What Is A GSM Phone And How Can It Work For You?

(Archived in: Technology in Plain English)

By Nicola Kennedy

Prior to the end of the 20th century, the use of telephones were limited to the home or workplace. Then technology gave us the pager, the beeper and then the cellular phones.

Everybody will agree that cellular phone is better than the other types of phones because aside from its being handy it also offers differing varieties of features. You can now view movies, listen to radio, and take memorable photos all with the cellular phone handset. Although millions of people use it, it is undeniable that not everyone knows about the technology needed for cellular phones to work.

One such technology is GSM, how many of us know the correct meaning of this acronym? How about its uses?

GSM stands for "Global System for Mobile Communications". This refers to a digital cellular phone technology that is primarily based on a specified standard for how data is sent over a Wireless Network. GSM was taken over in 1989 by the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and they finalized the GSM standard in 1990. GSM cellular phones use a combination of Time and Frequency Division Multiple Access.

How does GSM work? The GSM works very differently as you compare it to its analog precursor. It can provide you with important features like a fax machine, encryption, text messaging (this is the most commonly used among its services), call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting and multi party conferencing. This is useful because you can talk to the other line without any interference from other calls. The reason for this is because, the frequency channel of GSM is divided into several time slots and as the data travels, there is a specified slot for it, away from the other data. Aside from this, there are also other important features that can be provided by the GSM.

There are several system components and basic services that GSM system can provide to its users. To start with, the key types of GSM devices both include single mode and dual mode mobile telephones, embedded radio modules and even external radio modems.

Since there is a need to distinguish between voice and data communication, GSM has found a way of resolving it. The GSM system has made a significant separation of the circuits between these two important elements - the circuit switch refers to the primary voice service and the packet switch refers to the primary data service.

The main companies that offer a credible GSM service of in the United States are the AT&T and the Cingular companies that already merged into one company now. The second is T-Mobile.

Nicola Kennedy publishes articles and reports and provides news, views and information about communications and GSM and Satellite Telephones at Satellite Telephones Information.

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