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useful terms explained

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symbols

/call
Per call - you will be charged one fixed price for the entire call.

/min
Per minute – you will be charged every minute you are connected to the call.

/week
Per week – you will be charged every week as part of a subscription service. If you don’t want the services every week, cancel the subscription by texting the word 'STOP' or 'STOP all' back to the sender.


numbers

070
This is the start of a personal number. icstis regulates 070 numbers if they 'offer' premium rate-style services.

0800
This is the start of a freephone number. Freephone is free to call from a land line (fixed line phone) but if you call from your mobile call costs will vary and you will be charged.


084 
084 numbers cost up to 5p per minute from a land line (fixed line phone) but if you call from your mobile call costs will vary and you may be charged more.


087 
087 numbers cost up to 10p per minute from a land line (fixed line phone) but if you call from your mobile call costs will vary and you may be charged more.


09
This is the start of a premium rate number. Premium rate numbers vary from 10p to £1.50 per minute/call/text (fixed line phone) but if you call from your mobile call costs will vary and you may be charged more.

3G
Third generation mobile network. A high bandwidth means a 3G phone has more memory, can use WAP sites faster and can download more info quickly.


4G
F
ourth generation mobile network – a new improved version of 3G.

B

Bluetooth 
A mobile to mobile radio communications system. It is fitted in many handsets and can allow phones to communicate when in close range to one another.

Bluejacking 
Some users with Bluetooth may try to send text messages to strangers without saying who they are (nicknamed ‘bluejacking’). To prevent 'bluejacking' make sure your phone is not visible to other mobile phones.

C

Call TV
Also known as '
Quiz TV' or 'Participation TV', these are shows which involve viewers at home playing the games on screen and calling in with their answer to win a prize. These services do cost money and you might not be old enough so make sure you check the price, age limit and ask the bill payer before you call. If you don’t get through to the studio you will still be charged for calling in (even if it’s only for a split second!).

Club
This can mean you are joining a subscription service, which means you will get more than one of what you have ordered. This is often used for goal alerts or horoscopes that are updated regularly. To unsubscribe from the service text the word 'STOP' or 'STOP all' back to the sender. If this does not work
contact icstis and let us know about this service.

Code of Practice (COP)
The icstis Code of Practice contains the rules governing the content and promotion of premium rate services.

F

Freephone
These numbers start 0800 and will not cost you money if you call from a land line (a fixed line phone). If you call from your mobile, call costs will vary and you will be charged.

G

GPRS 
General Packet Radio Service is a way to upgrade 2G phones so they can send and receive data faster. GPRS is used on 2G handsets to access the internet on your mobile phone.


I

ICSTIS (The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services)
icstis is the industry funded regulatory body for all premium rate charged telecommunication services.

Independent Appeals Body (IAB)
The IAB consisits of five members, all independent from icstis, whose role is to hear appeals by service providers.

Information Provider (IP)
An information provider is any person on whose behalf a service provider may provide a service.

Infrared 
A type of invisible light that some handsets can use to communicate. It’s an alternative to radio (see Bluetooth above) but requires direct line-of-sight to work.


L

Land line 
Fixed line and not mobile. The phone works through a line of wire running through the land to your house and is a fixed line even if you are walking around with the handset. Costs for calling from a land line and a mobile are different.

M

MMS 
Multimedia messages/photo messages. This enables you to take pictures and videos on your mobile phone and then send and receive them.


Mobile 
A phone that can be used while you are mobile. Costs for calling from a land line and a mobile are different.


O

Ofcom (Office of Communications)
Ofcom is the independent regulator for the UK communications industry.

Originating Communications Provider (OCP)
Also known as 'Originating Networks', the OCP is a phone network (e.g. BT) that sends you your phone bill and connects your call from your phone through to its destination (the number you have dialled).

P

Permission 
If you are not the person who pays the phone bill, ask for permission before you make a call. If you don’t get permission don’t call.


Premium rate 
Premium rate services offer some form of information or entertainment that is charged to your phone bill. Premium rate calls are the most expensive and will cost between 10p and £1.50 from a BT landline (charges from other networks may vary). Premium rate numbers begin with 090 or 091 or use mobile shortcodes that are 4, 5 or 6 digits long.

Q

Quiz TV
Also known as 'Call TV' or 'Participation TV', these are shows which involve viewers at home playing the games on screen and calling in with their answer to win a prize. These services do cost money and you might not be old enough to play so make sure you check the price, age limit and ask the bill payer before you call. If you don’t get through to the studio you will still be charged for calling in (even if it’s only for a split second!).

R

Reverse billed SMS 
A text message that costs money to receive. This is often used as a way for you to pay for something you want (e.g. a ringtone).


Ringtone 
Your phone doesn’t have to ‘ring ring’ it can play a crazy sound or your favourite song.


S

Screensaver 
Most often this is an animated picture on a phone to show that it is switched on. Can be chosen from your mobile phone or paid for.

Service Provider (SP)
A service provider is an individual, company or organisation that contracts directly with a network operator for premium rate numbers. The service provider is responsible for ensuring that the content and promotion of a service comply with the icstis Code of Practice.

Short code 
A 4, 5 or 6 digit code that you can text to order a service (e.g. goal alerts, horoscopes, jokes).


SMS 
Short Message Service – in other words, Text.


STOP command 
To unsubscribe from any reverse-billed service you simply need to send the word STOP to the short code number billing you. If you are using two or more services from the same short code, send STOP ALL to the short code to unsubscribe from all the services. If this does not work, contact icstis and let us know about this service.

Subscription
An on-going service that you will receive more than one of whatever you are ordering. This can mean getting one a month (like a magazine), or a number of times every weekend (like goal alerts) or maybe once or more a day (like horoscopes).


T

T&C's 
Terms & Conditions – Don't miss the small print as it is really important. It tells you what you are buying, how much it will be, how often you will be billed and how to stop a service if you no longer want it.

Terminating Communications Provider (TCP)
Also known as 'Terminating Networks', A TCP is the network at which your call will end its journey and connect to the service you are paying for. TCP's do not usually have public customers, their customers are OCP's and service providers (see above).

Text
Short messages that you can send to friends from your phone sometimes called SMS.

V

VAT 
Value Added Tax - an extra charge of 17.5% means that a product costing £3 +vat costs £3.53

Video calling 
Also known as "videophone" or "video conferencing", this lets two people with 3G video calling phones talk to each other while seeing live video of each other. Some phones with this feature have a camera that moves or swivels, so it can face “in” at the user for video calling, and face "out" for taking photos. Other phones have two cameras - one facing in and one facing out.


VOIP
Voice Over Internet Protocol – this means using your computer as a telephone.

W

Wallpaper 
The pattern on the screen of your phone. You will get some for free with your hand set and can choose to buy others if you wish.


WAP
The technology that brings internet sites to mobile phones


WAP push 
A text with a link to a website in it. If you click through you get to the website. This can be useful but you will be charged for going onto a WAP site.


WAP billing 
If you visit a WAP site and buy something then the payment will be deducted from your mobile phone bill.


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