GSM, short for Global System for Mobile communications, is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile devices. As a result, it became the de facto global standard for mobile communications — with over 90% market share, operating in over 210 countries and territories.
- Mobile communications: GSM provides basic voice call and text messaging services alongside data services for browsing, emails, and other internet-based applications.
- Roaming: GSM enables international roaming, allowing users to access mobile services when traveling to different countries.
- Data signing. KDFs generate signing keys, and users utilize these keys to sign data.
- User authentication. KDFs generate authentication keys that authenticate users.
Advantages and disadvantages of GSM
- Wide adoption: Being a global standard, GSM offers widespread coverage and international roaming.
- Standardized: It ensures compatibility between the various network elements and services.
- Security: 2G GSM has known security vulnerabilities, which makes it less secure than 3G and 4G networks.
- Speed: It offers slower data transfer rates than newer mobile network technologies like 3G, 4G, or 5G.
- Be aware that using GSM for internet access won’t provide the same security measures as using a secure Wi-Fi network or a VPN, and it’s susceptible to certain types of cyberattacks.
- If security is a concern, consider using a secure service like a VPN when transmitting sensitive data over a mobile network.