The Global System for
Mobile Communications (GSM: originally from Groupe
Sp�cial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile
phones in the world. GSM service is used by over 2
billion people across more than 212 countries and
General Packet Radio
Service (GPRS) is a Mobile Data Service available to
users of GSM and IS-136 mobile phones. GPRS data
transfer is typically charged per megabyte of
transferred data, while data communication via
traditional circuit switching is billed per minute of
connection time, independent of whether the user has
actually transferred data or has been in an idle state.
GPRS can be utilized for services such as WAP access,
SMS and MMS, but also for Internet communication
services such as email and web access. It is generally
classified as a 2.5G network technology.
EDGE / EGPRS?
rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) or Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS),
is a digital mobile phone technology that allows to
increase data transmission rate and improve data
transmission reliability. It is generally classified as
a 2.75G network technology. EDGE has been introduced
into GSM networks around the world since 2003, initially
in North America.
It can be used for any packet switched applications such
as an Internet connection. High-speed data applications
such as video services and other multimedia benefit from
EGPRS' increased data capacity. EDGE Circuit Switched is
a possible future development.
What is CDMA?
Code division multiple
access (CDMA) is a form of multiplexing and a method of
multiple access that divides up a radio channel not by
time (as in time division multiple access), nor by
frequency (as in frequency-division multiple access),
but instead by using different pseudo-random code
sequences for each user. CDMA is a form of
"spread-spectrum" signaling, since the modulated coded
signal has a much higher bandwidth than the data being
What is 3G
3G is third-generation technology in the context of
mobile phone standards. The services associated with 3G
provide the ability to transfer simultaneously both
voice data (a telephone call) and non-voice data (such
as downloading information, exchanging email, and
instant messaging). In marketing 3G services, video
telephony has often been suggested as the killer
application for 3G.
What is UMTS
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is one
of the third-generation (3G) mobile phone technologies.
The currently most common form uses W-CDMA as the
underlying air interface, is standardized by the 3GPP,
and is the European answer to the ITU IMT-2000
requirements for 3G cellular radio systems.
What is UMTS - TDD
UMTS-TDD is a mobile data network standard built upon
the UMTS 3G cellular mobile phone standard, using a TD-CDMA,
TD-SCDMA, or other 3GPP-approved, air interface that
uses Time Division Duplexing to duplex spectrum between
the up-link and down-link. While a full mobile UMTS
implementation, it is mainly used to provide Internet
access in circumstances similar to those where WiMAX
might be used. UMTS-TDD is not directly compatible with
UMTS: a device designed to use one standard cannot,
unless specifically designed to, work on the other,
because of the difference in air interface technologies
and frequencies used
What is CDMA 2000 / 1x RTT ?
CDMA2000 is a hybrid 2.5G / 3G protocol of mobile
telecommunications standards that use CDMA, a multiple
access scheme for digital radio, to send voice, data,
and signaling data (such as a dialed telephone
number) between mobile phones and cell sites. CDMA2000
is considered a 2.5G protocol in 1xRTT and a 3G
protocol in EVDO
What is CDMA 2000 / 1x EVDO ?
Optimized, abbreviated as EV-DO or EVDO and often EV,
is a wireless radio broadband data standard adopted by
many CDMA mobile phone service providers in United
States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Russia, Brazil,
and Australia. It is standardized by 3GPP2, as part of
the CDMA2000 family of standards.
What is TD SCDMA?
TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division
Multiple Access) is a 3G mobile telecommunications
standard, being pursued in the People's Republic of
China by the Chinese Academy of Telecommunications
Technology (CATT), Datang and Siemens AG, in an
attempt to develop home-grown technology and not be
"dependent on Western technology". This is likely
primarily for practical reasons, both current 3G
formats may require the payment of patent fees to
Qualcomm and UMTS requires license fees from the
primarily European-based 3G consortium. It is based on
spread spectrum CDMA technology which makes it
unlikely that TD-SCDMA will be able to completely
escape payment of CDMA license fees to Qualcomm. The
launch of an operational system was initially
projected by 2005 but is now projected by 2007
What is GAN / UMA?
The Generic Access Network (GAN) was formerly known
as Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), until it was
adopted by the 3GPP in April 2005.
It describes a telecommunication system allowing
seamless roaming and handover between local area
networks and wide area networks using the same
dual-mode mobile phone. Unfortunately the term GAN
remains little known outside the 3GPP community, and
the term UMA continues to be used in preference as a
The local network could be based on private unlicensed
spectrum technologies like Bluetooth or 802.11. The
wide network is alternatively GSM/GPRS or UMTS mobile
It lets mobile operators deliver voice, data and IMS/SIP
(IP Multimedia Subsystem/Session Initiation Protocol)
type applications to mobile phones on local networks.
Its ultimate goal is the convergence of mobile, fixed
and Internet telephony (Fixed Mobile Convergence).
On the cellular network, the mobile handset is
communicating over the air with a base station,
through a base station controller, to servers in the
core network of the carrier. Under the GAN system,
when the handset detects a LAN, it establishes a
secure IP connection through a gateway to a server
called a GAN Controller (GANC) on the carrier's
network. The GANC translates the signals coming from
the handset to make it appear to be coming from
another base station. Thus, when a mobile moves from a
GSM to a Wifi network, it appears to the core network
as if it is simply on a different base station.
GAN was developed as UMA by the Unlicensed Mobile
Access Consortium (UMAC) and is now part of the 3rd
Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications.
What is HSPA?
High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is a collection of
mobile telephony protocols that extend and improve the
performance of existing UMTS protocols. Two standards
HSDPA and HSUPA have been established and a further
standard HSOPA is being proposed.
What is HSDPA?
High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
(Sometimes known as High-Speed Downlink Protocol
Access) is a 3G mobile telephony protocol in the HSPA
family, which provides a roadmap for UMTS-based
networks to increase their data transfer speeds and
capacity. Current HSDPA deployments now support 1.8
Mbit/s, 3.6 Mbit/s, 7.2 Mbit/s and 14.4 Mbit/s in
Further speed grades are planned for the near future.
The networks are then to be upgraded to HSPA Evolved,
which provides speeds of 42Mbit downlink in its first
In addition to supporting high data speeds, HSDPA
greatly increases the capacity of the network. Current
HSDPA networks have the capacity to provide each
customer with 30 gigabytes of data per month in
addition to 1000 minutes of voice and 300 minutes of
What is HSUPA?
High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) is a 3G
mobile telephony protocol in the HSPA family with
up-link speeds up to 5.76 Mbit/s.
The specifications for HSUPA are included in Universal
Mobile Telecommunications System Release 6 standard
published by 3GPP.
What is HSOPA?
High Speed OFDM Packet Access (HSOPA) is a proposed
part of 3GPP's Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade path
for UMTS systems. HSOPA is also often referred to as
Super 3G. If adopted, HSOPA succeeds HSDPA and HSUPA
technologies specified in 3GPP releases 5 and 6.
Unlike HSDPA or HSUPA, HSOPA is an entirely new air
interface system, unrelated to and incompatible with
What is 4G?
4G is short for fourth-generation cellular
communication system. There is no set definition to
what 4G is, however the features that are predicted
for 4G can be summarized in a single sentence:
The 4G will be a fully IP-based integrated system of
systems and network of networks achieved after the
convergence of wired and wireless networks as well as
computer, consumer electronics, communication
technology, and several other convergences that will
be capable of providing 100 Mbps and 1Gbps,
respectively, in outdoor and indoor environments with
end-to-end QoS and high security, offering any kind of
services anytime, anywhere, at affordable cost and one
What is UWB?
UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) is the brand name for
the project within 3GPP2 to improve the CDMA2000
mobile phone standard for next generation applications
and requirements. The system employs OFDMA technology
along with advanced antenna techniques to provide peak
rates of up to 280Mbps. Goals for UMB include
significantly improving system capacity, greatly
increasing user data rates throughout the cell,
lowering costs, enhancing existing services, making
possible new applications, and making use of new
spectrum opportunities. The technology will provide
users with concurrent IP-based services in a full
mobility environment. The UMB standardization is
expected to be completed in mid 2007, with
commercialization taking place around mid-2009.
What is UMTS LTE (Revision 8)?
3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the name given to
a project within the Third Generation Partnership
Project to improve the UMTS mobile phone standard to
cope with future requirements. Goals include improving
efficiency, lowering costs, improving services, making
use of new spectrum opportunities, and better
integration with other open standards. The LTE project
is not a standard, but it will result in the new
evolved release 8 of the UMTS standard, including
mostly or wholly extensions and modifications of the
What is WiMAX?
WiMAX is defined as Worldwide Interoperability for
Microwave Access by the WiMAX Forum, formed in June
2001 to promote conformance and interoperability of
the IEEE 802.16 standard, officially known as
Wireless-MAN. WiMAX aims to provide wireless data over
long distances, in a variety of different ways, from
point to point links to full mobile cellular type
access. The Forum describes WiMAX as "a
standards-based technology enabling the delivery of
last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative
to cable and DSL.
What is WiFi?
Wi-Fi is a brand originally licensed by the Wi-Fi
Alliance to describe the embedded technology of
wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE
802.11 specifications. Wi-Fi was developed to be used
for mobile computing devices, such as laptops in LANs,
but is now increasingly used for more services,
including Internet and VoIP phone access, gaming, and
basic connectivity of consumer electronics such as
televisions, DVD players, and digital cameras. More
standards are in development that will allow Wi-Fi to
be used by cars on highways in support of an
Intelligent Transportation System to increase safety,
gather statistics, and enable mobile commerce (see
IEEE 802.11p). Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo are
registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance - the
trade organization that tests and certifies equipment
compliance with the 802.11x standards.
What is SS7?
Signaling System #7 (SS7) is a set of telephony
signaling protocols which are used to set up the vast
majority of the world's public switched telephone
network telephone calls.
It is usually abbreviated to SS7 though in North
America it is often referred to as CCS7, an acronym
for "Common Channel Signaling System 7". In some
European countries, specifically the United Kingdom,
it is sometimes called C7 (CCITT number 7) and is also
known as number 7 and CCIS7. (ITU-T was formerly known
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol, also called VoIP, IP
Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband telephony,
Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband is the
routing of voice conversations over the Internet or
through any other IP-based network.
What is SIP?
"The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an
application-layer control (signaling) protocol for
creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one
or more participants. These sessions include Internet
telephone calls, multimedia distribution, and
multimedia conferences." (cit. RFC 3261). It was
originally designed by Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia
University) and Mark Handley (UCL) starting in 1996.
The latest version of the specification is RFC 3261
from the IETF SIP Working Group. In November 2000, SIP
was accepted as a 3GPP signaling protocol and
permanent element of the IMS architecture. It is
widely used as a signaling protocol for Voice over IP,
along with H.323 and others.
What is OFDM?
Multiplexing (OFDM) - essentially identical to Coded
OFDM (COFDM) - is a digital multi-carrier modulation
scheme, which uses a large number of closely-spaced
orthogonal sub-carriers. Each sub-carrier is modulated
with a conventional modulation scheme (such as
quadrature amplitude modulation) at a low symbol rate,
maintaining data rates similar to conventional
single-carrier modulation schemes in the same
bandwidth. In practice, OFDM signals are generated
using the Fast Fourier transform algorithm.
What is RF?
Radio frequency, or RF, refers to that portion of
the electromagnetic spectrum in which electromagnetic
waves can be generated by alternating current which is
fed to an antenna.
What is MIMO?
Multiple-input multiple-output, or MIMO, refers to
the use of multiple antennas both at the transmitter
and receiver. Another common term for this technology
is Smart Antennas, which performs spatial information
processing with multiple antennas. Specifically,
degenerate cases of MIMO are single-input
multiple-output, or SIMO, when the transmitter has a
single antenna and multiple-input single-output, or
MISO, when the receiver has a single antenna. A system
without multiple antennas at both the transmitter and
receiver is single-input single-output, or SISO.
MIMO technology has attracted attention in wireless
communications, since it offers significant increases
in data throughput and link range without additional
bandwidth or transmit power. It achieves this by
higher spectral efficiency (more bits per second per
Hertz of bandwidth) and link reliability or diversity
What is ATM?
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a cell relay,
Circuit switching network and data link layer protocol
which encodes data traffic into small (53 bytes; 48
bytes of data and 5 bytes of header information)
fixed-sized cells. ATM provides data link layer
services that run over SONET (Synchronous Optical
Networking) Layer 1 links. This differs from other
technologies based on packet-switched networks (such
as the Internet Protocol or Ethernet), in which
variable sized packets (sometimes known as frames) are
used. ATM is a connection-oriented technology, in
which a logical connection is established between the
two endpoints before the actual data exchange begins.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is an industrial specification for
wireless personal area networks (PANs). Bluetooth
provides a way to connect and exchange information
between devices such as mobile phones, laptops, PCs,
printers, digital cameras, and video game consoles
over a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio
frequency. The Bluetooth specifications are developed
and licensed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.
What is DECT?
DECT or Digital Enhanced (formerly European)
Cordless Telecommunications is an ETSI standard for
digital portable phones, commonly used for domestic or
corporate purposes. DECT can also be used for wireless
data transfers. DECT is recognized by the ITU as
fulfilling the IMT-2000 requirements and thus
qualifies as a 3G system, as a part of the IMT-2000
group of technologies, DECT is also referred to as IMT-FT
What is TETRA?
TErrestrial Trunked RAdio (TETRA) (formerly known
as Trans European Trunked RAdio) is a specialist
Professional Mobile Radio and two-way transceiver
(colloquially known as a walkie talkie), the use of
which is restricted to use by government agencies, and
specifically emergency services, such as police
forces, fire departments, ambulance services and the
TETRA is an ETSI standard, first version published
1995. TETRA is endorsed by the European Radio
Communications Committee (ERC).
What is MPLS?
MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a
data-carrying mechanism which emulates some properties
of a circuit-switched network over a packet-switched
network. MPLS operates at an OSI Model layer that is
generally considered to lie between traditional
definitions of Layer 2 (data link layer) and Layer 3
(network layer), and thus is often referred to as a
"Layer 2.5" protocol. It was designed to provide a
unified data-carrying service for both circuit-based
clients and packet-switching clients which provide a
datagram service model. It can be used to carry many
different kinds of traffic, including IP packets, as
well as native ATM, SONET, and Ethernet frames.
What is Mobile
Mobile IP (or MobileIP) is an Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF) standard communications protocol
that is designed to allow mobile device users to move
from one network to another while maintaining a
permanent IP address. Mobile IPv4 is described in IETF
RFC 3344 (Obsoleting both RFC 3220 and RFC 2002), and
updates are added in IETF RFC 4721. Mobile IPv6 is
described in IETF RFC 3775
What is CAMEL?
Customized Applications for Mobile networks
Enhanced Logic, or CAMEL (ETSI TS 123 078) for short,
is a set of standards designed to work on either a GSM
core network or UMTS network. They allow an operator
to define services over and above standard GSM
services/UMTS services. The CAMEL architecture is
based on the Intelligent Network (IN) standards, and
uses the CAP protocol.
Many services can be created using CAMEL, and it is
particularly effective in allowing these services to
be offered when a subscriber is roaming, like for
instance no-prefix dialling (the number the user dials
is the same no matter the country where the call is
placed) or seamless MMS message access from abroad.
CAMEL has been specified in 4 phases. Phases 1 and 2
support adding IN services to a GSM network. CAMEL
phase 1 provides basic call control capabilities such
as call forwarding and basic VPN. CAMEL phase 2
provides more advanced capabilities (both call control
and non-call control related) such as on-line charging
(call-control) and USSD control (non-call control).
Phases 3 and 4 support adding services to a UMTS
network. All 4 phases can be used in either a GSM or a