Join 200,000+ other SprintUsers for free at the #1 online community for Sprint cell phone customers! Win cool prizes in our weekly contests. Talk about the newest phones or post your question in our forums! Become a premium member and get unlimited Focus Uploads to your Sprint phone.

All visitors must register before they can post questions, contact other members or search our database of over 127,000 threads and 1.7 million posts. So what are you waiting for? Register for free today!

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-28-2005, 03:02 PM   #1
i'm still alive!
reemusk's Avatar
Mood: Lurking
Join Date: Oct 6, '04
Posts: 5,973
Trades: 5
Thanks: 7
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
My Mood: Lurking
SU$: 23,422
Acronym/Glossary FAQ

AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) is a somewhat ironic name for the original cellular system authorized in the United States. It uses an analog FM radio link and it is very easy to eavesdrop on it. AMPS is particularly inefficient in use of spectrum compared to any of the digital standards. Generally AMPS still has the best coverage of any of the standards (solely due to its ten year head start on buildout), but that's about the only thing it has going for it. Sound quality is generally worse than any of the digital standards.

Bit within the context of CDMA is distinct from chip and refers to a payload binary digit. Each bit is represented by many chips. Bits contain information and are subject to the laws of Information Theory.

CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access and refers to a technology for the radio link which utilizes spread spectrum communication with very tightly controlled power levels by all participants. There is currently (2/2000) only one commercial system which uses CDMA, covered by the specifications IS-95 and J-STD-008, and thus the term CDMA is often used to refer to that system. In future, other systems will adopt a CDMA air interface. CDMA was designed by Qualcomm in the US.

Cellular is a word used to mean a lot of different things. According to the FCC, cellular refers to any portable phone system which operates in the 800 MHz band allocated for use by portable phone systems. This includes AMPS, IS-136 and IS-95. At one time, only AMPS existed, and in some contexts cellular is used as a synonym for AMPS. (In particular, a "cellular ready modem" usually refers to one which works in AMPS mode, and often only in AMPS mode.) In some contexts it is used generically to refer to any portable phone system which relies on a grid of service provider antennas, and thus the term is used sometimes to include PCS.

Chip in the context of CDMA is distinct from bit and refers to binary digits transmitted over the RF link. The chip rate in IS-95 is 1.2288 MHz (thus allowing adequate guard bands to permit the carriers to be spaced 1.25 MHz apart). Each bit is represented by many chips, and if a majority of the chips get through then the bit can be reconstructed properly. The number of chips representing each bit varies depending on the bit rate. When using an 8K Vocoder (such as EVRC) there are 128 chips for each bit. Chips as such don't contain data because both the sender and receiver know the spreading pattern used to create them from a bit, and as such are not directly subject to the laws of Information Theory. Though there are many phones simultaneously using a single frequency to transmit full chiprate, that means that the channel is not saturated unless the bitrate approaches the bandwidth of the carrier.

Codec (pronounced CO-deck, short for compressor/decompressor) refers to a device inside the phone (and at the cell system) which takes digitized voice and compresses it prior to transmission to the cell, and which takes compressed voice received from the cell and decompresses it prior to playing it out the speaker of the phone. Codec algorithms are extremely sophisticated and are designed specifically around the characteristics of human voices and human ears. There are three in common use in IS-95, called "8K", "13K" and EVRC. GSM and IS-136 have their own codec standards.

Coding gain in CDMA refers to the ability to use digital techniques and redundancy inherent in the chip sequence to reproduce the bit sequence without requiring much absolute power on the RF. Generally speaking, the more coding gain, the less absolute power is needed to get the signal through. CDMA uses very sophisticated error correction methods (such as the Viterbi FEC Encoder/Decoder) to increase the coding gain.

Dual band refers to a phone capable of operating in two different frequency bands, e.g. both at 800 MHz cellular and at 1900 MHz PCS. Not all PCS phones are dual-band. When a CDMA phone is dual-band, most commonly it means it supports CDMA at 1900 MHz and AMPS at 800 MHz. Some phones exist which do both of those and also support CDMA at 800 MHz; these are usually referred to as tri-mode.

Dual mode refers to a phone which operates in a single frequency band but which is capable of supporting two protocols in that band. All 800 MHz CDMA phones are dual-mode, because all of them are also capable of operating in AMPS mode.

EC/I0 (pronounced Eee-See over Eye-Not) in CDMA refers to the portion of the RF signal which is usable. It's the difference between the signal strength and the noise floor.

ESN (Electronic Serial Number) is a unique number assigned to the phone by the phone manufacturer. No two phones will ever have the same ESN. It is against the law to try to change the ESN in a phone.

EVRC (Enhanced Variable Rate Codec) is a new codec being rolled out as this is written (2/2000) for IS-95 and J-STD-008 systems. It uses 8Kbps bandwidth but sounds nearly as good as the standard 13K codec. Because of this, when the majority of phones can use EVRC the cell systems will have more capacity without having to deploy more equipment. This should yield better service.

Forward link refers to the radio link from the cell to the phone.

Frame is the name of a CDMA digital voice packet duration. Frames are 20 milliseconds long. IS-95 transmits 50 frames per second, with each frame containing sufficient information to reproduce 20 milliseconds of sound. It should be pointed out that it may not require the whole 20 milliseconds to transmit the frame. The IS-95 codecs can generate "half-rate", "quarter-rate" and "eighth-rate" packets if the sound in that 20 milliseconds is sufficiently simple to require fewer bits to represent. A half rate packet only requires 10 milliseconds to transmit. An eighth rate packet only requires 2.5 milliseconds to transmit.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System and it is a system where a receiver can capture signals from orbiting satellites which permit it to determine the time very precisely, and also its location very precisely. Originally deployed by and still maintained by the US Navy, it is now in very common use all over the world for a variety of civilian uses. CDMA cell systems use fixed GPS receivers to determine the time very precisely. This is needed to synchronize the long code and short code in the infrastructure.

IDEN is the name of a cellular standard designed by Motorola which isn't supported by any other manufacturer. It uses a TDMA air interface and has not been very successful.

IS-95 is a standard which describes a cell system which uses a CDMA link and operates at 800 MHz. Sometimes the term is also used to describe 1900 MHz CDMA, though that properly is covered by J-STD-008. The two standards are similar and as time has gone on they have been migrating towards each other and have become more similar.

J-STD-008 is a standard which describes a cell system which uses a CDMA link and operates at 1900 MHz. It is similar to, but not identical to, IS-95.

GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) is a sophisticated cellular system used worldwide which was designed in Europe, primarily by Ericsson and Nokia. It uses a TDMA air interface.

vi660 > 5500 > 8300 > 4500 > A900 > 9000 > 6700 > 9000 > M1 > 9000 > MUSIQ > 9000 > 8703e > 9000 > ic502 > a920 > Centro > 8830 > 8330 > 9630 > Moment > Hero > 9630

then on VZW, i went all like..

D1 --> D2 --> DX --> DX2 --> iPhone 4

Last edited by BrettW; 01-14-2008 at 05:36 PM.
reemusk is offline  
Old 09-28-2005, 03:03 PM   #2
i'm still alive!
reemusk's Avatar
Mood: Lurking
Join Date: Oct 6, '04
Posts: 5,973
Trades: 5
Thanks: 7
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
My Mood: Lurking
SU$: 23,422
CDMA Glossary Part II

Idle handoff in CDMA is when the phone moves from one sector or cell to another while not in a call. If it moves from one zone to another it will register. If the new cell or sector is part of the same zone, it does not need to register.

LiIon (Lithium Ion) is a rechargeable battery technology which utilizes the metal Lithium. They are the preferred form of batteries for cell phones at this time (2/2000).

Long code in CDMA is a chip sequence which is 240 chips long, which repeats every 41.4 days. Its primary purpose is to assist in spreading the signal, to make spread spectrum work more efficiently. The Long code used on the reverse link is usually modified using the phone's ESN when in a call. See Long Code Mask.

NAM is the data which describes the phone and its home system. The phone number is part of the NAM.

Noise floor in CDMA refers to the part of the incoming signal which is unusable. The primary component of the noise floor on the forward link is signals being sent by the cell to other phones in the same sector, and to a lesser extent other nearby cells and sectors transmitting to their phones. The primary component of the noise floor on the reverse link is other phones transmitting to this cell or to others nearby.

A Page is a message sent by the cell system on the paging channel to a particular phone which says that there's an incoming phone call. When the phone receives a page, it sends a message to the system requesting a traffic channel, and when it is granted one it then rings to tell its owner that a phone call is waiting.

Paging channel in CDMA is a channel used by the cell to send pages, which indicate incoming calls, to the phone. The Paging channel also carries other information, such as indications of voice mail, SMS indications, plus housekeeping information such as the PN Offsets of all nearby cells and sectors.

PCS stands for personal communication system and according to the FCC it refers to any portable phone system which operates in the 1900 MHz band allocated for such systems. Among others, this includes J-STD-008, GSM and IS-136. Some phone companies have used this term as a synonym for "portable phone", so they have sometimes referred to 800 MHz phones as being "PCS". This is a misuse of the term.

Pilot channel in CDMA is a special channel which the cell transmits constantly. It is not modulated using the long code and it uses Walsh code channel 0, which is all 0's, and it transmits a bit pattern of all 0's. That means that what it contains is the short code at the phase being used by the cell. System acquisition by the phone begins by locating the pilot channel, and this permits the phone to synchronize its short code with the cell. After this, the phone looks for the sync channel.

PN Offset See Short code

PN Roll See Short code

Power control bits in CDMA are chips which are altered in the forward link to permit the cell to adjust the transmit power of the mobile phone on the reverse link while in a call. They are transmitted 800 times per second and cause the phone to increase or decrease its transmit power by a small increment.

PRL stands for Preferred Roaming List. For more information, see this.

Rake receiver is the digital section of a CDMA receiver which permits the phone (or cell) to separate out the relevant signal from all the other signals. The relevant signal will be encoded with a known Walsh Code and a known phase of the Short code, and the rake receiver can do this because the Walsh codes are orthogonal and the Short code is orthogonal to itself at different offsets. The rake receiver is capable of receiving multiple signal sources and adding them together using multiple fingers, each of which has the ability to use a separate phase of the short code and long code and a separate Walsh code if necessary. Different fingers might track multiple signals from the same cell (arriving at slightly different times due to multipath) or might track separate cells due to soft handoff.

Searching in CDMA is a process where the phone scans the phase space of the short code looking for valid signals. Depending on when and how this is done, it may be looking for valid pilots, or it may be looking directly for valid paging channels. In a dual-band or dual-mode phone this may also involve attempt to find an AMPS system.

Sector refers to the fact that a typical cell divides its circular coverage into several slices, sort of like a pie. The number of sectors supported is variable, but it's common for there to be three. Each sector in CDMA will use a different PN Offset. From the point of view of the phone, there's no difference between moving between sectors and moving between cells.

Short code is a chip sequence which is 215 chips long which repeats every 26.666 milliseconds. Different cells and cell sectors all use the same short code, but use different phases of it, which is how the phone differentiates them from each other. The phase is known as the PN Offset. The moment when the Short code wraps around and begins again is called a PN Roll. (PN stands for Pseudo-Noise.) The chip sequence is designed to be orthogonal to itself at different phases.

Slot cycle is a setting which controls the length of a slot. A slot is (1.28 seconds) * (2 ^ slot cycle). So slot cycle 0 is 1.28 seconds, slot cycle 1 is 2.56 seconds, and slot cycle 2 is 5.12 seconds. The longest slot cycle is 7, which is 163.84 seconds. The slot cycle is controlled by the cell. The advantage of a short slot cycle is that it means that the phone gets more chances to receive a page before the call is routed to voice mail. However, this makes the phone use more power, so standby time is not as good. It also means that the paging channel has less capacity. A longer slot cycle provides more capacity on the paging channel and lengthens standby time, but also means that the phone has fewer opportunities to receive a page, so that it's more likely to miss it and have the call go to voice mail. You as a user cannot choose a slot cycle (even if your phone has a menu item for it).

Slotted sleep is a mode of phone operation where the phone shuts down nearly all of its electronics most of the time. (All digital phone standards include a form of this. AMPS does not, which is why AMPS battery life is so poor.) The phone wakes on every slot (see slot cycle) to see if it gets paged on the paging channel. Because most of the electronics is turned off most of the time, this uses very little power from the battery. More information about this can be found here.

Soft handoff refers to a feature of CDMA where a phone can communicate simultaneously to two or more cells, or in some cases with two sectors on the same cell. This often happens when the phone is about halfway between the cells or on the dividing line between sectors, and permits the call to continue even though the signal from any one cell would not be strong enough to keep the call up. For more on this, see here. No other phone standard has this ability.

SMS (Short Messaging Service) is a mechanism which allows brief text messages to be sent to the phone. Several of the major phone standards support it. In CDMA systems, this is controlled by TIA/EIA-637-A.

Subsidy lock refers to a feature of a phone put in there by the phone manufacturers because the service providers want it. It makes the phone only work with a single service provider, even if the phone is compatible with a system belonging to a different service provider. On any other system the phone will be roaming. This is a common feature in the industry with all phone standards. Yes, this is legal. No, there is no way to unlock the phone without the lock code. No, you cannot sue to get the lock code. No, there is no grounds for class action. No, this is not a violation of the antitrust laws. No, it is not a violation of consumer protection laws. For more on this, see here.

Sync channel in CDMA is a special channel which is always transmitted by the cell. It is not modulated by the long code. It repeatedly transmits a sync channel message which contains information about the cell and the phone system, and also contains information which permits the phone to determine the absolute wall clock time. The phone looks for the sync channel as the second step of system acquisition, and uses it to synchronize its long code generator. Once the sync channel message has been processed, the phone has sufficient information to begin to process the paging channel and to register.

TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) refers to a digital RF link where multiple phones share a single carrier frequency by taking turns. Each phone gets the channel exclusively for a certain time slice, then gives it up while all the other phones take their turn. TDMA is also used sometimes to refer specifically to the standard covered by IS-136, which is a source of confusion because GSM also uses a TDMA air interface, as does IDEN, and neither of those systems are compatible with IS-136.

Traffic channel in CDMA is a channel which carries a phone call. When a phone wants to set up a call, it makes a request to the cell on the paging channel and the cell system sends back a message telling it which traffic channel to use (in other words, which Walsh Code to use).

Walsh code is one of 64 chip patterns which are 64 chips long. CDMA channels are differentiated by which Walsh code they use. They are carefully chosen to be orthogonal to each other.

Zone refers to one or more sectors of one or more cells. It is an administrative category in CDMA. Movement within a zone does not require the phone to reregister. The phone has to register if it crosses a zone boundary. Read this for more information.

vi660 > 5500 > 8300 > 4500 > A900 > 9000 > 6700 > 9000 > M1 > 9000 > MUSIQ > 9000 > 8703e > 9000 > ic502 > a920 > Centro > 8830 > 8330 > 9630 > Moment > Hero > 9630

then on VZW, i went all like..

D1 --> D2 --> DX --> DX2 --> iPhone 4
reemusk is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to reemusk For This Useful Post:
bluegrass (07-03-2010)
Old 12-21-2006, 12:10 AM   #3
BrettW's Avatar
Posts: n/a
SU$: 0
Exclamation Acronym FAQ

Acronym FAQ v.002

First And foremost 2 that everyone should know

SU Sprint Users

SU$ - Sprint User Dollars can be used to purchase forum related goodies in the store

Phone Terminology Acronyms:

1xEVDO or EVDO or EV-DO - EVolution, Data-Only or Optimized

1xRTT - 1x (single-carrier) Radio Transmission Technology

3G Refers to Either CDMA2000(for CDMA expanded refer to CDMA), UMTS/WCDMA and/or GSM

AMPS - Advanced Mobile Phone Service is commonly refered to as Analog (1G) cellular first released in the 1980s and is somewhat interchangeable with CDMA and TDMA from a roaming/service standpoint

BT BlueTooth Technology a set of standards for wireless communication between devices and PANs

CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access see CDMA2000 and IS-95


CDMA2000 is the 3G evolution of CDMA supporting 1xRTT and 1xEVDO(albeit evdo running on a separate network but integrated) otherwise known as CDMA1x

EDGE - Enhanced Data for Global Evolution A GSM data standard

GSM Global System for Mobile Communication the dominant global cellular standard

iDen - Integrated Digital Enhanced Network or Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network a TDMA-Based digital wireless standard used by NEXTEL

iTap iTap is a predictive text technology for mobile phones, developed by Motorola as a competitor to T9

IS-95 - IS-95 is the 2G (second generation) version of CDMA.

mAh - MilliAmp Hours a common method of showing the capacity of a battery (the higher the better)

MMS Multimedia Message also referred to a picture message or video message, pix / flix are also used in place of picture/video

MSL Master Subsidy Lock

NAM - Number Assignment Module

NAI - Network Access Identifier

OBEX Object Exchange ( a Bluetooth standard)

PTT Push To Talk a Nextel/iDen feature allowing a seamless walkie talkie style instant voice connection

T9 - Text on 9 keys, is a predictive text technology for mobile phones

TDMA -Time-Division Multiple Access CDMA is an evolution of TDMA

TXT Text Message also refer to SMS

SERO Sprint Employee Referral Offer

SIM(card) Subscriber Identity Module a small Smart Card module used in GSM and iDEN wireless phones

SMS Short Message System

UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System a 3G data communications technology

WCDMA - Wideband Code Division Multiple Access is a 3G data communications technology and is considered fully interchangeable with UMTS

Computer/Technology Related Acronyms:

AIM Aol Instant Messenger

LAN Local Area Network

SD(card) Secur/Secure Digital Card a form of flash memory

TF(card) Trans flash a child standard of SD and as such is sometimes refered to as MICRO SD

Mini SD(card) A step down in size of SD flash memory cards

PAN Personal Area Network Bluetooth networks are the best example of this

PPC Pocket PC otherwise known as a Windows Mobile or Windows CE powered device for use as a PIM or PDA

WAN Wide Area Network the internet is the best example of this

WM Windows mobile comes in the 2002, 2003, 2003SE, and 5 varities

WIFI Wireless Fidelity a standard (802.11x) of wireless networking in common use today

Forum Related Acronyms:

PM Private Message

IMO In My Opinion

HoFo Howard Forums

WTT Want To Trade

WTS Want To Sell

WTB Want To Buy

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions usually comes in the form of a Forum Topic in a FAQ section or as a sticky in a particular section in reference to the topic of the FAQ

FS For Sale

Website Contributions:

User Contributions: (in order of when contributed)


Feel Free to PM me, or IM me on AIM to contribute this should be an ongoing FAQ that hopefully will grow to encompass many more acronyms
Old 12-28-2006, 05:06 AM   #4
BrettW's Avatar
Posts: n/a
SU$: 0
Acronym FAQ update!

in reference to SU$ another way people like to Refer to them is $U to combine the S/$ and for the "cool" factor

Cellular Acronyms Continued
SPCS- Sprint PCS

CSR - Customer Service Rep

TSR - Technical Service Rep

EMS - Enhanced Messaging Service

F&F - Fair and Flexible (Plan)

F&C - Free and Clear (Plan)

N&W N/W - Night and weekends

MTM - Mobile to mobile

TMO - Tmobile

PAM - phone as a modem

ESN - Electronic Serial Number

MEID - Mobile Equipment IDentity (the current replacement for ESN started in 05)

MSID - Mobile Station Identifier (the number that identifies your phone)

MDN - Mobile Directory Number (the number dialed to actually reach your phone)

SCI - Slot Cycle Index

Additional Contributors


Last edited by BrettW; 12-28-2006 at 05:08 AM.
Old 04-17-2008, 11:43 PM   #5
BrettW's Avatar
Posts: n/a
SU$: 0
And Some more Acronyms

Sprint/Cellular Related Acronyms

NVP - Nation Value Program (A discount percentage off your bill for being employed with certain companies)

AAP - Add A Phone (On a family Plan, it's additional lines that share the minutes.)

FIMF - first incoming minute free

M2H - Mobile to Home

AT or ATM - Anytime Minutes

eCare - E-mail care

ES - Executive Services

Q-CHAT - Qualcomm Chat(aka the technology that will allow interoperability between cdma push to talk and

MM/M2M - Sprint Mobile to Mobile

CW - Call Waiting

PU - Plan/Promotional Usage

CC - Customer Care (aka sprints term for customer service)

DC - Direct Connect

SEP - Simply Everything Plan

RET - retentions

SFL - Sprint Family Locator

AS - Account Services

PRL - Preferred Roaming List

ML - Mobile Locator

IOTA - Internet Over The Air

how your phone gets provisioned for vision access. the tech said he did a retrigger to the IOTA regarding a problem i was having.

Forum Related Acronyms:

LOL = laugh out loud

LMAO = laugh my A$# off

W T F = what the F#&$ (with out spaces, lmao at forum corrections)

Last edited by BrettW; 04-26-2008 at 12:14 PM.
Old 04-26-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
BrettW's Avatar
Posts: n/a
SU$: 0
And More

BB - blackberry

BES - Blackberry Enterprise Service

BIS - Blackberry Internet Service

DBR - Damaged Beyond Repair

DP - Direct Protect a.k.a. Safeynet or Signal.

ESN DEC - Decimal serial number (Consists of 11 or 18 digits. NUMBERS ONLY)

ESN HEX - Hexidecimal Serial Number (Consists of between 8 and 15 letters and numbers)

ESRP - Equipment Service & Repair Plan

ERP - Equipment Replacement Plan a.k.a. Asurion

IP - Internet Protocol

NSP - Nextel Service Plan

MMS - Multimedia Message Service a.k.a. Voice/Picture messages

OOC - Out of Contract

OP - Off Peak minutes

PSD - Premium Service Discount

PTN - Personal Telephone Number (Usually referring to old Nextel phones, it's what they call your telephone number)

PV - PowerVision

SEDC - Simply Everything Direct Connect

SERO - Sprint Exclusive Referral Offer (Old name Sprint Employee Referral Offer)

SMS - Short message Service a.k.a. Text messages

SWAC - Sprint Wireless Advantage Club

TEP - Total Equipment Protection (ESRP + ERP)

TXT - Text

Bluetooth Related Acronyms

A2DP - Audio Distribution Profile

AVRCP - Audio/Video Remote Control Profile

BPP - Basic Printer Profile

DUN - Dial Up Network

FTP - File Transfer Profile

HFP - HandsFree Profile

HSP - Headset Profile

OPP - Object Push Profile (enables a bluetooth device to transfer a file to another bluetooth device)

PBAP - PhoneBook Access Profile

PAN - Personal Access Network

mbps - Megabits Per Second (bluetooth devices transfer data at a rate of 1-3 mbps)

Thanks to:

The SPCS Guy

for assisting with the most recent updates
The Following User Says Thank You to For This Useful Post:
bluegrass (07-03-2010)
Go Back > Staff Forum > Archived & Closed Forums > What Phone Should I Get? > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) > Acronym/Glossary FAQ

Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SERO talk and unofficial SERO FAQ Pt. II theChosen1G SERO 1906 12-11-2006 04:10 PM
SERO talk and unofficial SERO FAQ theChosen1G Sprint Discussion 369 03-16-2006 10:04 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:55 PM.

- is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sprint PCS -