2nd-generation (2G) refers to the initial group of wireless technology standards that were digital instead of analog (1G).
3G Stands for 3rd-generation. Analog cellular phones were the first generation. Digital phones marked the second generation (2G). 3G is loosely defined, but generally includes high data speeds, always-on data access, and greater voice capacity (more simultaneous calls per tower). The high data speeds are arguably the most important feature, and certainly the most marketed. They enable such advanced features as live, streaming video. There are several different 3G technology standards. The most prevalent worldwide is WCDMA (also known as UMTS.) WCDMA is the 3G technology of choice for most carriers that used GSM as their 2G technology.
Fourth Generation. A somewhat vague term used to describe wireless mobile radio technologies that offer faster data rates than 3G (third generation) technologies. 4G networks are also more data-centric and based on standard Internet technologies such as IP. The most common technology worldwide recognized as 4G is LTE.
Fifth Generation. A term used to describe the next generation of mobile radio technology offering much faster speeds than 4G.
Application Programming Interface.
Access Point Name. The hostname (Internet address) of a gateway that connects phones to the rest of the Internet. Most phones require such an access point (gateway) in order to access the Internet. The name of that access point must be correctly entered in the phone’s settings in order for the phone to find it on the network and thus connect to the Internet. The APN should be the gateway that belongs to the carrier (AKA service provider or mobile network operator) matching the SIM card in the phone. For example “apn.mobile.com”.
BeiDou satellite navigational system, is a Chinese GNSS navigational system.
- BeiDou Navigation Satellite System
- BeiDou-2 (Formally known as Compass)
Cellular Signal Quality, this is the signal strength the device has to the connected base station.
Galileo, a satellite navigation system of the European Union.
GLONASS, short for Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema. Russian satellite navigational system.
GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System.
General Packet Radio Service. A packet-switched technology that enables data communications. GPRS is used for various data applications on phones, including wireless Internet (WAP), MMS, and software that connects to the Internet. Basically, any network connection that is not voice or text messaging uses a data connection like GPRS.
Global Positioning System.
Global System for Mobile Communication. GSM was the dominant 2G digital mobile phone standard for most of the world. It determines the way in which mobile phones communicate with the land-based network of towers.
Expressed in degrees as a value of 1 to 360, used to determine the direction of movement.
Horizontal Geometric Dilution of Precision. A measure of the geometric quality of a GPS satellite configuration in the sky. HDOP is a factor in determining the relative accuracy of a horizontal position. The angle and number of satellites where a fix is obtainable result in the level of accuracy.
Information, Communication and Technology.
International Mobile Equipment Identifier. A 15-digit number (composed of four parts) that uniquely identifies an individual wireless device.
Location Area Code.
Long-Term Evolution. A wireless mobile radio technology designed to succeed 3G WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA (and also CDMA) technology. Its primary feature for users is faster data, although it also improves the efficiency and capacity of wireless networks. Although “LTE” is not the name of the standard itself, it is often used that way. The actual standard is called 3GPP Release 8. LTE is considered by many to be LTE a “4G” technology, both because it is faster than 3G, and because it uses an “all-IP” architecture where everything (including voice) is handled as data, similar to the Internet.
Machine to Machine. In the world of cell phone networks, M2M refers to devices other than cell phones using the wireless network to communicate with other devices or networks.
Mobile Country Code.
Micro-SIM. (3FF SIM). 3FF stands for 3rd Form Factor. A SIM card that is physically smaller than a traditional (2FF) SIM, but larger than a nano-SIM (4FF).
Mobile Network Code.
Nano-SIM. (4FF SIM). 4FF stands for 4th Form Factor. A SIM card that is simply physically smaller than a traditional (2FF) SIM card or Micro-SIM (3FF) card.
Number of satellites the unit can see. Important to note that seeing the satellites does not mean the unit is actively using this number of satellites to obtain its location. Varies per device functionality and location at the time, as to how many of these satellites are being used by the device for an accurate location fix.
NAVIC. Indian satellite navigational system.
QZSS, short for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System. A Japanese satellite navigation system.
Subscriber Identity Module. A small “smart card” used in GSM and LTE phones.
Value Added Reseller.
Vehicle Identification Number.
Warrant of Fitness, mainly used within New Zealand.