Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Operators celebrate GSM technology @ 20

It was a celebration time for the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) at the weekend as it commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM).

Champion Infotel recalls that on September 7, 1987 15 operators from 13 countries signed a memorandum of understanding that led to the development of GSM, the first pan-European mobile standard and, subsequently, the first global mobile standard.

A report by David Meyer of ZDNet UK, quoted the chief executive of the GSM Association, Rob Conway, as saying that deal was widely regarded as the foundation of today’s global mobile phone industry.

“The 1987 agreement is widely regarded as the foundation of today’s global mobile-phone industry and the birth of one of the greatest technological achievements of our age,” Mr. Conway said.

For the former Vodafone chief executive and one of the deal’s signatories, Sir Christopher Gent, it was the “single most important agreement in the history of telecommunications.”

He asserted that GSM had “done more to bridge the digital divide than any other innovation.”

GSM now has a monopoly among mobile services, with 85 per cent of the market.

The technology, according to experts, have given boost to two and a half billion users across 218 countries and territories, with more than a billion new handsets being bought every year.

More than seven trillion minutes of calls are made and about two and a half trillion Short Message Service (SMS) are sent over GSM networks every year, according to the GSM Association.

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