20th Anniversary of GSM Mobile
September 7th, 1987 was the day that the mobile phone industry as we know it was born. 20 years ago, 15 companies signed a pact agreeing to build networks based upon a set of standards known as GSM.
GSM is the underlying technology for AT&T, T-Mobile, and most overseas operators around the world, including O2, Vodaphone, and Orange. According to the GSM Association, there are over 2.5 billion subscribers in 218 countries with more than 700 network operators. GSM technologies make up 85 percent of the world’s mobile communications market, meaning that it’s your only option for true globe trotting communications freedom.
That said, the competing technology, CDMA, is used in much of the world as well, including Korea, New Zealand, and the United States (where it handles the calls and data of Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS). But CDMA only got its start a year later, in 1988. Regardless, GSM wasn’t the first on the block, either, since analog forms of cell technology first emerged in the early 1980s.
The adoption of GSM standards shows no sign of slowing as more countries come online and existing companies expand their networks. Robert Conway, head of the GSM Association, says that adoption of GSM has outpaced expectations and he fully expects the technology to expand into other outlets. He also hopes to see it used in the medical field and even be integrated into clothing.
Courtesy- BBC News
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