How Cell Phones Work

May 2, 2001

Millions of people in the United States and around the world use cellular phones. They are such great gadgets — with a cell phone, you can talk to anyone on the planet from just about anywhere!

But have you ever wondered how a cell phone works? What makes it different from a regular phone? What do all those confusing terms like PCS, GSM, CDMA and TDMA mean? In this edition of How Stuff Works, we will discuss the technology behind cell phones so that you can see how amazing they really are.