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Wireless phone, real-time access available for Arizonans with hearing loss

November, 15 2010


Consumer Cellular, Hamilton Relay and Arizona Relay Service (AZRS) have announced the launch of Mobile Captions Service™ (MCS) for Arizonans with hearing loss. Similar to closed caption on television, MCS enables persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to read typed captions of what is being said on a wireless phone display as the conversation is taking place.

Available exclusively on the Nokia E5, MCS subscribers can speak, listen and read during a wireless phone conversation. The Nokia E5 smartphone is M3/T3 hearing aid-compatible and comes with a large, 2.4-inch display and full QWERTY keyboard making viewing and typing a breeze.

The MCS program was developed by Consumer Cellular, Hamilton Relay and Mobile Captions Company. Hamilton Relay is the telecommunications relay service provider for the state of Arizona through AZRS.

"There are more than 700,000 people in Arizona with some degree of hearing loss," said Lisa Furr, outreach coordinator for Arizona Relay Service. "Mobile Captions Service will offer more options for individuals with hearing loss to communicate with colleagues, friends and family over the telephone. I look forward to educating Arizonans about this exciting new service."

"Consumer Cellular is continuously looking for ways to better serve our customers, empowering them to lead independent, mobile lifestyles with easy-to-use devices and inexpensive calling plans," said John Marick, Consumer Cellular CEO. "We hope customers using our new Mobile Captions Service will enjoy an improved mobile experience that allows them to stay in touch with friends and family from home, work or while on the move."

How It Works
When customers place a call, the Nokia E5 automatically connects to Hamilton Relay Service. A specially-trained live operator known as a Communications Assistant (CA) begins typing – in real time – what the other person says. MCS subscribers can then read what is said directly on the screen of the Nokia E5, making it possible to catch every part of the conversation while on the go.

The technology that supports MCS is known as Voice Carry Over (VCO). VCO allows individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to utilize their speech on the telephone. Using Hamilton Relay Service, the VCO user speaks directly to the other person, and when the person speaks back, the CA types the response, which is then displayed on the device.

"This new mobile access for VCO users takes traditional telecommunications relay services to an entirely new level," said Dixie Ziegler, vice president of Hamilton Relay. "We are excited about our partnership with Consumer Cellular and the introduction of Mobile Captions Service, and we look forward to expanding MCS offerings to additional markets in the future."

To purchase the Nokia E5 phone visit or call 1-888-725-4428.

About Arizona Relay Service
Arizona Relay Service (AZRS) is a public service provided by the State of Arizona and administered by the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH). AZRS makes correspondence by telephone easy, accessible and reliable by offering a wide range of communication options for Arizonans with hearing loss. For more information, please visit

About Consumer Cellular Consumer Cellular, the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members, was founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have affordable access to the safety and convenience of cellular service. The company provides its customers with simple, affordable cell phones and calling plans, guaranteed satisfaction and top-ranked customer support staff all located within the United States. Plus, Consumer Cellular customers never have to sign a long-term contract in order to start service.

The Portland, Ore.-based company is privately held and utilizes the nation's largest voice and data network, covering more than 296 million people – - or 97 percent of the U.S. population. As one of the nation's leading wireless wholesalers, Consumer Cellular is able to purchase wireless service in large volumes, providing its customers with the best of both worlds: great low rates and the best cellular network available. For more information: visit or call (800) 686-4460.

About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including Telecommunications Relay Service, Captioned Telephone and Internet Relay services. Hamilton provides Telecommunications Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 18 states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. More information is available at Hamilton Relay is a registered trademark of Nedelco, Inc., dba Hamilton Telecommunications.

About Mobile Captions Company
Mobile Captions Company (MCC) an emerging technology and service company founded in 2009. MCC specializes in bringing enhanced mobile communications to people who are hard of hearing. MCC's technology is a patent-pending, end-to-end system that allows captions (text) to be delivered to any MCC enabled cell phone over the cellular infrastructure. To learn more about Mobile Captions Company, go to

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