Glossary definition of aerial

Also known as: antenna

The antenna (or aerial) is the physical part of a mobile phone that is designed to receive or transmit the radio frequency signals, which the handset uses to communicate with the telephone network. A mobile may contain an internal antenna that is concealed within its case, or there may be a short or stubby external antenna that protrudes about 3 cm or more outside the case.

Some mobile phones include an FM radio, and in this case the headset lead usually acts as the radio's antenna. The headset must then be connected to the phone to ensure good reception.