GSM stands for Global System for Mobile CommunicationsIt is a protocol that defines the rules for cell phones communicating with cell phone towers.Cell phone makers and carriers and have widely adopted this protocol by creating GSM cell phones and networks, making it the world’s most widely used cell phone technology.
Cell phone towers are transmitting on a frequency, then the GSM radio in your phone listens on that frequency and uses the GSM protocol to understand the information received.The result of this is that you can place a call on your iphone, and a nearby cell tower identifies your phone, takes that information and sends it to another cell tower that is near the friend you’re trying to reach and again the GSM protocol will allow that information to go back through their phone so they can talk with you.
1982 – European commission creates Groupe Special Mobile (GSM) to design a standard for a mobile telephone system that could be used across Europe1991 – first GSM network was launched in Finland
Currently used by over 4.3 billion people across more than 212 countries and territories that are on a GSM network. It is approximated that 80% of the world uses GSM technology when placing wireless calls
In the US, there are 2 major phone technologies:GSM: AT&T & TMobileCDMA: Sprint and VerizonBoth provide similar basic features and services like voice calling, text messaging and data servicesOperate very differently at many technical levels > GSM phones are incompatible with CDMA networks & vice versa
GSM use SIM cards (Subscriber Identity Module) – smart cards that identify the user on the network & can store information (like phone book entries). Also, you can take that SIM card out of your phone and easily switch to anotherphone, because it carries your personal information and your plan on it.
Consumers – people are calling GSM phones the world phone, because it benefits from ability to roam (GSM coverage) and provides people with more flexibility and freedom to switch carriers without having to replace phones (SIM card) or buy a new SIM card w/ a temp plan for their existing phone.Network operators like AT&Tcan choose equipment from many GSM equipment vendors (economies of scale)
First protocol to launch text messaging, standardize it and kick of its wide adoption.1985 - SMS was originally created for use with pagers running on GSM networks. As a result, SMS became incorporated into the GSM standard.The 160 character limit of text messages was a direct result of the way the text messaging protocol worked.
GSM’s impact has also extended beyond the world of phones. Twitter was first created to allow people to send text messages from their phones to post to a live feed. Because of GSM’s 160 character limit in SMS and wide adoption, Twitter set its limit to 140 characters, filling the remaining 20 characters with the user’s unique address. And this character limit stuck.