SOLVED: Complete Guide To Cell Phone Acronyms

Below is a list of the common cell phone acronyms, their meaning and a brief description in plain english.  Note that each line is hyperlinked to a webpage to provide more detail, if you want it 🙂

CODE MEANING SIMPLE DESCRIPTION
1G First Generation cellular network analog on FM band just for phone calls
2G Second Generation cellular network some digital transmission with basic data using CDMA or GSM
3G Third Generation cellular network data and voice on same network  using WCDMA & UMTS
4G Fourth Generation cellular network 100-200Mb/s internet on cellular – 2018 Standard using LTE & MIMO
5G Fifth Generation cellular network 1000Mb/s (gigabit) internet on cellular – early 2020’s using MWMCM
AMPS Advanced Mobile Phone Services 1G analog mid 19580’s technology allowed calls in one country
APN Access Point Name the Gateway between cell and non-cell (i.e. land) internet
CDMA Code-Division Multiple Access 3G technology to simultaneously sending & receiving on the same channel
CDMA2000 Code-Division Multiple Access in Year 2000 aka C2K – better version of CDMA but still 3G
EDGE Enhanced Data For GSM Evolution 200kb/s – next generation GSM
ESN Electronic Serial Number serial number transmistted to cell towers
FREEZE not an acronym appeas after unlock code wrongly entered too many times
GPRS General Packet Radio Services 2.5G or 3G technology 56 – 114 Kb/s internet connection
GSM Global System for Mobile communication 50kb/s popular in Europe using TDMA
HSPDA High Speed Downlink/Uplink Packet Access 5 – 30MB/s cellular data popular in India sometimes called 3.5G
ICCID Integrated Circuit Card Identifier SIM card serial number
IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identity 15 characters
LTE Long Term Evolution 4G data network with many different iterations inc. LTE2, LTE+, LTE Advanced
LTE-A Long Term Evolution Advanced wrongly called 5G, just another, faster version of LTE
MCK Master Control Key Unfreeze Code for Samsung
MEID Mobile Equipment Identifier global serial number just like IMEI developed by a different organization
MIMO Multiple Input Multiple Output using more than one connection at the same time
MMS MultiMedia Message Service sending formatted text or pictures over a cell network – the new SMS
MWMCM Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications, Massive MIMO 5G – using a lot of connections at the same time
NCK Network Control Key code to unlock cells
OFDM Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing a way of combining different streams
SIM Subscriber Identity Module small chip used to verify identity with cell towers
SMS Short Message Service plain text messages sent over the voice network – original texing!
TDMA Time Division Multiple Access 2G & 3G technology competing with CDMA and used inside GSM
UDID Unique Device Identifier Apple only serial number
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service 3G technology used in GSM to get 2mb/s
WCDMA Wideband Code Division Multiple Access Faster CDMA but largely incompatible with CDMA replacing GSM
WiFi not an acronym for anything – made up local wireless networks
WiMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access WiFi like technology that communicates up to 10 Kilometers -Dead?

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