TTY Compatibility with Digital Cell Phones

What do I need to make TTY calls with digital cellular phones?

  1. Digital cellular phone that is compatible with TTYs
    When you buy a cellular phone, make sure it meets the following criteria:
    • It is a digital cellular phone
    • It includes a 2.5 mm audio or “hands-free” jack
    • Make sure it has “TTY Mode” or “TTY Option” in its menu system.
  2. Ultratec's Compact/C portable TTY
    This lightweight portable TTY is perfect for cell phone communication. Just connect the Compact/C to the digital cell phone, and you are ready to make/answer calls.

Is my geographical area set up to support TTY calls over digital cellular phones?

TTY-compatible wireless networks should be available nationwide.  We encourage customers to check with their wireless network provider to learn more about the specific service capabilities in their area.

Icon for TTY/Cell Phone compatibility

What should I look for when choosing a digital cellular phone?

When you buy a cellular phone, make sure it meets the following criteria:

  1. It is a digital cellular phone
  2. It includes a 2.5 mm audio or “hands-free” jack
  3. Make sure it has “TTY Mode” or “TTY Option” in its menu system.

Not all digital cell phones have the ability to connect to a TTY. Look for the international TTY symbol on the phone's package or user manual to help identify phones that work with TTYs.

What should I look for when choosing a wireless network service provider?

Wireless service providers vary by state and location, as well as by the capabilities they offer. To use a digital cell phone to make TTY calls, the service provider must support TTY tones. Check with your local service provider to see if they are TTY-compatible, and, if not, when they expect to become TTY compatible.

How do I make/answer TTY calls with my digital cellular phone?

  1. Set the digital cell phone to "TTY Mode" (typically a menu item on the phone).
  2. Plug the cable into the handsfree jack on the cell phone and into the 3.5 mm jack on the Compact/C.
  3. Separate the phone and Compact /C by at least 18 inches to prevent radio frequency interference.
  4. Dial the number on the cell phone. Press the spacebar on the Compact/C to come "online".
  5. Continue as you would with any other TTY call.

It's that easy!

Which Ultratec TTYs work with digital cell phones?

The Compact/C. Look for the digital cell phone/TTY icon to identify TTYs that work with cell phones.

Can I use any TTY with my digital cellular phone?

Ultratec's Compact/C is designed specifically for use with digital cellular phones.  Other TTYs may not be compatible with digital cell phone technology, even if they include a 3.5mm jack to connect to other assistive devices.  With its long battery life, light weight, and compact design, the Compact/C is the ideal portable TTY to use with cellular phones. In addition, the new Compact/C includes 32K of memory to store a directory of frequently called numbers and recall recent conversations.

Can I still use an analog cell phone with my Compact/C?

Yes, if the cell phone includes a 2.5mm hands-free jack. However, you may need an analog-specific cable to connect the Compact/C to  the analog cell phone.  Please contact Ultratec for details.

I have an "older" Compact/C - is it compatible with digital cell phones?

Compact/Cs manufactured after May 2002 are automatically compatible with digital cellular phones. Older models of the Compact/C can be upgraded for $49. Contact Ultratec for details.

Can current Compact users use their TTY with a digital cell phone?

Older Compacts (non "/C" models) cannot be upgraded to be compatible with digital cell phones.

My Compact was modified by Audex for cell phone compatibility - can it work with digital cell phones?

Unfortunately, we cannot upgrade Compacts previously modified by Audex for use with analog cell phones.

How do I connect the cell phone and the TTY?

  1. Set the digital cell phone to "TTY Mode"* (see below).
  2. Plug the cable into the handsfree jack on the cell phone and into the 3.5 mm jack on the Compact/C.
  3. Separate the phone and new Compact /C by at least 18 inches to prevent radio frequency transmission interference from the cell phone to the Compact.
  4. Dial the number on the cell phone. Press the spacebar on the Compact/C to come "online". Continue as you would with any other TTY call.

* Refer to the user manual for your cell phone because the phone will need to be "set up" properly in order to connect with a TTY.  Since the same jack on the cell phone may used for handsfree operation as well as for TTY connection, and because the cell phone uses this jack differently for a TTY call, you must first set up your phone to make sure it works with the TTY properly. This is typically a menu item on the digital cell phone that needs to be selected.

How do I know if my wireless network service is TTY compatible?

Your service provider is the company that provides your wireless connection, for which you are billed, typically on a monthly basis. Wireless services vary by state and location. Contact your local service provider to find out if it supports TTY communication.

What should I do in areas where a TTY-compatible digital wireless network is not yet available?

Knowing that digital compatibility should be coming in the future, Ultratec recommends customers purchase a digital cell phone with TTY Mode that includes both digital and analog capabilities, if the phone can be forced to operate in analog mode. If the phone is dual mode, then customers can use the phone in analog mode until the digital service becomes available.

Where can I find help?

Questions about your cell phone: contact the dealer that sold you the cell phone or the cell phone manufacturer directly

Questions about your wireless service/monthly bill: contact your local service provider

Questions about your Compact/C: contact the dealer that sold you the Compact/C or Ultratec directly 1-800-482-2424 (V/TTY))

For more information on Wireless TTY Calling, click here.