City Research Online

Towards Security of GSM Voice Communication

Abro, F. I., Rauf, F., Mobeen-ur-Rehman , Chowdhry, B. S. & Rajarajan, M. (2019). Towards Security of GSM Voice Communication. Wireless Personal Communications, 108(3), pp. 1933-1955. doi: 10.1007/s11277-019-06502-y


Global system for mobile communication (GSM) is widely used digital mobile service around the world. Although GSM was designed as a secure wireless system, it is now vulnerable to different targeted attacks. There is a need to address security domains especially the confidentiality of communication. This paper presents a novel framework for end to end secure voice communication over the GSM networks using encryption algorithm AES-256. A special Modem and speech coding technique are designed to enable the transmission of encrypted speech using GSM voice channel. To the best of our knowledge, this is first solution that uses single codebook for transmission of secure voice. An efficient low bit-rate (1.9 kbps) speech coder is also designed for use with the proposed modulation scheme for optimal results. Different speech characteristics such as pitch, energy and line spectral frequencies are extracted and preserved before compression and encryption of speech. Previously, the best achieved data rate was 1.6 kbps with three codebooks, whilst the proposed approach achieves 2 kbps with 0% bit error rate. The empirical results show that the methodology can be used for real time applications to transmit encrypted voice using GSM network.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Wireless Personal Communications. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Publisher Keywords: Global system for mobile communication (GSM), Modulator, De-modulator, Codebook, Synthesizer, Analyzer, Encryption
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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