CDMA (2, 2.5, 2.75G)

Emerging Technology » GSM/2G



Full Name

Global System for Mobile Communication


GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications, originally Groupe Spécial Mobile), is a standard set developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe protocols for second generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile phones. GSM is a cellular network, which means that mobile phones connect to it by searching for cells in the immediate surrounding area.Its a digital cellular phone technology based on TDMA and FDMA.


In 1982, work began to develop a European standard for digital cellular voice telephony when the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) created the Groupe Spécial Mobile committee and provided a permanent group of technical support personnel, based in Paris. Five years later in 1987, 15 representatives from 13 European countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Copenhagen to develop and deploy a common cellular telephone system across Europe, and European Union rules were passed to make GSM a mandatory standard.
In 1987, a MoU was signed by 13 countries to develop a common cellular telephone system across Europe.
In 1989, GSM responsibility was transferred to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and phase I of the GSM specifications were published in 1990.
The first GSM network was launched in 1991 by Radiolinja in Finland with joint technical infrastructure maintenance from Ericsson.


Data Rates

GSM : 9.6 kbps
HSCSD : 76.8 kbps (9.6 x 8 kbps)
GPRS : 14.4 - 115.2 Kbps
EDGE : 547.2 Kbps (max)

Services Offered

SMS (Short Message Service)
International roaming capability
Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards
Fax mail
Voice mail


35 km(stock cell) 70 km ER, EER 105 km possible with special towers


800MHz, 850Mhz, 900MHz,1800MHz


GSM offers network security
International Roaming ability
Extensive Coverage
Good sound quality
Small cheaper handsets
Ability to handle high volumes of users Disadvantages:
Bandwidth Lag
Causes Electronic Interference

Present/Future in SAMENA

Over the last few years, the telecommunications industry around the world has grown a lot specially in the SAMENA region. These changes have been driven by regulators attempts, customer needs, technology changes and the emergence of new business models.
By the end of 2007, the number of mobile subscribers in Bahrain had increased to 1.116 million, translating to a penetration rate of nearly 138 per cent.
Saudi Arabia currently represents around 15% of total connections in the region, but with a penetration rate of around 80% still has room for growth.
Vodafone will be the second mobile operator in Qatar and is preparing for a service roll out towards 2009.
The proliferation of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), which is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world, is unlocking economies of scale and encouraging innovation in the SAMENA region.

Worldwide Customers

6 Billion

About Us
Members Resources
Contact Us
Emerging Technologies
Executive Profiles
Press Releases
News Publications
Working Groups
Telecom Directory
Regulatory Information
15 + 5 = ?