What Is EDGE Cellphone Technology

EDGE is a faster version of GSM technology

Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr/cc 2.0

Any discussion of cellphone technology is filled with acronyms. You may have heard of GSM and CDMA, the two major—and not compatible—types of mobile phone technologies. EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) is a speed and latency advancement in GSM technology. GSM, which stands for Global System for Mobile communications, reigns as the world’s most widely used cellphone technology. It is used by AT&T and T-Mobile.

Its competitor, CDMA, is used by Sprint, Virgin Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. 

The EDGE Advancement

EDGE is a faster version of GSM—a high-speed 3G technology that was built to the GSM standard.  EDGE networks were designed to deliver multimedia applications such as streaming television, audio, and video to mobile phones at speeds up to 384 Kbps. Although EDGE is three times as fast as GSM, its speed still pales in comparison to standard DSL and high-speed cable access.

The EDGE standard was first launched in the United States in 2003 by Cingular, which is now AT&T, on top of the GSM standard. AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers Wireless in Canada all use EDGE networks.

Other names for EDGE technology include IMT Single Carrier (IMT-SC), Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS) and Enhanced Data  Rates for Global Evolution.

EDGE Usage and Evolution

The original iPhone, which launched in 2007, is a familiar example of an EDGE-compatible phone.

Since that time, an enhanced version of EDGE has been developed. Evolved EDGE is more than twice as fast as original EDGE technology. 

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