Mobile Phone Glossary
Global System for Mobile Communication.
|GSM is currently
the dominant 2G digital mobile phone standard for most of the world. It
determines the way in which mobile phones communicate with the
land-based network of towers.
GSM has not been the most popular standard in the United States in the past. CDMA and TDMA, competing standards, together shared most of the market.
However, AT&T Wireless and Cingular, who both used TDMA technology, recently switched to GSM technology. This will narrow the major technologies in the US to two - GSM and CDMA.
The most visible feature of GSM are SIM cards. SIM cards are removable, thumbnail-sized smart cards which identify the user on the network, and can also store information such as phone book entries. SIM cards allows users to switch phones by simply moving their SIM card from one phone to the other.
For information about GSM-related 2.5G and 3G technology, see "GPRS", "EDGE", and "WCDMA".