Consumer Cellular and Hamilton Relay Premiere Mobile Captions Service

Consumer Cellular, the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members, has partnered with Hamilton Relay to launch Mobile Captions Service (MCS).

Similar to closed captioning 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 through Consumer Cellular 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.

"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's 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.”

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, 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 use 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,” says 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.”

Consumer Cellular’s MCS is only offered in participating states where Hamilton Relay is the telecommunications relay service provider. For information about participating states, visit http://www.consumercellular.com/mobilecaptions or call 1-888-725-4428. 

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