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Frequently Asked Questions

Cellular Service Frequently Asked Questions

Q.   How do I order cellular service?
A.   All cellular requests (phones, Smartphones, aircards) require Division level approval.  We will accept an email from your Director, Deputy Director or Business Manager or Designate.  New users must also sign the Cellular Phone Procedures

Q.   I have a standard Lab cell phone and want to upgrade to a Smartphone so I can use apps and check email.  What do I need to do?
A.   Division level approval is required.  Send your request to Telephone Services along with the proper division authorization described on our Ordering Service page.

Q.   Can I upgrade my current Smartphone (iPhone, Droid, etc) to a newer device?
A.   Division level approval is required to upgrade a Smartphone.  Send your request to Telephone Services along with the proper approval.

Q.   May I make personal calls on my Lab issued cellular phone?
A.   You are responsible for personal usage as stated in the Lab’s Cellular Phone Procedures

Q.   I lost my cellular phone.  What should I do?
A.   Notify Telephone Services to cancel or suspend the service.  Please have your division inform us if they wish to procure a new phone for you.

Q.   I broke my cellular phone.  What should I do?
A.   Notify Telephone Services and we can help you determine the best replacement options for you.

Q.   What if I only need a temporary/loaner phone?
A.   Telephone Services has cellular phones available for short term rental.  Go here for more information.

Q.   I have a personal cellular phone that I’d like the Lab to take financial responsibility for.  Can this be done?
A.   Yes.  You must first contact your cellular service provider and advise them you are releasing the number to LBNL.  You should also make sure the cellular number is either the only one on the account, or at least not the primary phone number on the account.  We can then transfer your service over to the Lab’s account. 

Q.   I am retiring/leaving the Lab.  Can I take my cellular phone number with me?
A.   We can release the cellular phone number into your name.  You will then need to contact your cellular provider to request that they take over the service.  Please note: the actual phone equipment will stay with the Lab.

Q.   Can I use my personal phone for Lab business and have the Lab reimburse a percentage of the calls?
A.   The Lab will reimburse for work related calls if they cause a person to go over their calling plan, at the rate of $.06/minute.  If the person never goes over his or her calling plan, the Lab will not reimburse, regardless of the amount of work related calls.

For example:

  • A person has a 600 minute calling plan and they went over it by 200 minutes.  Their business calls amounted to 100 minutes of their overage minutes.  The lab will approve reimbursement for 100 minutes at $.06/minute or $6.00 total.

Q.   Can I be reimbursed for the data portion of my personal PDA/Smartphone?
A.   The Lab will reimburse you for a percentage of your data plan fees depending on the approval you receive from your division.

Q.   Which cellular vendor has the best coverage at the Lab?
A.   Currently, AT&T Wireless has better coverage at the Lab due to microcells they have placed in several on-Hill buildings to boost their signal.  Go here to view a cellular coverage comparison. 

Q.   I'm planning to travel internationally, how do I know my Lab cell phone plan covers me during my travel?
A.   There are voice, data and text messaging plans that can minimize your costs during travel.  Contact Telephone Services to let us know your travel dates and which countries you will be in and we can add the appropriate plans.

Q.   I need to return my Lab issued cellphone. What do I do?
A.   Contact Telephone Services to make arrangements specific to your needs. We highly recommend you schedule an appointment with us. We can assist you in backing up, erasing or transferring information to another phone, ensure that billing stops or transfer service to another Lab employee, among other things.

Q.   How do I order an iPad?
A.   For iPad requests please visit go.lbl.gov/mobile.


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