Digital cellular phones offer more enhanced features than their analog predecessors. Digital technology converts speech into a sequence of ones and zeros over a narrow band of frequencies, and allows signals to travel up to three times faster than conventional analog. It also reduces background noise, the amount of dropped calls, and increases security. Digital cellular phones have clearer and stronger connections, lower airtime rates, and use less energy, so their batteries tend to last longer. The two current cellular digital networks are TDMA, short for 'time division multiple access,' and CDMA, which stands for 'code division multiple access'. Both networks operate on an 800 MHz radio frequency, but they're incompatible. What this means is that your digital cellular phone will either operate in one network or the other, but not both. They generally work well in medium to large sized cities, but service in rural areas is limited. Incidentally, some phones offer a dual-mode feature that automatically switches to an analog network when no digital network is present. Digital cellular phones generally cost more to purchase than analog. However, many add-on features of analog phones are included free in most digital service plans. In addition to such basic features as call forwarding, caller ID, and speed dialing, some digital phones even have voicemail, e-mail, and the ability to receive faxes.
c2004 Bluestreak Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.