Global System for Mobile communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for cellular networks for mobile phones in the world.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM for more information.
More details about GSM:
The standards: http://openbsc.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/GSMStandards
"GSM Networks: Protocols, Terminology, and Implementation" by Gunnar Heine is particularly useful for starting out.
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