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Wireless Networks

Wireless Networking Standards

Wireless network standards are very important when there are a number of network technologies vying for leadership. The problem is further complicated by legacies of existing networks - this is especially true in North America. Agreement between different national and international standard-setting bodies who are courted by vendors with their unique interests takes a long time.  It is a bureaucratic process that goes through a very formal procedure.

Quite often, a vendor has a proprietary technology that he wants to be adopted by others would propose a standard. This is good on the surface in so far as the proponent offers to other vendors what they have already developed. However, the proposing vendor wants others to follow its lead and therefore gain a competitive advantage. In other cases, several vendors get together and establish a defacto standard which they want to become dejure standards endorsed by a standards body.

The following brief information on wireless network standards is provided by Mobileinfo.com to acquaint you with major standards in this area. There are a number of additional sub-standards. This is a fairly big area. We recommend the following resource that provides the most comprehensive information:

CTIA also provides some information on wireless network standards. So does TIA. Those who are involved in following the progress of these standards through various standard-setting bodies from carrier perspective should investigate getting additional information from CNP (Cellular Network Perspective) or from TIA.

For an overview on AMPS, TDMA and CDMA, go to www,teleresearch.com/overview.htm

IS-41 Wireless inter-systems operation standard. Now called TIA/EIA-41
IS-54 First generation TDMA Radio interface standard - TDMA stands for Time Division Multiple Access which implies that a single channel is divided into a number of time slots. Each user is allotted a slot after a fixed number of slots . IS-54 was the first standard for digital cellular standard. TDMA, therefore, requires that voice be digitized, compressed and then transmitted over the air. Is136 is the second generation follow-on to IS-54.Major difference is that IS-136 uses TDMA on the control channel also. TDMA divides a 30 KHz channel into three 10KHz slots, thus getting higher efficiency. In future, half-rate coders may allow 6 users per 30 KHz channel. E-TDMA (promoted by Hughes Network) uses dynamic time slot allocation. 
IS-88 CDMA digital cellular standard - Find more about CDMA on this site. Learn about CDMA from CDMA online. CDMA is a "spread spectrum" technology, which means that it spreads the information contained in a particular signal of interest over a much greater bandwidth than the original signal.

When implemented in a cellular telephone system, CDMA technology offers following benefits: 

  • Capacity increases of 8 to 10 times that of an AMPS analog system and 4 to 5 times that of a GSM system
  • Improved call quality, with better and more consistent sound as compared to AMPS system
  • Simplified system planning through the use of the same frequency in every sector of every cell
  • Improved coverage characteristics, allowing for the possibility of fewer cell sites
IS-91 Standard for analog cellular air interface standard (including NAMPS)
IS-93 Wireless to PSTN interface standard 
IS-95 TIA standard for digital cellular CDMA air interface between CDMA networks and digital handsets - used in cdmaOne. Find more about IS-95 and CDMA from a Prentice Hall book by Liberty and Rapport 
IS-124 Standard for Wireless call detail and billing record format for online transfer
IS-136 Standard for Second generation TDMA air interface standard. As compared to IS-54, IS-136 uses TDMA for control channel also.
IS-637 Standard for CDMA SMS (short message service) 
IS-756 A TIA standard for WNP (Wireless Network Portability) - Go here for more
IS-2000 Standard for cdma2000 air interface - Follow on to to TIA/EIA-95-B


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