Telecomm Terms

Brief Overview

3G explained
* connects your phone to the Internet at broadband speeds
* enables rapid web browsing and downloading emails with large attachments
* fast enough for video streaming and video calls
* talk while data transfers take place, unlike older EDGE and GPRS technology
* works at up to 384kbps, increasing to as much as 10Mbps in the future

3G is short for “third generation”. It’s actually a technology called WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) which provides very fast data transfers to and from mobile phone handsets, allowing you to connect to the internet from your mobile phone at broadband speeds.

So with a 3G-enabled phone you can browse the web, send and receive emails with large attachments, synchronise your phone with your PC calendar or company intranet, and download ringtones and games very quickly. WCDMA is even fast enough for video streaming and making video calls.

Unlike older technologies such as EDGE (sometimes called 2.5G) and GPRS you can do all this at the same time as talking, and since you are only charged for the data you transfer – not the time you spend online – you can keep your phone connected to the internet to receive emails as soon as they come in.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)
* Provides basic data services
* Provides voice service through digital network
* SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card) stores phone number, connection information, and may store an address book.
* This allows a user to switch devices without needing to contact the service provider.

Note: BlackBerry’s can not send / receive email, PIN’s, or browse the internet with only GSM (GPRS is required).

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)
* Extends the GSM network
* Allows for advanced data services
* Use device as Modem
* Use device as web-browser
* Data transmission is significantly faster than GSM (up to 54 kbps)

Note: 'gprs' (without the capital letters) aka 'Sleeping gprs' on a blackberry indicates that service exsist; but your device cannot register on it. Try recycling the handset or the radio.

GPRS in brief

lets you browse the internet, instant message and download programs or files
keep your connection active all the time
have your personal or work emails sent to your phone as they arrive
play online games
get personalised news, sports, finance or entertainment updates

What is GPRS? GPRS is a technology that allows you to transfer data between your phone and other networked devices. Transferring data with GPRS is significantly faster than using Circuit Switched Data (CSD or GSM data), but not as fast as EDGE or 3G

Data transfer is typically around 53.6-80 kilobits per second (kbps) depending on your phone’s GPRS class, compared with 14.4 kbps for GSM. This means faster internet browsing, instant messaging and downloading. For even faster data transfer, look for a GPRS phone with EGPRS (Enhanced GPRS or EDGE) which operates up to 236.8 kbps or 3G/WCDMA, which can transfer at up to 384 kbps.

Unlike voice calls and dial-up Internet connections, with a GPRS mobile phone you pay for how much you transfer, not for how long you're connected. You can keep your phone GPRS connection active all the time if you like, which is handy if you need to know as soon as office email arrives, for instance.

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
* Technology is patented by Qualcomm
* As such all CDMA BlackBerry’s use Qualcomm processors and network technology.
* More expensive to build then GSM / GPRS devices
* Processor is slower than on the GSM / GPRS devices
* BlackBerry’s use CDMA 1x
* RTT
* Provides maximum data rates up to 300 kbps
* Only a small fraction (50 – 60 kbps) of this is available today

Mobitex (Two-way packet-switch network)
* Originally designed for text pagers
* Used by the BlackBerry 95x, 85x
* Network coverage is limited to metropolitan areas
* Radio uses very little power, allowing batteries to remain charged for several weeks
* Mobitex devices are being phased out by Research in Motion

EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution)
* An extension to the GSM / GPRS networks
* More than three times faster than GPRS
* Average download speed of 100 – 130 kbps
* Burst speeds up to 200 kbps

Not included:
* TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access)
* FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access)

EDGE in brief

a fast, easy way for phones to connect to the internet and transfer data
can be used to browse the Web or check emails
fast downloads of music, games and videos
works abroad on most networks
stay connected permanently – pay only when you use it

What is EDGE?

EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) is a way for phones to connect to the internet and send and receive data very quickly, using the mobile phone network. It can work on all digital (2G) networks, and since it offers data speeds which may be close to speeds offered by 3G networks, EDGE is sometimes known as a 2.5G technology.

An EDGE-enabled phone can stay connected to the Internet all the time – so your phone's email program can check for new messages every few minutes, for example. The connection is fast, so you can easily surf the web without waiting long for pages to load, and you pay only for the amount of data transferred, not the time your phone is online.

If you need to make or take a call, your EDGE connection is automatically suspended while you talk.

WAP in brief

use a WAP browser to access the web from your phone
WAP sites are small and simple and can be downloaded quickly
get train schedules or traffic updates from your phone
catch up on the latest news when you’re on the move
use your WAP browser to shop or bank online

What is WAP?
A WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) browser allows you to access web pages that were written specifically for mobile internet users.
With a WAP browser, you can do many of the same things you can do with your PC-based web browser. You can check news or sport updates, get train schedules, or search for addresses or phone numbers, all when you’re on the move.

While it may not look like the web you’re used to, pages download quickly, making it easier to access the information you need even if you’re away from your computer.

WAP pages are written in Wireless Markup Language, or WML, which was designed with mobile users in mind. Pages written in WML take into account the small screen, limited colours and slower connection speeds of mobile devices.