LG MS25 Genius
If you've had a cell phone for more than a week, you've no doubt heard the term GSM bandied about at least once before. But what does GSM stand for and how does it affect you as a mobile phone user? The short version is that GSM is a global standard for wireless data transmission and communication over the airwaves. Used widely throughout Europe as well as the Western industrialized world, it was created in 1982 to codify and streamline protocols for wireless communication methods specifically related to cell phone technology.
Mobile phones that utilize GSM technology are considered second generation or 2G, because they process signaling and speech channels in a digital fashion, rather than in analog mode. A third generation or 3G phone differs from a 2G device by offering higher speed data transfers that allows phones to handle streaming video and audio, as well as surf the web and download large files. The 3G EDGE, or Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution network, was built on the GSM standard and is the most cutting edge system widely available today. An advantage of GSM over competing technologies is the SIM card, which allows a user to easily switch between phone models and even service providers without losing personal information.
As the mobile telephone standard used by around 80% of the world's cellular telephone customers totaling more than 3 billion people, GSM compliant devices allow users to roam across wide areas and still receive service through any number of different providers at an additional cost thanks to agreements between service providers, as long as they have a quad-band model. It also tends to provide wider coverage and better reception in rural areas with fewer towers. Though originally only popular in Europe, GSM has become a favored standard both in the United States and around the world.