The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. It was first deployed in Finland in December 1991.By the mid-2010s, it became a global standard for mobile communications achieving over 90% market share, and operating in over 193 countries and territories. 2G networks developed as a replacement for first generation (1G) analog cellular networks. The GSM standard originally described a digital, circuit-switched network optimized for full duplex voice telephony. This expanded over time to include data communications, first by circuit-switched transport, then by packet data transport via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE). Subsequently, the 3GPP developed third-generation (3G) UMTS standards, followed by fourth-generation (4G) LTE Advanced standards, which do not form part of the ETSI GSM standard. "GSM" is a trademark owned by the GSM Association. It may also refer to the (initially) most common voice codec used, Full Rate.


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