Glossary: Mobile Phones

First-generation mobiles or mobile systems – these are the first-ever mobiles, they are no longer developed but provide the basis for all of today’s mobiles.
Second-generation mobiles or mobile systems – 2G mobiles offer data, fax and SMS mobile services. 2G mobiles also offer limited data communications.
2.5G or “second-and-a-half generation” – this was the next step from 2G and provides enhanced data communications services, including Multimedia Messaging service (MMS) as well as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access for emails and web browsing.
Third-generation mobiles or mobile systems – 3G is the current generation of mobile technology. It supports much higher data rates, full motion video and allows mobile users to access high-speed Internet on 3G-enabled networks.
The new standard in mobile phone technology. Although this is yet to be released in the UK, it has been massively successful in Europe, offering huge speeds (up to 300Mbps) and allowing many more network users.
Air time
This is the number of minutes spent talking on the phone, or the allowance of minutes from your provider (see Talk Time).
Air time provider
This is simply the mobile phone network, for example Vodafone. (See Talk Time Provider)
Wireless technology that allows connections and exchange of data between devices over short distances.
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 device so you can take pictures with your phone and newer phones, record videos too.
Cell broadcast
Your mobile network may occasionally provide you with useful information via SMS text messaging.
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.
Desktop charger
A handy 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.
Dual band
This term refers to mobiles that can switch between two frequencies. All new UK mobiles are dual band.
This is a shortened term for electronic mail. Emails are mostly composed on a computer and sent via the Internet but with new developments in mobile phone technology, you can now send and receive emails using a mobile phone just like you can with a computer.
General Packet Radio Service – This is 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. This is the standard digital service used throughout Europe.
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.
MP3 Player
This can be a hardware or software built into a mobile phone that allows the playback of music and audio files.
Multimedia messaging
This term refers to sending messages between mobile phones that include images and video clips.
This refers to the period of time after business hours have ended and during which mobile networks tend to offer reduced rates for calls.
The office of telecommunications – This is the independent watchdog for the UK telephone industry. It also covers mobile phones.
Pay As You Go (PAYG)
This is a prepaid mobile phone service. It works by allowing customers to purchase credit in advance to make calls and send messages at rates set by the network.
PC card
This device allows you to wirelessly connect your mobile phone to your computer.
This is the time of day when the phone network is busiest – This usually occurs during normal business hours. Networks normally make calls more expensive during this time period.
Polyphonic ringtones
This is a form of ringtone which uses up to 40 different notes playing at one time. Previously mobile phone ringtones used 16 notes – these were called monophonic tones.
This is sometimes referred to as International Roaming. It means using your phone on a different network, usually in another country, to the one you are signed up to. Your network and talk plan will determine how many countries you can roam in and what charges you will incur from using this service.
This stands for Subscriber Identity Module. 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.
This stands for Short Message Service. It is the service that allows short text messages to be sent and received on all mobile phone networks.
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.
This is a dictionary that predicts your words as you type text messages into your phone. It helps you to type out text messages quickly and with as few mistakes as possible.
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.
Talk time provider
This is the same as Air Time Provider, and refers to the mobile phone network.
Tri band or Triple band phones can operate across three GSM bands, which means they can be used in more than 100 countries.
Voice activated dialing
This is a way of making a call on your phone with your voice. You speak the name of a contact and it will automatically dial their number. This is a function most commonly used with hands-free sets by drivers.
This is a mobile phone service provided by your network. Voicemail records audio messages from callers when you are unable to answer the phone.
This stands for Wireless Application Protocol. WAP enables mobile phones to access the internet, send and receive emails and download files.

Network Customer Services Numbers

Vodafone Customer Services is 08700 700191 or from your Vodafone phone is 191
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Sunday 8am-8pm
O2 Customer Services is 08448 090202 or from your O2 phone is 202
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Sunday 8am – 8pm
Three Customer Services is 0333 300 3333 or from your Three phone is 333
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday 8am – 9pm Saturday and Sunday 9am – 8pm
T Mobile Customer Services is 08454 125000 or from your T Mobile is 150
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday 8am – 10pm Saturday and Sunday 8am – 8pm
Orange Customer Services is 07973 100150 or from your Orange phone is 150
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Sunday 8am-10pm
EE Customer Services is 07953 966250 or from your EE phone is 150
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday  8am – 10pm Saturday – Sunday 8am – 8pm
Virgin Mobile Customer Services is 08456 000789 or from your Virgin phone is 789
Customer Services Opening Times are: Monday – Friday 9am – 8pm Saturday 9am – 6pm Sunday 9am – 5:30pm

Note: Correct at the date of publication. Subject to change without notice. Check call charges with your network operator.

How do I cancel my contract with the network?

 Most networks require a minimum of 30 days notification by phone, email or letter of your intention to cancel your contract. During this period you will still be able to make use of your available services.
Most networks require a minimum of 30 days notification by phone, email or letter of your intention to cancel your contract. During this period you will still be able to make use of your available services.
Step 1. Call your existing network provider to request cancellation. The network will inform you of any special requirements to do this.
Step 2. If you wish to keep your number ask the network for a PAC (Port Authorisation Code).
Step 3. If a PAC has been requested you will need to give this to your new network service provider. Read important information on Keeping Your Number. Please be aware that you will remain liable to pay off any outstanding line rental charges


Vodafone: 08700 700191 or 191 from your handset
o2: 08448 090202 or 202 from your handset
T-Mobile: 08454 125000 or 150 from your handset
Orange: 07973 100150 or 150 from your handset
EE: 07953 966250 or 33 from your handset
Virgin Mobile: 08456 000789 or 789 from your handset


Porting your number to your new phone

What is MNP?
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is the industry agreed process by which a customer can switch from one network operator to another and take their existing mobile number with them, for example from Vodafine to O2.
Transferring your number – The Mobile Number Portabililty (MNP) process:
1) Request a PAC number from your existing Network customer services.
2) Compare the best mobile phone deals for you on and place your order online, by pressing the buy in now button, to purchase from your prefered merchant.
3) Contact the customer service dept of your new Network when you receive your new phone, and give them your PAC number.
Starting the process:
1) Contact your current network provider and ask for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC).
2) The PAC number is your authority to request a transfer and will allow the Network you wish to move to, to request your number be transferred to them.
3) Your current Service Provider can only refuse to issue a PAC for the following two reasons:
a) Your number is disconnected – i.e. you must not cancel your existing contract before requesting a PAC number
b) You have not yet fulfilled your obligations under your existing minimum term contract
Note: Your PAC number is only valid for 30 calendar days; your request must be submitted to the new network within that period.
What do I need to do next?
For most networks you are connecting to, it is possible to port your number after connection. When your new handset arrives it will make and receive calls with a temporary number. Simply call the new network customer services and pass them the PAC number you have. The network will arrange port dates with your old network, and on the agreed date your number will be moved across to the new handset.
How long does it take?
After requesting a PAC number from your existing network, they are required to supply it to you within a few days (providing you have fulfilled the obligations of your contract) however some networks will supply it immediately. After relaying your PAC number to your new network, the porting process should be completed within 2 working days. Mobile networks vary.
Important information:
The following points should be read carefully as they may apply to your circumstances:
1) If you are transferring a pay as you go number, any credits with your current network will not be transferred to the new network
2) A request from the new network to transfer your number represents a notice to terminate your existing subscription with your current network
3) The issuing of a PAC number against a mobile number will revoke any previous disconnection request
4) Service charges and any associated subscription charges will continue if no transfer request is received by your current network, even if you’ve previously given notice
5) You can not port your number to your existing network. If you wish to keep your number and stay on your current network you need to follow the current upgrade procedure

Lost or stolen phone

 Mobile phones now do so much more than simply make calls that many of us would be completely lost without them. Unfortunately thousands of phones do go missing each year and many of these will have been stolen.
Mobile phones now do so much more than simply make calls that many of us would be completely lost without them. Unfortunately thousands of phones do go missing each year and many of these will have been stolen.
But if your phone does go missing you could be left with a much bigger headache than simply having to replace your handset. Not only are many smartphones worth hundreds of pounds, but thieves can quickly rack up huge bills on stolen phones.
You may be liable for all charges run up on your phone before you have reported it lost or stolen to your provider. This is usually set out in the terms and conditions of your contract. Therefore, it’s important you contact your provider as soon as possible to avoid facing high charges as a result of unauthorised use.
 Protecting your phone:
You should always treat your phone as carefully as you would your bank or credit cards. Make sure that you always take care when using your phone in public, and don’t let it out of your possession.
Make sure you put a passcode on both your handset and SIM to make it more difficult for thieves to use.
There are a number of other steps you can take to keep your mobile safe and prevent against unintentional use
Make a record of your phone’s IMEI number, as well as the make and model number. The IMEI is a unique 15-digit serial number which you will need to get the phone blocked. You can get your IMEI number by keying *#06# into your handset or by looking behind your phone battery.
Consider barring calls to international and premium rate numbers (numbers which offer services you are charged for through your monthly phone bill or through credit on your mobile phone) to limit the usefulness of your phone to thieves.
Some mobile insurance policies may provide some cover for unauthorised use so it is worth checking the terms and conditions of your existing policy, or when considering a new policy.
There are apps which can trace your phone if it is lost/stolen and can wipe details from it remotely – such as findmyiphone and findmyphone for Android.
Register your phone with Immobilise, which is a database containing the details of millions of mobile phones and other property.
The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit is a useful source of advice on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of phone crime.
Further advice -which was put together with the support of major phone manufacturers is also available on on the website.
What if your phone is stolen?
Contact your provider as soon as possible. It can then bar your SIM to stop calls being made on your account. Your provider can also stop anyone else from using your phone by blocking its IMEI.
Remember, if you have mobile phone insurance, you may be obliged to let them know within a certain time frame too.

 To report your phone lost/stolen:

 Dialing from UK: 0843 373 3333  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7782 333 333

Dialing from UK: 07953 966 250  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7953 966 250

Dialing from UK: 07973 100 150 (pay-monthly)  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7973 100 150 (pay-monthly)
Dialing from UK: 07973 100 450 (PAYG)  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7973 100 450 (PAYG)

 Dialing fom UK: 0844 8090 2020 (pay-monthly)  Dialing from Abroad: +44 844 809 0200 (pay-monthly)
Dialing from UK: 0844 809 0222 (PAYG)  Dialing from Abroad: +44 844 809 0222 (PAYG)


Dialing from UK: 0845 412 5000  Dialing from Abroad: +44 79539 66150

Dialing from UK: 08700 700191 (pay-monthly)  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7836 191 191 (pay-monthly)
Dialing from UK: 08700 776655 (PAYG)  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7836 191 919 (PAYG)

 Tesco Mobile
 Dialing from UK: 0845 301 4455  Dialing from Abroad: +44 845 3014455

 Virgin Mobile

 Dialing from UK: 0845 6000 789  Dialing from Abroad: +44 7953 967 967



Social media and premium rate services

Simple steps to avoid hidden charges on social media
Check the web address you are looking for – Take a moment to double-check you have typed the address correctly before clicking on search. When you arrive at the page, check the address at the top of the screen.
Protect your phone number – Remember your phone is like a bank card – payments can be charged to your phone bill so treat your phone number like a pin. Only enter your mobile number online if you wish to subscribe to a service or wish to be contacted.
Read the small print – Always check the small print for terms and conditions before entering your mobile number online, making sure to scroll to all the way down to the bottom of the page.
Trust your instincts – Be wary of ‘free’ offers or seemingly fabulous prizes. If something looks too good to be true, it probably will be!
Report a problem on Facebook
Anyone can report misleading promotion they see on Facebook by clicking on the ‘x’ in the top right hand corner of any ad. Click ‘hide’ and select the reason why you have reported the ad. Facebook will remove ads that users bring to their attention if they violate their guidelines. To report a problem on Twitter, visit the spam account’s profile, click the person icon. This brings up a drop-down actions menu. Click on Report @username to log complaint. If you have any other concerns or are worried about unwanted messages or hidden charges get in touch with PhonepayPlus for further advice.

Downloading and using mobile apps

Some apps are free to download and some apps are paid for. Some apps that are free to download, sometimes have charges for add-ons. For example, you may pay to go to the next level, or to buy virtual items. Apps can send texts from your phone to pay for these digital items.
Our top tips:
1. Think about security – treat your mobile devices just like you treat your desktop computer.
2. Trust your instincts – if the app or offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Download apps from the main app stores, but be aware that occasionally, untrustworthy apps can get onto reputable app stores before they are removed.
4. Don’t rush when downloading apps:
Always read the reviews that others have written about the app – do they look genuine?
Make sure you understand what the app really does and what you are getting.
Many phones will tell while you’re installing an app, if it can charge you by sending SMS messages. Make sure you check the app “permissions” while you’re downloading.
5. After downloading any app, be careful if clicking on any in-app ads, new app icons or notifications that you don’t recognise

Syncing your smartphone, tablet and laptop

If you’re the proud owner of a phone, tablet and laptop, it needn’t be a complex mission syncing everything on all devices.
If you’re the proud owner of a phone, tablet and laptop, it needn’t be a complex mission syncing everything on all devices. 
The varying systems and apps can easily be accessed on all devices at any time with the right software. So you can be writing a document on your home PC, then head out and edit in on your smartphone as you catch the train, without having to email yourself, use a cable or a removable device.
Accessing documents you’ve saved on one device from another:
The simplest way to do this is with a cloud-based app. This allows you to back up, store, sync and share all your stuff in a secure, online database. Access your documents and media from anywhere, on any device, as long as you have an internet connection. There are plenty of cloud-based solutions available for almost every device, browse your app store to see which one best suits your syncing requirements. Before you buy, consider how you’ll share documents and over which devices.
Additionally, if you don’t want to store your stuff online, there are services available which use private networks, rather than the internet. You can schedule your syncing so it’s done at certain times, across all devices.
Syncing browsers:
When you’re shopping online, you need a variety of different usernames and passwords and often you’ll be asked if you want your device to remember these next time you log in. Syncing your browsers mean the things you asked one device to remember, can be recalled across all devices – including all your passwords, browsing preferences and history. To do this on Android devices, use Google Chrome as your internet browser and just ensure you’ve registered for a Gmail login, then the changes will sync automatically.
On other browsers or across mixed browsers (such as if you’re using a Windows phone and an Android tablet) you can save all the websites you’ve visited with bookmarking websites. Register for an account and add all your favourite sites, then once you log into your account, you can access them instantly.
Accessing photos, calendars and contacts across all devices:
If you’re using Windows devices, the SkyDrive app allows you to sync all your system requirements and for Apple devices, the iCloud app does this automatically. Not every Android device offers this service, although many newer devices include Dropbox or SkyDrive built-in. If your device doesn’t have these preinstalled, you’ll need an app that does this for you, search the Play Store for “syncing content across all Android devices”.
Syncing notes:
If you use your device as a personal planner and are constantly writing notes, you’ll want to be able to access them anywhere. The easiest way to sync your notes is by using one of the free note-taking apps. Since these are held in a safe online location, they can be accessed anywhere via your login details. Search your app store for “note taking app”.
You can also share files over Bluetooth:
You can also move files from one device to another, using Bluetooth. To do this simply ensure that Bluetooth on both devices is connected, then send the document you want as instructed on the device.