Will GSM Become the FM of Mobile Telephony?

Today I read an article about how for many years many countries have had plans to replace FM radio with a digital replacement such as DAB. There has been some success in some countries such as the UK, but by and large everyone admits that FM is here to stay for another decade at least. It's not that the digital systems aren't better or deliver advanced audio quality but it's difficult to beat that FM radio that only costs a couple of cents and is built into everything from cars to mobile phones with technology that still costs an order of a magnitude more. This left me wondering if things will be similar with GSM!? We are soon going to celebrate it's 20th anniversary in the wild and still, this technology shows no signs of being replaced and being made redundant anytime soon. My predictions for GSM I made back in 2007 still hold.

3 thoughts on “Will GSM Become the FM of Mobile Telephony?”

  1. Ooh, good question. And it can be argues that it already has become similar. The analogy falls (possibly) if FM is looked at from the basis of not having been built on like GSM has (of this I am not familiar of FM’s development and use to date). But, in terms of radio, access, and reach, might even has the argument of being FM 2.0.

  2. A few years back, a representative of AT&T Wireless Services (“old” AT&T Wireless) was speaking at a conference. Apparently the company had gotten some flak for choosing to deploy GSM rather than a more modern/advanced technology. The speaker asked the audience (mostly carriers) which of them planned to shut off their GSM network in the next 5 years. No hands went up. The speaker then upped the time to 10 years. Again, no takers. The point, of course, was that GSM had “legs” and would be around for a very long time.

    Here’s a thought: Is it possible that we might see UMTS phased out prior to GSM?? As LTE matures, and if it delivers on its promise of lowest cost-per-bit, mightn’t we see carriers pushing all of their voice and data traffic over to LTE, and then re-farming UMTS spectrum for LTE while keeping a GSM layer as the lowest-common denominator?

  3. I, personally, don’t think this is going to be the future of ip telephony is going to be correlated with FM radio, but that’s just my opinion.

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