GSM System (2G) Overview

6.1 Introduction

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is the world's first cellular system to specify digital modulation, network level architectures and services. Today, it is the most popular second generation (2G) technology, having more than one billion subscribers worldwide.

6.2 History of GSM

During the early 1980s, analog cellular telephone systems were experiencing rapid growth in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Each country was developing its own system, which was incompatible with other network's equipment and operation. This was not a desirable situation, because the operation of such mobile equipment was limited to within the national boundaries, and due to this incompatibility issue, the equipment had very limited markets. Soon the limitation of this economic scale and opportunities for this market potential were realized. In 1982, the main governing body of the European telecommunication operators, known as CEPT (Conference Europe des Posts et Telecommunications) was formed. To overcome the above issue, the task of specifying a common mobile communication system for Europe in the 900 MHz frequency band (initially) was given to the Group Special Committee (GSM), which was a working group of CEPT. This group was formed to develop a pan-European public land mobile system. The proposed system had to meet several criteria, such as: (1) good subjective speech quality, (2) ability to support handheld terminals, ...

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