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Difference between GSM and UMTS

Difference between GSM and UMTS

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) are both mobile communication standards. UMTS is a revision of the GSM standard, offering higher data rates and better performance. While the two technologies are similar, there are some key differences that you should be aware of before choosing one or the other. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at those differences and help you decide which technology is right for you.

What is GSM?

GSM is short for Global System for Mobile communications. GSM is a wireless standard that is used by over 80% of the world’s mobile users, making it the most widely used mobile technology in the world. GSM networks are very efficient and allow for high-quality voice calls, as well as high-speed data services such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment). GSM is also used in satellite communication systems, such as Iridium and Globalstar. GSM is an open standard, which means that any company can develop products that work with GSM networks. GSM was originally developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in the early 1990s.

What is UMTS?

UMTS stands for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. It is a third-generation mobile cell phone system that is being deployed by mobile phone operators around the world. UMTS uses W-CDMA as its radio access technology. W-CDMA is an air interface standard developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). UMTS networks are backward compatible with GSM networks, which means that UMTS phones can be used on GSM networks. UMTS supports data rates of up to 2 Mbps, which is much higher than the data rates supported by GSM. UMTS also supports voice and multimedia services. UMTS networks are currently being deployed in Europe and Asia. In the United States, the UMTS service is expected to be launched in 2003.

Difference between GSM and UMTS

GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) are two different wireless technologies used for mobile communication. GSM is a digital technology that uses time division multiple access (TDMA) for signaling and control, while UMTS is a third-generation (3G) technology that uses code division multiple access (CDMA) for both signaling and control. GSM supports data rates of up to 9.6 kilobits per second (kbps), while UMTS supports data rates of up to 384 kbps. GSM also supports voice call services, while UMTS supports both voice and data services. GSM networks are widely used in Europe and Asia, while UMTS networks are deployed in Europe, Asia, and North America.


GSM and UMTS are two different cellular technologies. UMTS is a 3G technology that offers higher speeds and capacity than GSM. Many carriers are upgrading their networks to UMTS, so if you have a phone that supports it, make sure you take advantage of the faster speeds.

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