Global System for Mobile Communications

By: Ian Ball

Since the evolution of mobile phones, there have been many mobile phone standards. However, the most common one that is still existing world over is the Global System for Mobile communications or the GSM. The significance of this mobile standard is its allowance for international roaming. Also GSM has survived the other standards over the years, due to its quality in the signaling and speech channels. The GSM is referred to as the second generation mobile phone standard.

GSM as a mobile phone standard offers the advantage of other cost effective features such as SMS. Also the operators benefit a great deal through GSM over the fact that the equipments required to set up a network are easy to procure. Roaming is one great feature, such that subscribers can use their phones in world over GSM networks.

HOW GSM CAME INTO BEING:

Once the mobile phones came into being in the early 1980s, there was always a requirement of technological standardization. Many associations began with the development of mobile standards, which could be used for mobiles within Europe. The developmental responsibilities were transferred to many institutes and finally, by the year 1991, the first GSM network was launched.

HOW GSM WORKS:

GSM can be considered as a cellular network, which works on a particular basis. The mobile phones connected to the network, search for cells in the nearby area. There are four frequency ranges for GSM. The common ones are the 900MHz and the 1800MHz. These bandwidths are further divided into several channels, each having a timeslot. The cell sizes of GSM network are divided as

?Micro
?Macro
?Pico
?Umbrella

The coverage of these cells depends upon the environment in which they have been set up. Macro cells, involve the presence of a base station antenna on the roof of a building. Micro cells involve antennae which are present below the roof top level and they are basically used in urban areas. Pico cells are mainly used indoors, as they have cells, whose coverage is only within diameter of few meters. Umbrella cells are used to fill in the gap between the other coverage cells.

NETWORK STRUCTURE OF GSM:

?The base station or the system, which stores and maintains the information.
?The Network and Switching Subsystem, which allows the transmission of the information and manages communication between networks.
?The GPRS, which allows the internet connections in the form of packets.

THE OTHER FEATURES OF GSM:

SUBSCRIBER IDENTITY MODULE:

This is one of the most important features of GSM. This is also referred to as SIM card, which is a smart card, the stores the information of the subscriber. The SIM, provides the subscriber, the number for his connection. The card allows the user to retain his information even when he changes his handset

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