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Miles Phillips
Miles Phillips

Cellular Phone Rate

Working closely with federal health and safety agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, the FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy. These limits are given in terms of a unit referred to as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone. The FCC requires cell phone manufacturers to ensure that their phones comply with these objective limits for safe exposure. Any cell phone at or below these SAR levels (that is, any phone legally sold in the U.S.) is a "safe" phone, as measured by these standards. The FCC limit for public exposure from cellular telephones is an SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg).

cellular phone rate

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The FCC ID number is usually shown somewhere on the case of the phone or device. In many cases, you will have to remove the battery pack to find the number. Once you have the number proceed as follows. Go to the following Web address: Once you are there you will see instructions for inserting the FCC ID number. Enter the FCC ID number (in two parts as indicated: "Grantee Code" is comprised of the first three characters, the "Equipment Product Code" is the remainder of the FCC ID). Then click on "Start Search." The grant of equipment authorization for this particular ID number should appear. The highest SAR values reported in the equipment certification test data are usually included in the comments section of the grant of equipment certification.

For this or any other consumer publication in an alternative format (electronic ASCII text, Braille, large print or audio) please write or call us at the address or phone number above, or send an email to

Carnival Cruise Line, through agreement with Wireless Maritime Services, offers an advanced roaming network on board Carnival Cruise Line ships, allowing you to make and receive calls while at sea using your own mobile phone and telephone number. International roaming charges will be conveniently billed to you by your home mobile carrier. Please contact your mobile carrier for specific rate information.

WMS offers an advanced roaming network onboard cruise ships allowing you to use your phone just like you do at home. Service for voice calls, texting (SMS) and data is available onboard while the ship is at sea. Once the WMS network is switched on, while roaming on our cruise ships, you will see a distinct display on your handset that differs from your home carrier. Depending on the make and model of your phone, the handset will read Nor 18, cellular@sea or 901 18.

The WMSatSea mobile network is accessible by most mobile phones, supporting both GSM and CDMA technologies. You must have service with one of the nearly 400 carriers worldwide that have a roaming agreement with WMS. Some prepaid phone plans by some carriers are not currently supported. Please check with your mobile telephone service provider for details.

Rates for roaming on ships are determined by your home carrier. Please note that calls to 800, 888, 866, and 877 numbers are not toll free. You will be billed by your home carrier for your international roaming usage on your regular mobile phone bill. Typically charges will appear on the next monthly bill, but depending on your carrier it may occasionally take up to 60 days for charges to appear on your phone bill. Please note that most cell phone carriers do not allow their unlimited rate plans to apply to cellular calls, texts or data used while onboard ships. Please contact your own carrier to confirm this and your specific pricing details.

Service is provided by Wireless Maritime Services. Use of the WMS services requires compatible wireless phone and qualified wireless service with a home carrier provider that has a roaming agreement with WMS. Your home network will determine the international roaming rates you pay for usage.

WMS provides connectivity for customers of nearly 400 mobile cell phone companies around the world. With rare exceptions, your carrier should be supported by WMS. It should be noted that your carrier must allow you to roam internationally in order for your phone to work onboard a WMS vessel. A complete list of the mobile phone operators with whom WMS has roaming agreements is listed on the WMS website under FAQs:

Our service operates over a satellite, or VSAT connection. Once your ship is at least 12 nautical miles out to sea (or at least2 nautical miles in EU countries), the WMS network turns on and you will automatically connect to it. Please note that cruise ship roaming rates will apply. Our service will stay on for the duration of the time that the ship is sailing at sea. Once your ship approaches land again and is within 12 nautical miles from shore (or 2 nautical miles in the EU), our service is turned off and your phone will pick up local service. If you are able to pick up local service in the port areas you will be charged a different rate by your carrier then the Cruise Ship Roaming rate. Contact your carrier for pricing and details.

In some cases, a phone that is left on, but not used, may incur charges. If a voice call is received but not answered, and the caller leaves a voicemail it is possible you will receive a charge for a voice call. If a text comes through and the phone is left on, you may be charged for a received text. Please note that smartphones (Blackberries, iPhones, Androids and other PDA devices) are constantly looking for data connections in order to perform updates and other synchronization steps. Therefore, it is possible that if you leave your PDA device on, you will incur data charges. Please contact your carrier for more information on data charges.

Generally speaking, most cell phone carriers do not allow their unlimited rate plans to apply to calls, texts or data used while roaming on international waters. Please contact your own carrier to confirm this and your specific pricing details.

Provided that WMS has a roaming agreement with your cellular service provider for GPRS (data) service, you will be able to use our network to access cellular data services (e.g., internet access, email and web browsing) with your GPRS capable cell phone. GPRS roaming rates also apply when using an air card. Please check with your carrier to determine the rates you will be charged by them. Carnival also offers internet access plans that you can purchase onboard.

At the end of 2019, over 67 percent of low-income adults had wireless as their phone service, and 58 percent of all adults were wireless-only. Excessive taxes and fees, especially the very high per-line charges, impose a disproportionate burden on low-income consumers. In Chicago, a family with four lines of taxable wireless service paying $100 per month is subjected to over $500 per year in taxes and fees.

Wireless consumers will pay an estimated $17.5 billion in taxes, fees, and government surcharges to federal, state, and local governments in 2020 based on the tax rates calculated in this report. These taxes, fees, and surcharges break down as follows:

Table 1 shows national trends in tax rates imposed by all levels of government on taxable wireless service between 2003 and 2020. Between 2005 and 2006, wireless taxes decreased after the federal courts forced the IRS to end the imposition of the 3 percent federal excise tax on wireless service. After that court decision, wireless tax rates dropped to a low of 14.1 percent. Since then, however, wireless tax rates have climbed steadily to their current rate of 22.6 percent.

Note: Federal includes 3 percent federal excise tax (until May 2006) and Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) charge, which is set by the FCC and varies quarterly. FUSF charge as of July 1, 2020 is calculated by 37.1 percent interstate safe harbor times 26.5 percent contribution factor, which equals a 9.83 percent effective tax rate, -factors.aspx.

Table 1 also separates the impact of federal taxes and surcharges from state and local government taxes, fees, and surcharges. Throughout the period, state and local taxes have been trending upward steadily, from 10.20 percent in 2003 to their current level of 12.82 percent in 2020.

The FUSF surcharge has also increased throughout the period, but with dramatic increases since 2018. In just two years, the effective rate of the FUSF surcharge increased by 48 percent, from 6.64 percent to 9.83 percent of the average wireless bill. For a detailed explanation of the FUSF charge and how it is imposed, see Appendix B.Table 1 also separates the impact of federal taxes and surcharges from state and local government taxes, fees, and surcharges. Throughout the period, state and local taxes have been trending upward steadily, from 10.20 percent in 2003 to their current level of 12.82 percent in 2020.

Table 2 shows wireless tax, fee, and government surcharge rates as of July 2020. Column 1 shows the average combined state-local tax rate in the largest city and the capital city in each state, while column 2 shows the effective rate of the FUSF surcharge. In 2020, Illinois retained its ranking as the state with the highest wireless tax burden. Arkansas moved up from the sixth highest taxes in 2019 to the second highest in 2020, followed by Washington, Nebraska, and New York.

Figure 2 shows the states by average state-local rates, without including the FUSF imposition. Other than the cluster of low-tax states in the western United States, there does not appear to be any strong regional patterns to the distribution of high-tax and low-tax states. The New England states tend to have lower wireless tax rates, while the high-tax states are scattered throughout the country.

Some states have their own universal service funds (USF) that provide subsidies for many of the same purposes as the FUSF. State USF surcharges are imposed on intrastate revenues, while the FUSF is imposed on interstate revenues. In states like Arkansas, Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, and California, high state USF surcharge rates add significantly to the overall burden on wireless consumers. For example, the USF rate in Arkansas is 11.25 percent of all intrastate charges. Table B1 in Appendix B lists the rates in the 20 states that impose a state USF charge. 041b061a72


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