Glossary Q-V

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Rating System: A system for classifying and providing information about specific content such as games, music, TV, movies and apps. Wireless carriers and manufacturers may rate content or utilize existing rating system to help parents filter content available to children. (See CTIA Wireless Content Guidelines Classification Criteria).

Repeater: Devices that receive a radio signal, amplify it and re-transmit it in a new direction. Used in wireless networks to extend the range of base station signals and to expand coverage.  Repeaters are typically used in buildings, tunnels or difficult terrain.

Roaming: When traveling outside their carrier's local service area, roaming allows users to continue to make and receive calls when operating in another carrier's service coverage area.

Rooting: Rooting allows a device owner to obtain full privileged control within the operating system to overcome any software parameters or other limits on the device. With this access, a hacker may alter or overwrite system protections and permissions and run special administrative applications that a regular device would not normally do. Once rooted, the device is jailbroken.

RSA (Rural Service Area): One of the 428 rural markets across the United States, as designated by the FCC for the delivery of cellular service outside of the initial 306 MSAs.

Sexting: The sending or receiving of inappropriate explicit or implicit sexual messages or images electronically, but primarily using wireless devices. To help prevent sexting, parents may use the parental control feature and tools, such as limiting texting, camera and video capabilities.

SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) Card: A small card that fits inside some wireless devices and communicates with a wireless network using a unique code. A SIM card may be removed and transferred to another wireless device.

Smart Antenna: A wireless antenna with technology that focuses its signal in a specific direction. Wireless networks use smart antennas to reduce the number of dropped calls, and to improve call quality and channel capacity.

Smartphone: Wireless phones with advanced data features and often keyboards. What makes the phone "smart" is its ability to better manage data and Internet access.

SMS: Short Messaging Service enables users to send and receive short text messages (usually about 140-160 characters) on wireless handsets. Usually referred to as "text messaging" or "texting.

SPAM: Unsolicited and unwanted emails or text messages sent to wireless devices. While carriers are constantly filtering their networks to stop SPAM text messages, spammers are evolving and changing their methods to try to get through. If you receive a SPAM email on your mobile device, file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC's CAN-SPAM ban only applies to "messages sent to cell phones and pagers, if the message uses an Internet address that includes an Internet domain name (usually the part of the address after the individual or electronic mailbox name and the ‘@’ symbol)". The FCC's ban does not cover "short messages," typically sent from one mobile phone to another, that do not use an Internet address.

Spyware: A type of malware that functions without a user's knowledge or permission. Spyware frequently captures user activity and data, either storing it in obscure file locations or sending it to another location on the Internet.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol): A protocol permitting communications over and between networks, the TCP/IP protocol is the basis for the Internet communications.

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS): A telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls.

Text Message (Short Message Service (SMS); Texting): Subscribers may send and receive a text, usually 160 characters or less, on their wireless devices.

Tower Siting: To expand their service offerings and meet consumer demand for "always-on" broadband, wireless carriers need to be able to build out their networks, which involves constructing new towers or adding new equipment to already existing structures. It enables mobile services, including voice and broadband, for consumers, businesses and public safety. In November 2009, the FCC provided much-needed certainty to the tower siting process by adopting a declaratory ruling which set a definitive time frame for local zoning authorities to act on tower siting requests. The time limit to address requests for collocation is 90 days and the time for addressing requests for new tower construction is 150 days. Local zoning authorities who do not meet the time frames will have "failed to act," giving tower applicants the right to appeal to the courts for action on their requests. Also, a zoning authority may not deny an application filed by one provider based on the presence of another wireless provider in a given area.

Universal Charger Solution (UCS): Developed by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform industry standards group and adopted by GSMA, the UCS (also known as the "one-charger-fits-all") will provide an estimated 50 percent reduction in standby energy consumption. The UCS will use the Micro-USB format as the common universal charging interface and use energy efficient chargers in compliance with the U.S. "Energy Star" requirements for external power adapters. As of January 1, 2012, most of the new smartphones in the U.S. have UCS.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN): A VPN allows a user to conduct secure transactions over a public or unsecure network. By encrypting messages sent between devices, the integrity and confidentially of the transmitted data is kept private.

Viruses: A computer virus is unwanted code that is capable of replicating and transmitting itself from one source (e.g., smartphone, tablet, computer) to another.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): VoIP is a two-way communication service that can allow users to communicate via voice or video. Based on IP technology, VoIP is used to transfer a wide range of different type traffic.

Voice Recognition: The capability for wireless phones, computers and other devices to be activated and controlled by voice commands.