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ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line)   A method  to increase transmission speed in a copper cable. ADSL facilitates the division of capacity into a channel with higher speed to the subscriber, typically for video transmission & a channel with significantly lower speed in the other direction.

AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System)    The original standard specification for analog systems. Used primarily in North America, Latin America, Australia & parts of Russia and Asia.

Analog system  the simple way to transmit speech. The first networks for mobile phones were analog. Analog systems include AMPS, NMT and ETACS.

Asynchronous A type of transmission in which each character is transmitted independently without reference to a standard clock. Can also mean that there are different capacities for data transfer in each direction, for example the old 90/200 baud modems and the new ADSL.

Asynchronous mode    A standard for data transmission where each data package has a start and stop bit. See also synchronous mode.

ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)  A technology for broadband transmission of high-capacity telecommunications signals. In addition to high-capacity signal transmission, ATM provides considerable flexibility,  since the individual subscriber  is able to adapt the capacity of a switched connection to current requirements.

AXE An open architecture, Ericsson’s communications platform. A system for computer controlled digital exchanges that constitute the nodes in large public telecommunications networks. The basis for Ericsson’s wireline and mobile systems.


bandwidth    The information-carrying capacity, of a communications channel. Usually expressed in Hertz (cycles per second) for analog circuits and in bits per second  (bps) for digital circuits.

Base station The central radio transmitter/receiver that maintains communications with a mobile radiotelephone with a given range.

Bluetooth A radio technology developed by Ericsson and other companies built around a new chip that makes it possible to transmit signals over short distances between Telephones, printers, PDA's, desktop and laptop computers, fax machines, keyboards, joysticks & almost any digital device without the use of wires. Read more at

bps bits per second Meaning data transmission speed, the number of pieces of information transmitted per second.

broadband   This term has a number of meanings. It was coined originally to describe a channel with more bandwidth than a standard voice grade channel which is usually a 48KHz link.


CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) A technology for digital transmission of radio signals between for example, a mobile telephone & a radio base station. In CDMA, a frequency is divided into a number of codes. See also IS-95.

Cellular Mobile Telephone System System where each geographic area is covered by a base station. This area is known as a cell. Each telephone in the cell  communicates with the base station. If the phone moves to another cell, the call is automatically transferred to the base station in the new cell.

Circuit Switching  A switched circuit is only maintained while the sender and recipient are communicating, as opposed to a dedicated circuit  which is held open regardless  of whether data is being sent or not.

Coverage the geographical reach of a mobile phone network or system.


D-AMPS (Digital Advanced Mobile Phone System) Earlier designation of American standard for digital mobile telephony used primarily in North America, Latin America, Australia and parts of Russia and Asia. Now known as TFMA. See also TDMA and IS-136.

DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications)  A common standard for cordless personal telephony originally established by  ETSI, a European standardization body. DECT is a system for cordless business communications.

Digital Where information Speech, for example - is encoded before transmission. Digital networks are rapidly replacing  analog ones, as they offer  improved sound quality, secure transmission and can handle data as well as voice. Digital networks include mobile systems GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, D-AMPS and the cordless DECT system.

Dual band    Dual band mobile phones can work on networks that operate on different frequency bands. This is useful if you move between areas covered by different networks. For example GSM 900, GSM 1800.

Dual mode  dual mode mobile phones work on more than one network (for example, TDMA and AMPS, GSM and DECT).


Edge    A technology that gives GSMA and TDMA similar capacity to handle services for the third generation of mobile telephony. Edge was developed to enable the transmission of large amounts of data at a high speed, 384 kilobits per second.

EPOC    An operating system for mobile terminals, developed by Symbian (a joint-venture company formed by Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Psion).

Ergonomics    Study of equipment design in order to reduce user fatigue and discomfort

ERMES   European Radio Messaging System - a pan-European wide area paging network working in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

ETACS  Extended Total Access Communications System, the analog mobile phone network developed in the UK and available in Europe and Asia.

ETSI (European Telecommunications Standardization Institute)  The European standardization body for telecommunications.

Extranet  The extension of a company's intranet out onto the Internet, e.g. to allow selected customers, suppliers and mobile workers to access the company's private data & applications via the World Wide Web. Generally an extranet implies real-time access through a firewall of some kind.


Fast Packet Switching An emerging, packet-orientated, digital technology that differs from traditional packet switching in a number of ways. The most obvious is that it transmits all data in a single packet format whether the information is video, voice or data. Fast packet switching uses short, fixed length packets (cells) & via hardware switching - is capable of speeds between 100,000 and 1,000,000 packets/second.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)     The regulatory body governing communications technologies in the US.


GHz  Gigaherz  A frequency measurement which equals one million hertz. One hertz equals one cycle per second.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)    A packet-linked technology that enables high-speed (115 kilobit per second) wireless Internet and other data communications. subscribers are always connected & always on line so services will be easy & quick to access. 

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)    Originally developed as a pan European standard  for digital mobile telephony,  GSM has become the world’s most widely used mobile system. It is used on the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies in Europe, Asia and Australia, and the MHz 1900 frequency in North America and Latin America.

GSM 1800   Also known as DCS 1800 or PCN , GSM 1800 is a digital network working on a frequency of 1800 MHz. It is used in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Australia.

GSM 1900 Also known as PCS 1900, GSM 1900 is a digital network working on a frequency of 1900 MHz. It is used in the US and Canada and is scheduled for parts of Latin America and Africa.

GSM 900 or just GSM, is the world's most widely used digital network and now operating in over 100 countries around the world, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific.


Hand-off  The passing of a call signal from one base station to the next as the user moves out of range or the network software re-routes the call.

HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data)     A circuit-linked technology for higher transmission speeds, up to 57 kilobits per second, primarily in GSM systems.

Hz  (Hertz) Radio frequency measurement (one hertz = one cycle per second).


IMT-2000 (International Mobile Telecommunications)   A term used by the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, to describe  the third generation mobile telephony due to be ready in 2000. Can also be applied to mobile telephone standards that meet a number of requirements in terms of transmission speed and other factors.

ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network)    A technology which offers high speed transmission of voice, data and video through existing fixed line infrastructure.

Internet capability     Enables you to access the Internet, surf the Web and send e-mail.

IP (Internet Protocol)    The Internet protocol defines how information travels between systems across the Internet.

IPR  Intellectual Property Rights

IS-41  Inter-network connection protocol for connecting systems based on both analog and digital US standards.

IS-54  Original TDMA digital standard. Implemented in 1992 and then upgraded to the latest IS-136 digital standard in 1996.

IS-95 A digital mobile telephony standard based on CDMA technology. See also CDMA

IS-136  A digital mobile telephony standard based on TDMA technology. See also TDMA and D-AMPS.

ITU (International Telecommunication Union) A United Nations agency that deals with telecommunications issues.




LAN (Local Area Network) A small data network covering a limited area, such as within a building or group of buildings.


Modem Abbreviation of modular/demodulator, the modem converts digital computer signals into analog form for transmission over analog telephone systems.

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group)   The group that has defined the standards for compressed video transmission. Can also refer to the file format itself.


Mobile phone network  A mobile phone network or system consists of a network of cells. Each cell is served by a radio base station from where calls are forwarded to and received from your mobile phone by wireless radio signals.

NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephony)    The common Nordic standard for analog mobile telephony as established by the telecommunications administrations in Sweden, Norway, Finland and   Denmark in the early 1980s. NMT systems have also been installed in some European countries, including parts of Russia, and in the Middle East and Asia.


Operator   Company that operates a telephone network, for example, Vodaphone, AT&T, and British Telecom.


paging single direction radio service for alerting subscribers and leaving messages.

Packet Switching   A method of switching data in a network where individual packets of a set size & format are accepted  by the network &  delivered to their destinations. The sequence of  the packets  is maintained  and  the destination established  by  the  exchange  of  control information   (also contained in the packets)  between the sending terminal  and  the network before the transmission starts. The network is open to all users, all the time, with packets from the various nodes  being interleaved throughout  the network. The packets can be sent in any order, as the control information  sent at the beginning  of the transmission, ensures they are interpreted  in the correct order  at the receiving end.  Because each packet  carries its own control instructions, it can use any route to reach its destination.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange)  An exchange system used in companies organizations to handle internal and external calls.

PCN (Personal Communications Network)  Personal Communications Network, also known as the DCS 1800 standard or GSM 1800. It is used in Europe and Asia Pacific.

PCS (Personal Communications Services)     Collective term for American mobile telephone services in the 1900 MHz frequency band.

PDC (Personal Digital Cellular)  A Japanese standard for digital mobile telephony in the 800 MHz and 1500 MHz bands.

PHS (Personal Handyphone System)   Digital mobile telephone system, according to Japanese standard in the frequency range 1900Mhz.

Pico Cell Very small cell in a mobile network for boosting capacity within buildings.

PIN (Personal Identification Number)    A code used for all  GSM-based phones to establish authorization for access to certain functions or information. The PIN code is delivered together with your subscription.

PMR (Private Mobile Radio)    Generally for use within a defined user group such as the emergency services or by the employees of a mining project.

PSTN   Public Switched Telecom Network

PTT   Historically, the Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and Telegraph.  Now a term to describe the incumbent, dominant operator in a country, many of which are being or have been privatized.



Radio Link   Makes it possible to wireless connect a base station to telephone switches and other units in an infrastructure.

Repeater    Receives radio signals from the base station.  They are then amplified and re-transmitted to areas where radio shadow occurs. Repeats also work in the opposite direction, i.e. receiving radio signals  from mobile telephones, then amplifying & re-transmitting them to the base station.

Roaming Within your home network, this means that your mobile phone automatically sets up communication procedures with different radio base stations when on the move. International roaming means, that you can use networks, other than your own when traveling abroad.

Router A data switch that handles connections between different networks. A router identifies the addresses on data passing  through  the switch, determines which  route the transmission should take and collects data in so-called packets which are then sent to their destinations.

Routing The forwarding of data packets in packet-switched networks to the intended address


Satellite phone    Ericsson will launch satellite phones in 1999. They will operate both on either GSM/AMPs networks, and via satellite, in areas where there is no coverage.

SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) A standard for digital signal transmission within transport networks.

Service provider A company that provides services and subscriptions to telephone, mobile phone and Internet users.

Signal Booster Compensates for loss of effect (weakening of the signal in the co-axial cable) between the outer antenna and the phone. Applies to both incoming and outgoing signals.

SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card) A small printed circuit board that must be inserted in any  GSM-based mobile  telephone  when signing on as a subscriber. It contains subscriber details, security information and memory for a personal directory of numbers.

SMS (short message service)  Available on digital networks allowing messages of up to 160 characters to be sent and received via the network operator's message center to  your mobile phone.

Symbian   A joint venture with Motorola, Nokia & Psion aimed at assuming a leadership role in the rapidly expanding Wireless Information Device market. Symbian is developing the operating system EPOC. See also

Synchronous Type of transmission in which the transmission and reception of all data is synchronized by a common clock and the data is usually transmitted in blocks rather than individual characters. Can also mean that the data stream has the same capacity in both directions.

Synchronous mode  Standard for data transmission - data is transferred without start and stop bits together with a clock signal to synchronize the receiver. This mode gives higher data throughput than asynchronous mode, but can be less secure.

Mobile system  A mobile phone system or network consists of a network of cells. Each cell is served by a radio base station from where calls are forwarded to and received from your mobile phone by wireless radio signals.


TACS (Total Access Communication System)   A mobile phone standard originally  used in Britain for the 900 MHz frequency band.

TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) A technology for digital transmission of radio signals  between, for example, a mobile telephone  and  a  radio base station.  In TDMA, the frequency band is split, into a number of channels, which in turn  are stacked into short time units so that several calls  can share a single channel  without interfering  with one another. TDMA is also the name of  a digital technology based  on the IS-136 standard.  TDMA is the current designation for what was formerly known as D-AMPS. See also IS-136  and D-AMPS.

3GPP (Third-generation Partnership Protocol) A global cooperative project in which standardization bodies in Europe, Japan, South Korea and the United States as founders are coordinating WCDMA issues. See also WCDMA.

Trademarks    A number of trademarks are mentioned here.  Following are some of the trademarks owned by Ericsson: AXE® Bluetooth BusinessPhone™ , Consono®,  EriEye® Eripax®,  Eripower®, Giraffe®, MacroDens®,  Make Yourself Heard™ , MD110®, Mini-Link™ OneBox™, Telecool®

Triple mode   A combined analog & digital mobile phone. Allows operation of the phone in the existing analog system frequency (8000MHz) and in both digital frequencies (800MHz and 1900 MHz).

Twisted Pair   Two insulated copper wires twisted together with the "twists" or "lays" varied in length  to reduce  potential signal interference, between  the pairs.  Where cables comprise more than 25 pairs, they are usually bundled together and wrapped in a cable sheath. Twisted pair is the most commonly used medium for connecting telephones, computers and terminals to PABXs, supporting speeds up to 64kbits/sec.


UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)    The name for the third generation mobile telephone standard in Europe, standardized by ETSI.

UNIX A computer operating system. UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time and has TCP/IP built-in. It is a very common operating system for servers on the Internet.

UWC (Universal Wireless Consortium)  Body of vendors and operators promoting and implementing  the IS-136 digital standard.  Also specifying the future development of the standard and facilitating roaming agreements between IS-136 operators.


VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) A technology for transmitting ordinary telephone calls over the Internet using packet-linked routes. Also called IP telephony.


WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing)  A new technology that uses optical signals on different wavelengths, to increase the capacity of fiber optic networks, in order to handle a number of services simultaneously.

W-LAN (Wireless-Local Area Network) A wireless version of the LAN. Provides access to the LAN even when the user is not in the office.

WOS (Wireless Office Systems)   A technology that allows the user to transfer calls to a mobile telephone.

WAN (Wide Area Network) Private network facilities that link business network nodes for example in different cities.

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)    A free, unlicensed protocol for wireless communications that makes it possible to make advanced telecommunications services and to access Internet pages from a mobile telephone. WAP is a de facto standard that is supported by a large number of suppliers. See also

WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access)    A technology for wideband  digital radio communications of Internet, multimedia, video  and  other capacity demanding applications. WCDMA, developed  by Ericsson  and others,  has been  selected for  the third generation of mobile telephone systems in Europe, Japan and the US. The technology is also the principal alternative being discussed, in other parts of the world, notably Asia.  Read more at the Ericsson site.

WLL (Wireless Local Loop) A wireless connection of a telephone in a home or office to a fixed telephone network.

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