GSM (the Global System for Mobile communications) is a relatively old (late 1980s) standard for a second-generation (2G) digital cellular system. It is also the most popular cellular system deployed today, with perhaps 80% of all cell phones worldwide based on it. GSM supports voice, fax and circuit data -- but not packet. That's where GPRS (the General Packet Radio Service) comes in. It can be thought of as a packet data overlay on GSM. GPRS is still in service, but is being replaced by EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution), which yields average performance about three times that of GPRS. And EDGE itself is being replaced by UMTS (3G) data services, and its evolutionary path HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access). And we're not done yet -- 4G is on the way, with the 4G evolution of GSM being LTE (Long-Term Evolution). I'll stop here, but it's safe to say that wireless has more acronyms than any other field!
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Dig Deeper on Wireless Networks
Related Q&A from Craig Mathias
What you should know about satellite connectivity, satellite internet, and the costs and benefits of universally available links.continue reading
Learn the difference between Wi-Fi and wireless broadband, discover how the two technologies can work together at a client site and understand the ...continue reading
Discover how to troubleshoot an IP address conflict at a client site involving DHCP-assigned IP addresses.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.