The IT Law Wiki


A mobile service is

a radiocommunication service between mobile and land stations, or between mobile stations.[1]
[a]n ITU-defined service in which communication services are provided to mobile users through terrestrially-based systems (large towers). Cellular telephone systems provide mobile services. PCS and FPLMTS would also be classified under the mobile service.[2]


Mobile phone use in the United States has risen dramatically over the last 20 years, and Americans increasingly rely on wireless phones as their sole or primary means of telephone communication. According to industry data, the total number of wireless phone service subscribers nationwide has grown from about 3.5 million in 1989 to about 285 million by the end of 2009.[3]

Today, nearly 40% of households rely primarily on wireless devices, and the industry generates revenues in excess of $150 billion a year. Further, consumers use their mobile devices for more than phone calls and text messages; devices are increasingly becoming a primary link to the Internet. As consumer reliance on mobile devices for Internet access (e.g., for e-mail and maps) grows, so does the need for wireless data service.


  1. Federal Standard 1037C:Glossary.
  2. The 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference: Technology and Policy Implications, at 182.
  3. The term "wireless phone service" includes the provision of such service by cellular, broadband personal communications service, and digital specialized mobile radio carriers. Federal law and FCC regulations refer to wireless phone service as "commercial mobile service" or "commercial mobile radio service." This service may generally be referred to as wireless phone service, mobile phone service, or cellular (or cell) phone service interchangeably.