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A mobile phone is a

handheld (i.e., wireless) cellular telephones, including newer personal communication devices, such as "smart phones," that can deliver voice, data, and images.[1]

Mobile phones are

low-powered radio transceivers — a combination transmitter and receiver — that use radio waves to communicate with fixed installations, called base stations or cell towers.[2]


The United States has experienced dramatic changes in mobile phone use since nationwide cellular service became available in the mid-1980s. For example, the number of estimated mobile phone subscribers has grown from about 3.5 million in 1989 to approximately 291 million by the end of 2009, according to the most recent data reported by FCC.[3] Further, the number of Americans who rely exclusively on mobile phones for voice service has increased in recent years. For example, by the end of 2009 over 50% of young adults aged 25 to 29 relied exclusively on mobile phones, according to the most recent FCC data.[4] The way individuals use mobile phones has also changed. For instance, while average minutes of use per mobile phone subscriber per month has declined in recent years, mobile text messaging traffic has increased.[5] About 88% of teenage mobile phone users now send and receive text messages, which is a rise from the 51% of teenagers who texted in 2006.[6]


  1. Telecommunications: Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed, at 1 n.1.
  2. Id. at 4.
  3. Federal Communications Commission, Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions With Respect to Mobile Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile Services, Fifteenth Report (June 27, 2011).
  4. Id.
  5. Id.
  6. A. Lenhart, et al, "Teens and Mobile Phones" (Pew Internet & American Life Project) (Apr. 20, 2010).


See also[]