Don’t Let Cold Weather Freeze Your Communications

TULSA, Okla.– As the temperature and snow starts to fall, cell phone users should be aware that significant temperature changes could damage their cell phones. Before heading out to enjoy winter activities such as sports or travel, U.S. Cellular advises “winterizing” wireless phones just like one might winterize an automobile.

U.S. Cellular’s “phone doctors,” also known as cell phone technicians, offer these tips to help your phone survive the cold days of winter:

Don’t expose to extreme cold — Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit can harm the battery’s life and run down the charge more quickly. If your cell phone is exposed to cold temperatures, allow the phone to warm up to room temperature before using it.

Store your phone in a warm place. Do not place it in an outside pocket of your coat or backpack or in the car overnight. When out in the cold, carry your phone in an inside jacket pocket, keeping it close to your body for warmth.

Protect your screen — Prolonged exposure to the cold may affect the phone’s display screen. The display cover can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time, causing the liquid crystals within the display to literally start freezing. As a result, the screen may be slow to respond when changing screens, tints may change or shadow lines may appear. If this happens, the best thing to do is get the phone into a warm place, and give it time to reach room temperature.

If your cell phone gets wet from the condensation, power it down right away and remove the battery. Grab a towel or napkins to get as much excess water off the phone as you can. Remove any skins, covers or faceplates. If you have a flip phone, you should open it up so air can reach the keypad. Leave a wet phone powered down for a day or two to give the internal circuitry a chance to completely dry out. 

Keep it charged — Charge your phone or smartphone frequently, so that it is ready to use when you need it most. It also helps to keep an extra battery charged in case of winter emergencies. U.S. Cellular customers can also stop by any U.S. Cellular location and switch out a dead or dying battery for a fully-charged battery for free through its Battery Swap Program.

Save your contactsPre-program emergency phone numbers and those of family and friends into a cell phone for easy access. Cell phone users should also provide their mobile number to an emergency contact in the event of an urgent situation.

The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people’s lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Tour and Pearl Flip, and the touch-screen LG Tritan, which offer e-mail and Web access. Those features are delivered 10 times faster over U.S. Cellular’s new 3G Mobile Broadband network. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation’s fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or

Updated 01-26-2010

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