Business phone glossary

Our glossary explains basic terms and abbreviations relating to mobile working, the use of smartphones and tablets in the corporate environment (Enterprise Mobility) and security aspects in the use of mobile devices.


Flat rate

Flat rate

Usage-independent pricing

A flat rate (flat fee) for mobile communications offers unlimited use of mobile communications services for a fixed price. The flat rate is independent of the amount of usage and allows users to adjust their usage behavior accordingly while maintaining optimum cost control.

Telephony, SMS and data flat rates

Example: In Germany, the flat rate was introduced by E-Plus in 2005, initially as a telephony flat rate from the cell phone to the landline network and within the network to the network of the same provider.

  • In 2007, flat rates appeared that also connected to networks outside the provider.
  • In 2008, flat rates were widespread that included the short message service SMS in addition to telephony.
  • Combined flat rates for telephony, text messaging and mobile data have been available since 2010.

Although most data flat rates offer unlimited data volume, these offers are still seen today (as of 2023) as packages with limited high-speed Internet (for example, five gigabytes per month at LTE speed). Once the high-speed volume is used up, mobile Internet access is reset to a slower mobile communications standard and thus effectively throttled.

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