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German Way - Glossary of german cellphone terms
Category: History and Culture > Glossary of german cellphone terms
Date & country: 19/11/2010, DE
Words: 20

German for `rechargeable battery” (accumulator)

Advanced Mobile Phone System - an analog system once used in the US and Canada. It has largely been replaced by digital cell phone systems.

an older German analog mobile phone network now limited almost exclusively to car phones. This system was retired at the end of 2000.

Code Division Multiple Access - one of two digital cellular standards used primarily in North America. CDMA is a digital technology developed and supported by the US company Qualcomm. See GSM and TDMA.

Digital network used by the two competing companies T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom, D1-Netz) and Vodafone (D2-Netz) in Germany.

das Handy
German for cellular/wireless phone

dual-band / tri-band phones
To cope with various systems operating at different frequencies (or even analog vs. digital systems), phone makers have developed dual-band or multi-band phones that can automatically switch among the various bands or systems.

A German digital mobile phone network started in 1994. This high density system allows cell phones to function at a low wattage of from .25 to one watt of power. The first provider to use the E-Netz was E-Plus.

Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution (or GSM Evolution) - A 2.5G high-speed digital data service provided by cellular carriers worldwide that use the GSM technology, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. Also called Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), EDGE works on EDGE cell phones as well as laptops and portable devices that have EDGE modems. EDGE is not as fast as the newer UMTS/3G (see below).

For cellular use, usually measured in megahertz (MHz). Often a single system (GSM, PCS, etc.) may operate at different frequencies. Germany's D-Netz (D1 and D2) is in the 900 MHz band, while the E-Netz operates at 1800 MHz. In North America there are PCS networks operating at 800 MHz and 1900 MHz. See `dual-band phones.” Note: the term "hertz" (cycles per second) is named for German scientist H...

General Packet Radio Service - The first high-speed digital data service provided by cellular carriers that used the GSM technology. GPRS added a packet-switched channel to GSM, which uses dedicated, circuit-switched channels for voice conversations. It was replaced by EDGE, and improved version of the technology. UMTS is the 3G and fastest high-speed data service.

Global System for Mobile communications, a digital cellular system found in almost all of Europe, parts of Asia, and parts of North America. GSM is a system developed by the Swedish firm Ericsson, one of the world's largest makers of wireless phones. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM in North America (but on different frequencies than European GSM). See CDMA and TDMA

A world-wide satellite telephone system that uses low-orbit satellites to provide universal global communications coverage. Iridium's original high cost and poor service almost led to the company's collapse in 1999. A reorganized Iridium now offers very competitive rates and smaller phones. Other satellite phone services include Globalstar and ICO/Ellipse.

Megahertz, 1 million cycles per second (Also see "frequency")

Personal Communications Service - A digital mobile phone system begun in the US in 1996 and increasingly used in North America and Europe. Most PCS networks (similar to GSM) use radio spectrum in the 1.8-2GHz range.

satellite mobile phones
Several worldwide satellite telephone systems use low-orbiting or geostationary satellites to provide global or partial global coverage in places that have no other wireless phone service (60 percent of the globe). These sat phone services include Iridium, Globalstar and ICO/Ellipse.

Subscriber Identity Module - a smart card technology used exclusively with GSM-based networks. Using a postage-stamp size chip card, a GSM phone can be programmed to work with more than one phone number.

Time Division Multiple Access - one of two digital cellular standards used primarily in North America. See GSM and CDMA

United Mobile Telecommunication System - A broadband cell phone system that went into service in 2002. It is designed to allow much faster data transmission speeds than previous digital wireless services. UMTS is the GSM implementation of the 3G wireless phone system and provides service in the 2GHz band. For more information, visit Also see 3G and GSM.

Wireless Access Protocol is a technology that allows cell phones to display specially formatted Web sites on a small screen. WAP was slow to catch on because it was slow and very limited graphically. For these reasons only some Web sites are available in WAP format. New PDAs, smartphones and the iPhone probably spell the end of WAP.