The network that provides GSM phones includes service from AT&T, T-Mobile, as well as Cingular (which has now joined with AT&T). What does GSM stand for? It stands for "Global System for Mobile Communications." It is the single most popular network for cell phones in the entire world. This network was created in 1987 and quickly became the number one cell phone and wireless service provider. The goal of this network is to offer the best possible wireless coverage. If you are a person with a GSM phone, you probably know that they use what are called "SIM cards."

All phones that have a "Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)" are able to be unlocked. This means that you are not stuck with having to activate a new phone and deactivate your old phone each time that you get a new plan. Many people like the idea of having a SIM card because they can easily switch to another phone and are not limited to getting only locked cell phones with a certain service provider. The best part about using GSM phones is that you are not limited with your phone choices. You can choose from a wide variety of unlocked cell phones and use whatever type of phone that is able to store a SIM card.

In general, GSM phones are able to transfer information at a rate of around 150 KB per second. They are currently utilizing technology given the acronym EDGE, which stands for "Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution). Thus far, most customers have been satisfied with what GSM has provided, although it seems as though most critics would say that CDMA cell phones transfer data much quicker. If you get one of these phones, you are not likely to notice a slow speed. There have been cases where customers have complained about their phones "lagging," but in general, these phones are plenty quick.

The basic advantage with the GSM phone network is that people are able to get more extended coverage. In the outskirts of cities, this coverage network clearly has "more bars" (i.e. more overall coverage). Have you ever been to a smaller city or farmland and noticed that your cell phone bars dropped significantly? On average, this network maintains more coverage in smaller communities than does CDMA. Across the world, it seems as though the GSM cellular phone plans are the "coverage of choice." The cool thing about these phones is that when you visit a foreign country, you can simply buy a new SIM card and save a considerable amount of money on international calls.

Currently, there are over one billion clients and customers using GSM cell phones for their service. The number of people signing up for their plans has been increasing, although they have gotten some competition from CDMA. The bottom line is that GSM phones are able to provide coverage on a daily basis for many people. Most of these people are satisfied with their policies and do not have any need to switch to a different network in the future.