Glossary WLAN Introduction (LC)

Display portlet menu

Glossary - WLAN (Wireless Local-Area Networks)

As experts in RF and microwave technology, EBV can help you to recognise the most common terms and abbreviations in the areas of Antenna, RF power amplifier, UHF and WLAN:



2.5G refers to the bridging technologies between second (2G) and third generation (3G) wireless communications. It is a digital communication allowing e-mail and simple Web browsing, in addition to voice. The key technologies include GPRS and WiDEN.




3.5G generally refers to the technologies beyond the well defined 3G wireless/mobile technologies. Currently, HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) is considered the primary 3.5G technology which is a software upgrade of WCDMA and provides high-speed broadband wireless access.


3GPP - The 3rd Generation Partnership Project


The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaboration agreement that was established in December, 1998. It is a co-operation between ETSI (Europe), ARIB/TTC (Japan), CCSA (China), ATIS (North America) and TTA (South Korea). The scope of 3GPP was to make a globally applicable third generation (3G) mobile phone system specification within the scope of the ITU's IMT-2000 project. 3GPP specifications are based on the evolved GSM specifications, now generally known as the UMTS system.




3GPP Long Term Evolution (3GPP LTE), also known as Evolved-UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA or EUTRA) or UMTS Long Term Evolution, is specified in the 3GPP release 8. It is a key 3G technology to ensure the competitiveness of UMTS and provide a high-data-rate, low-latency and packet-optimised system. Besides peak data rates of 100 Mbps in downlink and 50 Mbps in uplink, a significant increase in spectrum efficiency and capacity as well as a significant latency reduction are planned. Commercial aspects such as costs for installing and operating the network are also part of the requirement.


3GPP2 - The 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2


The 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) is a collaboration agreement that was established in December, 1998. It's a co-operation between ARIB/TTC (Japan), CCSA (China), TIA (North America) and TTA (South Korea). The scope of 3GPP2 is to make a globally applicable third generation (3G) mobile phone system specification within the scope of the ITU's IMT-2000 project. In practice, 3GPP2 is the standardisation group for CDMA2000, the set of 3G standards based on earlier 2G CDMA technology.


3GPS - 3G Service Provider


3GPS (3G Service Provider) is the mobile operator that has a 3G licence to provide 3G services to customers


3GSM - Third Generation GSM network


Third generation GSM (3GSM )network is the combination of 3G technology and the GSM standard. The core technology that enables 3GSM is called Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).




802.11 is a group of wireless specifications developed by the IEEE for wireless local area network (WLAN) communications. It details a wireless interface between devices to manage packet traffic to avoid collisions. Some common specifications include the following: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, etc.




802.11a is an extension to IEEE 802.11 that applies to wireless LANs and provides up to 54 Mbps in the 5GHz band. 802.11a uses an Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) encoding scheme rather than FHSS or DSSS. 802.11a is actually newer than 802.11b. It offers significantly more radio channels than the 802.11b and has a shorter range than 802.11g. It isn't compatible with 802.11b.




802.11b, also referred to as 802.11 High Rate or Wi-Fi, is an extension to IEEE 802.11 that applies to wireless LANS and provides 11 Mbps transmission (with a fallback to 5.5, 2 and 1 Mbps) in the 2.4 GHz band. 802.11b uses only DSSS. 802.11b was an approved amendment to the original 802.11 standard, allowing wireless functionality comparable to Ethernet.




802.11g is an extension to IEEE 802.11 which offers wireless transmission over relatively short distances at 20 - 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band. The 802.11g also uses the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) encoding scheme. 802.11g is compatible with older 802.11b.




802.11i, also called Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2), is the standard for WLAN security. WPA 2 supports the 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard, along with 802.1x authentication and key management features. It also uses TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) which rotates keys periodically to improve WLAN security.




802.11j is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard designed specifically for the Japanese market. It allows Wirelss LAN operation in the 4.9 GHz - 5 GHz frequency in Japan.




The 802.11k is the Radio Resource Management standard to provide measurement information for access points and switches to make wireless LANs run more efficiently. It may, for example, improve the way traffic is distributed across access points or allow dynamic adjustments of transmission power to minimise interference.




802.11n is the IEEE Standard for WLAN enhancements for higher throughput designed to raise effective WLAN throughput to more than 100Mbit/sec. and to cover a range up to 400 metres. IEEE 802.11n technology is also known as Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO).




The 802.11r is the Fast Roaming standard which allows continuous connectivity in wireless devices as a user moves from one access point to another. This is especially important in applications that need low latency and high quality-of-service.




802.11s standard is designed to deal with mesh networking in wireless communication.




802.11x refers to a group of evolving Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) standards that are elements of the IEEE 802.11 family of specifications. 802.11x should not be mistaken for any one of its elements because there is no single 802.11x standard. The 802.11 family currently includes six over-the-air modulation techniques that all use the same protocol. The most popular (and prolific) techniques are those defined by the b, a, and g amendments to the original standard; security was originally included and was later enhanced via the 802.11i amendment. 802.11n is another new modulation technique. Other standards in the family (c--f, h, j) are service enhancements and extensions or corrections to previous specifications. 802.11b was the first widely accepted wireless networking standard, followed by 802.11a and 802.11g.




802.15 is a group of IEEE standards that specifies communications for Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN) based on the Bluetooth tehnologies. The current technologies included in the IEEE 802.15 family are: 802.15.1 (Bluetooth), 802.15.2 (UWB) and 802.15.4 (ZigBee).




802.15.1 is an IEEE wireless technology standard based on the Bluetooth technology. It is used for short range network monitoring and control applications, which is called Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN).




802.15.3 is an IEEE wireless technology standard that is used for short range network monitoring and control applications, which is called Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). 802.15.3 is also called UWB.




802.15.4 is an IEEE wireless technology standard that is used for short range network monitoring and control applications, which is called Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). 802.15.4 is also called Zigbee.




The IEEE 802.16 refers to a group of standards that defines wireless communications between a subscriber site and a core network such as the public telephone network (PSTN) and the Internet. It is called Wireless MAN technology, which is also branded as WiMAX. This wireless broadband access standard provides the missing link for the "last mile" connection in metropolitan area networks where DSL, Cable and other broadband access methods are not available or too expensive.




802.16-2004, also known as 802.16d, is an IEEE standard for the fixed wireless broadband (WiMax). IEEE 802.16-2004 product profile utilises the OFDM 256-FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) system profile. The Fixed WiMAX 802.16-2004 standard supports both time division duplex (TDD) and Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) services -- the latter of which delivers full duplex transmissions on the same signal if desired. Mobile WiMAX will do the same.




802.16-2005, also known as 802.16e, is an IEEE standard addressing mobility of wireless broadband (WiMax). IEEE 802.16-2005 is sometimes called "Mobile WiMAX", after the WiMAX forum for interoperability. 802.16-2005, based on an existing WiMax standard 802.16a, adds WiMax mobility in the 2 - 6GHz licenced bands.




802.16a is an IEEE wireless communications specification for Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) as part of a set of standards known as 802.16 or WiMAX. The 802.16a standard was developed for wireless MANs operating between 2 GHz and 11 GHz at data speeds of up to 75 megabits per second (Mbps). 802.16a has been replaced by later standards in the family 802.16d (802.16-2004) and 802.16e (802.16-2005).




802.16d, also known as 802.16-2004, is an IEEE standard for the fixed wireless broadband (WiMax). IEEE 802.16d product profile utilises the OFDM 256-FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) system profile. The Fixed WiMAX 802.16-2004 standard supports both time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD) services -- the latter of which delivers full duplex transmission on the same signal if desired.




802.16e, also known as 802.16-2005, is an IEEE standard addressing mobility of wireless broadband (WiMax). IEEE 802.16e is sometimes called "Mobile WiMAX", after the WiMAX forum for interoperability. 802.16e, based on an existing WiMax standard 802.16a, adds WiMax mobility in the 2 - 6 GHz licenced bands. 802.16e allows for fixed wireless and mobile Non Line of Sight (NLOS) applications primarily by enhancing the OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access).




802.1x is an IEEE authentication specification that allows a client to connect to a wireless access point or wired switch but prevents the client from gaining access to the Internet until it provides credentials, such as a user name and password, that are verified by a separate server. In 802.1X, there are three roles: the supplicant (client), authenticator (switch or access point), and authentication server.




802.20 is an IEEE standard of Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) by specifying new mobile air interfaces for wireless broadband. 802.20 is a competing standard with 802.16e. 802.16e, based on 802.16a, adds mobility in the 2 - 6 GHz licenced bands, while 802.20, a brand new standard, aims for operation in licenced bands below 3.5GHz and with a peak data rate of over 1 Mbps




802.22 is an IEEE standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN). IEEE 802.22 specifies a cognitive air interface for fixed, point-to-multipoint, wireless regional area networks that operate on unused channels in the VHF/UHF TV bands between 54 and 862 MHz. Signals at these frequencies can propagate 40 km or more from a well-sited base station, depending on terrain.


AIN - Advanced Intelligent Network


Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) was Introduced by AT&T Network Systems in 1991 to enable service providers to define, test and introduce new multimedia messaging, PCS and cell routing.


Air Interface


In wireless communications, the air interface is the radio frequency (RF) part of the network that transmits signals between base stations and end-user equipment. The air interface is defined by specifications for a specific format such as GSM, CDMA2000, GPRS, or W-CDMA.




AirPort is Apple's marketing name for its 802.11b wireless networking technology. AirPort, based on IEEE 802.11b, is a local area wireless networking system from Apple Computer and certified as compatible with other 802.11b devices. A later family of products based on the IEEE 802.11g specification is known as AirPort Extreme, offering speeds of up to 54 Mbps and interoperability with older products.




Airtime is the time elapsed between the start of a call achieved by connecting to your service provider's network and the termination of a call achieved by pressing the end button. Network connection time includes signals received prior to voice transmission, such as busy signals and ringing.




Broadband Code Division Multiple Access (B-CDMA) is designed to correct many of the inherent short-falls of IS-95 (narrowband CDMA) and other digital narrowband technologies. It is also designed as a long-term solution to both voice and data wireless needs -- fixed and mobile. Some of the technical aspects of the B-CDMA air interface are related to its propagation characteristics.




Bluetooth, defined in IEEE 802.15, is for Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs), which has characteristics such as short-range, low power, low cost, small networks and communication of devices within a Personal Operating Space. Bluetooth is for wireless transmission between a wide variety of devices such as PCs, cordless phone, headsets and PDAs within a 10-metre range.




Broadband refers to telecommunication that provides multiple channels of data over a single communications medium, typically using some form of frequency or wave division multiplexing.


Broadband Wireless Access


Broadband Wireless Access is a technology aimed at providing wireless access to data networks, with high data rates. According to 802.16-2004 standard, broadband means "having instantaneous bandwidth greater than 1 MHz and supporting data rates greater than 1.5 Mbps". From the point of view of connectivity, broadband wireless access is equivalent to broadband wired access, such as ADSL or cable modems.It is due to be available in the next few years and is thought to have a 40 mile (64 metre) radius.


CCSA - China Communications Standards Association


China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) is an organisation sponsored by the Chinese government which was established to set up a standardised method of communications within the country. With the approval of the Ministry of Information Industries (MII) and Standardisation Administration of China and the Civil Affairs Ministry, China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) was founded in December 18, 2002.


CDG - CDMA Development Group


CDMA Development Group (CDG) is an international consortium of companies who have joined together to lead the adoption and evolution of 3G CDMA wireless systems around the world. The CDG is comprised of CDMA service providers and manufacturers, application developers and content providers. By working together, the members help to ensure interoperability among systems, while expediting the availability of 3G CDMA technology to consumers.


E-GSM - Extended Global System for Mobile


EGSM is an extension to the GSM900 spectrum. EGSM spectrum is 880-890 MHz paired with 925-935 MHz, which is just below the original GSM 900 band. EGSM is a small radio frequency band used in Europe to provide added network capacity for GSM 900 networks. The additional 10 Mhz provides an additional 50 channels.




E.214 is a telephone numbering plan used for delivering mobility management related messages in GSM networks. The E.214 number, derived from the IMSI E.214 numbers, is composed of two parts. The first, the E.164 part, is made up of a country code followed by the network code. The second part of the number is made up from the MSIN part of the IMSI which identifies an individual subscriber.


EGPRS - Enhanced General Packet Radio Service


Enhanced General Packet Radio Service (EGPRS), also known as Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE), is a digital mobile phone technology. As an enhancement to GPRS, EGPRS improves spectral efficiency and data rates by adding new modulation and coding schemes. EGPRS uses the modulation technique 8PSK (8 Phase Shift Keying) to increase the achievable user data rate.


EMS - Enhanced Messaging Service


Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) utilises SMS but adds the ability to incorporate simple graphics, pictures, animations and sound. With this, the user can add an actual emotion to his/her message. Give someone a full birthday wish (with the text, the actual song, and a graphic of a birthday cake).


ETSI - European Telecommunications Standard Institute


European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) is an independent, non-profit organisation, whose mission is to produce telecommunications standards for today and for the future. Based in France, ETSI is officially responsible for standardisation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within Europe. These technologies include telecommunications, broadcasting and related areas such as intelligent transportation and medical electronics.


FH-CDMA - Frequency Hopping - Code division multiple access


Frequency Hopping - Code Division Multiple Access (FH-CDMA) is one of two basic modulation techniques used to spread spectrum signal transmission for CDMA-based wireless systems. It is the repeated switching of frequencies during radio transmission, often used to minimise the effectiveness of the unauthorised interception or jamming of telecommunications.


Fixed Wireless


Fixed wireless refers to the over-the-air transmission of information to and from systems and end-user equipment that are stationary, rather than mobile. Operators of fixed wireless networks potentially can offer broadband services without having to lay expensive cable systems or deal with the complexities of mobility management.


FRS - Family Radio Service


Family Radio Service is a very low power, short range two-way radio service in the 460 MHz band.




Global Area Network (GAN) is a network that is composed of different interconnected computer networks and covers an unlimited geographical area.


GERAN: GSM (GPRS)/EDGE Radio Access Network


GSM(GPRS)/EDGE Radio Access Network (GERAN) is the name given to the 3GPP standards for GSM(GPRS)/EDGE radio access, which has been specified to connect the A, Gb and Iu interfaces to the CN (Core Network). The architecture allows two BSS (Base Station Subsystem) to be connected to each other.


GGSN - Gateway GPRS Support Node


Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) is a gateway from a cellular network to an IP network that allows mobile cell phone users to access the public data network (PDN) or specified private IP networks. The GPRS Core Network is the centralised part of the GPRS system and also provides support for UMTS-based 3G networks.




Global Navigation System (GLONASS) is a Russian satellite location technology similar to global positioning system.


GMM - GPRS Mobility Management


GPRS Mobility Management (GMM) is a GPRS signaling protocol that handles mobility issues such as roaming, authentication, and selection of encryption algorithms. GPRS Mobility Management, together with Session Management (GMM/SM) protocol, supports the mobility of user terminal so that the SGSN can know the location of a mobile station (MS) at any time and to activate, modify and deactivate the PDP sessions required by the MS for the user data transfer.


GMM/SM - GPRS Mobility Maqnagement/Session Management


GPRS Mobility Management/Session Management (GMM/SM) protocol supports mobility management functionality of a mobile such as GPRS attach, GPRS detach, security, routing area update, location update. The main function of the Session Management (SM) layer is to support PDP context handling of the user terminal. SM comprises of procedures for the PDP context activation, deactivation and modification. The GMM layer uses the services of the Radio Access Network Application Protocol (RANAP) over the Iu interface to provide these services.


GMPCS - Global Mobile Personal Communications Services


Global Mobile Personal Communications Services (GMPCS) is a mobile satellite system that will provide a global wireless phone service.


GPRS - General Packet Radio Service


General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology runs at speeds of up to 115 Kbps., compared with the 9.6 Kbps. of older GSM systems. It enables high-speed wireless Internet and other communications such as e-mail, games and applications. It supports a wide range of bandwidths and is an efficient use of limited bandwidth. It is particularly suited for sending and receiving small amounts of data, such as e-mail and Web browsing, as well as large volumes of data.


GWEN - Ground Wave Emergency Network


Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN) is a communications system that the US military uses. It operates in a very low frequency range, with transmissions between 150 and 175 kHz. This range was selected because its signals travel by means of waves that have a tendency to hug the ground rather than radiating into the atmosphere. This signal drops off sharply with distance -- a single GWEN station transmits in a 360 circle to a distance of 250 to 300 miles. The entire GWEN system consists of approximately 300 stations spread across the United States, each with a tower 300-500 feet high. The stations are from 200 to 250 miles apart, so that a signal can go from coast to coast or from one station to another. When the system was completed around 1993, the entire civilian population of the United States was exposed to the GWEN Transmissions




HomePNA is a networking standard that uses standard telephone wiring. HomePNA is primarily useful for bridging wireless networks across obstacles (like brick walls) that block radio waves. HomePNA 2.0 runs at 10 Mbps and, the just-defined, HomePNA 3.0 runs at 128 Mbps.


HRPD - High Rate Packet Data


High Rate Packet Data (HRPD), also known as TIA/EIA IS-856 or 1xEV-DO, is a packet data protocol in the 3G mobile communicaitons network based on CDMA2000.


IN - Intelligent Network


Intelligent Network (IN) often referred to as the Advanced Intelligent Network, this is a network of equipment, software and protocols used to implement features on the network and support switching and control functions.




InFLEXion is the narrowband PCS technology developed by Motorola Inc. that allows for voice paging.




IS-95a, an EIA Interim Standard 95, is the original digital mobile telephony standard based on CDMA technology. It is applied in the cdmaOne mobile network.




IS-95b is an upgraded version of IS-95a for the cdmaOne mobile network that increases the maximum data rate to 115.2 Kbps


ISI - Inter-Symbol Interference


Inter-Symbol Interference (ISI) is an interference effect where energy from prior symbols in a bit stream is present in later symbols. ISI is normally caused by filtering of the data streams.


ISIM - IP Multimedia Services Identity Module


IP Multimedia Services Identity Module (ISIM) is an application running on a Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) smart card in a 3G mobile telephone in the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). It contains parameters for identifying and authenticating the user to the IMS. The ISIM application can co-exist with SIM and USIM on the same UICC making it possible to use the same smart card in both GSM networks and earlier releases of UMTS.




iTAP, also known as T9 TM text input, is an application installed on wireless phones and handheld devices that allows you to type messages with just one key press per letter using the keypad. It is a much easier text input method than the traditional multi-tapping.


ITU - International Telecommunications Union


International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a United Nations agency that deals with telecommunications issues.


LASCDMA - Large Area Synchronised Code Dvision Multiple Access


Large Area Synchronised Code Division Multiple Access (LASCDMA) is a technology developed by LinkAir that offers a higher spectral efficiency and moving speed for better mobile-application support. Also, its asymmetric traffic, higher throughput and smaller delay providse improved IP support. Currently, LAS-CDMA is being considered as phase 2 of the 1xEV standards. A LAS-CDMA TDD variant is compatible with systems such as TD-SCDMA.


LTE - Long Term Evolution


Long Term Evolution (LTE), sometimes also referred to as 3G LTE or Super-3G, is the 3GPP radio technology evolution architecture. Its full name is UTRA-UTRAN Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3GPP System Architecture Evolution (SAE).


MAC Address


MAC address (Media Access Control address) is the address associated with every hardware device on the network. Every wireless 802.11 device has its own specific MAC address hard-coded into it. This unique identifier can be used to provide security for wireless networks. When a network uses a MAC table, only the 802.11 radios that have had their MAC addresses added to that network's MAC table are able to get onto the network.




MACRO Cell, also known as macrocell, is a large cell in a wireless system capable of covering a large physical area. Macrocells are used in rural areas and other areas where subscriber or traffic densities are low.


MDSS - Mobile Data Synchronisation Service


Mobile Data Synchronisation Service (MDSS) is the ability to synchronise data on client devices with data stored in an enterprise database. A common protocol has been developed that will eventually allow a variety of clients to synchronise with a variety of databases.


MFN - Multi-Frequency Network


A Multi-Frequency Network (MFN) is a type of radio network that operates several transmitters on a number of different frequencies.


Mobile Data Service


Mobile data service is a personal communications service that is expected to provide two-way wireless communication of text, voice messages and, potentially, video messages among computers, personal digital assistants and databases. Mobile data services can be provided by a number of technologies such as cellular, Personal Telecommunications Services, mobile satellite and Enhanced Specialised Mobile Radio, as well as networks.


Mobile Phone Network


Mobile phone network is a network of cells. Each cell is served by a radio base station from where calls are forwarded to and received from your mobile phone by wireless radio signals.


Mobile Satellite


Mobile Satellite is a personal communications service that is anticipated to provide two-way voice and data communications using satellites, handheld phones and wireless modems incorporated into devices such as notebook computers. It is expected that Mobile Satellite services will offer enhanced features such as call waiting and voice mail. Geographic service coverage is anticipated to be larger than most PCS services and may be worldwide.


Mobile Station


Mobile Station (MS) refers generically to any mobile device, such as a mobile handset or computer, that is used to access network services. GPRS networks support three classes of mobile station, which describe the type of operation supported within the GPRS and the GSM mobile wireless networks. For example, a Class A MS supports simultaneous operation of GPRS and GSM services.


Mobile WiMAX


Mobile WiMax refers to the technologies defined in the IEEE 802.16e (formally known as 802.16-2005), which addresses mobility of wireless broadband (WiMax). 802.16e, based on an existing WiMax standard 802.16a and adds WiMax mobility in the 2 to 6 GHz licenced bands.It provides an improvement on the modulation schemes stipulated in the original (fixed) WiMAX standard. Mobile WiMax allows for fixed wireless and mobile Non Line of Sight (NLOS) applications primarily by enhancing the OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access).


Multiple Access


Multiple access is the process of allowing multiple radio links or users to address the same radio channel on a co-ordinated basis. Typical multiple access technologies include FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, and FHMA.


NMC - Network Management Centre


Network Management Centre (NMC) is an operations centre used to manage network resources such as the MSC, location registers and base stations.


NSS - Network Switching Subsystem


Network Switching Subsystem is a portion of a GSM network that manages the connections and communications within the network. The BSS and OSS complete the major components of the network.


OMA - Open Mobile Alliance


Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) is the leading industry forum for developing market-driven, interoperable mobile service enablers. OMA was formed in June, 2002 by nearly 200 companie,s including the world's leading mobile operators, device and network suppliers, information technology companies and content and service providers. The fact that the whole value chain is represented in OMA marks a change in the way specifications for mobile services are done.


Packet Radio


Packet radio is a form of digital data transmission used in amateur radio to construct wireless computer networks. Its name is a reference to the use of packet switching between network nodes, which allows multiple virtual circuits to co-exist on a single radio channel. Packet radio networks use the AX.25 data link layer protocol, derived from the X.25 protocol suite and designed for amateur radio use.


PAN - Personal Area Network


A personal area network (PAN) is a computer network used for communications among computer devices (including telephones and personal digital assistants) within a few metres of a person. PAN allows devices to work together and share information and services. Using Bluetooth wireless technology, Personal Area Networks can be created in public places, in your home, in your office and even in your car. This network enables everyday devices to become smart, tetherless devices, working and communicating together. For example, it offers the ability to wirelessly synchronise with your desktop to access your e-mail and Internet/intranet from remote locations.


PCH - Paging Channel


Paging Channel (PCH), used primarily to notify the mobile that it has an incoming call, is a logical channel in GSM, CDMA2000, and W-CDMA systems used to send messages to mobile stationS.


PCMCIA - Personal Computer Memory Card International Association


Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) has defined a standardised technology which is used to develop an expansion for portable devices (i.e.. notebooks) In paging these credit card sized devices support wireless connectivity.


PLMN - Public Land-Mobile Network


Public Land-Mobile Network (PLMN) is a European term used to describe all mobile wireless networks that use earth-based stations rather than satellites. PLMN is the mobile equivalent of the PSTN.


R-UIM - Removable User Identity Module


Removable User Identity Module (R-UIM), also known as UIM, is similar to a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), but is designed for networks other than GSM such as CDMA. R-UIM cards support roaming between CDMA and GSM networks.


RACH - Random Access Channel


Random Access Channel (RACH) is the channel used by mobiles in GSM and W-CDMA systems to gain access to the system when first attaching to it.


RAN - Radio Access Network


Radio Access Network (RAN) is the ground-based infrastructure required for delivery of third-generation (3G) wireless communications services, including high-speed mobile access to the Internet. The RAN must be able to manage a wide range of tasks for each 3G user, including access, roaming, transparent connection to the public switched telephone network and the Internet, and Quality of Service (QoS) management for data and Web connections.


RF Licence - Radio Frequency Licence


Radio Frequency (RF) Licence is the purchased right to transmit RF waves over a given BTA typically for periods of 10 years. The licence tightly governs the design parameters of an RF system and its use. RF licences are typically purchased from the government (FCC in the US) on an auction basis. The government (FCC) provides licences to ensure maximum competition in a free market and spectral efficiency, which is another way of stating efficient use of the RF spectrum.



RLC - Radio Link Control


Radio Link Control (RLC) is a link-layer protocol that is responsible for error recovery and flow control in 3G (UMTS) cellular systems. Compared with its counterpart developed for CDMA2000 systems, i.e., Radio Link Protocol (RLP), RLC is a more advanced protocol and can support different QoS requirements desired by the users.


RLP - Radio Link Protocol


Radio Link Protocol (RLP) is a link layer protocol used for 2G (GSM and cdmaOne) and CDMA-2000 (3G) network-based error corrections to ensure robust data transmission. RLP terminates at the Mobile Station (MS) and the Interworking Function (IMF) generally located at the Mobile Switching Centre (MSC). Cellular networks such as GSM and CDMA use different variations of RLP.


RNC - Radio Network Controller


The Radio Network Controller (RNC) is the governing element in the UMTS radio access network (UTRAN) responsible for control of the Node Base Stations (BS), that is to say, the base stations which are connected to the controller. The RNC carries out radio resource management, some of the mobility management functions and is the point where encryption is done before user data is sent to and from the mobile. The RNC connects to the Circuit Switched Core Network through Media Gateway (MGW) and to the SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node) in the Packet Switched Core Network. There are three types of RNCs: C-RNC (Controlling RNC), D-RNC (Drift RNC) and S-RNC (Serving RNC).


SCH - Synchronisation Channel


Synchronisation Channel (SCH) is a logical channel used by mobile stations to achieve time synchronisation with the network. SCH is used in GSM, CDMA2000, and W-CDMA systems.


SDP - Service Discovery Protocol


In the Bluetooth protocol stack, the Service Discovery Protocol (SDP), also known as Bluetooth SDP, provides special means for applications in the Bluetooth environment to discover which services are available and to determine the characteristics of those available services. The SDP defines how a Bluetooth client's application shell acts to discover available Bluetooth servers' services and their characteristics. The protocol defines how a client can search for a service based on specific attributes without the client knowing anything of the available services. The SDP provides means for discovery of new services becoming available when the client enters an area where a Bluetooth server is operating. The SDP also provides functionality for detecting when a service is no longer available.


Service Area


Service area is the specified area over which the operator of a wireless communications network or system provides services.


SFN - Single Frequency Network


A single-frequency network (SFN) is a broadcast network where several transmitters simultaneosly send the same signal over the same frequency channel. Analogue FM and AM radio broadcast networks as well as digital broadcast networks can operate in this manner. The aim of SFNs is efficient utilisation of the radio spectrum by allowing a higher number of radio and TV programmes in comparison to traditional multi-frequency network (MFN) transmissions. An SFN may also increase the coverage area and decrease the outage probability in comparison to an MFN since the total received signal strength may increase to positions midway between the transmitters.


SGF - Signaling Gateway Function


Signaling Gateway Function (SGF), a component in the IP Multimedia Subsystem, provides signalling conversion (in both directions) between Signaling System 7 (SS7) and IP networks.


SSI - Service Set Identifier


A Service Set Identifier (SSI) is a sequence of characters unique to a specific network or network segment. It is used by the network and all attached devices to identify themselves and allows devices to connect to the correct network when more than one independent network is operating in nearby areas.


Sub Network


Sub Network is a way of denoting a group of network layers that appear as one to a higher protocol layer.


Supplementary Services


Supplementary services is a group of network layer protocol functions that provide call independent functions for mobile phones. These include: call forwarding, follow-me, advice of charge, reverse charging, etc.


TD-CDMA - Time Division, Code Division Multiple Access


Time Division, Code Division Multiple Access (TD-CDMA) is a 3G proposal combining elements of TDMA and CDMA. It is developed and used primarily in China, combining time division multiplexing with CDMA techniques.


TD-SCDMA - Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access


Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) is a new technology developed by Siemens and the China Academy of Telecommunication Technology (CATR). TD-SCDMA is part of the ITU 3G standard harmonisation and will likely be adopted by some operators in China. This proposed standard is 1.6 MHz wide and uses multiple timeslots, synchronous CDMA and new detection and interference cancellation schemes.


Time Diversity


Time diversity is the technique used by CDMA systems to overcome the effects of multipath fading. Through the use of a rake receiver, individual elements or fingers can be offset in time to account for different arrival times of multipath signals.




TinyOS is an open source component-based operating system and platform targeting wireless sensor networks. TinyOS is an embedded operating system, written in NesC programming language, as a set of co-operating tasks and processes. It is designed to be able to incorporate rapid innovation as well as to operate within the severe memory constraints inherent in sensor networks. It is intended to be incorporated into smartdust.




Tri-band refers to a wireless phone that works on three bands. CDMA and TDMA tri-band phones work on 1900 MHz and 800 MHz digital frequencies, and 800 MHz analog cellular -- popular standards in the United States. Tri-band GSM phones are all digital, operating on 1900 Mhz in the United States and 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz in other countries.


TTA - Telecommunications Technology Association


Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) is a telecommunications standards setting body in Korea.


W-ATM - Wireless Asynchronous Transfer Mode network


Wireless ATM network (W-ATM) was a concept of using wireless as physical layer to transmit ATM cells. This concept never took off.


W-TDMA - Wideband Time Division Multiple Access


Wideband Time Division Multiple Access (W-TDMA) is a technique based on time division transmission which is similar to that used by GSM but provides a much higher transmission rate. It was submitted as a solution for UMTS radio interface, but was rejected.


WAP - Wireless Application Protocol


The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a set of specifications, developed by the WAP Forum, that allows developers using Wireless Markup Languageto build networked applications designed for handheld wireless devices. WAP was designed to work within the constraints of these devices: a limited memory and CPU size, small, monochrome screens, low bandwidth and erratic connections. WAP browsers are intended to be implemented on small mobile devices such as cell phones, pagers, and PDAs. Instead of developing content in HTML and JavaScript, WAP developers use WML and WMLScript.


WBMP - Wireless Bitmap


Wireless Bitmap (WBMP) is WAP graphic format optimised for mobile computing devices. A WBMP image is identified using a TypeField value, which describes encoding information (such as pixel and palette organisation, compression and animation) and determines image characteristics according to WAP documentation.


Wi-Fi - Wireless Fidelity


Wireless Fidelity (WiFi or Wi-Fi), originally nicknamed for 802.11b for wireless LAN with bandwith up to 11 Mbps, now refers to the entire wireless LAN technologies including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n etc. Wi-Fi is actually the industry name for wireless LAN (WLAN) communication technology related to the IEEE 802.11 family of wireless networking standards.


Wi-Fi Alliance


Wi-Fi Alliance is a non-profit international association formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of WLAN products based on the IEEE 802.11 specification. Currently, the Wi-Fi Alliance has over 200 member companies from around the world, and over 1,000 products have received Wi-Fi certification since the certification began in March 2000. The goal of the Wi-Fi Alliance's members is to enhance the user experience through product interoperability.


WIM: WAP Identity Module


WAP Identity Module (WIM) is the security module implemented in the SIM card for WAP applications. WIM provides security services for WAP applications and allows you to use digital signature. SIM cards with security modules are provided by the SIM card issuer.




WiMax, abreviated from Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a popular name of the 802.16 wireless metropolitan-area network standard, including both 802.16-2004 for fixed WiMAX and 802.16-2005 for mobile WiMAX. WiMax has a range of up to 31 miles. Data rates for WiMax can reach up to 75 Mbps (Fixed) or 15 Mbps (Mobile). A number of wireless signaling options exist ranging anywhere from the 2 GHz range up to 66 GHz. WiMax is primarily aimed at making broadband network access widely available without the expense of stringing wires (as in cable-access broadband) or the distance limitations of Digital Subscriber Line. WiMax technology can deliver high-speed Internet access to rural areas and other locations. WiMax also offers an alternative to satellite Internet services.


WiMedia Alliance


WiMedia Alliance is an industrial association with a focus on UWB (Ultra WideBand) wireless technologies to promote and enable the rapid adoption and standardisation of UWB worldwide for high-speed wireless, multimedia-capable personal-area connectivity in the PC, CE and mobile market segments; to provide a neutral and open forum for multiple industry segments to establish requirements, specifications and best practices for usability and interoperability; to promote worldwide UWB spectrum regulations; and to develop, maintain, enhance and reference technical specifications.


WIN: Wireless Intelligent Network


Wireless Intelligent Network (WIN) refers to a set of advanced services provided on a wireless network such as Prepaid, LNP, etc.


Wireless Bridge


Wireless Bridge is a networking bridge used to connect two or more separate networks. A wireless bridge functions in the same way but can be used in situations in which running a wire or cable would be impractical or prohibitively expensive, such as creating a 10-mile point-to-point link.


Wireless Channel


Wireless Channel refers to dividing allocated spectrum into sub-spectrums. For example, 802.11b and 802.11g devices have three non-overlapping channels. 802.11a devices have eight non-overlapping channels.


Wireless FireWire


Wireless FireWire, also known as wireless 1394, is a wireless version of the high speed FireWire communications protocol defined in the IEEE 1394. It allows multiple FireWire devices to communicate wirelessly over IEEE 802.15.3 (UWB) Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs). The wireless 1394 specification adapts the IEEE 1394 and P1394.1 bridging standards to the high bandwidth wireless network connectivity enabled by IEEE 802.15.3.


Wireless Gateway


Wireless Gateway is a device that can share an Internet connection, serve DHCP, and bridge between wired and wireless networks. Wireless Gateway may also be termed as "wireless router," or "base station." Wireless Network Adaptor is the interface that connects a PC with wireless network, for example, a wireless NIC is a wireless adaptor.


Wireless Router


Wireless routers are actually routers with Ethernet plus wireless access points so that they have both wired and/or wireless at the same time. Another combination is to build a DSL or cable modem with the wireless access point, in which the wireless access point is used to communicate with local PCs and other devices and the DSL and cable modem will communicate with the Internet.


WISP - Wireless ISP


Wireless ISP (WISP) is a company that provides wireless Internet access for the public. WISPs typically install Wi-Fi wireless hotspots in airports, hotels and other public places. These hotspots provide Internet access and local area network (LAN) printing for mobile network devices sucvh as laptops, handheld computers and cell phones.


WLL - Wireless Local Loop


Wireless Local Loop (WLL), also called radio in the loop (RITL) or fixed-radio access (FRA) or fixed-wireless access (FWA), is the use of wireless connections as the last mile for delivering a traditional telephone service (POTS) to customers.


WMF - Wireless Message Format


Wireless Message Format (WMF) is a standard format for presenting data received through a paging system to mobile computers. The application at the MED uses this format to encode binary data and control information to be sent to a remote device. This information is received completely intact by the MCD.


WPA - Wi-Fi Protected Access


Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is a data encryption specification for 802.11 wireless networks that replaces the weaker WEP. Created by the WiFi Alliance before an 802.11i security standard was ratified by the IEEE, it improves on WEP by using dynamic keys, Extensible Authentication Protocol to secure network access, and an encryption method called Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) to secure data transmissions. WPA provides roughly comparable security to VPN tunnelling with WEP, with the benefit of easier administration and use.


WPA2 - Wi-Fi Protected Access 2


Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) is an enhanced version of WPA. It is the official 802.11i standard that was ratified by the IEEE in June 2004. It uses the Advanced Encryption Standard instead of TKIP (see above). AES supports 128 bit, 192 bit and 256 bit keys.


WPABX - Wireless Private Automatic Branch Exchange


Wireless Private Automatic Branch Exchange (WPABX) is a customer premise telephone switching system using wireless technology to link the individual user stations to the central switching unit. The WPABX is capable of interfacing to a telephone central office with trunk groups and routing calls based on a 3- or 4-digit telephone extension number.


WPAN - Wireless Personal-Area Network


Wireless Personal-Area Network (WPAN) is a personal area network using wireless connections. WPAN is used for communications among devices such as telephones, computers and their accessories, and personal digital assistants, within a short range. The reach of a PAN is typically within 10 metres. Technologies enabling WPAN include Bluetooth, ZigBee, Ultra-Wideband(UWB), IrDA, HomeRF, etc.


WRAN - Wireless Regional Area Network


Wireless Regional Area Network (WRAN) technology targets wireless broadband (remote) access for geographically dispersed, sparsely populated areas. The transmission range can be up to 100 Km, Non Line of Sight (NLOS) due to use of TV broadcast bands as Licence Exempt (LE) spectrum. The WRAN technology is useful for remote access to grid computer sites and to independent telcos operating in developing countries, rural or non- metropolitan areas. WRAN specifications are defined by the IEEE802.22 working committee.


WSP - Wireless Session Protocol


The Wireless Session Protocol (WSP), a protocol in the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) suite, provides the Wireless Application Environment a consistent interface with two services: a connection-oriented service to operate above the Transaction Layer Protocol (WTP) and a connectionless service that operates above either secure or non-secure datagram service (WDP). Currently, the protocols of the WSP family provide HTTP/1.1 functionality and semantics in a compact encoding, long lived session state with session suspend-and-resume capabilities, a common facility for reliable and unreliable data push as well as a protocol feature negotiation. These protocols are optimised to be used in low-bandwith bearer networks with relative long latency in order to connect a WAP client to a HTTP server.


WWAN - Wireless WAN


Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) is a wireless network that uses cellular network technologies such as GPRS / CDMA2000 / GSM / CDPD / Mobitex to transfer data. These cellular technologies are offered regionally, nationwide, or even globally and are provided by a wireless service provider. Various computers now have integrated WWAN capabilities with a cellular radio (GSM/CDMA) built in, which allows the user to send and receive data via mobile wireless.




X-band is the bandwith between 7 GHz to 8 GHz, which is usually used by military satellites.