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Cell Phone Technology - Buzzwords

Dec 11, 2007
We have all heard the buzzwords that have come into our lives with the expansion of the Wireless industry. But do you know what they mean? It is confusing to say the least so let's try to clarify some of the terminology related to the technology.

Wireless - refers to telecommunications in which electromagnetic waves carry a signal over part of the communications path.

1G - First Generation, Cellular systems based on analog technology.

2G - Cellular wireless based on digital technology. 2G systems offer increased voice quality and capacity to handle more calls.

3G - Systems designed to increase voice capacity and provide high-speed data. 3G will enable users with high-speed data, advanced global roaming and enhanced multimedia capabilities. CDMA provides the basis for 3G technology, which has been implemented as CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS).

Air card - Aircard is a registered trademark owned by Sierra Wireless and has become synonymous with a wireless PC card.

Blackberry - Two-way wireless device that allows users to check email and voice mail (via text), and page other users using a wireless network service. Blackberry users must subscribe to a wireless service that provides data transmission service.

Bluetooth Wireless Technology - is the low-power, short-range radio technology that allows digital electronic devices such as mobile phones, headsets, PDAs, notebook PCs and even cars to "talk" to each other without wires and easily transfer files at high speed.

CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA cellular systems utilize a single frequency band for all traffic, differentiating the individual transmissions by assigning them unique codes before transmission.

Cellular - Analog or digital communications in which a subscriber has a wireless connection from a mobile handset to a relatively nearby transmitter. As the cellular telephone user moves from one cell or area of coverage to another, the telephone is effectively passed on to the local cell transmitter.

EDGE - Enhanced Data GSM Environment- a faster version of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless service

GPS - Global Positioning System - a location system based on a constellation of US Department of Defense satellites.

GSM - Global System for Mobile Communication is a digital mobile telephone technology

GPRS - General Packet Radio Service, a packet-based wireless communication service that provides continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users.

iDEN - Integrated Digital Enhanced Network, A proprietary technology based on the TDMA standard that allows users to access phone calls, two-radio transmissions, paging and data from one wireless device. Nextel Communications uses the iDEN standard as the basis for its networks.

Streaming - an Internet expression for the one-way transmission of video and audio

TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access, a technique for multiplexing multiple users onto a single channel on a single carrier by splitting the carrier into time slots and allocating these on a as-needed basis

UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, a broadband, packet-based system offering a consistent set of services to mobile computer and phone users no matter where they are located in the world

WAP - Wireless Application Protocol - a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access
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