Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cellular vs. Wireless

Over the years we have been listening to wireless users, and wondered what words you relate to most in relation to these activities: Wireless, Cellular, Mobile or something else?  In most foreign countries users call their wireless phones a "Mobile".,,not 'mobile phone', just 'Mobile'.  Since we first named ourselves Mountain Wireless, we thought US customers preferred the term 'Wireless'. As a result, we tried to eventually switch any of our web site names from 'Cellular' to 'Wireless', in the hopes of being more relevant to our readers.

Among the largest carriers, Wireless was chosen by Verizon, Cricket, Clear, Alltel and C Spire. Cellular is still preferred by US Cellular. PCS was used formerly by Sprint and still by MetroPCS. Mobile is being used by T-Mobile, Boost, Virgin, and in a form, AT&T Mobility.  It looks like Cellular is now the least popular among companies that have a lot at risk.  Remember Cellular One or Cellular South?

Our view is that Cellular (and Mobile) refers to the type of service used by people using carriers that provide handsets meant to be used in motion, in and away from home.  Wireless infers something more generic that includes portable communications, wi-fi (which is "wireless fidelity"), and data transfer using non-wired devices. We call this thing in our hand a cell phone, not a mobile or even a wireless phone, but we don't perceive a difference between getting our service from T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless.

Most important to us as a web-based service, changing from one name to another has turned out to be a bad idea.  As an example, the web site you are reading right now lost more than half of its visitors when we changed from Cellular Noise to Wireless Noise. Should we change it back...or go mobile?  Old habits die hard, don't they?

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