Glossary of Terminology


3G (Third Generation) - 3G refers to a form of third generation wireless technology that supports  high-speed data transmission rates.

4G/LTE (Fourth Generation or Long Term Evolution) - 4G connectivity is an improvement upon 3G and provides very high-speed data transmission rates.

APN (Access Point Name) - An APN is the name given to a gateway between a GPRS, 3G or 4G mobile network. When establishing an internet connection an APN name and sometimes a username and password are require to connect.

AuC (Authentication Centre) - The AuC is a function within a cellular network to authenticate each SIM card that attempts to connect to the GSM core network (typically when the device is powered on). Once the authentication is successful, the HLR is allowed to manage the SIM and services.

CSD Number (Circuit Switched Data Number) - CSD is the original form of data transmission developed prior to packet switched transmission methods such as GPRS. The CSD Number is used to track subscriber calls for SIMs that still use CSD.

GPRS (Global Packet Radio Service) - GPRS utilises GSM networks to provide wireless internet connectivity for phones, computers and other devices. Data rates vary between 56 and 114 Kbps. GPRS provides the basic level of internet connectivity before 2G, 3G and 4G.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications Service) - GSM utilises the division of time and frequency techniques to increase the call capacity of a wireless network. Other services such as SMS, CSD and GPRS are also enabled through GSM. In Europe, Asia and Australia the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies are used, where as America uses a frequency of 1900MHz.

HLR (Home Location Register) - A HLR is the main database within a cellular network that holds subscriber details including SIM profile, device, current location, identification encryption code and the users 'home' cell.

HSS (Home Subscriber Server) - Contains the main database within a cellular network that holds subscriber details, and performs authentication of the user. It can be viewed as containing HLR and AuC functionality and as a successor to them.

ICCID (Integrated Circuit Card ID) - Each SIM card is internationally identified by a unique serial number that is imbedded within the SIM profile and is engraved or printed on the SIM card.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) - An IMEI number is a unique identifier that is associated with a given device. The identifier often called a serial number is assigned to the device by the manufacturer and can be used to track individual devices.  Sometimes the device's software version is appended to it, in which case it is referred to as the IMEISV (International Mobile Equipment Identity Software Version).

IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) - An IMSI is a unique 15 digit number used to globally identify a subscriber. The IMSI is stored within the SIM profile and provided to the network when connected. The IMSI can also be used to acquire details of the mobile number in the HLR.

MSISDN (Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number) - The MSISDN is most commonly referred to as the mobile number. The number includes a country code and the remaining structure is defined by the mobile network. The MSISDN is used to track subscriber calls.

RAT (Radio Access Technology) - The underlying physical connection method for a mobile network.

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