General Wireless FAQs

  1. 1) How does wireless phone service work?

    Similar to how a cordless phone works with its base in your kitchen or bedroom, wireless phones receive and transmit messages using low-power radio transmitters located in your community. Each transmitter serves a geographic area called a cell. Equipment within each cell relays your message to a mobile telephone switching office, which in turn sends the message to the local landline telephone system to complete your connection. As you travel from cell to cell, your calls are transferred to you without interruption.

  2. 2) What is the difference between analog and digital?

    Wireless calls can be transmitted using either digital or analog technology. Analog technology transmits your voice over airwaves to cellular antennas, much like a radio broadcast. Digital technology converts your voice into groups of electronic bits that are "reassembled" into your voice when they reach their destination. Digital transmission allows for greater voice clarity, privacy, advanced telephone features and more capacity. Read about U.S. Cellular technology.

  3. 3) How can I protect myself from wireless phone fraud?

    Wireless phone fraud is the unauthorized use of a wireless telephone network with the intention of getting free service. This kind of fraud is a costly crime in the wireless industry.

    To help protect yourself from wireless phone fraud, please:
    Lock your wireless phone (with a PIN code) when not in use
    Immediately report a lost or stolen phone to U.S. Cellular
    Look for any unusual activity on your bill
    Report frequent wrong-number calls or hang-ups to U.S. Cellular customer service at 1-888-944-9400
    Ask us to remove long-distance calling features if you have no need for them
    Do not give out your electronic serial number over the phone unless you initiated the call to U.S. Cellular customer service
    Here are additional tips to help protect yourself from subscription fraud:
    Only give out your social security number when absolutely necessary. Do not give it out over the phone
    Do not carry extra credit cards, your social security card, birth certificate or passport in your purse or wallet, except when necessary
    Shred or rip up preapproved credit applications before throwing them away. Do the same with bank statements, phone bills and credit card receipts
    Get a copy of your credit report regularly, if possible, to check for any errors
    Have your name removed from promotional lists operated by credit reporting bureaus and those who extend credit
    Keep your wireless service agreement in a safe place

  4. 4) Are wireless phones safe to use?

    All wireless phones that are sold in the United States, including those sold by U.S. Cellular, must meet minimum guidelines regarding safe exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy emissions.  To learn about these guidelines and RF emissions and health, visit the following Web sites:
    Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA)