The GSM standard was developed by the Groupe SpecialMobile, which was an initiative of the Conference of European Post and Telecommunications (CEPT) administrations.
The responsibility for GSM standardization now resides with the
Special Mobile Group (SMG) under the European Telecommunication Standard Institute (ETSI).
Fully digital system utilizing the 900MHz frequency band.
TDMA over radiocarriers(200 kHz carrier spacing)
8 full rate or 16 half rate TDMA channels per carrier
User/terminal authentication for fraud control
Encryption of speech and data transmissions over the radio path
Full international roaming capability
Low speed data services (upto 9.6kb/s)
Compatibility with ISDN for supplementary services
Support of short message services(SMS)
GSM supports a range of basic and supplementary services, and these services are defined analogous to those for ISDN(i.e.,bearer services, teleservices, and supplementary services).
The most important service supported by GSM is Telephony.
Other services derived from telephony included in the GSM specification are emergency calling and voice messaging.
Bearer services supported in GSM include various asynchronous and synchronous data services for information transfer.
Teleservices based on these bearer services include group 3 fax and short message service(SMS)
The data capabilities of GSM have now been enhanced to include high speed circiut-switched data(HSCSD) and general packet radio service (GPRS).
Call offering services call forwarding
Call resrtiction services call barring
Call waiting service
Call hold service
Multi party service tele conferencing
Calling line presentation restriction services
Advice of charge service
Closed user group service
The GSM System comprises of Base Transceiver Station (BTS), Base Station Controllers (BSC), Mobile Switching Centers (MSC), and set of registers (databases) to assist in mobility management and security functions.
All signaling between the MSC and the various registers (databases) as well as between the MSCs takes place using the Signaling System 7(SS7) network, with the application level messages using the Mobile Application Protocol (MAP) designed specifically for GSM.
The MAP protocol utilizes the lower layer functions from the SS7 protocol stack.