What is GSM

Basic details of GSM : 

GSM full form Global System for Mobile Communications is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second generation cellular networks. It was first established in Finland in December 1991. As of 2014, it has over 90% of market share, operating in over 193 countries and territories. 


GSM is a digital cellular technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data services by use of narrowband TDMA technique owned by GSM Association. 


GSM digitalizes and compress data, then sends it down through a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slots. 


History of GSM : 


1983 - European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations set up the GSM committee and after that provided a permanent technical support group based in Paris. 


1986 - Check the different radio techniques recommended for the air interface to do executed field test.  


1987 - 15 representatives of 13 European countries signed a memorandum of understanding MoU and TDMA is chosen as the access method


1987 - Europe produced very first GSM technical specification. 


1989 -  The group CEPT was given the responsibility to European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). 


1991 - World's first GSM DCA 900 delivered by Telenokia and Siemens and operated by Radiolinja. 


1992 - Coverage spreads to larger cities and airports and addition of the countries also signed the GSM MoU. 


1993 - The first GSM standard to the 1800 MHz frequency band became operational in the UK called GSM DCA 1800. 


1994 - The number of a network rises to 69 to 43 countries by the end of 1994 and data transmission capabilities launched. 


1995 - Fax, Data and SMS messaging services were launched commercially and GSM subscribers worldwide exceeded 10 million.


1995 - GSM Association formed and phase 2 of GSM specification occurs. 


1996 - GSM SIM cards were launched and 133 networks in 81 countries operational. 


1997 - 200 network in 109 countries operational around 44 million subscribers worldwide. 


1998 - GSM subscriber passed to 100 million. 


1999 - Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) came into existence and become operational in 130 countries with 260 million subscribers.


2000 - First commercial GPRS was launched. 


2001 - First UMTS (W-CDMA) network was launched and Worldwide touched 500 subscribers. 


2002 - The first multimedia message (MMS) was introduced. 


2003 - EDGE service first became operational. 


2004 - GSM subscribers exceeded 1 billion. 


2005 - The first HSDPA-capable network also became operational and reached to 1.5 billion subscribers. 


2007 - The first HSUPA network launched. 


2008 - Worldwide 3 billion subscribers. 


2010 - GSM standard served 80% of the mobile market and 5 billion subscribers across more than 212 countries. 


GSM standards do not include the 3G UMTS and CDMA technology nor the 4G LTE and OFDMA technology standards issued by the 3GPP. 


2016 - Australia shut down its 2G GSM network. 


After that many advanced technologies came into existence so that GSM technology got older and their users are continuously decreased and updated in 3G and 4G technology services. 


GSM Features : 

  • Supports more subscriber capacity in the given spectrum.
  • Supports smaller handsets.
  • Rapid call setup.
  • Use the same phone in different networks.
  • SIM phonebook management. 
  • Supports fixed dialing number ( FDN ).
  • Real-time clock with alarm management. 
  • Improved spectrum efficiency.
  • Low-cost mobile sets and base stations. 
  • Supports new services. 
For detailed information : 
Read more >> Features of GSM 

GSM networks :
  • T-Mobile
  • AT&T
  • Indigo wireless 
  • Pine cellular
  • TerreStar
Advantages of GSM : 

  • More suitable network with robust features.
  • No roaming charges on International calls. 
  • Worldwide connectivity and extensive coverage. 
  • SAIC and DAIC techniques used in GSM provide very high transmission quality. 
  • The phone works based on the SIM card so that it is easy to change the different varieties of phones by users. 
  • GSM signals don't have any deterioration. 
  • Easy to integrate GSM with other wireless technology such as CDMA and LTE.
  • It has the ability to use repeaters. 
  • Because of the pulse nature of transmission talk time is generally high.
Disadvantages of GSM : 

  • Bandwidth lag because of multiple users shares the same bandwidth so the transmission can encounter interface. 
  • It can interfere with certain electronics, such as hearing aids that are due to pulse transmission technology. As a result, many locations, such as hospitals, airports and petrol pumps require cell phones to be turned off. 
  • To increase coverage repeaters are required to be installed. 
  • It provided limited data rate capability so for high data rate advanced version of GSM devices are used. 
  • Many of GSM technology is patented by Qualcomm thus license needs to be obtained from them. 
  • Manufacturers are not releasing IS-95 devices due to the lack of a big market so IS-95 is normally installed in the small tower. 
  • GSM has fixed maximum call sites range up to 35 km that is very limited. 
  • There is no end-to-end encryption of user data. 
  • Several incompatibilities within the GSM standards. 
  • Electromagnetic radiation is more with the use of GSM.
  • Macrocells affected by the multipath signal loss. 
For detailed information :