Cellular Technologies Of The World

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Analogue Cellular Technologies

AMPS Advanced Mobile Phone System. Developed by Bell Labs in the 1970s and first used commercially in the United States in 1983. It operates in the 800 MHz band and is currently the world's largest cellular standard.
C-450 Installed in South Africa during the 1980's. Uses 450Mhz band. Much like C-Netz. Now known as Motorphone and run by Vodacom SA.
C-Netz Older cellular technology found mainly in Germany and Austria. Uses 450 MHz.
Comvik Launched in Sweden in August 1981 by the Comvik network.
N-AMPS Narrowband Advanced Mobile Phone System. Developed by Motorola as an interim technology between analogue and digital. It has some three times greater capacity than AMPS and operates in the 800 MHz range.
NMT450 Nordic Mobile Telephones/450. Developed specially by Ericsson and Nokia to service the rugged terrain that characterises the Nordic countries. Range 25km. Operates at 450 MHz. Uses FDD FDMA.
NMT900 Nordic Mobile Telephones/900. The 900 MHz upgrade to NMT 450 developed by the Nordic countries to accommodate higher capacities and handheld portables. Range 25km. Uses FDD FDMA technology.
NMT-F French version of NMT900
NTT Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. The old Japanese analogue standard. A high-capacity version is called HICAP.
RC2000 Radiocom 2000. French system launched November 1985
TACS Total Access Communications System. Developed by Motorola. and is similar to AMPS. It was first used in the United Kingdom in 1985, although in Japan it is called JTAC. It operates in the 900 MHz frequency range.


This section is, like all others, copyright Leon J Perlman. No copying.

Digital Cellular Technologies

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    Digital  Cellular Technologies Of The World

A1-Net Austrian Name for GSM 900 networks
B-CDMA Broadband CDMA. Now known as W-CDMA (see below). To be used in UMTS.
Bluetooth The technology enables short-range communication networks between consumer devices incorporating a Bluetooth interface, and is set to greatly improve the way consumers access data and services wirelessly.

Composite CDMA/TDMA

Wireless technology that uses both CDMA and TDMA. For large-cell licensed band and small-cell unlicensed band applications. Uses CDMA between cells and TDMA within cells. Based on Omnipoint technology.
CDMA Code Division Multiple Access. There are now a number of variations of CDMA, in addition to the original Qualcomm-invented N-CDMA (originally just 'CDMA', also known in the US as IS-95. See N-CDMA below).

Latest variations are B-CDMA, W-CDMA and composite CDMA/TDMA. Developed originally by Qualcomm,
CDMA is characterized by high capacity and small cell radius, employing spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme.

It was adopted by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) in 1993. The first CDMA-based networks are now operational. B-CDMA is the basis for 3G UMTS (see below). Click HERE for more technical details...
cdmaOne First Generation Narrowband CDMA (IS-95). See above.
cdma2000 The new second-generation CDMA MoU spec for inclusion in IMT-2000.
Click HERE for more technical details. It consists of various iterations, inclusing 1xEV, 1XEV-DO, and MC 3X
cdma2000 1XEV 1xEV (Evolution) is an enhancement of the cdma2000 standard of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). The CDMA 1xEV specification was developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2), a partnership consisting of five telecommunications standards bodies: CWTS in China, ARIB and TTC in Japan, TTA in Korea, and TIA in North America. The 1xEV specification is known as TIA/EIA/IS-856 "CDMA2000 High Rate Packet Data Air Interface Specification." It promises around 300 kbps speeds on a 1.25Mhz channel.
cdma2000 1XEV-DO 1xEV-DO or data-only is an enhancement of the cdma2000 1X standard. It promises around 300 kbps speeds on a 1.25Mhz channel.
CT-2 A second generation digital cordless telephone standard. CT2 has 40 carriers x 1 duplex bearer per carrier = 40 voice channels.
CT-3 A third generation digital cordless telephone, which is very similar and a precursor to DECT.
CTS GSM Corldless Telephone System. In the home environment, GSM-CTS phones communicate with a CTS Home Base Station (HBS), which offers perfect indoor radio coverage. The CTS-HBS hooks up to the fixed network and offers the best of the fixed and mobile worlds: low cost and high quality from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), services and mobility from the GSM.
Digital AMPS, a variation of AMPs. Uses 3-timeslot variation of TDMA, also known as IS-54. An upgrade to the analogue AMPS. Designed to address the problem of using existing channels more efficiently, DAMPS (IS-54) employs the same 30 kHz channel spacing and frequency bands (824-849 and 869-894 MHz) as AMPS. By using TDMA instead of FDMA, IS-54 increases the number of users from 1 to 3 per channel (up to 10 with enhanced TDMA). An AMPS/D-AMPS infrastructure can support use of either analogue AMPS phone or digital D-AMPS phones. This is because the Federal Communications Commission mandated only that digital cellular in the U.S. must act in a dual-mode capacity with analogue. Both operate in the 800 MHz band.
DCS 1800 Digital Cordless Standard. Now known as GSM 1800. GSM operated in the 1,800 MHz range. It is a different frequency version of GSM, and (900 MHz) GSM phones cannot be used on DCS 1800 networks unless they are dual band.
DECT Digital European Corldless Telephone. Uses 12-timeslot TDMA. This started off as Ericsson's CT-3, but developed into ETSI's Digital European Cordless Standard. It is intended to be a far more flexible standard than the CT2 standard, in that it has more RF channels (10 RF carriers x 12 duplex bearers per carrier = 120 duplex voice channels). It also has a better multimedia performance since 32kbit/s bearers can be concatenated. Ericsson has developed a dual GSM/DECT handset.
DVB-H Digital Video Broadcast (Handheld). The Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) is an industry-led consortium of over 270 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others in over 35 countries committed to designing global standards for the global delivery of digital television and data services.
EDGE UWC-136, the next generation of data heading towards third generation and personal multimedia environments builds on GPRS and is known as Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE).  It will allow GSM operators to use existing GSM radio bands to offer wireless multimedia IP-based services and applications at theoretical maximum speeds of 384 kbps with a bit-rate of 48 kbps per timeslot and up to 69.2 kbps per timeslot in good radio conditions. 
E-Netz The German name for GSM 1800 networks.
Flash-OFDM Flash-OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) is a new signal processing scheme from Lucent/Flarion that will support high data rates at very low packet and delay losses, also known as latencies, over a distributed all-IP wireless network. The low-latency will enable real-time mobile interactive and multimedia applications. It promises to deliver higher quality wireless service and better cost effectiveness than current wireless data technologies.
FDMA Frequency Division Multiple Access
FLO FLO Technology (or MediaFLO) from Qualcomm is a multicast Mobile innovation TV designed to increase capacity and coverage and reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets. It supports up to 20 streaming channels of QVGA (320x240 pixels) quality video at up to 30 frames per second, 10 stereo audio channels (HE AAC+ parametric stereo) and up to 800 minutes of stored Clipcast™ content per day (short-format video clips) and has an average channel switching time of 1.5 seconds without buffering or progress bars
GERAN GERAN is a term used to describe a GSM and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) based 200 kHz radio access network. The GERAN is based on GSM/EDGE Release 99, and covers all new features for GSM Release 2000 and subsequent releases, with full backward compatibility to previous releases.
GPRS GSM's new GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) data transmission technology is optimized for "bursty" datacom services such as wireless Internet/intranet and multimedia services. It is also known as GSM-IP (Internet Protocol) because it will connect users directly to Internet Service Providers. 
GMSS Geostationary Mobile Satellite Standard, a satellite air interface standard developed from GSM and formed by Ericsson, Lockheed Martin, U.K. Matra Marconi Space and satellite operators Asia Cellular Satellite and Euro-African Satellite Telecommunications.
GSM Global System for Mobile Communications. The first European digital standard, developed to establish cellular compatibility throughout Europe. It's success has spread to all parts of the world and over 80 GSM networks are now operational. It operates at 900 MHz.

High-speed downlink packet access technology. HSUPA enables faster data transmission via W-CDMA networks. HSDPA is a 3GPP Release 5 Standards compliant modification to the UMTS air interface.



High-speed upload packet access technology. HSUPA enables faster data transmission via W-CDMA networks. HSDPA is a 3GPP Release 5 Standards compliant modification to the UMTS air interface.


iDEN® (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network). Launched by Motorola in 1994, this is a Private Mobile radio system from Motorola's Land Mobile Products Sector (LMPS) iDEN technology, currently available in the 800 MHz, 900 Mhz and 1.5 GHz bands. It utilizes a variety of advanced technologies, including state-of-the-art vocoders, M16QAM modulation and TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access). It allows Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) operators to maximize the dispatch capacity and provides the flexibility to add optional services such as full-duplex telephone interconnect, alphanumeric paging and data/fax communication services. 
iMode Launched in February 1999, this fast-growing system from NTT DoCoMo uses compact HTML to provide WAP-like content to iMode phones.
IMT DS Wideband CDMA, or WCDMA.
IMT MC Widely known as cdma2000 and consisting of the 1X and 3X components.
IMT SC Called UWC-136 and widely known as EDGE.
IMTFT Well-known as DECT.
Inmarsat International Martime Satellite System which uses a number of GEO satellites. Available as Inmarsat A,B,C,and M.
Iridium Mobile Satellite phone/pager network launched November 1998. Uses TDMA for inter-satellite links. Uses 2GHz band.
IS-54 TDMA-based technology used by the D-AMPS system at 800 MHz
IS-95 CDMA-based technology used at 800 MHz
IS-136 TDMA-based technology
JS-008 CDMA based standard for 1,900 MHz.
N-CDMA Narrowband Code Division Multiple Access, or plain old original 'CDMA'. Also known in the US as IS-95. Developed by Qualcomm and characterized by high capacity and small cell radius. Has a 1.25Mhz spread spectrum air interface. It uses the same frequency bands as AMPS and supports AMPS operation, employing spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme. It was adopted by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) in 1993. The first CDMA-based networks are now operational.
Near Field Communication NFC technology enables short-range communication networks between consumer devices incorporating an NFC interface, and is set to greatly improve the way consumers access data and services wirelessly.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, a new signal processing scheme from Lucent/Flarion that will support high data rates at very low packet and delay losses, also known as latencies, over a distributed all-IP wireless network

PACS-TDMA An 8-timeslot TDMA-based standard, primarily for pedestrian use. Derived from Bellcore's wireless access spec for licensed band applications. Motorola supported.
PCS Personal Communications Service. The PCS frequency band is 1850 to 1990 MHz, which encompasses a wide range of new digital cellular standards like N-CDMA and GSM 1900. Single-band GSM 900 phones cannot be used on PCS networks. PCS networks operate thoughout the North America.
PDC Personal Digital Cellular is a TDMA-based Japanese standard operating in the 800 and 1500 MHz bands.
PHS Personal Handy System. A TDD TDMA Japanese-centric system that offers high speed data services and superb voice clarity. Really a WLL system with only 300m to 3km coverage.
SDMA Space Division Multiple Access, thought of as a component of Third Generation Digital Cellular/UMTS
TDMA Time Division Multiple Access. The first U.S. digital standard to be developed. It was adopted by the TIA in 1992. The first TDMA commercial system began in 1993. A number of variations exist.
Telecentre-H A proprietary WLL system by Krone. Range 30km, in the 350-500 MHz and 800-1000 Mhz range. Uses FDD FDM/FDMA and TDM/TDMA technologies.
TETRA TErrestrial Trunked RAdio (TETRA) is a new open digital trunked radio standard which is defined by the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute (ETSI) to meet the needs of the most demanding professional mobile radio users.
TETRA-POL Proprietary TETRA network from Matra and AEG. Does not conform to TETRA MoU specifications

TDtv technology, a mobile TV and multimedia solution based on the 3GPP Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services (MBMS) standard. Orange will launch this technical trial in the UK in its unpaired 3G spectrum, starting mid-2006. TDtv operates in the universal unpaired 3G spectrum bands that are available across Europe and Asia at 1900MHz and 2010MHz. It allows UMTS operators like Orange to fully utilise their existing spectrum and base stations to offer subscribers attractive mobile TV and multimedia packages without impacting other voice and data 3G services. TDtv will allow mobile operators to deliver up to 50 channels of TV for standard cell phone screens, or 17 higher quality QVGA channels, in 5MHz of unpaired 1.9GHz spectrum.

UltraPhone 110 A proprietary WLL system by IDC. Range 30 km, in the 350-500 MHz range. Uses FDD FDM/TDMA technologies. The UltraPhone system allows 4 conversations to operate simultaneously on every 25kMhz-spaced channel. A typical UP 24-channel WLL system can support 95 full duplex voice circuits in 1.2kHz of spectrum.
UMTS Universal Mobile Telephone Standard - the next generation of global cellular which should be in place by 2004. Proposed data rates of <2Mbps, using combination TDMA and W-CDMA. Operates at around 2GHz
W-CDMA One of the latest components of UMTS, along with TDMA & cdma2000. It has a 5Mhz air interface and is the basis of higher-bandwidth data rates. Click HERE for more technical details...
WirelessMAN Wi-LAN announced that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) "WirelessMAN" Standard 802.16a, incorporates Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM (Wide-band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology. Wi-LAN is first to market with Standard 802.16a-like products and is dedicated to advancing the implementation of this standard
WiMedia UWB WiMedia UWB common radio platform is designed to operate with application stacks developed by the 1394 Trade Association Wireless Working Group, the Certified Wireless USB Promoter Group and the Bluetooth SIG. WiMedia UWB is optimized for wireless personal-area networks delivering high- speed (480Mbps and beyond), low-power multimedia capabilities for the PC, CE, mobile and automotive market segments. WiMedia's board members include Alereon, HP, Intel, Kodak, Microsoft, Nokia, Philips, Samsung Electronics, Sony, STMicroelectronics, Staccato Communications, Texas Instruments and Wisair.

"WiMAX" is an acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. WiMax is  more robust standard for high-speed broadband wireless delivery to laptops and desktops has been launched. It is a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL. WiMAX will provide fixed , nomadic, portable and, eventually, mobile wireless broadband connectivity without the need for direct line-of-sight with a base station. In a typical cell radius deployment of three to ten kilometers, WiMAX Forum Certified™ systems can be expected to deliver capacity of up to 40 Mbps per channel, for fixed and portable access applications. This is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support hundreds of businesses with T-1 speed connectivity and thousands of residences with DSL speed connectivity. Mobile network deployments are expected to provide up to 15 Mbps of capacity within a typical cell radius deployment of up to three kilometers.

WLL Wireless Local Loop limited-number systems are usually found in remote areas where fixed-line usage is impossible. Most modern WLL systems use CDMA technology. See African WLL coverage implementation details
Zigbee UWB Standard

An alternative physical layer (PHY) to the 802.15.4 wireless personal area network (WPAN) standard. Products based on the 802.15.4 standard operate in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band at 250Kbps over 10 to 75 meters. Two major new features that an alternate PHY would provide include precision location determination capability and high aggregate capacity. For example, in a warehouse environment, such capabilities would enable quick and precise pinpointing of products, and allow a scanner to locate a particular sensor among a large number of sensors in close proximity.

*  See also market shares of the various cellular standards

This section is, like all others, is copyright Leon J Perlman..