What are 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G networks ?
Many things are taken into consideration while defining wireless generation, the techniques they use, service they provide, capacity, power, accessibility etc. Mobile generation is the result of improvement in all these factor. So what made the difference and how they were evolved ?
The "G" in wireless networks refers to the "generation" of the underlying wireless network technology. Technically generations are defined as follows:
Today, mobile operators have started offering 4G services in the country. A higher number before the ‘G’ means more power to send out and receive more information and therefore the ability to achieve a higher efficiency through the wireless network.
Firstly, when wireless generation started, it was analog communication. That generation is 1G.
1G Networks (NMT, C-Nets, AMPS, TACS)
This was considered to be the first analog cellular systems, which started early 1980s. As the name would suggest, 1G was the first generation of mobile networks. There were radio telephone systems even before that. 1G networks were conceived and designed purely for voice calls with almost no consideration of data services (with the possible exception of built-in modems in some headsets).
Here basically, radio signals were transmitted in ‘Analogue’ form and expectedly, one was not able to do much other than sending text messaging and making calls. But the biggest disadvantage, however came in the form of limited network availability, as in the network was available only within the country.
They used various analog modulation for data transfer. Now when the communication migrated from analog to digital, the foundation of latest communication were led. Hence came 2G.
2G Networks (GSM, CDMAOne, D-AMPS ), ( Voice + SMS / MMS )
It was the first digital cellular systems launched early 1990s, offering improved sound quality, better security and higher total capacity.
It marked the start of digital voice communication era. Main motive of this generation was to provide secure and reliable communication channel. It implemented the concept of CDMA and GSM.
GSM supports circuit-switched data (CSD), allowing users to place dial-up data calls digitally, so that the network's switching station receives actual ones and zeroes rather than the screech of an analog modem. Provided small data service like sms and mms. Note that 2G internet services came after the 3G establishment.
2G networks on the other hand, were based on narrow band digital networks. Signals were transmitted in the digital format and this dramatically improved the quality of calls and also reduced the complexity of data transmission. The other advantage of the 2G network came in the form of Semi Global Roaming System, which enabled the connectivity all over the world.
Between 2G and 3G there was a short phase in between where mobile phones became sleeker and more ‘pocketable’ if we can call it that. This is popularly referred to as 2.5G where the quantity of radio waves to be transmitted was much lower. This in turn had an effect on the shape and structure of mobile phones. But most of all, 2.5G helped in the ushering of GPRS (General Pocket Radio Service).
3G Networks ( UMTS FDD and TDD, CDMA2000 1x EVDO, CDMA2000 3x, TD-SCDMA, Arib WCDMA, EDGE, IMT-2000 DECT ), (Voice + Data)
Then came the time of some decent speed internet connection and awesome voice channel. They exploited area of Wideband-CDMA(W-CDMA), provided better bandwidth and better connectivity even during motion(like in vehicle, train).
The 3rd generation of mobile networks has become popular largely thanks to the ability of users to access the Internet over devices like mobiles and tablets. These are newer cellular networks that have data rates of 384kbit/s and more.
The UN's International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard requires stationary speeds of 2Mbps and mobile speeds of 384kbps for a "true" 3G.
The speed of data transmission on a 3G network ranges between 384KBPS to 2MBPS. This means a 3G network actually allows for more data transmission and therefore the network enables voice and video calling, file transmission, internet surfing, online TV, view high definition videos, play games and much more. 3G is the best option for users who need to always stay connected to Internet.
There was some technical shift towards HSPA for better data communication and to maintain 4G compatibility.
4G: (Only DATA and Voice over data)
Era of broadband wireless. 4G technology refers to the fourth generation of mobile phone communication standards.
This in the making and have been successfully deployed in only some part of the world. Best aspect of 4G is the use of data services for everything. 4th Generation mobile networks are believed to provide many value added features. Internet is the back bone and even voice call is done over internet. There is no separate voice channel. This allows usage of wider bandwidth in the communication channel for data.
In addition to all the 3G facilities, data transmission is believed to go through the roof with speeds ranging between 100MBPs to 1GBPS. Happy talking, surfing, conferencing, chatting, networking, partying, or whatever you want to do on your mobile phone.
LTE and WiMAX are marketed as parts of this generation, even though they fall short of the actual standard.
The ITI has taken ownership of 4G, bundling into a specification known as IMT-Advanced. The document calls for 4G technologies to deliver downlink speeds of 1Gbps when stationary and 100Mbps when mobile, roughly 500-fold and 250-fold increase over IMT-2000 respectively. Unfortunately, those specs are so aggressive that no commercialized standard currently meets them.
Historically, WiMAX and Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the standard generally accepted to succeed both CDMA2000 and GSM, have been marketed and labeled as "4G technologies," but that's only partially true: they both make use of a newer, extremely efficient multiplexing scheme (OFDMA, as opposed to the older CDMA or TDMA), however, WiMAX tops at around 40Mbps and LTE at around 100Mbps theoretical speed. Practical, real-world commercial networks using WiMAX and LTE range between 4Mbps and 30Mbps. Even though the speeed of WiMAX and LTE is well short of IMT-Advanced's standard, they're very different than 3G networks and carriers around the world refer to them as "4G". Updates to these standards -- WiMAX 2 and LTE-Advanced, respectively -- will increase througput further, but neither has been finalized yet.
5G = not yet defined
Much faster. Likely to be real ~2020
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