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Wireless TTY Calling

Cellular TTY Calling with Standard Ultratec Compact and Ultratec EZcom Pro TTYs

This information is for people who have standard Ultratec Compact or Ultratec EZcom Pro TTYs which do NOT have the 2.5 mm jack for connection to cellular phones. For more information about the Ultratec Compact/C and Ultratec EZcom Pro/C TTYs that are designed specifically for cellular TTY calling, click here.

With The Ultratec Compact TTY

Depending on the type of cellular phone you have, you can use your cellular phone with the Ultratec Compact TTY. Just place the cellular phone over the acoustic cups of the Ultratec Compact, just as you would with a standard telephone handset. The acoustic cups of the compact are adjustable, so you can move them for the best fit possible. "Flip-style" cellular phones seem to work best. If your cellular phone does not fit well on the compact acoustic cups, you may want to use the Ultratec EZcom Pro, instead, for your cellular calling.

With the Ultratec EZcom Pro

Because of its sleek design, direct connect capabilities, and long battery life, the Ultratec EZcom Pro is an ideal TTY to use with a cellular phone (actually, any of Ultratec's direct-connect TTYs on battery power will work). However, you need some special equipment from your cellular phone provider to make it work.

Cellular phones work differently from standard telephones. They don't use a "dial tone," which is always used in the traditional telephone system. To use devices such as a laptop computer, fax machine or TTY with a cellular phone, you need an "intelligent RJ11 interface." The RJ11 interface acts like a dial tone so that other devices will work the same way on the cellular network as they do on the traditional telephone network.

The Right Equipment

Illustration of cellular phone with TTY setupIn order to use the Ultratec EZcom Pro with cellular technology, you need the correct equipment:
  • RJ11 compatible intelligent interface (data converter) allows you to use the cellular network for your TTY conversations.
  • Cellular telephone (analog) with an external connector that is compatible with the RJ11 intelligent interface cable. The external connector allows you to plug the RJ11 intelligent interface cable into your cellular telephone. It is important that the cellular phone be analog; digital wireless phones do not yet work with TTYs.

Where Can I Get This Equipment?

You can find the equipment that you need at your cellular telephone provider. They have the equipment you need or they can order it for you. Prices will vary depending on the type of cellular telephone you select. Print out this page and bring it and the Ultratec EZcom Pro to your cellular provider. This information will help your cellular provider find the correct equipment. See "For the Cellular Telephone Provider" below for more information. Also, this page contains directions so you can make practice calls to ensure that the equipment works properly before you buy it.

Setting up the Ultratec EZcom Pro with a Cellular Telephone

Before you set up, make sure that the Ultratec EZcom Pro, the RJ11 intelligent interface and the cellular telephone have batteries installed. Check each device's instruction manual for more information. The following procedure describes the basic set up with most brands of cellular equipment.
Illustration of RJ11 jack
  • Plug one end of a telephone line into one of the jacks on the bottom
    of the Ultratec EZcom Pro.
  • Plug the other end of the telephone line into the jack on the RJ11
    intelligent interface.
  • Plug the cellular cable into the cellular telephone's external connector.

Note: The equipment depends on your cellular telephone type. This setup may look slightly different from the setup you will use.

Making a Cellular TTY Call

Because cellular technology uses frequencies (like radio waves) to transmit information, make sure that you are in your cellular calling region and in a location that allows for good transmission and reception. Contact your cellular provider for more information.

To make a TTY call:
  • Turn on the RJ11 intelligent interface.
  • Turn on the cellular telephone. Make sure that your cellular telephone has established a signal for calling. See your cellular telephone's instruction manual for more information.
  • Press the Dial key on the Ultratec EZcom Pro.
  • Dial the telephone number using the number keys on the Ultratec EZcom Pro keyboard.
  • Wait for a greeting message.
  • When you see a greeting, begin your conversation.
  • When your conversation is finished, turn off the Ultratec EZcom Pro, the RJ11 intelligent interface, and the cellular telephone.

Note: The procedure that you use to make a call may vary depending on your cellular telephone.

Voice Carry Over (VCO)

Illustration of VCO cellular phone/TTY connection Due to limitations of cellular technology, the cellular telephone cannot be used for both voice and text at the same time. In order to use VCO, you need to connect a separate standard telephone to the second jack on the bottom of the Ultratec EZcom Pro. Use this telephone when you want to speak to the other person. If you try to talk to the other person using the cellular telephone after you have begun a text conversation, the other person will not hear you speaking. Refer to the illustration of the cellular setup used for making VCO calls. This picture is for illustrative purposes only. Depending on your cellular telephone type, the setup you use may be slightly different. In addition, you may choose a more compact, portable telephone. For more information on VCO, click here.

Answering A Cellular TTY Call

Cellular telephones must be turned on before they are able to receive a call. For options on knowing when you are receiving a call, contact your cellular telephone provider. These options may vary depending on the cellular telephone that you own.

  • The cellular telephone "rings," signaling that you have an incoming call.
  • Turn on the RJ11 intelligent interface.
  • Answer the call as explained in your cellular telephone's instruction manual.
  • Turn on the Ultratec EZcom Pro and type a greeting.
  • Continue with your conversation.
  • When your conversation is finished, turn off the Ultratec EZcom Pro, the RJ11 intelligent interface and the cellular telephone.

Note: The procedure that you use to answer a call may vary depending on your cellular telephone.

Troubleshooting Tips

The cellular telephone network is very different from the traditional telephone system. The availability, the costs and the quality of connections associated with cellular telephones vary from state to state. Even non-TTY callers occasionally have problems with cellular calling. If you are having trouble connecting or you are disconnected during your conversation, check the following items:

I'm having difficulty connecting my call.

  • Make sure your cellular telephone is an analog type.
  • Are the EZcom Pro, RJ11 intelligent interface, and cellular telephone all turned on?
  • Does each device have power (batteries installed)?

My cellular telephone seems to be dialing the telephone number, but I'm not connecting.

  • Are you in your cellular calling region?
  • Did the cellular telephone establish a signal before you dialed the telephone number?

After my conversation has begun, I am disconnected with the other person and receive garbled text.

  • Are you making a call while moving? For example, are you riding a train, car, bus, etc? If so, you may be losing your cellular connection due to tunnels, hills, or valleys. Try calling the other person again from a location where these items will not interfere with your cellular call. Contact your cellular provider for more information about these or any other calling difficulties that you may experience.

For the Cellular Telephone Provider

  • The EZcom Pro TTY works like a standard analog telephone, and requires a "dial tone" in order to work with a cellular telephone.
  • The cellular telephone must be analog not digital.
  • An RJ11 compatible intelligent interface is required in order for the EZcom Pro to send its data (text conversations), along with an appropriate cable to connect the interface to the cellular telephone. The RJ11 intelligent interface is sometimes referred to as a modem, data link, data connector or a data box.
  • The EZcom Pro does not use the PCM or PC modem cards that many laptop computers use.
  • While the specific RJ11 intelligent interface will depend on the make and brand of the cellular telephone, the following RJ11 intelligent interfaces have been tested with the EZcom Pro for making and answering TTY calls:

RJ11 Compatible cellular interfaces

Note to providers: If you do not carry these parts or if the customer is using a cellular telephone brand that is not compatible with the equipment listed below, please recommend equivalent equipment that provides the same capability.

Motorola Cellular Connection
Part # Cellular Telephone Type
S1936 Motorola car-mounted and bag-style
S3027 Motorola portable-flip style (Model S3027 may work with other cellular telephone brands if the proper data cable is used).
S4229 Motorola portable- Elite flip style
Axcell® Intelligent Interface
Part # Cellular Telephone Type
1A02X001 Audiovox 3 watt series V
1A02X002 Motorola Micro TAC series
1A02X003 Motorola 3 watt (series 2, 3, and 4)
1A02X004 Ericsson/GE micro-portable CT700
1A02X005 NEC P700/800 series
1A02X006 Motorola Elite series
1A02X009 NEC 960 series
1A02X020 NEC 2100 series