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Packet switching

Packet switching - A communication system wherein the information is transmitted in packets of a set size. These packets have address headers and find their way to their destination by the most efficient route through the network. Compared to circuit switching where a connection is occupied until the traffic exchange is completed, packet switching offers considerable efficiencies as connections can be used by a number of users simultaneously


PACS - Personal Access Communication System; a digital cordless technology developed initially by Bell Labs in the US, PACS was designed to compete with DECT


PAMR - Public Access Mobile Radio; Commercial service using trunking techniques in which multiple groups of users can set up their own closed systems within a shared public network


PAP - Public Access Profile; a DECT term


PCH - Paging Channel; downlink only, the MS is informed of incoming calls by the BTS via the PCH


PCM - Pulse Code Modulation; the standard digital voice format at 64kbit/s


PCMCIA - Personal Computer Memory Card Interface Association the body responsible for defining the standards and formats for memory expansion cards for laptop computers and PDAs. Now extended to cover cards for mobile phones


PCN - Personal Communications Network; a designation initially used in the UK to refer to networks operating in the 1800MHz band (see also DCS1800). No longer in use

PCS 1900

PCS 1900 - Personal Communications Systems 1900MHz; the terminology used in the US to describe the new digital networks being deployed in the 1900MHz band; rarely used today


PCU - Packet Control Unit; an element in a GPRS/UMTS network


PDA - Personal Digital Assistant


PDC - Personal Digital Communications; a digital cellular technology developed and deployed uniquely in Japan. A TDMA technology, PDC is incompatible with any other digital cellular standard


PEDC - Pan European Digital Communications; A designation occasionally used in the early 1990’s to describe GSM. No longer in use


Penetration - The percentage of the total population which owns a mobile phone

Phone book

Phone book - A list of personal names and numbers stored in a mobile phone’s internal memory or in the SIM card. These numbers can be called by accessing the appropriate memory and making a single key stroke


PHS / PHP - Personal HandyPhone System/Phone; a digital cordless technology developed in Japan which achieved great success. Deployed by NTT DoCoMo and other Japanese operators PHS offered two-way communications, data services and Internet access and eventually won some 28 million customers. Now in decline as cellular’s wide area capabilities offer better service


PIN - Personal Identifier Number


PKI - Public Key Infrastructure


PLMN - Public Land Mobile Network; any cellular operator’s network


PMR - Private Mobile Radiocommunications; two-way radio technology widely used for despatch and delivery services, taxi companies and the like. See TETRA


POCSAG - Post Office Code Standardisation Group; a now defunct industry grouping which standardised pager addressing systems

Polyphonic Ringtones

Polyphonic Ringtones - Polyphonic ringtones can create multiple tones simultaneously. This produces a more natural and realistic sound for melodies.


PoP - Points of Presence; a method of measuring the value of a cellular licence; the approximate number of potential customers within a geographical area


POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service

Predictive Text Input

Predictive Text Input - A technology which allows you to enter text by pressing only one key per letter. The phone will automatically compare all of the possible letter combinations against a built-in dictionary of words. The current Predictive Text Input implementations are T9, iTAP and eZiText.


PROM - Programmable Read Only Memory


PSDN - Public Switched Data Network


PSK - Phase Shift Keying


PSPDN - Public Switched Packet Data Network


PSRCP - Public Safety Radio Communications Project; an initiative by the UK Government to standardise all emergency services communications on to a single digital technology (see TETRA)


PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network


PSU - Power Supply Unit


PTO - Public Telecommunication Operator


PTT - Posts, Telephone and Telegraph Administration


PWT - Personal Wireless Telecommunications; a variant of DECT developed for use in the USA


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