Personal Communications Service

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Personal Communications Service or PCS is the name for the 1900 MHz radio band used for digital mobile phone services in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), GSM, and D-AMPS systems can be used on PCS frequencies. The FCC, as well as Industry Canada, set aside the frequency band of 1850-1990 MHz for mobile phone use in 1994, as the original cellular phone band at 800-894 MHz was becoming overcrowded. Dual-band GSM phones are capable of working in both the 850 and 1900 MHz bands, although they are incompatible with 900 and 1800 MHz European and Asian systems. However, GSM "world phones" (some of which are known as tri-band or quad-band phones, because they operate in three or four different frequency bands, respectively) offered by North American carriers support both European and domestic frequencies. Outside the USA, PCS is used to refer to GSM-1900. In Hong Kong, PCS is used to refer to GSM-1800.

Sprint was the first company to set up a PCS network, which was a GSM network in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.[1] Eventually however, Sprint converted that network to CDMA technology and sold the GSM infrastructure to Omnipoint, which later became part of T-Mobile USA. Nowadays, the PCS frequencies have been adopted for usage in most parts of the Americas.

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