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Glossary

A C D E F I O P R S T U W


A

Access line
A line for voice, data or video reaching from a telecommunications company’s central office to a point near or on a customer’s site.

Access line equivalent
A term used to indicate the number of equivalent access lines that one high-capacity data line such as T1 or ISDN represents. The use of access line equivalents provides a more accurate base of comparison for overall connection capacity, as well as for financial metrics such as average revenue per unit.

ADSL 2+
An advanced form of DSL technology with bandwidth that enables a greater range of services to be transmitted over existing copper line infrastructure.

Authorized agent
An independent distributor legally authorized by U.S. Cellular to sell its products and services.

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C

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
A wireless digital technology in which a unique code is assigned to each word in a conversation. These codes are then scrambled and sent over a wireless channel from one wireless phone to another. CDMA's unique coding structure filters all the codes and reassembles them in the correct order so that significantly more people can carry on a separate conversation on the same frequency without causing interference or static. CDMA 1X is the next generation of CDMA technology and is available in all U.S. Cellular markets.

Cell
A geographical area, four to 20 miles, surrounding a radio antenna designated for wireless transmission.

Cell site
An arrangement of wires and metal rods used in transmitting and receiving radio waves. In a wireless system, antennae are mounted on radio structures at cell sites. Smaller antennae are mounted on automobiles as part of a mobile phone installation and directly on portable and transportable wireless phones.

Churn rate
The percentage of customers disconnecting service each month. All-in churn represents the percentage of the total customer base that disconnects service each month. Post-pay churn represents the percentage of the customer base on post-pay service plans that disconnects service each month. Post-pay service plans are those in which customers are billed in arrears for service, such as customers who are on contract.

CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier)
A company that competes with the established local telecommunications company to provide voice and data communications services. CLECs were a development of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Coverage
A geographic area containing the cell sites that enable a wireless phone user to make and receive calls. Each cell site has an antenna with the ability to send and receive signals. A coverage area is determined by the number and location of cell sites in the surrounding area. As new sites are added, calling areas are expanded, and/or call clarity is improved.

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D

Digital
An advanced type of radio transmission that broadcasts voice or data intact via radio waves, which allows for greater call clarity, advanced wireless features and improved voice capacity. The telecommunications industry uses three types of digital technology: TDMA, CDMA and GSM.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
A DSL line transmits simultaneous voice and high-speed data over existing copper telephone wires without the need of additional phone lines.

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E

easyedgeSM
U.S. Cellular’s suite of wireless data services. easyedge consists of easyedge Phone Download Service, easyedge Picture Messaging and easyedge Wireless Modem Service.

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F

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
An independent federal agency of the U.S. government, authorized by the Communications Act of 1934, responsible for managing private and commercial communications spectrum and regulating communications services in the United States.

Footprint
The area in which a wireless service provider has operations or is licensed to provide service.

Frequency
A certain "size" of radio wave: the rate at which the electric and magnetic fields of a radio wave vibrate per second.

FTTP (Fiber-to-the-Premises)
A fiber-optic network that connects directly from the carrier network to the user premises. Another fiber-optic network is FTTC (Fiber to the Curb), which connects from the carrier network to the curb, and from there to the premises by copper wire or coaxial cable.

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I

ILEC (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier)
An independent local telephone company that formerly had the exclusive right and responsibility to provide local transmission and switching services in its designated service territory.

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M

Major Trading Area (MTA)
An area defined by the U.S. government and used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to designate personal communication service market areas.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services)
The next generation of text messaging. In addition to voice and text, audio-visual content can be exchanged allowing much richer content including, photography, voice and video clips.

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P

PCS (Personal Communications Service)
Originally meant to describe digital service offered at a higher frequency (1900 MHz) than wireless, it is now used as a generic term for all digital (versus analog) wireless.

PON (Passive Optical Network)
A fiber-based network built without active electronics. Because a PON uses optical splitters rather than costly active electronics, it is less expensive to build and maintain than a network that uses active electronics. PONs are still more expensive than copper-based networks. A PON is usually used in a local loop to connect customers to the central office. BPON (Broadband Passive Optical Network) is a broadband PON.

POP (Population equivalents)
The population of a market multiplied by the percentage ownership of that market.

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R

Roaming
Use of a wireless phone outside the home-service area. Roaming can incur additional charges to the customer, depending on the customer's calling plan. If a customer roams on a different carrier's network, that customer’s wireless provider pays a negotiated amount to the other carrier.

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S

SMS
The generic term for text messaging. SMS enables customers to send and receive text messages to and from wireless phones.

Spectrum
Federal government designation of a range of frequencies for a category of use or uses. For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated the 1900 MHz band for personal communications services.

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T

TDMA
A wireless digital technology designed to increase channel capacity by separating each wireless call's signal into pieces and assigning each one piece to a time slot that lasts a fraction of a second. Using TDMA, a single voice connection can be used to handle up to three wireless phone conversations simultaneously.

Telephone network
The system of wires, fiber-optic cables, satellites, and transmission towers that transmit telephone messages from caller to receiver..

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V

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
A technology used to transmit voice over a data network using Internet Protocol, such as the Internet or intranet networks.

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W

Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)
A technology that provides short-range, high-speed data connections between mobile data devices (such as laptops) and nearby Wi-Fi access points (hardware connected to a wired network).

Wireless
Voice and data telecommunications technology that uses the radio-frequency spectrum rather than wires for transmitting and receiving voice, data and video signals.

Wireline
A wireline telephone network versus a wireless network.

WNP (Wireless Number Portability)
Number portability is a service that will enable landline and wireless phone customers to keep their existing phone number when switching from one service provider to another within the same local calling area.

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