Advantages of EC-GSM | disadvantages of EC-GSM

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of EC-GSM. It mentions EC-GSM advantages or benefits and EC-GSM disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is EC-GSM?

EC-GSM IoT stands for Extended Coverage GSM for Internet of Things. It follows 3GPP Release 13 specifications. It is one of the Low Power Wide Area Technologies. It works on licensed spectrum similar ro GSM technology.


EC-GSM physical layer uses new logical channels which are designed for extended coverage. Moreover repetitions have been used to provide necessary robustness to support up to 164dB MCL. It uses overlaid CDMA to increase cell capacity (used for EC-PDTCH and ECPACCH). It offers extended coverage (~20 dB) compare to GSM coverage. EC-GSM IoT and legacy GSM/GPRS traffic are dynamically multiplexed. Following table mentions featues of EC-GSM technology.

EC-GSM Features

Benefits or advantages of EC-GSM

Following are the benefits or advantages of EC-GSM:
➨It offers long battery life (> 10 years with 5 Wh battery).
➨It offers lower device cost compare to existing GSM/GPRS devices.
➨It uses variable rates using GMSK/8PSK similar to GSM. It offers 350 bps to 70 Kbps depending on coverage extension using GMSK. It offers upto 240 Kbps using 8PSK.
➨It supports high number of subscriber terminals, about 50K per cell.
➨It offers improved security compare to GSM/EDGE with the help of GE4/5. Moreover it adopts security and privacy features from mobile networks, including mutual authentication, confidentiality and data integrity.
➨It leverages muturity of GSM/GPRS to allow faster time to market with lower cost.
➨It supports coverage range of about 15 Km.
➨Storing and usage of coverage level in SGSN to avoid unnecessary repetitions over the air.
➨It supports power saving mode such as eDRX which offers upto 52 mins where as GSM uses DRx with support upto 11 mins.
➨It can be easily deployed using existing GSM spectrum without any impact on network planning. Due to enhancement in technologies, existing GSM/GPRS base stations are upgraded using software.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of EC-GSM

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of EC-GSM:
➨Optimized system information but no inter-RAT support.
➨Relaxed idle mode behaviour (e.g. reduced monitoring of neighbor cells).
➨It supports SMS and Data but there is no support for voice.
➨It supports about 10 Kbps throughput and uses narrow frequency band. The system is not designed to support higher data throughput.

GSM IoT Related Links

GSM Tutorial  Frame  Burst types  PHY  gsm stack  speech processing  ARFCN  Channel types  GSM Security  Network Entry  Mobile basics 

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