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Wireless Glossary of Terms
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service): A packet technology approach that enables high-speed wireless Internet and other GSM-based data communications. It makes very efficient use of available radio spectrum for transmission of data.
GPS (Global Positioning System): A worldwide satellite navigational system, made up of a constellation of satellites orbiting the earth and their receivers on the earth's surface. The GPS satellites continuously transmit digital radio signals, with information used in location tracking, navigation and other location or mapping technologies.
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications): A technological approach also based on dividing wireless calls into time slots. GSM is most common in Europe, Australia and much of Asia and Africa. Generally, GSM phones from the United States are not compatible with international GSM networks because the U.S. and many other nations use different frequencies for mobile communications. However, some phones are equipped with a multi-band capability to operate on such other frequencies. In the U.S., GSM carriers include: AT&T, DoCoMo Pacific, GCI Communications, TerreStar, Westlink and T-Mobile.
Hacking: Illicitly exploiting a weakness in a networked information system to access or alter data or interfere with network or device functions. A hacker may be motivated by a number of factors, such as the challenge or profit.
Handoff: The process when a wireless network automatically switches a mobile call to an adjacent cell site.
HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data): In using HSCSD a permanent connection is established between the called and calling parties for the exchange of data. As it is circuit switched, HSCSD is more suited to applications such as videoconferencing and multimedia than 'bursty' type applications such as email, which are more suited to packet switched data.
HSPA (High Speed Packet Access): The third generation of GSMA technology. The U.S. had 24 million subscribers out of the 200 million total which means the U.S. had 24 percent of all HSPA subscribers in the world for 2Q 2009.
iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network): A specialized mobile technology that combines two-way radio, telephone, text messaging and data transmission into one digital network. iDEN is designed to give users quick access to information on a single device. Introduced by Motorola and used by AirTel Montana, Nextel Communications, Nextel Partners, and Southern LINC Wireless, among others.
IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identitifier): A unique number placed on and within a mobile device by its manufacturer. It is used within a wireless network to identify and confirm the device. The IMEI standards are defined by 3GPP in Technical Standard 21.905.
Interconnection: Connecting one network to another, such as a wireless network to a local telephone company's wireline network.
Interoperability: The ability of a network to coordinate and communicate with other networks, such as two systems based on different protocols or technologies.
Jailbreaking: Involves removing software controls imposed by the operating system by manipulating the hardware and/or software coded onto the device.
Last Updated: October 2012