Wireless Communication

Chapter: Network Concepts and Standards
Section: Cellular Systems

Personal Communication Services (PCS)

The FCC describes PCS as a broad range of radio communication services that free individuals from the constraints of wireline PSTN and enable them to communicate when they are away from their home or their office telephone.

Spectrum for PCS is made available through auctions and operators are free to choose their technology from 7 standards proposed by the JTC (TIA/T1).



The PCS frequency band is 1850 to 1900 MHz, with 2 times 60 MHz available for licenced operation and 20 MHz for unlicenced operation. The standards are
  1. PCS 1900, sometimes referred to as GSM 1900. It is based on GSM.
  2. a standard based on IS54 (Digital AMPS)
  3. a standard based on IS95 cellular CDMA
  4. a hybrid TDMA/FDMA/CDMA system
  5. Wideband CDMA
  6. a standard based on DECT (PWT-L)
  7. PACS
where the first three appear to have to strongest support. The unlicensed standard is similar to DECT.


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JPL's Wireless Communication Reference Website 1996.