Communication everywhere, with everybody, and at any time ± we have come much closer to this goal during the last few years. Digitalization of communication systems, enormous progress in microelectronics, computers, and software technology, inventions of ef®cient algorithms and procedures for compression, security, and processing of all kinds of signals, as well as the development of ¯exible communication protocols have been important prerequisites for this progress.
GSM’s Success Factors
Friedhelm Hillebrand 1
23.1 Acceptance in Europe, the First Step
The ﬁrst big step was the success and acceptance in all European countries. GSM was certainly the right product at the right time. There were countries like France and Germany who needed capacity in the early 1990s. Other countries like the UK, Italy, the Nordic countries had high capacity analogue systems. They were attracted by superior GSM features like small hand-held terminals as well as superior services like international roaming, SMS and data services.
Since its conception in 1988 the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) has undergone continuous development extending its technical and functional capabilities. Initially, it was deﬁned as a security module to authenticate the user to the network providing, at the same time, some very limited amount of memory for network and private user data. In those days, smart cards were still in their infancy. The technological and market requirements of GSM, its need for a global solution and its growing market power shaped the face of the SIM and changed the world of the smart card....
Security was perceived by some in the ﬁrst days of GSM as an unnecessary expense. Certainly, initially, all involved considered protection of user data from eavesdropping as more important than authentication of the user, though some questioned whether the perceived complexity of introducing encryption over the radio interface was justiﬁed.
Physical communication channels in wireless technology are inherently insecure. As
a wire only has two ends, the wired communication technology has a means of
supporting integrity of communication, whereas in wireless communication
dedicated technology is needed—even to control a basic point-to-point connection.
If your GSM phone doesn’t have a SIM card installed, you can’t connect to mobile
networks for voice and data services, but you can connect to a Wi-Fi network to sign
into your Google Account and to use all the features of your phone, except placing a
cell phone call. (CDMA phones don’t rely on a SIM card to connect to mobile
If you start a GSM Android phone the first time without a SIM card, you’re asked if you
want to touch Connect to Wi-Fi to connect to a Wi-Fi network (instead of to a
mobile network) to set up your phone. To learn more,...