GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)
- Provides basic data services
- Provides voice service through digital network
- SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card) stores phone number, connection information, and may store an address book.
- 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)*
- Extends the GSM network
- Allows for advanced data services: Use device as Modem, Use device as web-browser, etc
- Data transmission is significantly faster than GSM (up to 54 kbps)
CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
- 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
- BlackBerry’s use CDMA 1x
- 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)
- Originally designed for text pagers
- Used by the BlackBerry 95x, 85x
- Network coverage is limited to metropolitan areas
- Radio uses very little power, allowing batteries to remain charged for several weeks
- Mobitex devices are being phased out by Research in Motion
EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution)
- 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
- Not yet supported on BlackBerry devices
- Will be available the next generation of Blackberry devices including the 8700 series.
- TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access)
- FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access)