CHAPTER 2 GLOBAL SYSTEMS FOR MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS (GSM) INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
A definition of the digital global services mobile (GSM) network
The discussion of the theoretical view on an integrated safety, health and environmental risk assessment model for the South African GSM industry in Chapter 3 makes extensive reference to GSM communications, and it is therefore appropriate to examine this technology in more detail to place it in perspective with the rest of the research.
The term “GSM” is internationally defined as “global system for mobile communications” ([email protected]). GSM is a globally accepted standard for digital cellular communication. It is also the name of a study group called the Groupe Spécial Mobile, established in 1982 at the Conference of European Posts and Telegraphs (CEPT) to create a common European mobile telephone standard to formulate specifications for a panEuropean mobile cellular radio system operating at 900 MHz.
With North America making a delayed entry into the GSM field, GSM systems soon existed on every continent and the acronym GSM was then appropriately changed to signify “global system for mobile communications. (Scourias J – [email protected]).
What is GSM?
GSM is an open, non-proprietary system that is constantly evolving. One of its great strengths is its international roaming capability. This gives consumers seamless, standardised, same number contact ability in more than 170 countries. GSM satellite roaming has extended service access to areas where terrestrial coverage is not available.
Today’s second-generation GSM networks deliver quality, secure mobile voice and data service as SMS/text messaging, with full roaming capacity across the world.
The GSM platform is a very successful technology and an unprecedented story of global achievement. In the less than ten years since the first network was commercially launched, it has become the world’s leading and fastest growing mobile standard, spanning over 179 countries. GSM technology is used by more than one in ten of the world’s population, and growth continues with the number of subscribers worldwide expected to exceed one billion by the end of 2004. (http://www.gsmworld.com/news/press_2004/press04 – Cannes, France, 22 February 2004).
The progress has not stopped there. The GSM platform is living, growing and evolving, and already offers an expanded and feature-rich family of voice and enabling services.
According to Kester Mann, Senior Research Analyst at EMC:
With subscriber numbers having passed the 1.5 billion mark in the first week of June 2004, EMC forecasts that global net additions of more than 240 million in both 2004 and 2005 will set the mobile industry up to break through the 2 billion subscriber mark as soon as July 2006, http://www.the3gportal.com/3gpnews/archives/ 007233.html – 23 June 2004).
GSM’s unrivalled success can be attributed to many factors, including the unparalleled cooperation and support between all those supplying, running and exploiting the platform. It is based on a true end-to-end solution, from infrastructure and services to handsets and billing systems.
GSM is a standard that embraces all areas of technology, resulting in global, seamless wireless services for all its customers. It is all part of the « wireless » evolution, which includes technologies such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3GSM, which make up the wireless evolution, as well as mobile services and applications such as SMS and WAP.
3GSM is the generic term used for the next generation of mobile communications services. These new systems will provide enhanced services such as voice, text and data services. They are expected soon to be able to offer video on demand and high-speed multimedia and Internet access. 3GSM represents third-generation services delivered on an evolved core GSM network. They are delivered at a technical level on thirdgeneration standards developed by Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which use air interfaces for W-CDMA and, in some specified markets, EDGE.
The new 3G wireless internet service provided by Vodacom and MTN in South Africa is evidence of the 3GSM technology which is currently being implemented across the industry by global groups such as 3GPP.
The main benefit of third-generation systems is that they will offer high-end service capabilities, which include substantially enhanced capacity, quality and data. 3GSM services also include concurrent usage of multiple services and will bridge the gap between wireless and internet/computing.
To return to GSM in general, it should be noted that it differs from firstgeneration wireless systems in that it uses digital technology and time division multiple access transmission methods. Voice is digitally encoded via a unique encoder, which emulates the characteristics of human speech. This method of transmission permits a very efficient data rate/information content ratio.
High bandwidth services are already becoming available through secondgeneration technologies. The development path to 3GSM is clearly mapped out, and brings with it the possibilities of sophisticated data and multimedia applications.
The GSM standard will continue to evolve, with wireless, satellite and cordless systems offering greatly expanded services. These will include highspeed, multimedia data services, inbuilt support for parallel use of such services, and seamless integration with the Internet and wire line networks.
In the late 1980s, as cellular networks developed around the world, there was a need to establish compatible standards and frequencies between different networks. (http : // www.gsmworld.com/about/history / index.shtml – June 2004). The International Tele communications Union (ITU) agreed to develop an international operating standard, which eventually (as already explained) became known as the global system for mobile communications (GSM).
GSM is now in use in over 200 countries around the world, allowing features such as international roaming. Thus, the main advantage of GSM is that anybody can make calls anywhere, at any time, provided there is coverage and capacity — the emphasis of GSM being on mobility of communication. (http://www.gsmworld.com/about/history/index.shtml – June 2004).
With business becoming increasingly international during the latter part of the 20th century, the cutting edge of the communications industry focused on exclusively local cellular solutions. None of these was remotely compatible with any of the others.
During the first wave of GSM technology, people were able to call the office if they were in their own homes, but not if they were with a client in another country. Nevertheless, it was clear there would be an escalating demand for a technology that facilitated flexible and reliable mobile communications. This in itself was a potentially lethal time bomb that threatened the durability of first-generation cellular networks. (http://www.gsmworld.com/about/history/ index.shtml – June 2004).
The problem was capacity; or the lack of it. It was soon obvious that by the early 1990s the disparate analogue networks would collapse under the pressure of demand.
From the start, GSM pundits had it in mind that the new standard was likely to employ digital, rather than analogue technology, and operate in the 900MHz frequency band.(http://www.gsmworld.com/about/history/index.shtml – June 2004).
Digital technology offered an attractive combination of performance and spectral efficiency. In other words, it would provide high quality transmission, and enable more callers simultaneously to use the limited radio band available. In addition, such a system would allow the development of advanced features like speech security and data communications. (http://www.gsmworld.com/about/history/index.shtml – June 2004).
By making use of digital technology, it would also be possible to employ very large-scale integrated silicon technology (VLSI) that would have significant implications for both manufacturers and consumers.
Handsets could, for example, be made cheaper and smaller. It would also make it possible to introduce the first hand-held terminals, even though in the early days they would be practically indistinguishable from a brick in terms of size and weight.
A remarkable characteristic of the GSM revolution was that once started, it soon became unstoppable. After the ITU testing procedure had been agreed in April 1992, the increasing availability of terminals stimulated the emergence of the first genuine commercial network services.
In practice, then, the real launch of GSM took place in the latter part of 1992. Among the early runners were Denmark (two operators), Finland (two operators), France, Germany (two operators), Italy, Portugal (two operators) and Sweden (three operators). Then, on 17 June 1992, the first roaming agreement was signed between Telecom Finland and Vodafone in the UK. (http://www.gsmworld.com/about/history/index.shtml – June 2004).
Parallel to the arrival of the networks, industry professionals were seizing the opportunity of establishing their own networking at what was soon to become the major GSM global event, and by the end of 1993, GSM had broken through the 1 million-subscriber barrier.
One of the most attractive features of GSM is that it is a very secure network. All communications, both speech and data, are encrypted to prevent eavesdropping. In fact, in the early stages of its development it was found that the encryption algorithm was too powerful for certain technology export regulators. This could have had serious implications for the global spread of GSM by limiting the number of countries to which it could be sold. Alternative algorithms were subsequently developed that enabled the free dissemination of the technology worldwide. (http://www.gsmworld.com/technology/ gsm.shtml – June 2004).
Their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card identifies GSM subscribers. It stores their identity number and authentication key and algorithm. The choice of algorithm is the responsibility of individual GSM operators who have to ensure security of authentication. (Siemens 2002: 27)
This kind of smartcard technology has proved itself to be a potent weapon in the battle for network security. This is, however, only the tip of the iceberg as far as SIM card potential is concerned. For example, it is no longer necessary for users to own a terminal; travellers can simply rent GSM phones at an airport and insert their SIM cards. Since it is the card, rather than the terminal, that enables network access, feature access and billing, the user is immediately on-line.
One of the defining characteristics of any revolution is that, however carefully it is planned; no one can really be sure where it will lead. An unexpected characteristic of the new mobile industry was that it carried the seeds of the liberalisation of the entire telecommunications market.
The GSM technology is the richest and most flexible on the market. The future will only be constrained by the limits of human imagination.
How a cellular network operates
The network structure
The international GSM service area covers all countries in which there is a GSM900, GSM1800 or GSM1900 network.
Networks provided by an operator on a national level for public mobile communication applications are referred to as Public Land Mobile Networks, or PLMNs. A PLMN is divided into fixed and mobile network components, and they are connected via air interfaces.
Fixed network components
The fixed network components of a GSM-PLMN consist of the following:
• Base Station Subsystem (BSS): The BSS describes the radio access to the PLMN (Radio Sub-system). It is designed to receive and send digital voice and data information via the radio interface. Several fixed radio station (cells) are coordinated by one control unit.
• Network Switching Subsystem (NSS): The NSS forms the interface between the radio subsystem and the public, offering trunk/customer networks (PSTN, ISDN, PDN). It executes all signalling functions for setting up connections from and to mobile subscribers. It is similar to the exchanges of fixed network communication systems, but it also fulfils important mobile communication specific functions.
The air or radio interface represents the connection between the mobile (MS) network components and the fixed network components (BSS, NSS). The organisation of the radio interface is decisive for advantages and disadvantages of different mobile systems.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE GSM INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
2. Statutory requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No. 85 of
3. Statutory requirements under the National Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998, and the Environment Conser vation Act, No 73 of 1989
4. Goal of the study
5. Objectives of the study
6. Importance of the study
7. Research method
8. Limitations of the study
9. Outline of the study
CHAPTER 2 GLOBAL SYSTEMS FOR MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS (GSM) INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
1. A definition of the digital global services mobile (GSM) network.
2. What is GSM?
3. Historical background
4. How a cellular network operates
CHAPTER 3 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE ON AN INTEGRATED HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR THE GSM INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
2. The history of risk management
4. Enterprise risk management
5. Integrated risk management
6. Environmental management
7. An integrated risk management model for the GSM industry in South Africa
CHAPTER 4 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE ON A HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN GSM INDUSTRY
2. Health and safety risk assessments
3. Risk assessment models
4. International Standard on Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001)
5. Hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control according to the OHSAS 18001 standard
6. Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessments
CHAPTER 5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
1. Theoretical introduction to the design strategy
2. Population and unit of measurement
3. Sampling frame
4. Sample size
5. Measurement and questionnaire design
6. Discussion of the questionnaire questions
7. Summary of research design
CHAPTER 6 FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
2. Grouping of respondents
3. The questionnaire
4. Section 2: Risk management structure questions
5. Part 3: Discussion of risk assessment questions
6. Analysis of relationships between organisations with a health, safety and environmental management strategy and a policy statement in relation to their application of an integrated risk assessment tool to measure health, safety and environmental risks
7. Summary of the findings and analysis
CHAPTER 7 THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED HEALTH, SAFETY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR THE GSM INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
2. Integrated management systems
3. Proposed risk-assessment model to address health, safety and environmental risks for the GSM industry
4. Application of the model
5. Application of the model in other industries
CHAPTER 8 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
2. Evaluation of the research conclusions
3. Specific conclusions of the study
4. Significant findings of the research
6. Contribution of the research
7. Suggestions for future study
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
AN INTEGRATED HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN GLOBAL SYSTEMS MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS (GSM) INDUSTRY