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Mobility through the ages - GSM and SMS
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Mobility through the ages - GSM and SMS

The AMPS network was based on analogue technology that operated over the air - a bit like FM broadcast radio signals. In the early 1990s, Australia’s first digital mobile telephone service using the GSM (Global System for Mobiles) standard developed in Europe was launched. This was the second generation of mobile network systems. This provided very high standards of security and even included a fairly slow but useful packet data capability. Almost as an afterthought, the standard developers decided to include the ability to send short messages from one phone to another. So the SMS that we use every day was born.

Another second generation digital network based on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology was introduced in the late 1990s to replace the aging AMPS network that was closed around the turn of the century.

To satisfy our appetite for ever-faster data services required as part of our everyday personal and business lives, Telstra launched a third generation of mobile networks in 2006 and this is now available to greater than 99 per cent of the Australian population.

In this fast-changing world, we can’t stand still and we are currently continuing to rapidly deploy the state-of-the-art fourth generation network (LTE). It is amazing to look back over the last 30 years and reflect that during this time we have deployed four generations of mobile networks, and seen mobile communications go from something that was only available to the rich and famous (and James Bond!) to something that we all take for granted as a necessary part of our lives for security, finance, social interaction and entertainment.

So what does the future hold?

We’ve certainly come a long way since the days of the brick phone and voice-only. The big change we’ve seen has been the swing away from just voice to browsing the web and watching video. 5G will have a huge role to play in providing more network capacity and capability for data-based services. This includes the Internet of Things whereby we’ll see far more intelligent devices connected to each other, via the mobile network, providing services that past generations could only dream about. We are certainly moving towards a truly connected future.

Did you miss part one? Read it here: Mobility Through the Ages - AMPS

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