Why Do You Use a Mobile Phone

Since the UK’s first mobile phone call was made in 1985, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4138449.stm mobile phones have become an integral part of day to day life.

The GSM World website http://www.gsmworld.com/ is a key industry website keeping you informed of the latest developments in three main areas; mobile broadband, mobile lifestyle and a mobile planet. It is interesting to see how “mobile and wireless connectivity” has changed over the years from being an expensive luxury used by few to a consumer commodity considered a life essential by the masses.

I remember the first time when I got a mobile phone for my parents around 1998 it laid in the drawer for about a year before they started using it. Even now they mainly use it when they are out the house travelling otherwise it’s kept neatly in its place near the land line phone and if it were to ring, my dad would take it to my mum to answer. On the other hand my 12 year old son is on it every chance he gets, playing games mainly. I haven’t had a fixed line phone since 2001 and its interesting to find that most “application forms” still require you to have a fixed line phone number and some online registration forms will not continue to process your for, if the must have “home phone” number is not filed in. The ones I find particularly frustrating is the ones that split the area code otherwise just putting in a mobile number does get the form moving along.

It is obvious to me that people use phones for different reasons and those different age groups have different user behaviour and based on these demographic profiles mobile operators will design and build the mobile infrastructure to cater for that demand. However when the mobile user or “consumer” pursues a phone package from a mobile operator in most cases they assume that they will have ubiquitous coverage when using their mobile phone no matter where they are.

Now that is not always the case although mobile operators http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_operators are eager to have subscribers on their network the have to provide a return to their investors and will roll out infrastructure where they have and balance between demand and return to justify the investment. As the network mature and grow the infrastructure will be rolled out into other areas with a lower demand. There are other constraints that operators have little control over; one of the main areas is obtaining planning permission. http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/information/fact_sheets/mobile_phone_base_stations_and_planning.htm

So when a mobile user finely has connectivity and the right price plan, based on their individual needs and user requirement the above constraints are sometimes the cause for you not being able to use your phone when you need to use it. The mobile operators compensates for this by entering into roaming agreements with each other allowing mobile users to access the other operators network without the mobile user or consumer having to re-establish the connection on the other operators network. These roaming costs become an additional charge to the consumer that most don’t consider when choosing a price plan with an operator.

Therefore when deciding on what phone you want and prise plan etc. it is useful to know what you will be using the phone for , i.e. SMS, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sms MMS, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia_Messaging_Service  texting, voice calls, video calls, gaming, internet access etc. It is also useful to know what operator have base stations serving the geographic area you live and work in. To find out what operator provides the best coverage in the area you are visit the Site finder website. http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/ By entering your post code you will see all the base stations that surround you appear as a triangle on the map. If you click on the triangle another “window” appears that gives you detailed information of the base station such as; what operator is on the site, the height of their antennas, what frequency the transmitting at, the transmit power on the site, the maximum licensed transmit power and what type of transmitter if it is UMTS/3G http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_division_multiple_access#3G_systems or GSM/2G. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_division_multiple_access#2G_systems  Hopefully this will help you next time you decide on what operator you want to go with because you will know why you want to use your mobile phone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hCX8TEnC9I

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