GSM together with other technologies is part of an evolution of wireless mobile telecommunication that includes High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD), General Packet Radio System (GPRS), Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE), and Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS).
GSM Network Operators
T-Mobile and Cingular operate GSM networks in the United States on the 1,900 MHz band. GSM networks in other countries operate at 900, 1,800, or 1,900 MHz.
GSM Security: GSM security issues such as theft of service, privacy, and legal interception continue to raise significant interest in the GSM community (www.gsm-security.net).
In cellular service there are two main competing network technologies: Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).
Coverage: The most important factor is getting service in the areas you will be using your phone. Upon viewing competitors' coverage maps you may discover that only GSM or CDMA carriers offer cellular service in your area.
Data Transfer Speed: With the advent of cellular phones doing double and triple duty as streaming video devices, pod cast receivers and email devices, speed is important to those who use the phone for more than making calls. CDMA has been traditionally faster than GSM, though both technologies continue to rapidly leapfrog along this path. Both boast "3G" standards, or 3rd generation technologies.
Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards: In the United States only GSM phones use SIM cards. The removable SIM card allows phones to be instantly activated, interchanged, swapped out and upgraded, all without carrier intervention. The SIM itself is tied to the network, rather than the actual phone. Phones that are card-enabled can be used with any GSM carrier.
Roaming: For the most part, both networks have fairly concentrated coverage in major cities and along major highways. GSM carriers, however, have roaming contracts with other GSM carriers, allowing wider coverage of more rural areas, generally speaking, often without
roaming charges to the customer. CDMA networks may not cover rural areas as well as GSM carriers, and though they may contract with GSM cells for roaming in more rural areas, the charge to the customer will generally be significantly higher.

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