Q.What are wireless phones and how do they work?
A. Wireless telephones are hand-held phones with built-in antennas, often called cell, mobile, or PCS phones.
When you talk into a wireless telephone, it picks up your voice and converts the sound to radiofrequency energy (or radio waves). The radio waves travel through the air until they reach a receiver at a nearby base station. The base station then sends your call through the telephone network until it reaches the person you are calling.
When you receive a call on your wireless telephone, the message travels through the telephone network until it reaches a base station close to your wireless phone. Then the base station sends out radio waves that are detected by a receiver in your telephone, where the signals are changed back into the sound of a voice.
Return to Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones.
Aug. 25, 2005.