The operating environment for your wireless phone is based upon two inter-related factors: the coverage area you choose through a local service provider and the wireless communication technology employed by your service provider. You'll want to choose a service plan that best meets your travel needs and one that minimizes long-distance and roaming fees. Wireless communication operates on FM radio waves, as measured in megahertz, or MHz, instead of conventional telephone lines to transmit data. A wireless network is made up of individual coverage areas called cells, each with its own tower. As you travel to different locations, your call is handed off to the next tower enabling you to maintain an optimal signal. These networks operate from towers with a radio frequency range of either 800 or 1900 MHz . Your wireless phone should be operational when you have your phone turned on and the message 'in service' is indicated. If you've traveled outside your coverage area, you either won't be able to use the phone, or you'll receive a message indicating that you're roaming. In the case of roaming, some service providers charge additional fees. In addition, most phones also have a signal strength indicator to let you know how powerful your connection is. The signal is likely to weaken when traveling in areas with hills, valleys, through tunnels, or inclement weather.
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