A mobile phone or mobile (also called cellphone and handphone) is a long-range, electronic device used for mobile telecommunications (mobile telephony, text messaging or data transmission) over a cellular network of specialized base stationsknown as cell sites. Cell phones differ from cordless telephones, which only offer telephony service within a limited range, e.g. within a home or an office, through a fixed line and a base station owned by the subscriber and also from satellite phonesand radio telephones. As opposed to a radio telephone, a cell phone offers full duplexcommunication, automatised calling to and paging from a public land mobile network (PLMN), and handoff (handover) during a phone call when the user moves from one cell (base station coverage area) to another. Most current cell phones connect to a cellular network consisting of switching points and base stations (cell sites) owned by a mobile network operator. In addition to the standard voice function, current mobile phones may support many additional services, and accessories, such as SMS for text messaging, email, packet switching for access to the Internet, gaming, Bluetooth, infrared, camera with video recorder and MMS for sending and receiving photos and video, MP3 player, radio and GPS.
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Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.