Simple 2-way calling, mobile phones are a thing of the past. There isn’t a smartphone on the market today that can’t access the Internet. What’s more is that people can use their smartphones to do just about everything they would use a desktop or laptop computer for. Every new model cell phone that is released is made to accomplish more with less difficulty in use. With a few finger presses you can do everything from taking notes, handling banking, keeping a schedule, changing the thermostat in your house, sending emails and the list goes on!

So if cell phones can do everything that a desktop or laptop computer is capable of, yet desktop and laptop computers need a WiFi or wired connection to the internet in a stationary location, how are the Internet connectivity capabilities of a cell phone any different?

hand touching touch pad, social media conceptOn The Go

Mobile phones are like mini-computers or, more precisely, radios with extra functionality. As with any radio, an antenna is used to both send and receive information through a specific radio frequency. Cellular towers, which contain the antennas necessary to make sending and receiving data possible, are used to divide cities into hexagonal sections to create a cell grid. Each cell spans a wide area and provides SID (System Identification Number) information to your mobile phone. When you move from one cell to another you leave the range of the SID that your mobile phone is currently connecting to, causing the phone to attempt to use the same type of SID on the cell area that you entered into.

When you move from one cell to the next, you could experience a very quick, temporary change in signal on your phone or, worst-case scenario; your phone displays the “No Signal” error message across the screen. However, once your phone has a new SID to use, your cellular service is active and your phone is able to make or receive calls, text, or use the Internet.

illustration-[Converted]Sending Data

The same cell towers that provide your mobile phone with a signal to make and take calls are also the ones that provide your mobile phone with the ability to connect to a data-network in order to access the Internet. As with computers, your cell phone operates the same way via Internet by requesting or sending information. This information is compressed into small packets and broken down into a series of 0s and 1s (also known as binary code), allowing it to be transmitted securely and quickly over the network the device is connected to. Once your phone receives all of the necessary packets for the data you have requested, all of the data is put back together as intended for viewing or interacting purposes.

Because the wireless industry converts to packet-based networks, data can be transmitted to and from devices with amazing speed and accuracy, regardless of content. Packet-based transmission is done with emails, photos, music and infinitely more, ultimately retaining maximum quality of the data being sent.