Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) is a standard system for analog signal cellular telephone service in the United States and is also used in other countries. It is based on the initial electromagnetic radiation spectrum allocation for cellular service by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1970. Introduced by AT&T in 1983, AMPS became one of the most widely deployed cellular system in the United States.
AMPS allocates frequency ranges within the 800 and 900 Megahertz (MHz) spectrum to cellular telephone. Each service provider can use half of the 824-849 MHz range for receiving signals from cellular phones and half the 869-894 MHz range for transmitting to cellular phones. The bands are divided into 30 kHz sub-bands, called channels. The receiving channels are called reverse channels and the sending channels are called forward channels. The division of the spectrum into sub-band channels is achieved by using frequency division multiple access (FDMA).
The signals received from a transmitter cover an area called a cell. As a user moves out of the cell's area into an adjacent cell, the user begins to pick up the new cell's signals without any noticeable transition. The signals in the adjacent cell are sent and received on different channels than the previous cell's signals to so that the signals don't interfere with each other.
The analog service of AMPS has been updated with digital cellular service by adding to FDMA a further subdivision of each channel using time division multiple access (TDMA). This service is known as digital AMPS (D-AMPS). Although AMPS and D-AMPS originated for the North American cellular telephone market, they are now used worldwide with over 74 million subscribers, according to Ericsson, one of the major cellular phone manufacturers.