18 September 2007

Magic of mobile phones and GSM

We are celebrating mobile phones this week with Nawras winning the Middle East Mobile Operator of the year award for 2007. DO is glad to congratulate them for transforming the mobile communications landscape of Oman with service innovation and customer care.The First MobileThe first fully automatic mobile phone system, called MTA (Mobile Telephone system A), was developed by Ericsson and commercially released in Sweden in 1956. However the mobiles were so heavy that had been usually installed in vehicles and were bulky enough to discourage being hand-carried. The launch of the Motorola DynaTAC1 8000X on the March 6, 1983, can define the telecommunication era into BM (Before Mobiles) and AM (After Mobiles); where people are now able to communicate anytime, anyplace, anywhere. For up-to-date statistics on GSM proliferation access online http://www.gsmworld.com/news/statistics/index.shtml.

Generation — 0

In the beginning, each mobile phone had a defined area or a 'Cell' within which they can operate throughout the phone call. Switching between cell stations was not possible and hence they could be used for a mobile connectivity. In 1970 such a call-handing-off system was invented at the Bell Labs. Here the phone can be mobile within a network of cell-stations and yet maintain continuity within a single call. The first public commercial mobile phone network namely the ARP network in Finland in 1971 is considered as the 0G cellular network.

First Generation (1G)

With Motorola DynaTAC 8000X being the first handheld 1G mobile phone, the market was busy installing cell-station networks that enable the same radio frequencies to be reused simultaneously in other cells. The cell-phones are based on these cell-station networks with multiple base-stations located within a close proximity to form a network. Within these networks the calls are automatically handed-over to the next cell station creating a seamless connectivity for the mobile users.

Second Generation (2G)

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) belonging to the 2nd generation technology (due to digital call quality and low-cost text messaging capability) is clearly the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. GSM accounts for 82 per cent of the global mobile market with over 29 per cent of the global population using GSM technology. Precisely 20 years ago, on September 7, 1987, 15 phone firms signed an agreement to build mobile networks based on GSM and now the GSM Association has operator members in 218 countries and territories. The first GSM network was launched in 1991 by Radiolinja in Finland with joint technical infrastructure maintenance from Ericsson.In GSMs, the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card carries the subscription information, phone book and this can be easily swapped between mobile phones. Similarly mobiles can operate on SIM cards of different mobile service providers and newer mobiles can accommodate SIM cards of two different technologies say GSM and CDMA. There are 2.5 billion GSM connections worldwide with about 7billion text messages being exchanged every day.

Third Generation (3G)

Mobiles are becoming sleeker, long-lasting and more affordable, which demands higher data rates fit for live streaming of radio and television. This was partially met by several competing but non-compatible standards like the CDMA2000 1x,GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPDA and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO all belong to this third Gen providing wide-area wireless voice telephony and broadband wireless data services at higher speeds.The futureMobiles of the feature are simply wearable into clothing or footwear or even pervasive enough to be implanted into human body. Most modern automobiles will have built-in mobile systems for 3-D based auto navigation and intelligent communication. 3G devices of the future will be feature-rich with voice and multimedia services delivering streaming media live on demand.

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