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 Airtime Provider
Some network operators sell their airtime directly to the public. For competitive reasons, some countries don't allow this. Instead, they sell their artime through independant companies often referred to as service providers or airtime providers. These airtime providers may charge different rates and give different contracts, offering different services. Most network operators sell their phone services directly to the public. Historically, many governments wouldn't allow this, in order to promote competition. Instead, network operators in these countries have to sell their services through independant companies called airtime providers or service providers. These can charge different rates and offer different services. History has shown however, that airtime or service provision has done little more than add an extra level of profit taking, often to the detriment of the subscriber.
Early mobile phones all used analigue technology. Although analogue phones are still common, they have several disadvantages, including high cost ond poor security. Analogue phones are also called ETAC phones.
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 Calling Line Identity
If you have a digital phone and someone calls you, their phone number is displayed on your phone's display. If the name of the person calling you is in your phonebook, their name will be displayed instead of the number. This is called Caling Line Identity (CLI). Some phone can be set to automatically withhold your number when you make calls. This is called CLI Restrict. Even without this, you can withold your number by dialling 141 before each call.
Criminals can receive signals from analogue phones and copy their electronic identities. These can then be used to charge calls to other people's bills. This is called cloning.
 Connection Fee
A once-off conection fee is charged when you sign up to one of the mobile networks. This charge is usually to cover administrative costs such as credit clearances.
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 Data Card
Some digital mobile phones can be connected to a notebook or desktop computer to send and receive data (typically the Internet, electronic mail and files) and faxes. This connection is made possible through a data card. Some mobile phones have the necessary electronics built into the phone, and only require a cable to establish a connection with a notebook or PC.
The newer generation of mobile phones use digital technology. This means that sound is converted into computer data before being transmitted, giving improved sound quality. Other attractions over analogue technology include lower call charges, improved security, and the ability to transmit data as well as voice calls. Digital technology also allows users to conduct electronic banking, convert foriegn exchange, and more, using the WAP standard.
 Dual Band
Dual Band mobile phones work in more than one frequency, such as GSM 900 and GSM 1800. The main benefit is that subscribers on a GSM 1800 network can use their phones abroad on GSM 900 networks, and vice versa. See also roaming.
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EFR (which stands for Enhanced Full Rate) coding is supported by some mobile phones and network operators. Phones supporting EFR provide a noticably better sound quality.
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GSM Stands for Global System for Mobile Communications, and is generally used to refer to GSM 900 cellular networks. GSM is a digital technology and operates in the 900, 1800 and 1900 Mhz frequencies. See also PCN.