Terminology in wireless business
March 16, 2006Posted by on
— For quick reference —
WiMAX — An acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a certification mark for products that pass conformity and interoperability tests for the IEEE 802.16 standards. IEEE 802.16 is working group number 16 of IEEE 802, specialising in point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access.
Wi-Fi — Wi-Fi is the industry name for wireless LAN (WLAN) communication technology related to the IEEE 802.11 family of wireless networking standards. To some, the term Wi-Fi is synonymous with 802.11b, as 802.11b was the first standard in that family to enjoy widespread popularity. Today, however, Wi-Fi can refer to any of the three established standards 802.11b, 802.11a and 802.11g
GSM — Global System for Mobile communications, the most widely used digital mobile phone system and the de facto wireless telephone standard in Europe. Originally defined as a pan-European open standard for a digital cellular telephone network to support voice, data, text messaging and cross-border roaming. GSM is now one of the world’s main 2G digital wireless standards.
CDMA — Code Division Multiple Access. A spread spectrum air interface protocol that uses radio frequencies to provide mobile telecom services, including interoperability with the wireline PSTN (public switched telephone network). A so-called "second generation" (2G) service, CDMA was developed in the US by Qualcomm and, with TDMA and GSM TDMA, is one of three main protocol implementations used in delivering PCS mobile voice services. French: AMRC.
TDMA — Time Division Multiple Access, a technology for delivering digital wireless service using time-division multiplexing (TDM). TDMA works by dividing a radio frequency into time slots and then allocating slots to multiple calls. In this way, a single frequency can support multiple, simultaneous data channels. TDMA is used by the GSM digital cellular system.
GPRS — General Packet Radio Service, provides packet-based, rather than circuit-switched connections on mobile networks. Data rates should range from 56 up to 150 Kbps. The as-needed (rather than dedicated) connections should bring down the cost of data services. Based on the GSM standard, this is an incremental step toward Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE) and 3G services.
2G, 2.5G, 3G — The first generation of wireless (1G) was analog cellular. The second generation (2G) is digital cellular, featuring integrated voice and data communications. So-called 2.5G networks offer incremental speed increases. 3G networks will offer dramatically improved data transfer rates, enabling new wireless applications such as streaming media.Three different 3G systems are currently being defined: UMTS by ETSI; J-FPLMTS by ARIB in Japan; and different systems by the TIA. The first generation was analog cellular such as NMT, AMPS, TACS; second generation cellular systems are digital such as NADC, GSM, PDC, CDMA.
BlackBerry — BlackBerry is a handheld device made by RIM (Research In Motion) that competes with another popular handheld, the Palm, and is marketed primarily for its wireless e-mail handling capability. Through partners, BlackBerry also provides access to other Internet services. Compared to the Palm, the BlackBerry is somewhat simpler and offers fewer options and applications. Its unnamed operating system apparently takes up a relatively small space on its 4 megabyte flash memory, which is also used to store user data.
Mobitex — Mobitex is a wireless network architecture that specifies a framework for the fixed equipment necessary to support all the wireless terminals in a packet-switched, radio-based communication system. The three major components of a Mobitex network are the radio base station, the MX switch, and the network management center (NCC). Mobitex was developed in 1984 by Eritel, an Ericsson subsidiary, for the Swedish Telecommunication Administration.