Service Desk

Information Technology Services

Cellular (Mobile) Telephone Guidelines

Cellular (mobile) telephones are an effective resource for Cal Poly State University because they enable communication in areas or situations where conventional telephony is not available or is impractical. However, the costs incurred by cellular telephony must be weighed carefully against any benefits.

In general, cellular telephones (i.e., telephones connected to a commercial cellular telephone service) may be assigned to campus individuals or departments for whom the nature of their work requires wide mobility and who have a more explicit need to have access to or to be readily accessible by others. The justification for cellular telephone service should have a clear connection to the user’s job responsibilities.


Use of a University-owned cellular telephone and airtime service is intended for official University business. However, it is recognized that personal calls are sometimes necessary. Consistent with campus policy on telephone usage, costs for all personal calls (emergency, home, family, etc.) made from or received on the University-provided cellular telephone must be reimbursed on a monthly basis. Reimbursements for personal calls will not exceed the carrier’s charges to the University.

The university will not reimburse individuals for costs associated with non-university owned or provided cellular phones used for Cal Poly business. This includes, but is not limited to, monthly service and feature charges, usage charges, taxes, fees and surcharges.

All costs associated with university-owned cellular phones will be borne by the department that requests cellular service. These costs include, but are not limited to, equipment and accessories purchase, service activation, monthly service and feature charges, usage charges, insurance, taxes and surcharges.

Faculty and staff may not transfer existing personal cellular services (non-Cal Poly ) to Cal Poly Verizon Wireless or AT&T Wireless government accounts.  New service requests require a new contract with the vendor and thus, a new wireless number will be generated. Existing Cal Poly, department-sponsored cellular services may be transferred from Verizon Wireless to AT&T, and vice-versa.

Cellular phones purchased on the Cal Poly government account with State funds are considered State property. If cell phone service is canceled, or an employee is transfers to another university department, or leaves university employment, the cell phone must be returned to the department that purchased the device.  Or if the department where the employee transfers prefers, they may request a change to the billing chart field to have the cellular service charged to the new responsible department instead.  If an employee is leaving Cal Poly but assuming liability for his cellular phone number via the Cellular Government to Personal Transfer Procedures, a new phone must be purchased and the old device returned to the department. The department may keep the device and re-purpose it to another department member, retain it as a "back-up" phone, or surplus the property by contacting the Facilities Help Center at 756-5555. Remember that all sensitive data should be removed from the device by the user or your CITC before it is reused or given to Facilities as surplus.

University cellular numbers that are canceled with carriers are no longer the property of Cal Poly and are returned to the carrier's pool of numbers for their re-use.  The cellular numbers are not available for reactivation once canceled per AT&T Wireless or Verizon Wireless' policies.

University-provided cellular telephones may not be issued to student workers or to others not having a compelling use for this technology unless specifically authorized by the department.

The individual to whom the university-provided telephone is assigned is responsible for taking appropriate steps to secure the phone, notifying their telephone coordinator and the ITS Service Desk if the phone is stolen, lost or misplaced in addition to filing a police report with University Police in a timely manner. The department is responsible for replacement costs.

The ITS Service Desk initiates all cellular phone transactions (i.e., phone purchases, service activations/terminations, etc.) using established contracts with commercial vendors. Price and equipment availability is determined by the carrier and subject to change without notice. Contracted plans may require multi-year commitments. Early termination fees, if applicable, will be charged to the department.


University staff needing cellular telephone service should review the need with their department and receive approval. Their Director or Department Head should approve and submit the request to the department Telephone Coordinator. The department Telephone Coordinator then completes and submits the Cellular Services Request form via the portal, including the appropriate account for billing purposes, to the ITS Service Desk for processing.

Cellular phone service billing is processed by the ITS Service Desk and these charges will appear on the monthly departmental phone bill. A copy of the cellular carrier’s detailed charges will be included with the printed copy of the departmental phone bill. Discrepancies should be reported to the IS Service Desk and not to the cellular service provider.

Users should notify their telephone coordinator, their CITC and the ITS Service Desk as soon as possible if a State cellular phone is stolen, lost or misplaced.  The individual must also file a police report regarding the incident with University Police in a timely manner.  The department is responsible for covering the replacement costs and options include an insurance claim (if optional coverage has already been added), equipment upgrade (if eligible), activating a department spare phone (used device), or requesting a temporary loaner from the ITS Service Desk.

A small number of cellular phones are available at the ITS Service Desk for short-term loans. Requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. A cellular phone loan charge and applicable usage charges at $0.06/minute will appear on the department’s monthly phone bill.

To ensure compliance with Cal Poly Information Security device standards at, use of any "hotspot" services require that the university-owned smartphone be physically tethered to the mobile device (e.g. laptop). It is the responsibility of the user to consult with their CITC prior to implementing tethered "hotspot" services for university-related business, to ensure a secure and appropriate configuration to protect university data and resources described at  Any exception to this tethering solution will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis accompanied by a business reason provided by the department.  ITS Management will consider and provide approval if/as appropriate.  The ITS Service Desk does NOT provide support for alternative solutions.

Because our Cal Poly account is a government account, our cellular providers cannot provide call blocking services to block unwanted or solicitation calls.  As an alternative, users can add their cellular phone numbers to the National DO NOT CALL Registry at  The process includes registration of your cell number utilizing your Cal Poly email address and responding to an email verification of your request.  Most telephone marketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days.  If they do, you can file a complaint at this same website.  You can also register your home or personal mobile phone for free and your registration will not expire.  Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008.  More information is found at

  • NOTE:  If you do respond properly to the verification email within 72 hours, your cell phone number will not be added to the National DO NOT CALL Registry.

You may further wish to file a complaint related to unsolicited calls directly with the Federal Communications Commission at  A complaint may also relate to disability access to communications services and equipment, junk faxes, wired telephones, telemarketing and prerecorded messages, broadband services or SPAM messages.  Additional information about SPAM texts or emails is found at

  • NOTE:  Until a complaint is filed about your cell phone, users can reply to the SPAM message with the work "STOP" and this will end any further unwanted texts from the individual SPAM message sender.


Director or Department Head/Department Telephone Coordinator 

  1. Initiate cellular phone service requests.
  2. Inform staff members regarding campus guidelines for cellular phone use.
  3. Review cellular bills each month and validate the legitimacy of calls made to and from the cellular phone.
  4. Review the cellular bill each month with the cellular phone user to identify personal calls, and what, if any, amount is owed to the university.
  5. In conjunction with the ITS Service Desk, periodically review cellular bills to determine if there is a more cost-effective cellular service plan based on individual usage patterns.
  6. Coordinate the repair of cellular phone equipment with the ITS Service Desk.
  7. Coordinate replacement of lost, stolen or misplaced cellular phone equipment with the ITS Service Desk and CITC.

Cellular Phone User

  1. Ensure that the cell phone is used in a fiscally responsible manner.
  2. Ensure that the cell phone is properly secured.
  3. Contact the telephone coordinator and the ITS Service Desk as soon as possible when a cellular phone is stolen, lost, or misplaced.  University Police must also be notified so a police report regarding the incident is filed in a timely manner.
  4. Review cellular bill and complete the reimbursement for personal calls on a monthly basis. Submit a personal check to cover the cost of personal calls to the State Cashier’s office for deposit to the department’s account number.

ITS Service Desk

  1. Serve as campus contact for all department funded cellular phone transactions.
  2. From time to time, review cellular usage by individual or department, and recommend cellular plans to assure that the most appropriate rate plan is in use. This information will be forwarded to the Department Telephone Coordinator for consideration.

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