PCS was conceived as a way to provide a low-cost, feature-rich wireless telephone service. Pricing was to be low enough for the service to be affordable to a wide segment of the population. The handsets incorporate two-way paging, short messaging service on the liquid crystal display, and voice messaging. Short messaging services are short messages of not more 160 characters that people can send and receive on digital cellular phones equipped with liquid crystal displays.
PCS services operate on a different portion of the airwavesthe 1.8 to 1.9Ghz (Gigahertz) frequenciesthan other digital and analog cellular service. In areas where PCS service is available, competition has driven down the prices of traditional cellular service. For example, PCS carriers do not charge a fee for the first minute of incoming calls. Traditional cellular providers followed suit and now do not charge for the first minute of usage on their digital service. No charge for the first minute of incoming calls was instituted to encourage users to give out their wireless telephone numbers. Furthermore, because caller ID is included with PCS, callers feel freer about giving out their numbers because they can simply screen calls based on the identities of incoming callers.