# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Mobile Glossary



1G is the first generation of wireless telephone technology, allowing the use of mobile phones. The first commercial 1G network was launched in 1979 in Japan. 1G networks use analogue radio signals and facilitate a download speed of 2.9 KB/s to 5.6 KB/s.


2G is the second generation of wireless telephone technology, differing from the first mainly in that phone conversations are digitally encrypted instead of analogue, making it far more efficient.


3G is the third generation of wireless telephone technology with increased bandwidth and higher transfer rates. This allows better use of Internet, video-calls, mobile TV and other applications on mobile phones.


4G is the next step of the mobile network evolution. 4G networks have higher capacities, making the mobile experience even better for smartphone users with the increasing usage of Internet on one’s mobile. Different 4G systems offer download speeds up to 300 Mbps = massively quicker than its predecessors!



Android is a smartphone operating system owned by Google. Many different handset developers (HTC, Samsung, etc.) use the Android OS on their devices.

Apple App Store

The place where iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users can download apps, free and paid. It was the first of its kind to be launched with the second generation of the iPhone in 2008 as an extension to iTunes. It sparked an entirely new lucrative industry – the app industry.


Applications are software or programmes for mobile phones. Users can download apps on their smartphone (e.g. Angry Birds, Dictionary, Weather Forecast) and businesses can develop and publish apps to build a connection with the mobile audience. The different OS’s have different app stores where apps can be downloaded.



Bandwidth refers to data-rate or data transfer speed – how fast download a network allows. It is commonly measured in bits per second (bps). Kbps = 1000 bits, Mbps = 1 million bits, Gbps = 1 billion bits. See 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G for the development of wireless data transfer speeds.


Blackberry is a mobile brand developed by RIM (Research-in-Motion). Their phones are typically recognized by their QWERTY keyboard and are renowned for their emphasis on security and business solutions.

Blackberry App World

Blackberry App World is Blackberry’s app store, where applications for Blackberry devices can be downloaded. It was launched in April 2008 and of the three major app providers (Apple and Android) it has the largest revenue per app.


Bluetooth is a short-range communication protocol that enables mobile devices (with Bluetooth capability) to send and receive information wirelessly to nearby devices using the 2.4 GHz spectrum band. This typically includes wireless headsets or data-transfer to another mobile phone.



A company, also known as service provider, that provides mobile phone users with services and subscriptions to mobile phone networks.


CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is a type of technique, allowed with the introduction of 2G networks, for multiplexing digital transmission of radio signals in which each voice or data call uses the whole radio band, and is assigned a unique code.



EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) is the final stage of the evolution of the GSM standard, bringing 2G closer to 3G capacity for data transfer (faster download). EDGE was launched on GSM networks for the first time in the US in 2003 with a typical speed of 384 KB/s.


Google Play

Google Play (formerly Android Market) is Google’s app store for Android mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).


GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a packet-switching technology that enables high-speed data transmission of up to 115 KB/s. It is an enhancement for GSM, often described as 2.5G.


Global Positioning System is a direct connection to satellites that determines the exact geographical position of a receiver. Satnavs use GPS connection but many smartphones today also have a built-in GPS system. This allows the user to use their smartphone as a satnav.


GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) is a digital mobile cellular standard developed and widely used in Europe. It is one of the main 2G digital wireless standards.



A handset is a term used in reference to a mobile phone or a mobile device.



iOS is Apple’s operating system native to all of Apple’s mobile devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch).



An object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Programmes authored in Java do not rely on an operating system, as long as Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is installed on the device on which they are running.



MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is a standard for telephony messaging systems that enable the sending of messages that include multimedia objects (images, audio, video, rich text). It may or may not include normal text.

Mobile Carriers

See carriers.

Mobile Message

SMS and/or MMS message sent to a handset.

Mobile Network Operators

See carriers.

Mobile Web

The Mobile Web is a channel for delivery of web content, which adapts the content to a mobile context. The mobile context is characterised by different things such as mobile constraints (screen size, keyboard input) and special capabilities (location, connection type such as 3G or Wifi).


Network Operator

See carriers.



OS stands for Operating System and is the software that runs a mobile device. Apple’s iPhone runs on its native iOS, Android phones use a different OS, and Blackberry still another.



The smartphone is the new generation of mobile phones optimised for using mobile Internet and applications. It typically has touch-screen features and gives you the possibility to surf the Internet and download games/applications. Very much like a mini-computer!


SMS (Short Message Service) is a messaging system that allows sending messages between mobile devices that consist of short messages, normally with text only content.


An Internet derived expression for the one-way transmission of video and audio content. When streaming video, the video is not downloaded onto your device, but it is viewed directly online via your device (still using of your data allowance).


Product or services initiated by a mobile subscriber to receive content on an ongoing basis, typically with periodic bill due to payment. It is not a one-time usage service.


Symbian is a OS used on smartphones, particularly the older generation of smartphones from the beginning of this millennium. It is still used by some smartphones (e.g. Nokia) but is quickly loosing its market share.


A type of two-way communication with virtually no time delay, allowing participants to respond in real time.



A tablet is a fusion of laptops and smartphones, embodying the mobility of a smartphone and the workability of a PC. Tablets can be used to surf the Internet, and with an ocean of apps available they can be used for work, educational purposes, games, multimedia, etc.

Text Messages

See SMS.


WAP 1.0

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a format of mobile web that relies on WML markup language and special protocols designed for ultra-efficient transmission of content to limited devices over limited connections.

WAP 2.0

WAP 2.0 is a popular format of choice for mobile web that relies on a new set of standards that are more in line with Internet standards. Using xHTML, mobile carriers, content providers and media companies can present content and functionality in more robust formats via faster wireless technologies.


WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) is a high-speed 3G mobile wireless technology with the capacity to offer higher data speeds than CDMA and therefore can transmit and receive information faster and more efficiently.


A widget is a third-party lightweight web application that can be embedded in a 3G mobile phone. In Android smartphones this is a particularly visible feature in that the user can place widgets on the home-screen (e.g. a clock, weather forecast, Facebook updates).


Wifi is the wireless connection you get through a local network (e.g. your Internet hub at home) rather than the mobile network (e.g. 3G connection), which requires a subscription and often has a usage limit.

Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile was a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft for smartphones and Pocket PCs. Launched in 2000, it was the predecessor of Windows Phone and was discontinued with the introduction of its successor in 2010.

Windows Phone

Windows Phone is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft, and is the successor to its Windows Mobile platform. Launched in second half of 2010, Microsoft had created a new and much neater user interface called Metro.


See wifi.