I'm using a smartphone.

When I turn off the cellular data or my mobile phone, I can still call and send SMS. Does that mean in this case the mobile using GSM? How can I know if it is GSM or GPRS? And which technique is used TDMA or CDMA?

When I turn on the cellular data I see for examle 3G or 4G or LTE active. In this case, does that mean GSM or GPRS is inactive and voice and SMS is also sent via 3G or GSM is separately always active?


GSM and GPRS are two separate things, GSM is used for SMS texting and calls. GPRS is used for mobile data transmission over the internet (can be used for calls and texting also). GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, 3G, 4G are mobile communication protocols, the most obvious difference is in speed and bandwith, i lined them from slowest to fastest.

  • \$\begingroup\$ in my phone one can choose 3 cellular data options. 2G, 3G and 4G. is 2G means edge or GPRS- The reason I asked this question if I disable cellular data I can still send sms and make calls. Does that mean GSM is active all the time with a seperate antenna? \$\endgroup\$ – user16307 Apr 20 '15 at 13:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ one other reason I'm asking is figuring out the coding techniques like TDMA CDMA. can we say that GSM uses TDMA and FDMA and 3G data uses another technique. Im kinda stuck with jargon. \$\endgroup\$ – user16307 Apr 20 '15 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ When we are using 2G, we can't call and use data transfer at the same time, 2G is the first digital mobile communication protocol after 1G, all data is transferred digitally. Data is transferred via 'data call' which uses line as a normal call, so thats the reason they cant work both at the same time. GSM uses both TDMA and FDMA. \$\endgroup\$ – Lazar Apr 20 '15 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ how can I know that when I make a call if my connection is handles via CDMA FDMA or TDMA? \$\endgroup\$ – user16307 Apr 20 '15 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it depends on mobile phone carriers. \$\endgroup\$ – Lazar Apr 20 '15 at 13:42

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