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The first generation of analog mobile phone technologies, including AMPS, TACS and NMT.
Second generation of wireless communication systems (including GSM, CDMA IS-95 and D-AMPS IS-136) using digital transmission and advanced control techniques to improve the performance of voice communications, provide special features and limited digital messaging capabilities, such as GSM.
A bit is the smallest unit of information technology. As bits are made up using the binary number system, all multiples of bits must be powers of two, i.e., a dilobit is actually 1024 bits and a megabit 1048576 bits. Transmission speeds are given in bits per second (bit/s).
The first generation of cdma2000; the standardization process indicated that there would be CDMA 2X and CDMA 3X but this no longer appears likely.
A variant of CDMA 1X which delivers data only.
Dual Band
The capability of GSM infrastructure elements and handsets to work across both the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. The capability to seamlessly handover between the two bands offers operators major capacity gains.
Global System for Mobile Communication. Originally developed as a pan-European standard for digital mobile telephony, GSM has become the worldds most widely used mobile system. It is used on the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies in Europe, Asia and Australia, and the MHz 1900 frequency in North America and Latin America.
The family of third generation technologies approved by the ITU. There are five members of the family: IMT-DS, a direct sequence WCDMA FDD solution; IMT-TC, a WCDMA FDD solution; IMT-MC, a multi-carrier solution developed from cdma2000; IMT-SC, a single carrier solution developed from IS-136/UWC-136; IMT-FT, a TDMA/TDD solution derived from DECT.
Cellular standard known also as TDMA or D-AMPS.
Pan European Digital Communications; A designation occasionally used in the early 1990s to describe GSM. No longer in use.
The next generation of IP addressing designed to replace the current system Ipv4 which uses a 32 bit address code that limits the number of possible addresses. Ipv6 uses a 128 bit code ensuring that the possible number of IP addresses will be virtually limitless.
Short Message Service a text message service that enables users to send short messages (160 characters) to other users. A very popular service, particularly among young people, with 400 billion SMS messages sent worldwide in 2002. A store and forward message service available on most second-generation digital systems that allows short messages (up to 140 octets) to be sent to the mobile and displayed on a small screen. The control and signaling channels are normally used to deliver these messages.
Wireless Local Area Network; a short range radio network normally deployed in traffic hotspots such as airport lounges, hotels and restaurants. WLAN enables suitably equipped users to access the fixed network wirelessly, providing high-speed access (up to 11mBit/s download) to distant servers. The key WLAN technologies are the IEEE802.11 family and ETSI HIIPERLAN/2.
Adaptive Multi-Rate codec. Developed in 1999 for use in GSM networks, the AMR has been adopted by 3GPP for 3G.
Digital AMPS, a US wireless standard also known as IS-136.
Digital Cellular System at 1800MHz, now known as GSM1800.
High Speed circuit Switched Data; a special mode in GSM networks that provides higher data throughput by cocatenating a number of timeslots, each delivering 14.4bit/s, much higher data speeds can be achieved.
International Mobile Station Equipment Identity. An identification number assigned to GSM mobile stations that uniquely identifies each one. It is a 15-digit serial number that contains a type approval code, final assembly code and serial number.
Internet Mode. A wireless service launched in Japan in spring 1999 by NTT DoCoMo. I-Mode was licensed to operators in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Taiwan, where it operates over GPRS using WAP. I-mode delivers a huge range of services to subscribers and has proved enormously popular with some 30 million regular users. The revenue sharing model used for I-mode is being adopted by other operators as the basis for the new services enabled by GPRS and 3G.
International Mobile Station Identity. A unique 15 digit number assigned to a mobile station at the time of service subscription. It contains a mobile country code, a mobile network code, mobile subscriber identification number, and a national mobile subscriber identity.
Low Earth Orbit; refers to satellites that orbit the Earth at around 1m000 kilometers.
MTP Level 1 defines the physical, electrical and functional characteristics of the digital signaling link. Physical interfaces defined include E1 (2048 kb/s; 32 kb/s channels), DS-1 (1544 kb/s; 24 64 kb/s channels), V.35 (64 kb/s), DS-0 (64 kb/s) and DS-0A (56 kb/s).
Personal communications Network; a designation initially used in the UK to refer to networks operating in the 1800MHz band (see also DCS1800). No longer in use.
PCS 1900
Personal communication systems 1900MHz; the terminology used in the US to describe the new digital networks being deployed in the 1900MHz band; rarely used today.
Radio Network Controller under the UMTS system. A complex network element of the RAN that connects to and co-ordinates as many as 150 base stations in W-CDMA systems. It is involved in managing activities such as hand-over of active calls between base stations.
A company created by Psion, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola in 1998 with the aim of developing and standardizing an operating system that enable mobile phones from different manufacturers to exchange information.
Transcoder Rate Adapter Unit; the transport unit for a 16bit/s traffic channel on the A-bis interface.
Refers to a mobile phone able to operate on the three internationally designated GSM frequencies - 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.

The list of terms for mobile cellular communication is for our visitors. The Glossary is intended for educational purposes only.

While we have taken great care to insure that all terms are accurately defined, we assume no liability for mentions or omissions that may involve alternate descriptions.