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Cell Phone Acronyms

Commonly used Acronyms on the Mobile Huddle

Please add/edit as appropriate


3G - third generation wireless data networks. These typically provide 'near-broadband' speed.


4G - fourth generation wireless data networks.


AGL - Above Ground Level


AMSL - Above mean sea level


B2B - Business to Business


CC - Customer Care or Credit Card


CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access


EDGE - Enhanced Data for Global Evolution - an upgrade to GSM data technology that triples speeds over standard GPRS.


ESN - 'Electronic Serial Number' - unique 8-digit hex number assigned to CDMA units to identify them on a CDMA network, comparable to IMEI numbers on GSM networks.  Also see MEID.


ETF - Early Termination Fee - A penalty charged to a customer that ends his/her contract with the carrier early.


EVDO - 'Evolution-Data Optimized', a data transmission standard for near-broadband speed wireless data.


FAN - Foundation Account Number - see wiki about this


GPRS - General Packet Radio Service - early technology to enable data communication on GSM networks. It has since been replaced be better data technologies such as EDGE and 3G


GSM - Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world.


HSDPA - High-Speed Dispatch Enhanced Network - a data technology upgrade for WCDMA / UMTS networks


iDen - Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network - Motorola technology to combine 2-way radio, telephone, text messaging and data transmission onto the same network.


IMEI - 'International Mobile Equipment Identity' - unique 15-digit hex number assigned to GSM units to uniquely identify them.  The IMEI identifies a unit, but not a subscriber as in the case of ESN/MEID which provides both service.  A subscriber's SIM card delivers the IMSI number, which identifies a subscriber on a GSM network.  The IMEI is formatted to identify the origin, model, and serial number of a device.


IMSI - 'International Mobile Subscriber Identity' - stored on a SIM card in GSM networks, this number identifies a subscriber on a GSN network.


IRU - Individual Responsibility User - a customer on a business account that is responsible for their own bill.


MEID - 'Mobile Equipment Identifier' - 14 hex-digit unique identifier assigned to devices on CDMA networks to uniquely identify units.  The MEID is replacing the use of ESNs due to shortage of unique 8-digit hex numbers.  Also see ESN.


OLAM - Online Account Management (AT&T Wireless term)


PUK / PUC code - Personal Unlocking Key - used in GSM phones.  See the unlocking phones wiki


SERO - Sprint Employee Referral Offer - see the Sprint Deals wiki


SIM - Subscriber Identity Module - a small card used in GSM phones to identify an account/user and store some information.


TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access - Successor to Analog technology and precursor to GSM technology


UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System - European implementation of the 3G system


WAP - Wireless Application Protocol - standard for mobile data applications on a variety of platforms


WCDMA - Wideband CDMA - a 3G technology for data transmission in GSM systems


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Mobile Huddle › Articles › Cell Phone Acronyms