Mobile Communications Glossary

ActiveX

ActiveX is a loosely defined set of technologies developed by Microsoft. It is an outgrowth of two other Microsoft technologies called OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model). When talking about ActiveX the majority of people refers to ActiveX controls, which represent a specific way of implementing ActiveX technologies.

CAPI

CAPI ("Common Application Programming Interface") is an application programming interface standard that is used to access ISDN (see ISDN) equipment. When an application wants to communicate with an ISDN card it sends a standard series of commands to the card. These commands form the CAPI standard and give developers and users a chance to use a well-defined mechanism for communications over ISDN lines without being forced to adjust to hardware idiosyncrasies.

COM

Communication Port is the name of a serial communications port in DOS systems. DOS supports four serial ports:COM1, COM2, COM3 and COM4.

DDE

DDE ("Dynamic Data Exchange") is an interprocess communication system built into the Macintosh, Windows and OS/2 operating systems. DDE enables two running applications to share the same data. So, if you have a file that is connected to another document over DDE and you change that file, all documents or files communicating with the altered file will be updated accordingly.

Dual Band

Dual Band cell phones can work on networks that operate on different frequency bands. This is especially useful if you travel between areas covered by different networks, for example GSM 900 and GSM 1800.

EDGE

EDGE is a technology that gives GSMA and TDMA similar capacity to handle services for the third generation of mobile telephony. EDGE was developed to enable the transmission of large amounts of data at a high speed of 384 kilobits per second. EDGE is also referred to as E-GPRS (abbreviation for Enhanced GPRS).

EPOC

EPOC is an operating system for mobile communication devices, like e.g. PDAs. It was developed by Symbian, a joint-venture with Ericsson, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia and Psion.

ERMES

European Radio Messaging System. ERMES is a pan-European wide area paging network working in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

ETSI

European Telecommunications Standards Institute. The European standardization body for telecommunications. ETSI is a non-profit making organisation whose mission is to produce the telecommunications standards that will be used for decades to come throughout Europe and beyond. ETSI was founded in 1988 by the members of the CEPT. ETSI promotes the world-wide standardization process whenever possible. Its Work Programme is based on, and co-ordinated with, the activities of international standardization bodies, mainly the ITU-T and the ITU-R.

GPRS

General Package Radio Service. GPRS is a standard for wireless communications which runs at speeds up to 150 kilobits per second. The current GSM (see GSM) systems only reach 9,6 kilobits. GPRS, which supports a wide range of bandwidths is an efficient use of limited bandwidth and is particularly suited for sending and receiving small bursts of data, such as e-mail and Web browsing, as well as large volumes of data.

GSM

Global System for Mobile Communication. Originally developed as a pan-European standard for digital mobile telephony in 1991. GSM today is one of the leading digital cellular systems available in more than 100 countries. GSM uses narrowband TDMA, which allows eight simultaneous calls on the same radio frequency. GSM reaches a speed of 9.600 BIT/s and can thus not be used for bandwidth applications.

GSM 1800

Also known as DCS 1800 or PCN, GSM 1800 is a digital network working on a frequency of 1800 MHz. It is used in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Australia.

GSM 1900

Also known as PCS 1900, GSM 1900 is a digital network working on a frequency of 1900 MHz. It is used in the US and Canada and is scheduled for parts of Latin America and Africa.

GSM 900

GSM 900, or just GSM, is the world’s most widely used digital network (see general explanation for GSM).

HSCSD

High Speed Circuit Switched Data. HSCSD is a circuit-linked technology for higher transmission speeds, up to 57 kilobits per second, primarily in GSM systems.

Intranet

The Intranet is a network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization An Intranet's Web sites look and act just like any other Web sites, but the firewall surrounding an Intranet fends off unauthorized access.

IP

Internet Protocol IP belongs to the TCP/IP protocol family, an acknowledged industrial standard for communication between open systems. The Internet Protocol defines how information travels between systems across the Internet.

IP address

The IP address is the identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks using the TCP/IP protocol route messages based on the IP address of the destination. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 1.160.10.240 could be an IP address. Within an isolated network, you can assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique. However, connecting a private network to the Internet requires using registered IP addresses (called Internet addresses) to avoid duplicates.

IPX/SPX

Internet Package Exchange/Sequenced Package Exchange IPX and SPX are transfer protocols in a novell network. IPX is a datagram protocol used for connectionless communication. SPX is a transport layer protocol (layer 4 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnections) model). The SPX layer sits on top of the IPX layer (layer 3) and provides connection-oriented services between two nodes on the network. SPX is used primarily by client/server applications. Whereas the IPX protocol is similar to IP, SPX is similar to TCP. Together, therefore, IPX/SPX provides connection services similar to TCP/IP.

ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN is a public, digital telecommunications network, that offers high speed transmission of voice, data and video through existing fixed line infrastructure. Most ISDN lines offered by telephone companies give you two lines at once, called B channels. You can use one line for voice and the other for data, or you can use both lines for data to give you data rates of 128 Kbps, three times the data rate provided by today's fastest modems.

LAN

Local Area Network. LAN is a small data network covering a limited area, such as within a building or group of buildings. Upon connecting one LAN to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves a system of LANs called WAN can be established.

Modem

Abbreviation of Modular/Demodular. The modem converts digital computer signals into analog form for transmission over analog telephone systems.

Mobile Phone Network

A mobile phone network or system consists of a network of cells. Each cell is served by a radio base station from where calls are forwarded to and received from mobile phones by wireless radio signals.

NOVELL

US manufacturer of the common network system Novell Netware. Netware has been a corporate standard for building LANs for more than a decade.

ODBC

ODBC is an “open database connection”, a standard database access method developed by Microsoft. ODBC allows access to any data from any application, regardless of which database management system is handling the data.

Operator

An operator is a company that operates a telephone network, for example D1, Vodaphone or AT&T.

Paging

Paging is a single direction radio service for alerting subscribers and leaving messages.

PCMCIA

Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. PCMCIA is an international organization consisting of some 500 companies that has developed a standard for small credit card sized devices, called PC cards. There are three different types of PCMCIA cards, each with the same rectangular size (85.6 by 54 millimeters) but different widths.

PCS

Personal Communication System PCS is the collective term for American mobile telephone services in the 1900 MHz frequency band.

PIN

PIN is a code used for all GSM-based phones to establish authorized access to certain functions or information. In general the PIN code will be delivered together with your subscription.

PING

PING is a utility to determine whether a specific IP address is accessible. It works by sending a packet to the specified address and waiting for a reply. PING is used primarily to troubleshoot Internet connections. There are many freeware and shareware PING utilities available for personal computers.

POP3

Post-Office-Protocol POP3 is a protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. For sending electronic messages SMTP is used.

ROAMING

International roaming means that you can use networks other than your own when traveling abroad. To allow international roaming, there has to be an according agreement between the network operators in question.

Service Provider

A service provider is a company that provides services and subscriptions to telephone, mobile phone and Internet users.

SIM

Subscriber Identity Module. A SIM card is a small printed circuit board that has to be inserted in any GSM-based cell phone when subscribing. It includes subscriber details, security information and the personal directory of numbers.

SMPP

Short Message Peer to Peer SMPP is a communication protocol for sending and receiving short text messages, mainly used for corporate and high volume SMSC links.

SMS

Short Message Service. SMS is a currently very popular data service within GSM-networks. With SMS it is possible to send and receive short messages of up to 160 characters to and from mobile phones via the network operators' message center (SMSC).

SMSC

Short Message Service Center. A SMSC regulates the message transfer to and from the according mobile phones in GSM-networks. This includes not only short text messages but also fax, voice- or e-mails. The SMSC delivers the messages, temporarily stores them in case the respective recipient is currently not available and takes care of charging. There is at least one SMSC per network.

SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. SMTP is a standard protocol for handling the transfer of e-mails across the Internet.

TAP

Telecator Alphanumeric Protocol TAP is the currently most common communication protocol for short messages besides UCP. It is mainly used with public modem- and ISDN-access (e.g. D1 or E-Plus).

TAPI

Telephony Application Programming Interface. TAPI is an application programming interface (API) for connecting a PC running under Windows to telephone services. TAPI was introduced in 1993 as the result of joint development by Microsoft and Intel. The standard supports connections by individual computers as well as LAN connections serving many computers. Within each connection type, TAPI defines standards for simple call control and for manipulating call content.

TCP/IP

Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is a suite of network protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP.

UCP

Universal Computer Protocol. UCP is a communication protocol for SMS-messages, that are sent via modem- or ISDN-access or so-called large customer accounts.

UMTS

Universal Mobile Telephone System. UMTS is the name for the third generation mobile telephone standard in Europe, standardized by ETSI (see ETSI). UMTS will deliver broadband information at speeds up to 2 MBIT/s. Besides voice and data, UMTS will deliver audio and video to wireless devices anywhere in the world through fixed, wireless and satellite systems.

Unix

UNIX is a computer operating system that is designed to be used by many people at the same time and that has TCP/IP built-in. It is a quite common operating system for servers on the Internet.

VAS

Value-added services. Value-added services provide additional "value" to users of mobile GSM infrastructure, e.g. in form of mobile games, logos and ringtones (mobile entertainment).

Visual Basic

Visual Basic is a programming language and environment developed by Microsoft and based on the BASIC language. Visual Basic was one of the first products to provide a graphical programming environment and a paint metaphor for developing user interfaces.

VBA

Visual Basic for Applications. Is the abbreviation for „Visual Basic for Applications“. By integrating VBA into ones own software applications it is possible to authorize third party persons to extend the respective program by a number of features.

VSMSC

Extended version of a direct link to the SMSC (see SMSC) of a network operator where the user receives his own number for a SMS message center. The VSMSC allows establishing and managing of closed user groups and the use of reverse-billing (user pays incoming as well as outgoing messages over his VSMSC).

WAN

Wide Area Network. A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more LAN. Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites. The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.

WIN32 API

Windows 32 Application Programming Interface. WIN32 API is a 32-bit programming interface under Windows

WAP

Wireless Application Protocol. WAP is a free, unlicensed protocol for wireless communications that makes it possible to create advanced telecommunications services and to access Internet pages from a mobile phone. WAP is supported by all operating systems.