Glossary Of Ring Tones Terms & Definitions
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A Glossary of Ring Tones Terms and Definitions – Ringing Clear in Your Ear

Cellphones ringing everywhere, music filling all the air. What’s it mean and where’s it going? Listen up – and you’ll be knowing.

There’s many a rhyme and many a rhythm in the air these days with ring tones singing tunes from Beethoven to 50 Cent – and everything in between. And whenever you’re dealing with cellular technology, there’s bound to be acronyms and terms that mean nothing to you. And you need to know those things if you’re thinking of downloading your own ring tones. So we’re presenting this glossary of ring tone terms and definitions – just to clear the air. We’ve covered some other cellular terms that we think are relevant, too. So listen up.

  • Alphanumeric
    Alphanumeric messages are made up of both letters and numbers.
  • Antenna
    The antenna is the aerial that sends out and/or receives signals.
  • ARM
    ARM chips are commonly used in cell phones and PDAs. They’re very small, process data quickly, and use little energy.
  • Activation
    Activation is the process that creates a customer’s account, assigns it a phone number, and programs the handset to ready it for sending and receiving calls.
  • Airtime
    Airtime refers to the amount of time a cellphone subscriber spends using the network.
  • Call Display
    Call display allows you to see a caller’s name and number on your handset display, but only if the caller is listed in your phonebook.
  • Call forwarding
    Call forwarding is a feature that allows you to redirect your calls to a different number.
  • Continuous talk time
    Continuous talk time is the amount of time a cellphone can be used to make calls, without interruption, before the battery loses its charge.
  • Data connectivity
    Data connectivity is the cellphone’s capacity to be connected to the Internet in order to transmit data.
  • FEC (Forward error correction)
    FEC is a method that increases the reliability of data communication by resending a message if there was an error in the original transmission.
  • Flash memory
    A flash memory chip saves data without using energy; it’s erasable and re-programmable.
  • GSM (Global System for Mobile communications)
    GSM is the most widely-used digital technology in the world.
  • HTML (Hypertext markup language)
    HTML is a format for documents used on web pages.
  • Handsfree kit
    A handsfree kit is a set of accessories, including a headset and a microphone clip, that allow you to talk on the phone without holding the handset.
  • Headset
    A headset consists of an earpiece and a microphone that connect to a handset via a wire, and allow the wearer to talk on the phone in handsfree mode.
  • IMEX (International Mobile Equipment Identity)
    The IMEX is the number that identifies a handset. It’s registered by the manufacturer when the phone is made.
  • Instant reply
    Instant reply is a feature that allows you to return a call without leaving your voice messaging service.
  • Interface
    Interface refers to the method, or the piece of equipment, that interconnects units or systems that may not be directly compatible.
  • International calling service
    International calling service is as long distance service that’s used for calling countries other than your home country.
  • MHS (Message handling system)
    MHS is a system used for receiving, storing and sending messages, with a consistent set of protocols, to external devices.
  • MIDI (Musical instrument digital interface)
    MIDI is a protocol for the exchange of musical information between an instrument and a computer.
  • MMS (Multimedia messaging service)
    MMS is a communication technology that allows you to exchange multimedia messages, including images, sound and video.
  • Mobile Internet
    Mobile Internet is the version of the Internet that can be accessed from a cellphone.
  • Numeric
    Numeric messages are made up of only numbers, with no letters.
  • Protocol
    Protocol refers to the rules of order for operating a communications network.
  • PCS (Personal communication services)
    Narrowband PCS are a new generation of digital, 2-way, low-powered wireless services that support delivery of messages, full 2-way data transfer, voice messaging and connectivity via the Internet.
  • Pixels (Picture Element)
    A pixel is the smallest unit that makes up an image on a screen. The more pixels, the higher the resolution.
  • Polyphonic ring tone
    A polyphonic ring tone can accurately reproduce complex music using several notes at once.
  • Power saving mode
    When a cellphone goes into power saving mode, it goes on standby when it isn’t being used, which extends the life of the battery.
  • Predictive text input
    Predictive text input is a feature that’ll complete a word in a text message after 2 or 3 letters are entered, by offering suggestions from the dictionary.
  • Prepaid airtime
    Prepaid airtime is the amount of time you use on the network. It’s usually bought in blocks of minutes, such as 10, 20, 30 or 40, and can be bought in the form of phonecards.
  • Receiver
    A receiver is a device that converts a signal to whatever type of signal is necessary to complete the transmission.
  • Ring tone
    A ring tone is a sequence of sounds and tones alerting you of an incoming call. They can be in the form of simple beeps (monophonic), or polyphonic tones.
  • Ring tone composer
    A ring tone composer allows you to create ring tones using your phone’s keyboard.
  • Silent Alert
    A silent alert is a non-audible signal that discretely notifies an individual of incoming calls, usually by vibration.
  • SMS (Short Messaging Service)
    SMS is a technology created by Nokia to allow the transmission of short text messages.
  • SNPP (Simple network paging protocol)
    SNPP is a protocol that allows messages to be sent through the Internet to pagers and cellphones. WCTP (wireless communication transfer protocol) does exactly the same thing as SNPP.
  • Standby time
    Standby time is the amount of time a cellphone can be switched on, without being used, until the battery is drained.
  • Text messaging
    Text messaging is a feature that allows you to exchange messages up to 160 characters in text format.
  • Validity period
    The validity period of an airtime voucher, or phonecard, is the time in which the airtime must be used.
  • WAP (Wireless application protocol)
    WAP is an open, global specification that allows cellphone users to easily and instantly access and interact with information and services.

Well, that should cover it. Now you can get your cellphone, and program in your ring tone. Or you can download one (or more) from the Internet. Join the current wave – a wave that’s growing fast. And when it hits the beach, you can tune in your tones, just like everybody else. And if there’s a ringing in the air…answer it – it might be for you!

About The Author

Gareth Marples is a successful freelance writer providing tips and advice for consumers about free cell phone ring tones, phone cards and long distance service plans and even free funny voicemail messages. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics.

This "Glossary of Ring Tones Terms & Definitions" reprinted with permission.

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