in the phone's instruction manual or on the manufacturer's website.


Secondary camera
This is the front-facing camera that's most often used for 'selfies'.


SIM ( Subscriber Information Module )
SIM is an integrated circuit held on a removable SIM card. It holds a unique serial number (ICCID), the unique number of the mobile user (IMSI), security authentication and ciphering information, temporary information related to the local network, a list of the services the user has access to and two passcodes (PIN and PUK). It is the chip that identifies the mobile number and mobile account to the network. It stores essential data and is required to make or receive calls on your network. There are three types of SIM cards: standard SIMs, microSIMs and nano SIMs. The sole difference between them is size.


SIM only
A SIM-only deal or SIM only contract is that solely includes a SIM card and an amount of monthly usage. Unlike conventional contracts, SIM-only deals don't include a phone. They're especially popular with cost-conscious consumers and customers who have come to the end of their standard contract and feel they don't want or need to upgrade to a newer phone.


SIM-free
SIM-free means you buy the phone of your choice without a SIM card in the package, so you will be free from any contract or commitment to a specific network. SIM-free phones come completely unlocked, letting you decide what SIM card to use in them.


Smartphone
Smartphones' refers to high-end handsets that carry out a whole range of functions. More than just phones, smartphones can surf the web, send and receive emails, record video, take pictures and be used for video games and viewing movies and much, much more. There is no clear definition of a Smartphone but we generally recognise this to be a mobile phone built on an operating system which enables the downloading of additional applications, and having a touchscreen interface as well as camera, video, GPS and fast web browser capabilities.


SMD ( Surface Mount Device )


SMS ( Short Message Service )
SMS is the technology that allows traditional text messages to be sent and received on all mobile phone networks. Short Message Service; available on digital GSM networks allowing text messages of up to 160 characters to be sent and received.


Splash-resistant
WA splash resistant phone should repel splashes and light water on the device but isn't water resistant. Simply put, it should be ok if you take it out in the rain, but probably wouldn't survive being dropped in a puddle.


Standby time
This refers to the number of hours that a mobile phone battery will last without receiving or making any calls. If you use the phone to make calls or send messages then the standby time will be diminished.


Streaming video and music
Streaming is a way to enjoy music and video on your phone without having to download the content first. Instead you watch or listen in 'real time'. Music services Spotify and Deezer use streaming, as so video on-demand services such as NowTV.


Stylus
A stylus is a type of 'pen' that's used for writing or drawing on your smartphone's or tablet's screen. Examples are Samsung's S-Pen and the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro.


Talk time
This is the same as air time and refers to the actual amount of time spent talking on the phone, or in some cases the allowance of time available on your talk plan.


TFT ( Thin Film Transistor )
TFT is used in screens commonly found on mobile phones. TFT displays are considered superior to LCD screens.


Tri-Band
Tri band or Triple band phones can operate across three GSM bands, which means they can be used in more than 100 countries. A phone that can use three of the four GSM transmission frequencies; usually 900, 1800 and 1900MHZ. The 1900MHZ band is used in parts of the USA, Canada and South America. The American continent also uses the 850MHZ band so if you take a phone from the UK to the USA you would really need a Quad-band for it to fully function there. See also 'Dual-band' and 'Quad-band'.


TX ( Transmit (Transmitting Section) )


UEM ( Universal Energy Manager )


UMTS ( Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service )
UMTS is a 3G standard permitting a theoretical data throughput of up to 2 Mbps.


UNIX
An operating system analogous to DOS and Windows, supporting multiple concurrent users. Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, development starting in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others


USB ( Universal Serial Bus )
USB is a connection method for electronic devices usually used for data transfer. Most phones use either mini or micro USB ports and can be sometimes be used as the connection for charging the phone.


USB cable
USB cables are used to connect smartphones to PCs and laptops and for charging your phone from the mains with a plug attachment or directly from your computer. You'll use a USB when you're transfering music, video and photos.


USB-C cable
USB-C is a newer type of USB cable that enables users to transfer data faster and charge their smartphones more efficiently.


USIM ( Universal Subscriber Information Module )
USIM is a later generation of a SIM card with a higher capacity of 64Kb. Also referred to as a 3G SIM card because 3G phones generally need a USIM rather than the older SIM cards. Visually USIMs are no different to SIMs.


VCO ( Voltage Controlled Oscillator )
A voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is an electronic oscillator whose oscillation frequency is controlled by a voltage input. The applied input voltage determines the instantaneous oscillation frequency


VGA ( Video Graphics Array )
A standard screen size of 640 x 480 pixels. Definition of: VGA. VGA. (Video Graphics Array) VGA is an analog interface between a PC and monitor that was widely used prior to DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. VGA was introduced on the IBM PS/2 in 1987, replacing the previous digital CGA and EGA interfaces, which had lower resolution and fewer colors.


Virtual reality headset
Virtual Reality or VR headsets create a convincing replacement of an environment using virtual reality content, such as a movie, a game or prerecorded content from a 360-degree camera. Once wearing the headset, the user will be able to look around and sometime interact with the virtual reality on the screen.


Voice commands
This is a way of using your mobile with your voice. You speak a command and, assuming it understands, your smartphone will carry out the instruction. Voice commands are especially handy when you're driving or in situations where your hands are in use elsewhere.


Voicemail
Voicemail is a service provided by your network. Voicemail records audio messages from callers when you are unable to answer the phone.


WAP ( Wireless Application Protocol )
A Protocol through which older-generation phones could access the internet. WAP is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and instant messaging.


WAP browser
A Wireless Access Protocol browser - allows you to view and navigate various internet services, shown on the phone's screen.


Water-resistant
Water resistant phones can withstand a lot of water without becoming damaged. Their precise imperviousness to liquid veries from phone to phone, but most should survive being submerged in three feet of water for up to half an hour. Water-resistant phones aren't fully waterproof though, so you probably shouldn't take them swimming.


WCDMA ( Wideband Code Division Multiplexing Access )
WCDMA is a part of the newer 3G group of technologies offering much faster data speeds than GSM.


Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi or 'Wireless Fidelity'; is a wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. It describes network components that are based on one of the 802.11 standards developed by the IEEE and adopted by the Wi-Fi Alliance.


Windows Phone
Windows Phone is the term for Microsoft's Lumia range of handsets, which are powered by the Windows operating system.