Feeds

Cutting the cord: future mobile broadband tech

How internet on the go is going to get much faster

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The original wireless data was based on CSD (Circuit Switched Data) connections: using the connection that would normally carry a voice to transport data. The problem with CSD, apart from its lamentable lack of speed, is that the amount of bandwidth used remains the same even if no data is being transmitted. Early Wap sessions were commonly billed by the minute like phone calls.

Nokia 8390

From 2001, the 8390: Nokia's first GPRS phone

That changed with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), which did at least use a digital connection and one that slipped packets into unused voice slots rather than converting data into audible tones. But the speed was still poor and mobile data only expanded from the specialist to the geek - still far from the mobile internet promised in the adverts.

The slots available to GPRS exist because while GSM is an FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) technology it's also TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access). The first term means that one frequency is used for sending and another, simultaneously, for receiving. That's in contrast, incidentally, to TDD (Time Division Duplex) where the same frequency flips between send and receive many times a second.

TDMA means that where more than one user is on the same frequency they are allocated time slots in rotation, up to eight of them in GSM, later upgraded to 16. If fewer than eight people are on the same frequency then GPRS can drop data into those unused time slots.

Handsets have even got quite good at using more several slots. Up to four are commonly used giving a speed something in the region of 53.6Kb/s with a following wind, if the empty slots are available - voice still takes precedence every time. That's a huge improvement, but users still proved obstinately slow to embrace mobile data.

3GPP GSM/GPRS/Edge Timeline

3GPP Edge Timeline

Then we were told that Edge (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) would deliver what we had been promised. Edge uses better encoding than GPRS to squeeze three times the data into the same slot, usually with a basestation and handset software upgrade as everything but the data encoding remains the same.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.