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GSM vs. CDMA. Comparing the two most prevalent mobile communication technologies. What is …?. GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) Based on TDMA technology Mainly used in Europe, Middle-east and Africa. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) Based on a spread-spectrum technology

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gsm vs cdma

GSM vs. CDMA

Comparing the two most prevalent mobile communication technologies

what is
What is …?
  • GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication)
    • Based on TDMA technology
    • Mainly used in Europe, Middle-east and Africa
  • CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
    • Based on a spread-spectrum technology
    • Mainly used in North America
technology fdma

Power

Time

CH 3

Frequency

CH 4

Technology: FDMA
  • Transmission over Radio Frequency (800MHz – 1900MHz)
  • Frequency Division Multiple Access
    • An analog system. Each user is given one channel (i.e., one frequency). Bad utilisation.

CH 2

CH 1

technology tdma
GSM uses TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access)

CDMA is a "spread spectrum" technology, allowing many users to occupy the same time and frequency allocations in a given band/space.

Each mobile station has a unique digital code. The signals are spread over the entire spectrum of 1.25MHz unlike FDMA/TDMA.

Technology: TDMA

Power

Time

Frequency

Channel 3

Channel 4

Channel 1

Channel 2

spectrum
Spectrum
  • Mobile communication uses Radio Frequency (RF)
  • GSM uses frequencies 824 – 849 MHz (25 MHz band) and 869 – 895 MHz (25 MHz band)
cellular architecture
Cellular Architecture

HLR

BSC

A

Abis

VLR

Um

PSTN

MSC

BSC

EIR

AuC

BTS

Mobile Station

Base Station Subsystem

Network Subsystem

cells

Cell Site

Cells
  • The coverage area is divided into hexagonal cells
  • A BTS is situated at three of the vertices of each cell
  • In USA, the spectrum in each cell is divided into two bands: A-band and B-band, each 25 MHz
  • Each 25 MHz band is divided into 832 30 kHz channels
  • Two channels separated by 45 MHz

forms a full-duplex channel

  • The number of channels used in a cell

varies from as low as 4 to as many as 80

gsm frames and burst periods
GSM Frames and Burst periods

BP – Burst Period

TCH – Traffic Channel

SACCH – Assoc. Control Channel

handover handoff
Handover/Handoff
  • Internal Handovers (only one BSC involved)
    • Channels in the same cell
    • Cells under the same BSC
  • External Handovers (involved the MSC)
    • Cells under different BSCs under the same MSC
    • Cells under different MSCs (anchor MSC and relay MSC)
  • Techniques used:
    • Minimum acceptable performance: increase power i.s.o. handover
    • Power budget: handover i.s.o. increasing power
services
Services
  • SMS (Short Message Service) http://www.gsmworld.com/technology/sms/intro.shtml
  • Facsimile (for receiving fax on a mobile station)
  • WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) – a standard to let wireless equipment access the Internet. A Wireless Markup Language (WML) is used to encode the pages instead of HTML.
  • MMS (Multimedia Message Service)
  • EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM evolution)
  • The ever elusive “Killer app”
history and proponents
Group Spéciale Mobile

Cellular services started in Europe in 1982

13 operators in Europe sign a MoU in 1987

Radiolinja Oy became the first GSM network operator in 1992

cdmaOne (2G)

IS-95A (First CDMA cellular standard)

First deployed in Sep 1996 by Hutchison

IS-95B (2.5G)

First deployed in Sep 1999 in Korea

CDMA2000 (3G)

CDMA2000 1X (Phase 1)

Deployed in Korea in 2000

CDMA2000 1x EV-DO

CDMA2000 1x EV-DV

History and proponents
standards and standardization
GSM coordinated by 3GPP

Release 99

Release 4 (was Release 2000)

W-CDMA (Widebad CDMA) coordinated by 3GPP2

B-CDMA (Broadband CDMA)

cdmaOne (2G)

IS-95A

1.25MHz CDMA channels

circuit switched data connections at 14.4kbps

IS-95B (2.5G)

CDMA2000 (3G)

CDMA2000 1X (Phase 1)

Standards and standardization
glossary
Glossary
  • GPRS – General Packet Radio Service; GPRS represents first implementation of packet switching within GSM, precursor to 3G
  • GGSN – Gateway GPRS Support Node; the gateway between the cellular network and the IP network
references
References
  • GSM Association website, at http://www.gsmworld.com
  • CDMA Development group, at http://www.cdg.com
  • UMTS World, at http://www.umtsworld.com
  • How Stuff Works: Cell Phones, at http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cell-phone.htm
  • Cellular Telephone Basics, at http://www.privateline.com/Cellbasics/Cellbasics.html
  • GSM overview, at http://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/~jscouria/GSM/gsmreport.html