Digital cell phone from Nokia
Millions of people in the United States and around the world use cellular phones. They are such great gadgets -- with a cell phone, you can talk to anyone on the planet from just about anywhere!

These days, cell phones provide an incredible array of functions, and new ones are being added at a breakneck pace. Depending on the cell-phone model, you can:

  • Store contact information
  • Make task or to-do lists
  • Keep track of appointments and set reminders
  • Use the built-in calculator for simple math
  • Send or receive e-mail
  • Get information (news, entertainment, stock quotes) from the Internet
  • Play simple games
  • Integrate other devices such as PDAs, MP3 players and GPS receivers

But have you ever wondered how a cell phone works? What makes it different from a regular phone? What do all those confusing terms like PCS, GSM, CDMA and TDMA mean? In this article, we will discuss the technology behind cell phones so that you can see how amazing they really are.

If you are thinking about buying a cell phone, be sure to check out How Buying a Cell Phone Works to learn about everything you should know before making a purchase.

Let's start with the basics: In essence, a cell phone is a radio.