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Second Generation Mobile Phone Systems
The 'second generation' (2G) mobile phone systems such as GSM, IS-136 ("TDMA"), iDEN and IS-95 ("CDMA") began to be introduced in the 1990s. While the first pre-commercial digital cellular phone call was made in the United States in 1990, it was in Finland, in 1991, that the first GSM network opened.
2G phone systems were run through digital circuit switched transmission, and a more advanced and fast phone-to-network signaling. In general, t2G systems in Europe used a higher frequency. But it is the case too that the 900 MHz frequency range was used for both 1G and 2G systems in Europe, such that 1G systems were rapidly closed down to make way for 2G systems. Across the Atlantic, the US deployed the IS-54 standard in the same band as AMPS, which consequently displaced some of the existing analog channels.
With the introduction of 2G systems was the introduction of tiny 100–200g hand-held devices, a far cry from larger "brickle" phones. This move from bigger to smaller and smaller mobile device was possible through advances in battery design and other energy-efficient electronics. The installation of higher cellular site density also caused leaps in usage levels which in turn, decreased the demand for high transmit powers.
It was in the second generation of cellular phone systems where a new messaging platform was introduced, , initially on GSM networks and eventually on all digital networks - the short messaging system (SMS) or more popularly called text messaging. The first machine-generated SMS message was sent in the UK in 1991 but it was not until 1993 when the first person-to-person SMS text message was sent in Finland. It was not long after when SMS became the communication of preference for the younger generation. Today in many advanced markets, the general public prefers sending text messages to placing voice calls.
2G also introduced the ability to downloadmedia content on mobile phones, when Radiolinja in Finland introduced the downloadable ringing tone as paid content. Finland was also the first country where advertising appeared on the mobile phone when a free daily news headline service on SMS text messaging was launched in 2000, sponsored by advertising.
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