GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA). GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band.

During the early 1980s, analog cellular telephone systems were experiencing rapid growth in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, but also in France and Germany. Each country developed its own system, which was incompatible with everyone else's in equipment and operation. This was an undesirable situation, because not only was the mobile equipment limited to operation within national boundaries, which in a unified Europe were increasingly unimportant, but there was a very limited market for each type of equipment, so economies of scale, and the subsequent savings, could not be realized.

The Europeans realized this early on, and in 1982 the Conference of European Posts and Telegraphs (CEPT) formed a study group called the Groupe Spécial Mobile (GSM) to study and develop a pan­European public land mobile system. The proposed system had to meet certain criteria:

  • Good subjective speech quality
  • Low terminal and service cost
  • Support for international roaming
  • Ability to support handhald terminals
  • Support for range of new services and facilities
  • Spectral efficiency
  • ISDN compatibility

In 1989, GSM responsibility was transferred to the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI), and phase I of the GSM specifications were published in 1990. Commercial service was started in mid­1991, and by 1993 there were 36 GSM networks in 22 countries, with 25 additional countries having already selected or considering GSM . This is not only a European standard - South Africa, Australia, and many Middle and Far East countries have chosen GSM. By the beginning of 1994, there were 1.3 million subscribers worldwide . The acronym GSM now (aptly) stands for Global System for Mobile telecommunications.

The developers of GSM chose an unproven (at the time) digital system, as opposed to the then­standard analog cellular systems like AMPS in the United States and TACS in the United Kingdom. They had faith that advancements in compression algorithms and digital signal processors would allow the fulfillment of the original criteria and the continual improvement of the system in terms of quality and cost. The 8000 pages of the GSM recommendations try to allow flexibility and competitive innovation among suppliers, but provide enough guidelines to guarantee the proper interworking between the components of the system. This is done in part by providing descriptions of the interfaces and functions of each of the functional entities defined in the system.

GSM Applications

Access control devices: Now access control devices can communicate with servers and security staff through SMS messaging. Complete log of transaction is available at the head-office Server instantly without any wiring involved and device can instantly alert security personnel on their mobile phone in case of any problem. RaviRaj Technologies is introducing this technology in all Fingerprint Access control and time attendance products. You can achive high security any reliability.

Transaction terminals: EDC machines, POS terminals can use SMS messaging to confirm transactions from central servers. The main benefit is that central server can be anywhere in the world. Today you need local servers in every city with multiple telephone lines. You save huge infrastructure costs as well as per transaction cost.

Supply Chain Management: Today SCM require huge IT infrastructure with leased lines, networking devices, data centre, workstations and still you have large downtimes and high costs. You can do all this at a fraction of the cost with GSM M2M technology. A central server in your head office with GSM capability is the answer, you can receive instant transaction data from all your branch offices, warehouses and business associates with nil downtime and low cost.

What applications is suitable for GSM communication?

If your application needs one or more of the following features, GSM will be more cost-effective then other communication systems.

Short Data Size: You data size per transaction should be small like 1-3 lines. e.g. banking transaction data, sales/purchase data, consignment tracking data, updates. These small but important transaction data can be sent through SMS messaging which cost even less then a local telephone call or sometimes free of cost worldwide. Hence with negligible cost you are able to send critical information to your head office located anywhere in the world from multiple points. You can also transfer faxes, large data through GSM but this will be as or more costly compared to landline networks.

Multiple Remote Data Collection Points: If you have multiple data collections points situated all over your city, state, country or worldwide you will benefit the most. The data can be sent from multiple points like your branch offices, business associates, warehouses, agents with devices like GSM modems connected to PCs, GSM electronic terminals and Mobile phones. Many a times some places like warehouses may be situated at remote location may not have landline or internet but you will have GSM network still available easily.

High Uptime: If your business require high uptime and availability GSM is best suitable for you as GSM mobile networks have high uptime compared to landline, internet and other communication mediums. Also in situations where you expect that someone may sabotage your communication systems by cutting wires or taping landlines, you can depend on GSM wireless communication.

Large Transaction Volumes: GSM SMS messaging can handle large number of transaction in a very short time. You can receive large number SMS messages on your server like e-mails without internet connectivity. E-mails normally get delayed a lot but SMS messages are almost instantaneous for instant transactions. consider situation like shop owners doing credit card transaction with GSM technology instead of conventional landlines. many a time you find local transaction servers busy as these servers use multiple telephone lines to take care of multiple transactions, whereas one GSM connection is enough to handle hundreds of transaction per minute.

Mobility, Quick installation: GSM technology allow mobility, GSM terminals, modems can be just picked and installed at other location unlike telephone lines. Also you can be mobile with GSM terminals and can also communicate with server using your mobile phone. You can just purchase the GSM hardware like modems, terminals and mobile handsets, insert SIM cards, configure software and your are ready for GSM communication. GSM solutions can be implemented within few weeks whereas it may take many months to implement the infrastructure for other technologies.

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