Mobile phones are everywhere. Chances are that you are viewing this website on a mobile phone using mobile internet. If you are an average internet user you might have heard of the term 2G, 3G, 4G and so on with respect to mobile internet. The G here means the generation of cellphone network or mobile internet technology. The generation is defined as a set of telephone network standards.
- 1G: The first generation or 1G introduced in 1987 by a telecommunication company called Telstra, and it was based on AMPS, NMT and TACS technology. It used 30KHz frequency and offered 2kbps Bandwidth. It used FDMA as Access System and PSTN as Core Network. It was analog means it didn’t encode voice calls digitally.
- 2G: In the second generation the voice calls were transmitted via compression. As it needed lesser power to run the 2G module, the cell phones became smaller. It was launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja. It used 1.8 Ghz frequency and offered 14.4-64 kbps Bandwidth. It used TDMA/CDMA as access system and PSTN as Core Network.
- 3G: The third generation was commercially introduced in 2001 and the main goal of this generation was to improve over 2G with greater voice and data capacity. The cost of data transmission was reduced as well. This generation was based on WCDMA Technology and used 1.6-2 GHz frequency range and offered 2 Mbps bandwidth. It works with CDMA Access System and uses Packet Network or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) as the core network architecture, 3G also offered better audio compression and that allowed to place simultaneous calls over the same frequency range.
- 4G: The fourth generation also known as LTE (Long Term Evolution) was first deployed in Stockholm in 2009 and is the version we are still widely using. It depends on WiMax technology and this version supports IP telephony, HDTV streaming and high quality video conferences. It uses 2-8 GHz radio frequency, offers upto 1Gbps network bandwidth. It uses CDMA access system and relies on the internet as the core network.
- 5G: The fifth generation is still under development and offers faster data rate and lower latency, 5G might also offer device to device communication. It uses New Radio frequency technology and divided into two frequency ranges, Range 1 uses <6 GHz and Range 2 uses >24 GHz. But as the second frequency range uses high frequency the range and coverage is less than a few hundred meters, and also since the higher range of frequency can’t penetrate solid objects, it brings up new challenge as well. The maximum speed of 5G is aimed to 2Gbps, uses MIMO and mm Waves as the base technology, and OFDM/Beam Division Multipe Access as Access System. This also relies on the Internet as the core network.
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