GSM and GPRS Gain Momentum
One of the factors slowing down wireless handhelds in the U.S. is the fractured state of the networks. There are at least three major "standards": GSM/GPRS, CDMA, TDMA. Earlier this week, Cingular announced it was doing its part to clean up this mess by installing GSM/GRPS on top of its TDMA and analog networks. AT&T is doing something similar. Though this change is likely to create millions new GSM users, most mobile phones in the U.S. still connect with CDMA.
According to Cnet, GSM might get another convert soon. Verizon Wireless, the biggest wireless carrier in the U.S., is under pressure from its parent company, Vodafone, to switch from CDMA to GSM.
Though GSM is in second place in the U.S., it dominates Europe and Asia. If it catches on more in the U.S., the process of creating handhelds with built-in wireless modems could be greatly simplified.
The upcoming Handspring Treo will use GSM, though there are reports that a CDMA version is in the works.
GPRS is the next generation of GSM, offering 144 Kbps connections and always-on access.
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