For Current Customers

Hearing Aid Compatibility

Hearing Aid Compatibility Report

Thumb Cellular, LLC
Updated: November 12, 2019
Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) for Wireless Handsets

A. The FCC’s hearing aid compatibility requirements address hearing aids that operate in either of two (2) modes – acoustic coupling (“M” rating) or inductive coupling (“T” rating). The FCC’s “M” and “T” ratings indicate whether a handset can be expected to function well with a hearing aid and are generally marked clearly on the packaging. The ratings, however, do not guarantee that a handset will function without distortion or noise, so testing before purchasing is a good recommendation.

  1. Acoustic coupling: Hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling mode receive through a microphone and then amplify all sounds surrounding the user, including both desired sounds (such as a phone’s audio signal) and unwanted ambient noise.
  2. Inductive coupling: Hearing aids operating in inductive coupling mode turn off the microphone to avoid amplifying unwanted ambient noise, instead using a telecoil to receive only audio signal-based magnetic fields generated by inductive coupling-capable phones.

Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Ratings – What do they mean?

A. “M” Rating – this refers to using the phone with a hearing aid in the microphone setting. The higher the “M” rating, the more likely it is you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid on the microphone setting. An M3 rating indicates the handset has satisfied the ANSI standard. An M4 rating indicates the handset has exceeded the ANSI standard.

B. “T” Rating – this refers to using the hearing aid set on telecoil. The higher the “T” rating, the more likely you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid on the telecoil setting. Reduced feedback and reduced background noise are additional benefits of using a hearing aid set on telecoil during phone use. To determine the likelihood of successful cell phone use with your hearing aid, add the “T” rating of the cell phone to the “T” rating number of your hearing aid. A T3 rating indicates the handset has satisfied the ANSI standard. A T4 rating indicates the handset has exceeded the ANSI standard.

Explanation of Handset Level of Functionality

A. Determination of a handset’s level of functionality was based on the features offered, and the operating capabilities of the unit. Thumb Cellular has identified the following two (2) levels of handset functionality:

  1. Non-Smart Phones – offer basic calling ability, have basic texting ability, have a camera and Bluetooth technology, and work on either the 1X or 3G data networks.
  2. Smart Phones – includes handsets powered by an operating system, either Android or iOS. A smart phone allows user to perform many functions: voice, text and multimedia messaging, web browsing, email, camera and video, application downloads, and more. They work primarily on 4G networks, but sometimes on 3G.

Reporting Information Common to All Handsets Offered

A. Thumb Cellular’s website is www.thumbcellular.com; it has detailed information about all handsets offered, about HAC, and what HAC rating each handset has.

B. The dates of retail availability for each handset are listed below. Thumb Cellular can only offer handsets that manufacturers make available in a generic version for the smaller, regional carriers.

C. All handsets offered by Thumb Cellular work on our CDMA network and will work on either the 850 or 1900 frequencies.

D. All handsets offered by Thumb Cellular are offered at all four (4) stores.

E. All handsets offered by Thumb Cellular are HAC compliant as of the time of this report.

F. All handsets have the HAC rating printed on the box.