UMTS -- Taking Wireless to the Streets


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Below I will explain the following important cell phone terms.

What is UMTS? Universal mobile telephone service.

What is GSM? Global system for mobile communications. I quickly learned that with all the trips I take to Asia and Europe having a phone with GSM was critical. GSM means Global System for Mobile Communications and is a digital format used widely in Europe and Asia. In the U. S. only T-Mobile and some AT& T and Cingular phones use GSM. It keeps calls separate by assigning a slice of time to each carrier. What is GPRS? General packet radio service.

What is CDMA? Code division multiple access is a digital format used by Sprint, Verizon wireless and some other regional carriers. CDMA is incompatible with other digital formats. With CDMA each caller is assigned additional code to separate the calls. Below is a chart that explains the typical speed of downloading data from the Internet and the network providing it.

TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access. The digital format used mainly by AT&T Wireless and Cingular. TDMA is incompatible with other digital formats. TDMA is similar to GSM. SMS: Short Message Service is also known as text messaging. With SMS I can send a short text message from one cell phone to another or from the Internet to a cell phone. This is great for attending trade shows. I use it to send a quick message to clients about meeting for coffee, or at their booth.

Network download speed (kbps)

GPRS 30 to 40

Edge 70 to 130

UMTS 220 to 320

HSDPA 400 to 700

What do all the letters mean? i HOPE I have explained the cell phone network terms clearly for you. If you are business cellular phone subscriber, you will want to have Internet download speeds ranging from 400 - 700 kB per second. This will be the fastest available cellular broad brand technology allowing you to experience the same Internet speeds as if you were at home on a wired network. The advantage of being on a UMTS And HSDPA network is you would be able to make data calls as well of voice calls at the same time on your mobile. If for example you have a smart phone that is on the HSDPA network you'll also be able to access any type of Internet information as well as using your smart phone as a cell phone. Also, the other benefit is the cost savings from the carrier's point of view. Not only is there an increased efficiency because both the voice and data is able to go on a single UMTS network, but many cell phone subscribers will love the savings.

If you are impatient, you probably would not be happy with the speed of the GPRS network at only 35 kB per second, it is like watching a snail perform a 4 minute run when downloading only 1 megabyte file. You will be perhaps happier with the enhanced data rates for GSM evolution or EDGE service by Cingular wireless. The typical download speed is from 70 to 130 kB per second. Therefore allowing you to download photos, send photo messaging, access high-speed color Internet access, send or receive video and music clips, and access your e-mail. This is ideal for business people, because the download speeds are much faster than dial-up. If you are working in an corporate environment, Cingular wireless is currently offering a nationwide EDGE /WiFi service that allows you to truly experience what is is like to access your email and surf the interent on your mobile smart phone or blackberry device 24 hours a day seven days a week anywhere you can pick up a cellular signal.

What are some of the exciting applications of the higher download speed using the Universal mobile telephone service? With download speed between 220 - 320 kB per second, mobile subscribers will be able to use video to monitor their brand-new baby sitter that they have just hired for the first-time, be able to watch digital TV, be able to listen to digital radio and be able to listen to video on demand or music on demand.

GPRS is the slowest data service on GSM phones. The download speed is only 35 kB per second which is comparable to dial-up Internet access. It is painfully slow compared to a modem cable Internet connection. However for a lot of non-business users, it is the only affordable option. For example, for folks who own blackberry devices, PDAs or Treo Palm one devices, they would typically subscribe to a GPRS network which allows them to have text messaging, e-mail and basic wireless application protocol Internet browsing for a similar price that they would be paying for their cell phone service calling plans.

To make this a bit easier to understand, below is an example of how long it takes to download 1 MB(megabyte) file using the different networks.

If you are on the, GPRS - it would take a full four minutes to download 1 MB file which to me is a very long time.

If you are on a 2.5 EDGE - that same file will take 60 seconds to download.

If you are on any, UMTS (Universal mobile telephone service) - a 1 MB file would take only 40 seconds to download.

If you are on a 3, HSDPA - it would only take 15 seconds to download a one megabyte file. That is significant compared to a full four minutes on a

3.5 G. Network is in development, and the download speeds would be comparable to what you would get if you were at home or office and you subscribed to a cable modem broadband Internet service. On a 3.5 G. Network you'll be able to watch a TV program, download any CD-quality audio and play video games with other portable wireless devices on your smart phone or tv or mp3 cell phone.

According to Cingular wireless, UMTS is available in only six cities currently: Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Detroit and Dallas. By early 2006, the above cities will be upgraded to HSDPA. And eventually there will be 15 to 20 cities where Cingular wireless will offer UMTS/HSdPA.

Learning the cell phone language has brought me in touch with what my own cellular needs are as well as for my clients. Most of the work I do is from my vehicle, so I can't wait until a nationwide carrier will be able to offer wireless Internet access while I'm traveling in my car at 60 kph. I currently own a PDA as well as a cell phone, at the end of the day I feel like a clown performing a juggling act.

Source: Pocket PC November 2005, Consumer Reports digital buying guide 2004.

Copyright © Rene Tse, the owner of the website: Free cellular Phone Deals

Rene is on the look out for mobile devices to enhance her productivity. This website cuts to the chase and has valued information on: free cell phone with high speed connection speeds, family plans cell phones , and which is the best data wireless plan option for your Pocket PC or smart phone.

I grant permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with 2 live links, and the article is not changed in any way.


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