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Old 03-14-2005, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Mark Rejhon
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Default The BlackBerry Glossary

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Mark's BlackBerry Glossary

This is a glossary of terms commonly found on BlackBerry forums and other mobile phone forums.

Push Email
Push email is email that is delivered immediately, without a delay. It's always-on email. No polling, no email checking. It's like an incoming pager call or an incoming phone call. When someone sends you an email, your BlackBerry gets it immediately and vibrates. Your email can arrive on your BlackBerry in as little as 2 seconds after someone clicks SEND from their end somewhere else on the Internet, although 5-15 seconds is typical.

PIN Messaging
Sending private emails only between BlackBerries. A BlackBerry PIN is a special address code similiar to a postal code or phone number, for sending emails only to other BlackBerries. This is not compatible with phone numbers or emails or SMS. It is an entirely different kind of an address. Not every BlackBerry user needs to use PIN Messaging, but this feature is there if you love it!

This stands for Short Message Service. This is a method of sending small text messages between mobile phones, usually up to 160 characters of text. This behaves like an email, except the address is simply the phone number of your recipient mobile phone or BlackBerry. SMS is very popular in some countries such as UK, and especially popular with the young urban crowd in developed countries. SMS is also a popular substitute for email for people in poorer countries.

Stands for BlackBerry Internet Service. This is your email account, which you can access via a web browser, in order to configure your BlackBerry through a web-based interface. You can also read your emails on your BIS account. This is the new name for the BlackBerry Web Client (BWC).

Same as BIS. This is the old name for "BlackBerry Internet Service"

This is the format of a document in a web browser. Same thing as in your desktop web browser, such as Internet Explorer. Recent BlackBerries can now display HTML too.

This stands for Wireless Application Protocol. This is a method of wireless web browsing. Kind of like slimmed-down HTML. Wikipedia WAP

This stands for Personal Information Management. A PIM handles your addressbook, calendar, tasks, and notes. A BlackBerry has PIM because it has these. A PalmPilot has a PIM too. And your desktop Microsoft Outlook is a PIM software program. So is Palm Desktop too. Macintosh users have Entourage, as well as simpler PIM components such as iCal. PIM's are frequently designed to synchronize to each other, such as between a BlackBerry and Microsoft Outlook.

Short for Synchronization or Synchronize. This allows your BlackBerry to have identical PIM information as your Microsoft Outlook. New items added to your BlackBerry gets added to your Microsoft Outlook automatically, and new items added to your Microsoft Outlook gets added to your BlackBerry.

TCP/IP Stack
This is a protocol that allows all computers and handhelds to connect to the Internet. If you are reading this article, you are already using a TCP/IP stack that is built into your computer or handheld's operating system. TCP/IP stands for "Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol". Recent BlackBerries include TCP/IP capability, so you can run Internet software on a BlackBerry.

This is an acronym for Access Point Name. This is used for the TCP/IP stack. This is a kind of a gateway between the mobile network and the Internet network. To gain access to always-on Internet from a mobile phone, such as instant messaging, it goes through an APN. Some mobile phones, such as BlackBerry uses multiple APN's. The main APN is for the BlackBerry emails, but there are other APN's that are carrier-specific for getting Internet access such as Verichat, etc.

This stands for BlackBerry Enterprise Server. BES turns a BlackBerry into a powerful government-quality secure email system with full wireless email and PIM synchronization, including email folder structure, moves between foldres, deletitions, unread/read indicators, etc. An administrator can even kill a BlackBerry remotely through BES when it gets stolen too. People who need inexpensive BES, can see the Hosted BES FAQ. BES also provides MDS capability, which is generally higher-reliability than the recently available TCP/IP stack found on BlackBerries.

This stands for Mobile Data Service. It's a method of Internet connectivity for a BlackBerry. that is provided by a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. In the past, BlackBerries required MDS to run most kinds of third-party Internet software. More information can be found at Configuring Internet on BlackBerry.

Stands for Research In Motion, the company that manufactures BlackBerries and develops software products for it, such as BES.

GSM is the most popular mobile phone standard in the world. It is used by almost every country in the world that has a mobile phone network. GSM stands for "Global System for Mobile communication". This is a second-generation digital mobile phone standard that transmits voice digitally between the phone and the cell antenna towers. Large North American mobile phone networks that uses GSM include Cingular and AT&T, Rogers and Fido, as well as T-Mobile. Standardization has permitted the ability to interchange phones between many different providers, provided that the phone is not "locked" to function only on one carrier. For technical information, see Wikipedia GSM.

This is a data extension to GSM and stands for "General Packet Radio Service". This enables devices such as BlackBerry to have always-on access without using up airtime. GPRS simply transmits data over unused airwaves that are not being used for active phone calls. GPRS gives priority to phone calls, so GPRS automatically slows down in busy airwaves to prevent busy signals on other mobile phones. This is why GPRS can give you unlimited 24/7 always-on Internet access, without the need to dial the Internet. It is the most widespread always-on Internet method. BlackBerry uses GPRS for all emails. Speeds are typically between 30 and 70 kilobits per second, depending on conditions and the network. Not all GSM networks have GPRS. All North American GSM networks have GPRS available. GPRS is partway between second generation and third generation, so it is often called a "2.5G" network. GPRS can have fairly high latency, of about 500 milliseconds. For technical information, see Wikipedia GPRS.

Lowercase GPRS on BlackBerry means that you have basic data service but without BlackBerry email support. Also applies to lowercase "1x" for Verizon/Sprint/Bell CDMA and "nxtl" on Nextel iDEN (see below). GPRS BlackBerries will display an indicator "GPRS" when it connects with full data service, and lowercase "gprs" when it is not able to connect to full BlackBerry email/Internet service.

This is an extension to GSM and GPRS for faster data speeds. The principle is the same as GPRS, except data speeds are much faster. Speeds are typically in excess of 100 kilobits per second, and sometimes in excess of 250 kilobits per seconds under excellent conditions. Latency is improved over GPRS. For technical information, see Wikipedia EDGE.

This is newer proprietary mobile phone network that was made popular by Nextel. It stands for "Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network". It has the advantage of being natively packet-based so Internet performance is much lower latency on iDEN networks than GPRS networks, as low as under one-tenth the latency of GPRS. Telus and some South American carriers also use iDEN. iDEN phones are not interchangeable with GSM and CDMA phones. Nextel BlackBerries will display an indicator "NXTL" when it connects with full data service, and lowercase "nxtl" when it is not able to connect to full BlackBerry email/Internet service. For technical information, see Wikipedia iDEN.

This is yet another mobile phone network standard, invented by Qualcomm, and is used mainly by many North American carriers. It stands for "Code Division Multiple Access". CDMA BlackBerries display an indicator "1X" when it connects with full data service, and lowercase "1x" when it is not able to connect to full BlackBerry email/Internet service. Carriers include Verizon, Sprint, and Telus. For technical information, see Wikipedia CDMA.

CDMA2000 and 1X
Just like GPRS is an extension to GSM, this is a standard that extends on CDMA for always-on data at higher speeds. CDMA based BlackBerries uses 1X for data transmissions. For technical information, see Wikipedia CDMA2000.

This is one of the original networks that early models of BlackBerries ran on. They were the RIM model 95X series. Mobitex is an early packet-switched wireless data network, and is still a popular data network for many systems such as taxi meters, parcel delivery scanners, etc.

Please post terms and acronyms you want added to this Glossary!

This is a "Mark Rejhon BlackBerry FAQ" article.
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Mark Rejhon
Author of XMPP extension XEP-0301: - specification - open source

Last edited by Mark Rejhon : 04-11-2005 at 12:34 AM.