GSM, CDMA, and WiMAX – CompTIA Network+ N10-006 – 1.4

Data access on mobile devices hasn’t always been as easy as it is today. In this video, you’ll learn about GSM, CDMA, and WiMAX networking with mobile devices.

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–different would mobile networking be if we weren’t able to access the internet from our mobile devices? In this video, we’ll look at these mobile technologies and get an understanding of how these have changed throughout the years.

We built this mobile technology over something called cellular networks. This is something we abbreviated to “cell” phones. And it came from this term where we separated all of the land up into separate cells. And we put antennas, so that we could cover an entire cell or an entire area with certain frequencies communicating over the air.

We had two major networking types in the United States that we used to send this data back and forth. And it’s primarily used for voice over GSM networks and CDMA networks. We often refer to these as 2G networks. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications. And CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access.

One of the challenges we ran into with these older 2G networks is they were built for voice but not really for data. So it was sometimes difficult to get high bandwidths or even be able to use the data technology if we were also using the voice technology at the same time. So we went back to the drawing board and came up with newer types of networking over these mobile technologies.

Some of today’s modern mobile networks use LTE, or Long Term Evolution, as a way of communicating. These were built on the GSM or the edge networks with mobile technology. And we get very high throughputs, even though we are completely wireless, with download rates of up to 300 megabits. And we can upload up to 75 megabits.

If you ever see 4G, it’s really referring to LTE and higher speeds. Another type of communication over these wireless networks is HSPA+. This stands for evolved High Speed Packet Access. These are based on the CDMA networks. And the download speeds here are also very high at 84 megabits per second and downloading at 22 megabits per second.

If you’d like to read more about how these standards came about and what’s being done today for these wireless standards, you can look at the 3rd Generation Partnership Project or 3GPP website. This is where all of these telecommunications companies get together and come up with the standards that they’re going to use today and tomorrow.

WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. And it’s designed to be a competitor not just for mobile technologies, but for also internet access you might have in your home or your business. It works in a very wide radius of up to 30 miles. You can think of this as being Wi-Fi on steroids. All you need is an antenna at your home. And you can get this signal from wherever you happen to be.

There’s both a fixed and a mobile version of WiMAX. The IEEE standard 802.16 is associated with the fixed version. And that gives you 37 megabits down and 17 megabits up. The mobile version is 802.16e. And it gives you a theoretical throughput of one gigabit for fixed stations.

And mobile stations have a throughput of 100 megabits per second. These are really changing the way that we’re using the internet where we could be at home or on the road and still have very, very high bandwidths to be able to run whatever application we might need.