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Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is one of the major standards for digital mobile communications.


AT&T GSM Network Technology

Advancement of GSM technology used at AT&T.

In 1982, the Groupe Spécial Mobile (now GSMA) was formed by the Confederation of European Posts and Telecommunications (CEPT) to design a pan-European mobile technology. GSM was named after the "Groupe de travail Spéciale pour les services Mobiles" group of CEPT that wrote the first GSM specifications.[1]

By 2011, GSM was in use in over 60 countries and serving over six billion subscribers. The 2G GSM standard uses the 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz bands. GPRS allows packet-switched data communications over GSM, and is widely used for web and electronic mail access from mobile devices.[1]


The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is based on GSM, and used as a successor technology by AT&T's 3G network.[2] The iPhone 3G was the first device from Apple to utilize it.[3]

Retirement of 3G service[]

AT&T is scheduled to begin shutting down its GSM-based 3G network on February 22, 2022 to make room for more advanced wireless services in the United States.[4][5] T-Mobile will shut down its UMTS network on July 1, 2022. Both shutdowns will also affect early 4G phones that do not support Voice over LTE (iPhone 5C, 5S and earlier). This will also affect the 3G-enabled original iPad and iPad 2.[6][7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Global System for Mobile Communications at the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing. 2017-01-03.
  2. AT&T GSM Network Technology (PDF), AT&T. 2008-05-20.
  3. iPhone 3G - Technical Specifications, Apple Support. 2017-07-26.
  4. Act now - 3G is going away in 2022, AT&T. 2021-09-09.
  5. Plan Ahead for Phase Out of 3G Cellular Networks and Service, Federal Communications Commission. 2021-08-23.
  6. T-Mobile Network Evolution, T-Mobile. Accessed 2021-10-10.
  7. Devices Working on AT&T Network (PDF), AT&T. 2021-09-03.

See also[]

External links[]

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