Types of mobile data networks
1 Answer

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)

  1. Provides basic data services
  2. Provides voice service through digital network
  3. SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card) stores phone number, connection information, and may store an address book.
  4. This allows a user to switch devices without needing to contact the service provider.

Note: BlackBerry’s cannot send / receive email, PIN’s, or browse the internet with only GSM (GPRS is required).

GPRS (*General Packet Radio Service)*

  1. Extends the GSM network
  2. Allows for advanced data services: Use device as Modem, Use device as web-browser, etc
  3. Data transmission is significantly faster than GSM (up to 54 kbps)

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)

  1. Technology is patented by Qualcomm
    • As such all CDMA BlackBerry’s use Qualcomm processors and network technology.
    • More expensive to build then GSM / GPRS devices
    • Processor is slower than on the GSM / GPRS devices
  2. BlackBerry’s use CDMA 1x
  3. RTT
    • Provides maximum data rates up to 300 kbps
    • Only a small fraction (50 – 60 kbps) of this is available today

Mobitex (Two-way packet-switch network)

  1. Originally designed for text pagers
  2. Used by the BlackBerry 95x, 85x
  3. Network coverage is limited to metropolitan areas
  4. Radio uses very little power, allowing batteries to remain charged for several weeks
  5. Mobitex devices are being phased out by Research in Motion

EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution)

  1. An extension to the GSM / GPRS networks
    • More than three times faster than GPRS
    • Average download speed of 100 – 130 kbps
    • Burst speeds up to 200 kbps
  2. Not yet supported on BlackBerry devices
  3. Will be available the next generation of Blackberry devices including the 8700 series.

Not included:

  • TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access)
  • FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access)
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