S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Apr 4 - 10, 2011
Cellular communication is widely used all over the world. The users of handsets are increasing due to the aggressive marketing by telecom companies. Some of the cellular communication systems are using GSM (global system for mobile communications) and it is a common world wide standard.
Practically, the GSM standard is currently used in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. The technique used by GSM to transmit signals is called Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDD). It allows full roaming from operator to operator in presence of mutual bilateral agreement. GSM network contains cells with a base station (BS) at the center of each cell. Mobile stations (MS) are connected to base stations. If mobile station moves between two cells, the network performs well and the call is not dropped. GSM network is divided into location areas, each containing a certain number of cells. Mobile station can be reached through paging when it moves within location area otherwise it cannot be reached before it performs a location update.
GSM technology is in use by more than one person in every ten of the world's population and is available in almost worldwide. Furthermore, the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a new bearer service for GSM that greatly improves and simplifies wireless access to packet data networks, e.g., to the internet. It applies a packet radio principle to transfer user data packets in an efficient way between mobile stations and external packet data networks.
There are four security measures in GSM like: PINcode, Authentication of Simcard, the User authentication performed by network, encrypting of information sent over radio interface and the last one is the usage of TMSI instead of IMSI over radio interface. The IMSI means international mobile subscribers identity, which is globally unique and the TMSI means temporary mobile subscriber identity, which is local and temporary identity.
CELLULAR COMMUNICATION IN PAKISTAN
For a very long period, the Pakistani masses were forced to use an outdated and poorly operated telecom system. Installation and mending of landlines was an unnecessarily prolonged experience with unhappy consumers making several trips to the complaint centers before any problem could be effectively addressed. Poor quality, elevated countrywide and international calling prices and mismanagement all made Pakistan telecom one of the most unpopular utilities in Pakistan. But, all that was altered with the deregulation of the telecommunication sector in Pakistan at the start of the 21st century.
The step, which was meant to aide mostly the customers and small businesspersons in Pakistan, fulfilled past expectations. The huge population of close to a 150 million Pakistanis was a key incentive for mobile and cellular companies all over the globe and in spite of licenses being given to a considerable number of major international organizations, the pie was big enough for all to take pleasure in and earn many benefits.
Cellular call prices dropped speedily as the competition increased and services like incoming calls, which were high, soon became free. Other services like text or SMS messages became exceptionally easy on the pocket and developed into a fresh and highly frequent kind of interaction. Teenagers and adults just could not get their fills. To further draw a younger customer base, special low prices were placed in effect for late night calls with additional concessions available for a predetermined number on the same system. Internet surfing abilities on cell phones and picture messaging were also introduced.
At almost the same time, cell phone knowledge improved astronomically, allowing subscribers to carry hand-sized, more manageable phones that were fairly easy to carry in the pocket. Well known phones like Blackberry, Apple's iPhone, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson were all easily available and there was a cell phone to accommodate any and every individual's demands and budgets. Chains of cell phone sellers sprung up all over the country with the newest designs purchasable a few weeks after their universal debut. Chinese and resold stolen phones were also accepted at much lower prices with entire centers selling these phones. Individuals, who had not subscribed to a landline in their existence, now had access to low-cost and good quality mobile phone communication.
Mobile phone corporations gave consumers with a substantial number of pricing choices and packages. Nearly all companies provided a pre-paid and post-paid billing choice, with well-situated locations to pay for bills or obtain credit. Scratch cards were broadly circulated and were purchasable in nearly all retails shops, large and small. Small service providers like handymen and agents, who were now carrying cell phones, could be communicated with anywhere and saw their sales improve by a sizable proportion. Very rapidly, a cell phone became an important part of daily life. It was thought of as very simple and an important way to communicate in case of emergencies.
The mobile phone telecommunication sector soon crossed ahead of the typical cable based fixed lines in terms of subscription and share. So fast was the expansion, that Pakistan was at one time the fastest growing telecommunication business across the world. Competition between the major companies forced not only mobile phone communication prices to remain low but also improved the services provided by Pakistan telecommunications.
The Pakistani citizens were not the lone beneficiaries of the telecommunication growth in Pakistan. The sales to the government from this sector rose significantly as well. Mobile phone communication providers are diversifying into interconnected technologies, such as wireless high-speed internet as well. This means additional sales for these firms and improved prices and service dependability for the consumer.
With new and used PCs becoming widely available and easy on the pocket, it looks as the new technological revolution in Pakistan is coming very soon.