What does GSM mean in a cell phone?
The GSM system uses TDMA to split a frequency into time slots.
Probably the most useful thing to know about the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) is that it is an international standard. If you travel in Europe and many other parts of the world, GSM is the only type of cellular service available. Originally, the acronym GSM stood for Groupe SpГ©cial Mobile. a group formed by the Conference of European Posts and Telegraphs (CEPT) in 1982 to research the merits of a European standard for mobile telecommunications. Commercial service using the GSM system did not actually start until 1991. Instead of using analog service, GSM was developed as a digital system using TDMA technology.
Using TDMA, a narrow band that is 30 kHz wide and 6.7 milliseconds long is split time-wise into three time slots. Narrow band means channels in the traditional sense. Each conversation gets the radio for one-third of the time. This is possible because voice data that has been converted to digital information is compressed so that it takes up significantly less transmission
space. Therefore, TDMA has three times the capacity of an analog system using the same number of channels.
TDMA is the access method used by GSM, as well as the Electronics Industry Alliance and the Telecommunications Industry Association for Interim Standard 54 (IS-54) and Interim Standard 136 (IS-136). GSM implements TDMA in a somewhat different and incompatible way from IS-136. Think of GSM and IS-136 as two different operating systems that work on the same processor. like Windows and Linux both working on an Intel Pentium III. GSM systems provide a number of useful features:
- Uses encryption to make phone calls more secure
- Data networking
- Group III facsimile services
- Short Message Service (SMS) for text messages and paging
- Call forwarding
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- Multi-party conferencing
If you were on a cell phone in Europe, you'd be using the GSM service. Click here to learn about making international calls from a cell phone in the U.S. or see the next page for more interesting links.Source: electronics.howstuffworks.com