GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications, originally Groupe Spécial Mobile), 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 phones, first deployed in Finland in July 1991.
As of 2014 it has become the default global standard for mobile communications - with over 90% market share, operating in over 219 countries and territories.
2G networks developed as a replacement for first generation (1G) analog cellular networks, and 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 GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution or EGPRS).
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