Existing Contract? Beat My Deal | New Contract? Do I Qualify
Cell Phone Contract Comparison Site
Helping you compare over 772 cell phone deals
Why is a cell phone called a cell phone?
12 Feb 14

Cell Phone

It’s not because it can be jail-broken.

It's also not called a cell phone because people nowadays feel trapped into phone contracts (if you do feel trapped then please investigate number porting).

So why is it called a "cell” phone? It’s a really simple answer, but fascinating none the less.

Our Network Service Providers (Telkom, Cell C, MTN, Vodacom) have cell phone towers which divide their coverage areas into cells of certain square km in size. Each cell intercepts one another so that there are no "black holes”.

Each one of these cells is has a base station. These stations are those big towers you see which are often made to look like trees. These towers broadcast and receive on dozens of frequencies.

While on your cell phone you may move through several cells. Your cell phone actually communicates with the tower in the cell which you are in. The tower is responsible for monitoring your signal strength and making the decision of telling your phone when to switch to a different tower (or cell).

See a full list of coverage maps

Phonefinder compares cell phone contracts in South Africa

Phonefinder tools

Set Update Reminder