Term Description
Term: 1.5-Way Paging Description: Refers to guaranteed message receipt or advanced messaging, ensuring subscribers receive messages sent when they're out of range, but users cannot send text pages. Two-way paging allows users to send and receive.
Term: 1.7-Way Paging Description: A paging service that offers more than guaranteed messaging but not as much as full two-way paging. The subscriber has limited response messaging, such as canned messages, rather than the ability to create responses.
Term: 1G Description: First generation of mobile wireless that utilizes analog air interface technology.
Term: 2.5G Description: Interim step building up to 3G involving overlay of higher-capacity data transmission capability to existing 2G digital wireless networks.
Term: 2G Description: Second generation of mobile wireless, which utilizes various digital protocols, including GSM, CDMA, TDMA, iDEN, and PDC.
Term: 711 Description: The nationwide number to reach the telecommunications relay service (TRS). TRS enables telephone conversations between people with speech or hearing disabilities and people without speech or hearing disabilities.
Term: 802.11 Description: IEEE standards for wireless LANs with specs for 1mbps, 2mbps, 11mbps, and 24mbps.
Term: A and B PCS Blocks Description: The first two PCS licenses that were auctioned by the FCC in March 1995. Each contains 30 MHz of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band and is based on MTA geographic partitions.
Term: A Block Description: In early 1981, the FCC announced that it would approve two licenses in each wireless market: a non-wireline company (which became known as the "A" side carrier), and a wireline company (the "B" side carrier).
Term: A/B Switch Description: A feature found on cellular telephones permitting the user (when roaming away from home) to select either the "A" (non-wireline) carrier or the "B" (wireline) carrier.
Term: Access Fee Description: A special fee that local telephone companies are allowed to charge all telephone customers for the right to connect with the local phone network. Cellular subscribers pay this fee along with a 3 percent federal telephone excise tax.
Term: Access Line Description: A telephone line reaching from the telephone company central office to a point on a private premise. Usually equates to one customer line.
Term: Adjacent Channel Interference Description: Signal impairment to one frequency due to presence of another signal on a nearby frequency.
Term: Advanced Intelligent Network Description: A system that allows a wireless user to make and receive phone calls while roaming in areas outside the user's "home" network. AINs enable service providers to define, test and introduce new multimedia messaging, PCS and cell routing.
Term: Advanced Mobile Phone Service Description: An analog cellular radio standard that serves as the foundation for the U.S. cellular industry. AMPS represents the first generation of wireless networks.
Term: Affiliate Description: Companies that assist carriers with building a wireless network. The affiliate may use the primary carrier's brand name, network operations, customer service or other facilities.
Term: Air Interface Description: The standard operating system of a wireless network. Technologies include AMPS, TDMA, CDMA and GSM.
Term: Airtime Description: Actual time spent talking on the cellular telephone. Most carriers bill customers based on how many minutes of airtime they use each month. Airtime charges during peak periods of the day vary from about 20 cents to more than 40 cents per minute, depending on the service plan selected. Most carriers offer reduced rates for off-peak usage.
Term: A-Key Description: A secret number issued to a cellular phone that is used in conjunction with a subscriber's shared secret data information for authentication.
Term: Alphanumeric Description: A message or other type of readout containing both letters ("alphas") and numbers ("numerics"). In cellular, "alphanumeric memory dial" is a special type of dial-from-memory option that displays both the name of the individual and that individual's phone number on the cellular phone handset. The name also can be recalled by using the letters on the phone keypad.
By contrast, standard memory dial recalls numbers from number-only locations.
Term: American Mobile Telecommunications Association Description: A Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing specialized mobile radio operators.
Term: American National Standards Institute Description: A private, non-profit organization that oversees the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The Institute's mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.
Term: Analog Description: A signaling method that uses continuous changes in the amplitude or frequency of a radio transmission to convey information. It relies on a continuous (rather than pulsed as in digital) electrical signal that varies in amplitude or frequency in response to changes of sound, light, position, etc., impressed on a transducer in the sending device; opposite of digital.
Term: Antenna Description: A wire or set of wires used to send and receive radio waves.
Term: Application Program Interface Description: A language and message format used by an application program to communicate with the operating system or some other system or control program such as a database management system (DBMS) or communications protocol. APIs are implemented by writing function calls in the program, which provide the linkage to the required subroutine for execution. Thus, an API implies that a program module is available in the computer to perform the operation or that it must be linked into the existing program to perform the tasks.
Term: Application Service Provider Description: An organization that hosts software applications on its own servers within its own facilities. Customers access the application via private lines or the Internet. ASP is also called a "commercial service provider."
Term: Application-Specific Integrated Circuit Description: An integrated circuit tailored for a particular piece of electronic equipment.
Term: Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International Description: Trade group headquartered in South Daytona, Fla., representing law enforcement, fire, emergency services and other public-safety agency dispatchers and communications employees.
Term: Attenuation Description: The loss of signal energy due to absorption, reflection, or diffusion during transmission.
Term: Authentication Description: The verification process to assure that a wireless device and its user are compatible with and authorized to access a wireless network. This process is accomplished through transmission of identifying data at the time of connection. Used for fraud prevention.
Term: Automatic Vehicle Location Description: Combining a location-sensing device (such as a GPS receiver) with a wireless communications link to provide a home office or dispatcher with the location of a vehicle or mobile asset (such as a trailer or heavy machinery).
Term: Average Revenue Per Unit Description: Measures the average monthly revenue generated for each customer unit, such as a cellular phone or pager, that a carrier has in operation.
Term: B Block Description: In early 1981, the FCC announced that it would approve two licenses in each market- a non-wireline company (which became known as the "A" side carrier), and a wireline company (the "B" side carrier).
Term: B Carrier Description: Most areas of the US have two cellular carriers, each of which operates on a different frequency band. One is designated the "A" carrier and the other is designated the "B" carrier. In some markets there may be only one carrier which may be "A" or "B".
Term: Bandwidth Description: The capacity of a telecom line to carry signals. A greater bandwidth indicates the ability to transmit a greater amount of data over a given period of time.
Term: Base Station Description: The central radio transmitter/receiver that maintains communications with mobile radiotelephone sets within a given range (typically a cell site).
Term: Base Station Controller Description: The part of the wireless system's infrastructure that controls one or multiple cell sites' radio signals, thus reducing the load on the switch. Performs radio signal management functions for base transceiver stations, managing functions such as frequency assignment and handoff.
Term: Base Transceiver Station Description: The name for the antenna and radio equipment necessary to provide wireless service in an area. Also called a base station or cell site.
Term: Basic Trading Area Description: A geographic region defined by a group of counties that surround a city, which is the area's basic trading center. The boundaries of each BTA were formulated by Rand McNally & Co. and are used by the FCC determine service areas for PCS wireless licenses. The entire US and some of its territories is divided into 493 non-overlapping BTAs.
Term: Bent Pipe Technology Description: Satellite technology to transmit calls from one point on Earth to a satellite and back down to another point.
Term: Big LEO Description: Low-earth orbit satellite systems that will offer voice and data services, including Iridium and Globalstar.
Term: Bluetooth Description: Wireless personal area network (PAN) standard that enables data connections between electronic devices such as desktop computers, wireless phones, electronic organizers and printers in the 2.4 GHz range at 720kbps within a 30-foot range. Bluetooth depends on mobile devices equipped with a chip for sending and receiving information.
Term: Broadband Description: Describes a communications medium capable of transmitting a relatively large amount of data over a given period of time. A descriptive term for evolving digital technologies that offers integrated access to voice, high-speed data service, video-demand services, and interactive delivery services.
Term: Broadband PCS Description: Personal communications services created in the A- through F-Block auctions and used for voice and data. Broadband PCS is allocated 140 MHz of spectrum with 20 MHz currently unassigned. Frequency blocks A, B, and C were each assigned 30 MHz of spectrum, while frequency blocks D, E, and F were each assigned 10 MHz of spectrum.
Term: Bundling Description: Grouping various telecommunications services -- wireline and/or wireless -- as a package to increase the appeal to potential customers and reduce advertising, marketing and other expenses associated with delivering multiple
services. For example, a bundled package could include long distance, cellular, Internet and paging services.
Term: C Block Description: The third PCS license that was auctioned by the FCC in May 1996. Each contains 30 MHz of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band and is based on BTA geographic partitions. The licenses were reserved for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Term: Call Barring Description: Enables you to restrict or bar certain or all types of calls to and from your mobile phone, i.e. outgoing calls, outgoing international calls, incoming calls. Barring is activated with a personal code.
Term: Call Divert Description: Enables you to divert incoming calls to another phone or answering service.
Term: Call Hold Description: Enables you to put a caller on hold while a second call is answered or made.
Term: Call Restriction Description: Enables you to restrict or bar certain or all types of calls to and from your mobile phone, i.e. outgoing calls, outgoing international calls, incoming calls.
Term: Call Transfer Description: Enables you to transfer a caller to another number.
Term: Call Waiting Description: If your line is busy, callers are asked to wait while you are alerted to their incoming call.
Term: Caller ID Description: An enhanced feature that displays a caller's phone number on the wireless handset receiving the call. Many systems are adding the caller's name to the caller ID.
Term: Calling Plan Description: A rate plan selected by subscribers when they start up cellular service, usually consisting of a base rate for system access and a per-minute rate for usage. Service plans are designed to provide the most cost-effective rates for different types and amounts of usage by the cellular subscriber.
Term: Cap Code Description: A pager's unique electronic identification number.
Term: cdma2000 Description: A 3G technology that is an evolutionary outgrowth of cdmaOne. It offers operators who have deployed a 2G cdmaOne system a seamless migration path to 3G. cdma2000 supports the 2G network aspect of all existing operators regardless of technology (cdmaOne IS-136 TDMA, or GSM). This standard is also known by its ITU name IMT-CDMA Multi-Carrier (1X/3X). cdma2000 has been divided into 2 phases. The first phase capabilities are defined in a standard known as 1X, which introduces 144 kbps packet data in a mobile environment and speeds beyond this in a fixed environment. cdma2000 phase two, known as 3X, incorporates the capabilities of 1X. It also supports all channel sizes (5 MHz, 10 MHz, etc.), provides circuit and packet data rates up to 2 Mbps, incorporates advance multimedia capabilities, and includes a framework for advanced 3G voice services and vocoders, including voice over packet and circuit data.
Term: cdmaOne Description: The name used by the CDMA Development Group (CDG) for CDMA networks (IS-95) using 2nd-generation digital technology.
Term: Cell Description: The basic geographic unit of a cellular system. Also, the basis for the generic industry term: "cellular." A city or county is divided into smaller "cells," each of which is equipped with a low-powered radio transmitter/receiver. The cells can vary in size depending upon terrain, capacity demands, etc. By controlling the transmission power, the radio frequencies assigned to one cell can be limited to the boundaries of that cell. When a wireless phone moves from one cell toward another, a computer at the Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) monitors the movement and at the proper time, transfers or hands off the phone call to the new cell and another radio frequency. The handoff is performed so quickly that it is not noticeable to the callers.
Term: Cell Phone Description: A wireless telephone that sends and receives messages using radiofrequency energy in the 800-900 megahertz portion of the radiofrequency (RF) spectrum.
Term: Cell Site Description: The location where the wireless antenna and network communications equipment is placed. A cell site consists of a transmitter/receiver, antenna tower, transmission radios and radio controllers. A cell site is operated by a Wireless Service Provider (WSP).
Term: Cell Splitting Description: The process of creating more coverage and capacity in a wireless system by having more than one cell site cover a particular amount of geography. Each cell site covers a smaller area, with lower power MHz and thus offers the ability to reuse frequencies more times in a larger geographic coverage area, such as a city or MTA.
Term: Cellular Description: A wireless telephone network that connects radio frequencies from a mobile phone to a system of multiple cell sites, each consisting of an antenna and a base station, to a mobile telephone switching office, and ultimately to the public wireline telephone system. Called 'cellular' because the system uses many base stations to divide a service area into multiple 'cells'. Cellular calls are transferred from base station to base station as a user travels from cell to cell.
Term: Cellular Base Station Description: The transmission and reception equipment, including the base station antenna, which connects a cellular phone to the network. Also called a cell site.
Term: Cellular Digital Packet Data Description: An enhanced packet overlay on analog cell phone networks used to transmit and receive data. This technology allows data files to be broken into a number of packets and sent along idle channels of existing cellular voice networks. CDPD provides 19.2 Kbps and is deployed by AT&T among several other carriers.
Term: Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association Description: A trade group representing cellular, PCS and enhanced specialized mobile radio carriers. Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI): The carrier's data about a specific customer's service and usage. The FCC governs the usage of CPNI. Generally, information about a customer's account is considered proprietary until the customer authorizes its use.
Term: Channel Description: An electrical, electromagnetic, or optical path for communication between two points.
Term: Churn Description: In any industry, a measure of the number of customers who leave or switch to another service provider, usually stated as a percentage.
Term: Circuit Switch Data Description: Allows a user to use their wireless handset as a modem for laptops, PDAs and other electronic devices via infrared ports or designated data cables. CSD also allows a user to access Wireless Internet via their wireless handset (handset must be WAP compatible).
Term: ClassLink Description: A program of the CTIA Foundation providing wireless phones to schools for teacher use and student Internet access.
Term: Clone/Cloning Description: A wireless phone programmed with stolen or duplicated electronic serial and mobile identification numbers. The Wireless Telephone Protection Act of 1998 outlawed cloning. The Act prohibits knowingly using, producing, trafficking in, having control or custody of, or possessing hardware or software knowing that it has been configured to insert or modify telecommunication identifying information associated with or contained in a telecommunications instrument so that such instrument may be used to obtain telecommunications service without authorization.
Term: Code Division Multiple Access Description: An air interface technology that was developed by the U.S. military and commercialized by the U.S. company Qualcomm. CDMA assigns a code to all speech bits, sends a scrambled transmission of the encoded speech over the air and reassembles the speech to its original form at the other end. CDMA supports SMS with a message length of 120 characters. With CDMA, each conversation is digitized and then tagged with a code. The mobile phone receives a signal to locate that particular code and it then deciphers the conversation off the airwaves. It codes each conversation expanding it 128 times, making it easy to decipher at the receiving end.
Term: Collocation Description: Placement of multiple antennas at a common physical site to reduce environmental impact and real estate costs and speed zoning approvals and network deployment.
Term: Commercial Mobile Radio Service Description: An FCC designation for any carrier or licensee whose wireless network is connected to the public switched telephone network and/or is operated for profit.
Term: Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act Description: A 1994 law granting law enforcement agencies the ability to wiretap new digital networks and requiring wireless and wireline carriers to enable surveillance equipment use in digital networks.
Term: Competitive Local Exchange Carrier Description: Any telephone company that offers service in a specific area. Now that the industry has been deregulated, several companies may offer service in a single area. New ones entering a market are Competitive Local Exchange Carriers. The original telephone company at the time of deregulation is known as the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (See also "ILEC").
Term: Content Services Description: Paging service, beyond telephone number alerts, that include news and sports headlines, personalized stock quotes, driving directions, restaurant reviews and information contained on Internet sites.
Term: Control Channel Description: A logic channel carrying network information rather than the actual voice or data messages transmitted over the network.
Term: Coverage Description: Refers to the region within which a paging receiver can reliably receive the transmission of the paging signals.
Term: Crosstalk Description: Interference in a wireless communications system from other conversations in nearby cells using the same channel.
Term: Customer Acquisition Cost Description: The average cost to a carrier of signing up an individual subscriber. Some of the factors included in the cost are handset subsidies, marketing, advertising and promotions.
Term: D and E PCS Blocks Description: The fourth and fifth PCS licenses that were auctioned by the FCC in January 1997. Each contains MHz of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band and is based on BTA geographical partitions. The licenses were reserved for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs.
Term: Decibel Description: A unit of measure used to express relative difference in power or intensity of sound.
Term: Digital Description: A method of encoding information using a binary code of 0s and 1s from electrical pulses. Because digital signals are made up only of binary streams, less information is needed to transmit a message. Digital encoding therefore increases the capacity of a given radio frequency. Furthermore, only digitized information can be transported through a noisy channel without degradation. Digital technology reproduces sound exactly, and can even filter out background and electronic "noise." Even if corruption occurs, as long as the one zero patterns are recognizable, the original information content can be perfectly replicated at the receiving end. Most new wireless phones and networks use digital technology.
Term: Digital Cellular System Description: A global system for mobile communications-based PCS network used outside of the U.S.
Term: Digital Signal Processor Description: A microprocessor that digitizes analog signals.
Term: Disaggregation Description: The splitting of a spectrum license into two or more licenses of fewer frequencies.
Term: Downlink Description: The portion of a telecommunications path from a satellite to the ground. Also referred to as the reverse link.
Term: Drive Test Description: A method of taking signal strength measurements in a cellular coverage area.
Term: Dual Band Description: A feature on some wireless phones that allows the handset to operate using either the 800 MHz cellular or the 1900 MHz PCS frequencies.
Term: Dual Mode Description: A feature on some wireless phones that allows the handset to operate on both analog and digital networks.
Term: Electromagnetic Energy Description: Waves of electrical and magnetic energy moving together through space. Also called electromagnetic radiation.
Term: Electromagnetic Field Description: An area containing electromagnetic energy (electromagnetic radiation).
Term: Electromagnetic Radiation Description: Waves of electrical and magnetic energy moving together through space. Also called electromagnetic energy.
Term: Electromagnetic Spectrum Description: The collection of all electromagnetic energy arranged according to frequency and wavelength.
Term: Electronic Serial Number Description: The unique identification number embedded in a wireless phone by the manufacturer. Each time a call is placed, the ESN is automatically transmitted to the base station so the wireless carrier's mobile switching office can check the call's validity. The ESN cannot easily be altered in the field. The ESN differs from the mobile identification number, which is the wireless carrier's identifier for a phone in the network. MINs and ESNs can be electronically checked to help prevent fraud.
Term: Encryption Description: The process of encoding a message such as a digital phone signal to prevent it from being read by unauthorized parties.
Term: Enhanced 911 Description: 911 service becomes E911 when automatic number identification and automatic location information from a wireless phone is provided to the 911 operator. Reimbursement, or cost recovery, is due to commercial providers of both recurring and nonrecurring costs associated with any services, operation, administration or maintenance of wireless E911 service. Costs include, but are not limited to, the costs of design, development, upgrades, equipment, software and other expenses associated with the implementation of wireless E911 service.
Term: Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution Description: The final evolution of data communications within the GSM standard. Based on 8PSK modulation, EDGE provides 3G packet data throughput on GSM networks, and uses a new modulation scheme to enable data throughput speeds of up to 384kbit/s using existing GSM infrastructure.
Term: Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio Description: Digital SMR networks that provide dispatch, voice, and messaging and data services.
Term: European Telecommunications Standards Institute Description: A standards-setting body in Europe. Also the standards body responsible for GSM.
Term: F PCS Block Description: The final PCS license that was auctioned by the FCC in January 1997. Each contains 10 MHz of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band and is based on BTA geographic partitions. The licenses were reserved for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Term: Federal Communications Commission Description: The federal government agency located in Washington, D.C. responsible for regulating telecommunications in the United States, including commercial and private wireless spectrum management.
Term: Fiber Optic Description: Using fine, transparent lines for the transmission of data, digitally encoded into pulses of light. In terms of telephone conversations, a 1/2" copper cable can transmit about 25 conversations analog, whereas a 1/2" fiber optic line can transmit 193,536 conversations digitally.
Term: FireWire Description: Originally developed by Apple, this is an increasingly popular and very fast external bus for transferring data between devices; also known as IEEE 1394 for the name of the standard it engendered.
Term: Flash Memory Description: A component used for memory that can retain information without power.
Term: Foliage Attenuation Description: Reductions in signal strength or quality due to signal absorption by trees or foliage obstructions in the signal's line-of-sight path. For example, 800 MHz systems are seldom deployed in forested areas. Pine needles -- nearly the same length as 800 MHz antennas -- can negatively affect signal reception in that band.
Term: Frame Relay Description: Wideband, packet-based interface used to transmit bursts of data over a wide-area network. Seldom used for voice.
Term: Frequency Description: The number of oscillations, or vibrations, of radio waves per unit of time, usually expressed in either cycles-per-second or Hertz (Hz).
Term: Frequency Modulation Description: A signaling method that varies the carrier frequency in proportion to the amplitude of the modulating signal.
Term: Frequency Reuse Description: The ability to use the same frequencies repeatedly across a cellular system, made possible by the basic design approach for cellular. Since each cell is designed to use radio frequencies only within its boundaries, the same frequencies can be reused in other cells not far away with little potential for interference. The reuse of frequencies is what enables a cellular system to handle a huge number of calls with a limited number of channels.
Term: Gateway Description: Node that connect two different networks.
Term: Gateway GPRS Support Node Description: Interface between the GPRS wireless data network and other networks such as the Internet or private networks.
Term: General Packet Radio Service Description: A GSM data transmission technique that does not set up a continuous channel from a portable terminal for the transmission and reception of data, but transmits and receives data in packets. GPRS is used to boost wireless data transmission over GSM networks. GPRS can achieve 171.2 kilobits per second (kbps), which is about three times as fast as the data transmission speeds possible over today's fixed telecommunications networks and ten times as fast as current GSM networks. Unlike existing digital wireless Net connections, no dial-up modem is necessary.
Term: Global Positioning System Description: A system of 24 satellites for identifying earth locations, launched by the U.S. By triangulation of signals from three of the satellites, a receiving unit can pinpoint its current location anywhere on earth to within a few meters. Lets those on the ground, on the water or in the air determines their position with extreme accuracy using GPS receivers.
Term: Global System for Mobile Communications Description: GSM is a digital cellular phone technology based on TDMA that is the predominant system Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and in parts of America and Canada. First introduced in 1991, the GSM standard has been deployed at three different frequency bands: 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz. GSM 1900 is primarily deployed in North America. Named after its frequency band around 900 MHz, GSM-900 has provided the basis for several other networks using GSM technology. GSM uses narrowband TDMA which allows eight simultaneous calls on the same radio frequency. Along with CDMA and TDMA it represents the second generation of wireless networks.
Term: Globalstar Description: Second major LEO-based global communications system; initially created for voice, it was launched in late 1999.
Term: GSM 1800 Description: 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.
Term: GSM 1900 Description: 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.
Term: GSM 900 Description: The world's most widely used digital network and now operating in over 100 countries around the world, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Term: GSM Hosted SMS Teleservice Description: A tunneling protocol that allows a GSM SMS to be embedded in a teleservice that can be transmitted over the air interface of a TDMA based network.
Term: Half-Rate Description: A variant of GSM, Half-Rate doubles system capacity by more efficient speech coding.
Term: Handheld Device Markup Language Description: A specialized version of HTML designed to enable wireless pagers, cell phones and other handheld devices to obtain information from Web pages. HDML was developed by (formerly Unwired Planet) before the WAP specification was standardized. It is a subset of WAP with some features, not included in WAP. AT&T Wireless launched the first HDML-based service in 1996.
Term: Handoff Description: The process by which the Mobile Telephone Switching Office passes a cellular phone conversation from one radio frequency in one cell to another radio frequency in another. The handoff is performed so quickly that users usually never notice.
Term: Handset Subsidy Description: Frequently, a wireless company will sell a phone (handset) below cost, with the hope of making up the loss later on customer usage fees. The amount of loss per handset is called the handset subsidy.
Term: Hands-Free Description: An important safety feature that's included with most of today's mobile phones. It permits drivers to use their cellular phone without lifting or holding the hand-set to their ear.
Term: Hertz Description: A unit of measurement of one cycle per second when one radio wave passes one point in one second of time. Named in honor of Heinrich Hertz, the physicist who developed the theory of radio waves.
Term: High-Speed Circuit Switched Data Description: The final evolution of circuit switched data within the GSM environment. HSCSD enables the transmission of data over a GSM link at speeds of up to 57.6kbit/s. This is achieved by concatenating consecutive GSM timeslots, each of, which is capable of supporting 14.4kbit/s. Up to four GSM timeslots are needed for the transmission of HSCSD.
Term: Home Location Register Description: A database residing in a local wireless network that contains service profiles and checks the identity of a local subscriber.
Term: I-Mode Description: NTT DoCoMo's mobile Internet access, launched in February 1999. I-mode is an alternative to WAP, though it is only implemented in Japan. It offers Internet access and email service. While WAP uses HDML, I-mode relies on Compact HTML (C-HTML). Both languages are a simple version of HTML, for use on mobile phones. Today more than 7000 sites are I-mode compatible and offer a wide range of services over mobile phones: mobile banking, ticket reservation, cartoons downloading, etc.
Term: Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier Description: The historic local phone service provider in a market, often a former Bell company. Distinct from competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), new market entrants.
Term: Independent Telephone Network Description: Companies not affiliated with the local telephone companies.
Term: Industrial Telecommunications Association Description: A Washington, D.C. trade group serving private wireless licensees such as airlines and oil companies.
Term: Infrared Data Association Description: A membership organization founded in 1993 and dedicated to developing standards for wireless, infrared transmission systems between computers. With IrDA ports, a laptop or PDA can exchange data with a desktop computer or use a printer without a cable connection. Like a TV remote control, IrDA requires line-of-sight transmission. IrDA products began to appear in 1995.
Term: Integrated Circuit Card ID Description: 19 or 20-digit serial number of the SIM card.
Term: Integrated Digital Enhanced Network Description: A wireless communications technology from Motorola that provides support for voice, data, short messages (SMS) and dispatch radio (two-way radio) in one phone. Operating in the 800MHz and 1.5GHz bands and based on TDMA, iDEN uses Motorola's VSELP (Vector Sum Excited Linear Predictors) vocoder for voice compression and QAM modulation to deliver 64 Kbps over a 25KHz channel. Each 25KHz channel can be divided six times to transmit any mix of voice, data, dispatch or text message. Used by various carriers around the globe, Nextel Communications provides nationwide coverage in the U.S.
Term: Intelligent Roaming Database Description: A list of acceptable and unacceptable networks for a phone to roam with stored either on a SIM card or in the phone.
Term: Interactive Messaging Description: Short Message Service that allows users to send alphanumeric messages from their wireless handset to other wireless handsets or to email addresses. Interactive Messaging also allows the user to receive emails and web messages from the internet.
Term: Interconnection Description: The connecting of one network with another, e.g. a cellular carrier's wireless network with the local exchange.
Term: Interim Standard Description: A designation of the Telecommunications Industry Association --usually followed by a number--that refers to an accepted industry protocol; e.g., IS-95, IS-136, IS-54.
Term: International Mobile Equipment Identifier Description: A unique 15-digit number that serves as the serial number of the GSM handset. The IMEI appears on the label located on the back of the phone. The IMEI is automatically transmitted by the phone when the network asks for it. A network operator might request the IMEI to determine if a device is in disrepair, stolen or to gather statistics on fraud or faults.
Term: International Mobile Subscriber Identifier Description: A unique 15-digit number which designates the subscriber. This number is used for provisioning in network elements.
Term: International Mobile Telecommunications Association Description: A trade group serving specialized mobile radio and public access mobile radio carriers around the world.
Term: International Telecommunication Union Description: An agency of the United Nations, headquartered in Geneva that furthers the development of telecommunications services worldwide and oversees global allocation of spectrum for future uses.
Term: Interoperability Description: The ability of a network to operate with other networks, such as two systems based on different protocols or technologies.
Term: Ionizing Radiation Description: Very high energy electromagnetic radiation that strips electrons away from their normal locations in atoms and molecules.
Term: Iridium Description: First LEO-based global communications system backed by Motorola. Built primarily for voice transmissions, it was launched in 1998 and went into Chapter 11 in 1999.
Term: IS-136 Description: The latest generation of the digital standard TDMA technology.
Term: IS-41 Description: The network standard that allows all switches to exchange information about subscribers.
Term: IS-54 Description: The first generation of the digital standard TDMA technology.
Term: IS-661 Description: North American standard for 1.9 GHz wireless spread spectrum radio-frequency access technology based on a composite of CDMA and TDMA technologies To reduce infrastructure costs and allow higher data speeds than mainstream GSM or TDMA platforms.
Term: IS-95 Description: The standard for CDMA.
Term: Japanese Total Access Communication Description: Like the European TACS, JTAC is the Japanese analog cellular system.
Term: Land Line Description: Traditional wired phone service. Voice, video and data transmission technology that relies on wires. Also called wireline.
Term: Lithium-Ion Battery Description: Lighter weight battery than earlier types, having relatively longer cycle life and generally do not suffer from memory effect.
Term: Local Calling Area Description: The geographical area that a customer may call without incurring toll charges.
Term: Local Mulitpoint Distribution Service Description: Located in the 28 GHz and 31 GHz bands, LMDS is a broadband radio service designed to provide two-way transmission of voice, high-speed data and video (wireless cable TV).
Term: Local Number Portability Description: The ability of subscribers to switch local or wireless carriers and still retain the same phone number, as they can now with long-distance carriers. Wireless carriers do not have to offer LNP until March 2002 and seek further postponement of this deadline.
Term: Local Service Footprint Description: The geographical area that a customer may call without incurring toll charges, also known as "local service area," or "local calling area."
Term: Local-State Governmental Advisory Committee Description: An FCC-established group that is working on an antenna-siting solution. The LSGAC will advise carriers and communities on antenna siting.
Term: Low Earth Orbit Description: A term used to describe the orbital altitude range (500 to 2000 km above the surface of the Earth) of certain communications satellites.
Term: Major Trading Area Description: Usually composed of several contiguous basic trading areas. A service area designed by Rand McNally and adopted by the FCC. There are 51 MTAs in the United States.
Term: Memory Effect Description: The life of a battery may be gradually shortened if it is recharged before it is completely discharged. Memory effect most commonly occurs with Nickel Cadmium batteries are less of a problem with Nickel Hydride batteries and even less with Lithium Ion batteries.
Term: Metropolitan Statistical Area Description: One of 306 geographic regions, primarily urban areas, in the United States that are used as license areas in the cellular frequency band. Originally, two wireless operators were licensed in each MSA.
Term: Microcell Description: A cell having a very small coverage area, which could be as small as one floor of an office building, one part of an airline terminal, or one corner of a busy intersection. These cells are typically used when coverage and/or capacity is strained and the use of a normal sized cell would cause interference or would be impractical to install. These cells transmit with extremely low power outputs.
Term: Microwaves Description: A subset of radio waves that have frequencies ranging from around 300 million waves per second (300 MHz) to three billion waves per second (3 GHz).
Term: Middleware Description: The "mix-and-match" communications software that acts as a universal translator between diverse radio frequency technologies and protocols. Middleware resides on a remote client and a communications server, located between the client and the applications server. The software eases computing and communicating with corporate information and encourages applications development, making wireless data more attractive to corporate customers.
Term: Mobile Identification Number Description: Uniquely identifies a mobile unit within a wireless carrier's network. The MIN often can be dialed from other wireless or wireline networks. The number differs from the electronic serial number (ESN), which is the unit number assigned by a phone manufacturer. MINs and ESNs can be checked electronically to help prevent fraud.
Term: Mobile Satellite Service Description: Powerful communications transmission service provided by satellites. A single satellite can provide coverage to the whole United States.
Term: Mobile Telephone Switching Office Description: The central switch that controls the entire operation of a cellular system. It is a sophisticated computer that monitors all cellular calls, tracks the location of all cellular-equipped vehicles traveling in the system, arranges handoffs, keeps track of billing information, etc.
Term: Modem Pools Description: Racks of modems used to deliver reliable cellular data communications.
Term: Multipath Propagation Description: Signal distortion when a signal is reflected from nearby surfaces on its way to a receiver.
Term: Multiplexing Description: When multiple phone calls are carried in the same frequency band at the same time. In wireless, major multiplexing methods include TDMA and CDMA.
Term: Mutual Compensation Description: The concept that carriers must pay when they terminate traffic on the networks of carriers with which they are interconnected.
Term: Mutually Exclusive Applications Description: Two or more applications for the same spectrum use rights.
Term: Narrowband Advanced Mobile Phone System Description: Combines cellular voice processing with digital signaling, increasing the capacity of AMPS systems and adding functionality.
Term: Narrowband PCS Description: The next generation of paging networks, including two-way, acknowledgment and "wireless answering machine" paging.
Term: National Emergency Numbering Association Description: NENA's mission is to foster the technological advancement, availability and implementation of a universal emergency telephone number system.
Term: National Telecommunications and Information Administration Description: The federal government's executive branch advisory committee for telecommunications.
Term: Network Description: Any system that was designed to provide one or more access paths for communication between users at different geographic locations. Communication networks may be designed for voice, text, data, fax and video. They may feature limited access (private networks) or open access (public networks), and will rely upon whatever analog or digital switching and transmission technologies are appropriate.
Term: Nickel Cadmium Battery Description: A rechargeable battery that typically lasts for 700 charge and discharge cycles. If not completely discharged before recharging, the NiCd battery can suffer from memory effect that may reduce the life of the battery. Non-Ionizing Radiation: Levels of electromagnetic radiation that is too low to strip electrons away from their normal locations in atoms and molecules.
Term: Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Description: A rechargeable battery that is capable of holding more power that a NiCd battery and suffers much less from memory effect. It is also typically more expensive than a NiCd battery.
Term: Nordic Mobile Telephone Description: An older analog cellular protocol used in Europe and elsewhere.
Term: North American Cellular Network Description: An organization of cellular providers that facilitates cellular calls across the country to be linked for seamless roaming.
Term: North American Numbering Council Description: The FCC advisory group formerly responsible for administering the North American Numbering Plan that oversees assignment of area codes, central office codes and other numbering issues in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and part of the Caribbean. NANC administration responsibility was transferred to Lockheed Martin.
Term: Number Assignment Module Description: The NAM is the electronic memory in the cellular phone that stores the telephone number and an electronic serial number. Phones with dual- or multi-NAM features offer users the option of registering the phone with a local number in more than one market.
Term: Number Pooling Description: Increasingly popular tactic for conserving phone numbers. Numbers are returned by all carriers to a central authority, which puts them in a pool, from which carriers receive numbers in lots of 1,000, not 10,000 as was originally done. Smaller lots of numbers reduce their cost and maximize the availability of new numbers to meet public demand.
Term: Number Portability Description: A term used to describe the capability of individuals, businesses and organizations to retain their existing telephone number(s) –– and the same quality of service –– when switching to a new local service provider.
Term: Off-Peak Description: Periods of time during which carriers offer discounted airtime charges. Each carrier designates its own off-peak hours, usually after normal business hours during the week, and weekends.
Term: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 Description: The first legislation authorizing the FCC to auction spectrum.
Term: Operators Harmonization Group Description: A worldwide organization of operators and manufacturers dedicated to achieving a uniform standard for third-generation wireless systems.
Term: Overlay Area Code Description: A solution to the scarcity of new phone numbers, overlays involve issuance of new 10-digit phone numbers for use alongside an area's existing seven-digit numbers, which have a different area code.
Term: Over-The-Air Service Provisioning Description: The ability of carriers to add new types of services to a customer's handset by using the wireless network instead of requiring the customer to bring the phone to a carrier's location for reprogramming.
Term: Partitioning Description: Dividing a spectrum license into two or more geographic areas.
Term: PCS Phone Description: A wireless telephone that uses radiofrequency signals in the 1850-1990 megahertz (MHz) portion of the radiofrequency (RF) spectrum. PCS stands for portable communication system.
Term: Peak Description: Highest-usage period of the business day when a cellular system carries the most calling traffic.
Term: Penetration Description: The total number of subscribers for a carrier divided by the population that it serves expressed as a percentage.
Term: Personal Communications Industry Association Description: A trade group representing PCS, SMR, private radio and other wireless users and carriers.
Term: Personal Communications Service Description: A second-generation digital voice, messaging and data cell phone system in the 2GHz range. PCS is supported mostly by GSM. PCS systems use a different radio frequency (1.9 GHz band) than cellular phones and generally use all digital technology for transmission and reception. "Digital PCS" is a redundancy, as all PCS are digital, but the phrase is used in marketing to distinguish PCS from cellular.
Term: Personal Digital Cellular Description: The Japanese cellular standard.
Term: Personal Identification Number Description: A code used by a mobile telephone number in conjunction with an SIM card to complete a call.
Term: PIN Unblocking Key Description: If a GSM or GAIT subscriber enters the wrong PIN three times in a row, then the wireless mobile phone is locked until the PUK is entered.
Term: Project 25 Description: A joint government/industry standard setting effort to develop technical standards for the next generation of two-way communications equipment.
Term: Public Switched Telephone Network Description: Traditional landline network that mobile wireless systems connect with to complete calls.
Term: Public Utility Commission Description: The state regulatory body charged with regulating utilities, including telecommunications.
Term: Public-Safety Answering Point Description: The dispatch office that receives 911 calls from the public. A PSAP may be local fire or police department, an ambulance service or a regional office covering all services.
Term: Pull SMS Description: The ability to request services (e.g. ringtones or games) from a wireless handset via Wireless Internet. The service requested is sent back to the handset via SMS.
Term: Push SMS Description: The ability to request services (e.g. ringtones or games) from a wireless handset via sending a preset SMS code to a predetermined number. The service requested is sent back to the handset via SMS.
Term: Radiation Description: The emission and transmission of energy through space or through a material medium.
Term: Radio Frequency Description: The spectrum of electromagnetic energy between audio and light: 500 KHz to 300 GHz.
Term: Radio Waves Description: Electromagnetic energy with frequencies in the 3000 hertz (3 kHz) to 300 billion Hertz (300 GHz) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Term: Radio-Frequency Fingerprinting Description: A process that identifies a cellular phone by the unique "fingerprint" that characterizes its signal transmission. RF fingerprinting is one process used to prevent cloning fraud, because a cloned phone will not have the same fingerprint as the legal phone with the same electronic identification numbers.
Term: Rate Center Description: The geographic area used by local exchange carriers to set rate boundaries for billing and for issuing phone numbers.
Term: Repeater Description: Device that receives a radio signal, amplifies it and retransmits it in a new direction. Used in wireless networks to extend the range of base station signals, expanding coverage more economically than building additional base stations. Repeaters typically are used for buildings, tunnels or difficult terrain.
Term: Roaming Description: The ability to use your cellular phone outside your usual service area – when traveling outside of the "home" service area defined by a service provider. Higher per-minute rates are usually charged for calls made or received while roaming. Long distance rates and a daily access fee may also apply.
Term: Roaming Agreement Description: An agreement between two or more wireless telephone companies outlining the terms and conditions under which the participating companies will provide wireless service to each others subscribers. Roaming agreements commonly are used where no one company can offer complete national and international coverage.
Term: Round-Up Calls/Billing Description: When calls are billed by the minute, any call that uses a portion of a minute is rounded up and billed for the whole minute. For example, if you make a call that lasts 3 minutes and 2 seconds, you are billed for a 4-minute call.
Term: S-Band Description: The frequency spectrum near 2 GHz used for land based microwave and some mobile satellite communications.
Term: Service Charge Description: The amount customers pay each month to receive wireless service. This amount is fixed, and to be paid monthly regardless of how much or how little customers use their wireless phones.
Term: Service Plan Description: The rate plan you select when choosing a wireless phone service. A service plan typically consists of a monthly base rate for access to the system and a fixed amount of minutes per month. Service plans are designed to provide the most cost-effective rates for different types and amounts of usage by the cellular subscriber.
Term: Short Message Service Description: The transmission of short alphanumeric text-messages to and from a mobile phone, fax machine and/or IP address. Messages must be no longer than 160 alphanumeric characters and contain no images or graphics. Once a message is sent, it is received by a Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which must then get it to the appropriate mobile device.
Term: Short Message Service Center Description: The hardware device submitting the messages. Currently, SMSC devices support binary formats.
Term: SIM Card Description: A small printed circuit board that must be inserted in any GSM-based mobile phone when signing on as a subscriber. It contains subscriber details, security information and memory for a personal directory of numbers. The card can be a small plug-in type or sized as a credit-card but has the same functionality. The SIM card also stores data that identifies the caller to the network service provider.
Term: Simple Network Paging Protocol Description: A sequence of commands and replies where pages are delivered to individual paging terminals. The most obvious benefit is the elimination of the need for modems and phone lines to produce alphanumeric pages, and the ease of delivery of pages to terminals in other cities or countries.
Term: Simulcast Description: A signaling technique that broadcasts the same signal over multiple sites in a network.
Term: Sleep Mode Description: Designed to conserve battery life, this mode automatically turns off a terminal after it has been unused for a specified period of time. The unit is reactivated when the keypad is touched.
Term: Smart Antenna Description: An antenna system that focuses its beam on a desired signal to reduce interference. A wireless network employs smart antennas at its base stations in an effort to reduce the number of dropped calls, improve call quality and improve channel capacity.
Term: Smart Card Description: A plastic card containing important data about a person's identity to allow access to a network or premises. Also, a card containing subscriber information, often inserted into GSM phones for roaming in different countries.
Term: Smart Phone Description: A class of wireless phone handsets with many features, and often a keyboard. What makes the phone "smart" is its ability to handle data, not only voice calls.
Term: Soft Handoff Description: When two base stations -- one in the cell site where the phone is located and the other in the cell site to which the conversation is being passed - both hold onto the call until the handoff is completed. The first cell site does not cut off the conversation until it receives information that the second is maintaining the call.
Term: Soft Key Description: A key below the phone's main display panel that performs special functions.
Term: Space Division Multiple Access Description: A variation of TDMA and CDMA that potentially will be used in high-bandwidth, third-generation wireless products.
Term: Specialized Mobile Radio Description: Dispatch service ("walkie-talkie-type" service used by taxis, delivery trucks, etc.). SMR providers in the United States operate in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz frequency bands.
Term: Specific Absorption Rate Description: A measure of the rate at which RF energy is absorbed by the body.
Term: Spectrum Description: The range of electromagnetic radio frequencies used in the transmission of sound, data and television.
Term: Spectrum Allocation Description: Federal government assignment of a range of frequencies for a category of use or uses. For example, the FCC allocated the 1900 MHz band for personal communications services. Allocation, accomplished in FCC proceedings, tracks new technology development. However, the FCC can shift existing allocations to respond to changes in spectrum demand.
Term: Spectrum Assignment Description: Federal government authorization for use of specific frequencies or frequency pairs within a given allocation, at specific geographic locations.
Term: Spectrum Cap Description: A limit to the allocated spectrum designated for a specific service.
Term: Spread Spectrum Description: Initially devised for military use, this radio transmission technology "spreads" information over greater bandwidth than necessary to resist jamming and other interference.
Term: Standby Time Description: The amount of time you can leave your fully charged cellular portable or transportable phone turned on before the phone will completely discharge the batteries. See Talk Time.
Term: Stratospheric Platform Description: Blimp-like platform for wireless telephone service in urban areas.
Term: Strongest Signal Description: The concept that a wireless 911 call should be routed to the cell site with the strongest link to the phone, regardless of which carrier holds the caller as a customer. A shortcoming is that strength of the call's setup link isn't always equal to that of the link the cell assigns for voice traffic because the latter can be weaker.
Term: Subscriber Fraud Description: Securing wireless service with intent to avoid payment. This is different from bad debt, which occurs when a known person or company has a payment obligation overdue and the debt cannot be collected.
Term: Subscriber Identity Module Description: A card inserted into a GSM/TDMA or GSM-only handset containing subscriber-related data. The card contains 18 digits for GSM markets and 20 digits for TDMA markets.
Term: Subscriber Profiling Description: Compiling subscriber usage information (such as frequency of calls, locations called to or from and monthly airtime usage), to identify potentially fraudulent use or to identify customers likely to terminate service. This information can also be used to target customers when marketing a carrier's product and service offerings.
Term: Switch Description: A mechanical, electrical or electronic device that opens or closes circuits, completes or breaks an electrical path, or selects paths or circuits.
Term: Talk Time Description: The length of time you can talk on your portable or transportable cellular phone without recharging the battery. The battery capacity of a cellular portable or transportable is usually expressed in terms of so many minutes of talk time or so many hours of standby time. When you're talking, the phone draws additional power from the battery. See Standby Time.
Term: TD-CDMA Description: A 3G proposal combining elements of TDMA and CDMA.
Term: Telecommunications Description: The transmission of words, sounds, or images, usually over great distances, in the form of electromagnetic energy, for example by telegraph, telephone, radio, or television.
Term: Telecommunications Industry Association Description: The United States' telecommunications standards making body.
Term: Telematics Description: The integration of wireless communications, vehicle monitoring systems and location devices.
Term: Telematics Control Unit Description: The embedded vehicle control unit that communicates with the automobile controls, GPS satellite and customer service center to provide Telematics features to a driver.
Term: Telephone Network Description: The system of wires, fiber-optic cables, satellites, and transmission towers that transmit telephone messages from caller to receiver.
Term: Telephone Transmission Tower Description: A telephone base station located on top of a tall, free-standing structure.
Term: Telephony Description: Originally meaning voice (analog) communication by telephone (land line), this term has come to encompass virtually all telecommunications, because virtually all telecommunications can be done over or while connected to a telephone line.
Term: Termination Charges Description: Fees that wireless telephone companies pay to complete calls on wireline phone networks or vice versa.
Term: Third Generation Description: A new wireless standard promising increased capacity and high-speed data applications up to two megabits. Third generation wireless employ wideband frequency carriers and a CDMA air interface. Networks must be able to transmit wireless data at 144 kilobits per second at mobile user speeds. Implemented in Europe as UMTS and CDMA2000 in North America, its goals are high-quality multimedia and advanced global roaming (in house, cellular, satellite, etc.).
Term: Time Division Multiple Access Description: A method of digital wireless communications transmission allowing a large number of users to access a single radio-frequency channel without interference. Each user is given a unique time slot within each channel. SMS Mobile Originate has now gone live on several TDMA networks around the world including Telecom New Zealand, Midwest Wireless USA, Algar Telecom Brazil and Cellcom Israel. Other TDMA network operators such as AT&T Wireless in the U.S. have launched SMS nationally.
Term: Total Access Communication System Description: European analog cellular.
Term: Transceiver Description: Equipment to handle the broadcast and reception of radio signals with network or subscriber equipment.
Term: Triangulation Description: The process of pinning down a caller's location using three or more radio receivers, a compass and a map.
Term: Tri-Band Description: A network infrastructure or wireless phone designed to operate in three frequency bands: 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800MHz.
Term: Tri-Mode Description: Phones that work on three modes GSM, TDMA and analog.
Term: Trunking Description: Spectrum-efficient technology that establishes a queue to handle demand for voice or data channels.
Term: Universal Mobile Telecommunications System Description: The goal of UMTS is to enable networks that offer true global roaming and can support a wide range of voice, data and multimedia services. A new-generation technology for rapidly moving data and multimedia over wireless devices. The European implementation of the 3G wireless phone system, UMTS provides service in the 2GHz band and offers global roaming and personalized features; designed as an evolutionary system for GSM network operators, multimedia data rates offered by UMTS are: vehicular - 144 kbit/s; pedestrian 384 kbit/s; in-building 2Mb/s.
Term: Universal Wireless Communications Consortium Description: An industry group supporting TDMA and WIN technology.
Term: Uplink Description: The portion of a telecommunications path from the ground to the satellite, also referred to as the forward link.
Term: UWC-136 Description: A third-generation wireless standard proposal based on TDMA technology that was developed by the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium and is one of the 3G candidates submitted to the International Telecommunication Union by the United States. UWC-136 represents an evolutionary path for both the old analog Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) and the second-generation TIA/EIA-136 technologies, which were designed specifically for compatibility with AMPS. UWC-136 radio transmission technology proposes a low-cost incremental, evolutionary deployment path for both AMPS and TIA/EIA operators. The technology is tolerant of the frequency band in which it is deployed: 500 MHz to 2.5 GHz.
Term: Visitor Location Register Description: A network database that holds information about roaming wireless customers.
Term: Voice Activation Description: A convenient safety feature that allows a subscriber to dial a phone by voice instead of physically punching in the numbers.
Term: Voice Recognition Description: The capability for cellular phones, PCs and other communications devices to be activated or controlled by voice commands.
Term: Wavelength Description: The distance covered by one cycle of a wave.
Term: Wideband CDMA Description: A 3G mobile services platform, based on modern, layered network-protocol structure, similar to the protocol structure used in GSM networks. WCDMA has been designed for high-speed data services and more particularly, internet-based packet-data offering up to 2Mbps in stationary or office environments, and up to 384Kbps in wide area or mobile environments. The third generation radio standard that will offer voice, data, motion-video and other multimedia capabilities, and increases data transmission rates in GSM systems by using CDMA instead of TDMA. WCDMA has become the Direct Sequence (DS) mode in the ITU's 3G specification, which includes the 1X Multi-Carrier mode (1X MC) and 3X Multi-Carrier mode (3X MC). 1X MC (formerly known as cdma2000) and 3X MC comprise the 3G upgrade path for carriers already using CDMA (cdmaOne).
Term: Wideband Packet CDMA Description: A technical proposal from Golden Bridge Technology that wraps WCDMA and cdma2000 into one standard.
Term: Wireless Application Protocol Description: An open standard for communication between handsets and the Internet. WAP is a wireless communications environment for delivering web data to wireless terminals with minimal screen display. An initiative started by Unwired Planet, Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson to develop a standard for wireless content delivery on the next generation of mobile communicators. WAP strips all but graphics for display on small screens, such as mobile phones. A mini-browser is an integral part of WAP enabled phones. WAP enabled phones first appeared in Europe at the end of 1999.
Term: Wireless Communications Services Description: The variety of services available using frequencies in the 2.3 GHz band for general fixed wireless use.
Term: Wireless Instant Messaging Description: Bridges the gap between wired and wireless networks. WIM seamlessly allows a desktop user to instantly send a message to a handset.
Term: Wireless Intelligent Network Description: The architecture needed to match the capabilities of the wireline intelligent network. In addition to transparent roaming, selective call screening, short message service and pre-paid billing are features that a WIN can provide.
Term: Wireless Markup Language/Script Description: The languages used to create WAP pages. WML is similar to the way HTML is used to create web pages and WMLScript is based on JavaScript. Both are adapted and optimized for a wireless environment (compression to save bandwidth).
Term: Wireless Telephone Base Station Description: The combination of antennas and electronic equipment used to receive and transmit wireless telephone signals. Sometimes called a base station.
Term: Wireless Transport Layer Security Description: The security layer of the WAP which provides privacy, data integrity and authentication for WAP services. WTLS, designed specifically for the wireless environment, is needed for the client and server to be authenticated in order for wireless transactions to remain secure and also because the connection needs to be encrypted. For example, a user making a transaction with a bank over a wireless device needs to know that the connection is secure and private and not subject to a security breach during transfer. WTLS is needed because mobile networks do not provide complete end-to-end security.
Term: Wireline Description: Traditional telephone technology that relies upon wires. Also called land line.