1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G …… It’s not about the gravity which I’m going to write about, however it’s the generations of wireless technology that has evolved since the 1990s till date. I find myself fortuitous to enjoy the entire range of technology change in the realm of mobile data transmission and wireless improvements (except for 1G… I wish I was born a bit earlier). Born in the 1990s, I was aware of the basic Nokia phone which was the 1100, which worked on the 2G technology that could perform the marvels of sending a SMS/MMS with the voice calls. The 1G technology was also seeded during the same time. It was totally the analog communication where only phone calls were made possible. Who would have imagined about the recent technology which we are enjoying with the data and voice signals both on the same connection. It was the First Generation of wireless communication. Imagine an internet connection wired all over the world from the mobile phones to the nearest cabinets and the telephone towers, and literally think about the complexity of maintaining the cables – people tripping of the cables on the road Watsapping, and all the pilots would have become Captain Steven “Steve” Hiller (the Will Smith character who manoeuvres a splendid flight getting out of the mothership in “INDEPENDENCE DAY”) or the Captain Rafe McCawley( Ben Affleck in the movie “PEARL HARBOR” who plays chicken with the 45,000$ aircraft).
It was only after the introduction of 3G establishment in 2001, 2G data communication possible. The 2G technology could carry speeds upto 80-100 Kbps. Thus in 2G, there was a possibility of voice, messages, data all in together binding together the future of wireless technology on higher data speed and better connectivity. The digital technology it used with the GSM, GPRS and EDGE were the different modes of improvements in the wireless technology.
GPRS was the General Packet Radio Service where you could receive a download speed of 114Kbps.. Limitation of unable to use the data on the call was which gave rise to EDGE technology.
EDGE was the Enhanced Data GSM Evolution where it could provide a download speed of 384Kbps. It’s also called as the 2.5G sometimes the 3G but they don’t totally provide the 3G services. They used time and frequency division to send out the data packets which was essentially the TDMA/FDMA multiplexing.
3G technology came to life in 2001 which could support video calling, live streaming of videos and provide a download speed of 3Mbps. It used the code division multiplexing abbreviated as CDMA which supported better bandwidth and efficient connectivity. Man is a social animal and his desires and expectations never satiate, they ask for more. The need for faster data rate has become crucial for the growing technology and live streaming of video calling and applications like Skype, Hangouts.
After 3G evolved HSDPA – High Speed Downlink Packet Access which buttressed the speed of 14Mbps. also called as the 3.5G. The 3G technology on mobile phones are very costly to the needy. (I still use the EDGE technology on my mobile if I’m not connected to Wi-Fi). As 3G evolved there has been hype about the 4G technology with speeds around 168 Mbps and this was named as the HSPA+ – Evolved High – Speed Packet Access.
The authentic 4G technology started in 2010 which involved text messaging, calling, cloud computing, internet access, mobile TV. The different standards of LTE (Long Term Evolution) and LTE Advanced can boost up the performance of the broadband over the different bands. Amongst all this is something called as bandwidth where the actual signals of data and voice are transmitted to the consumers. The bands of frequency grew from 30 kHz for 1G, to 200 kHz for 2G, 20 MHz for 3G, and for 4G its upto 100 MHz, and now there is a new Generation the 5th Generation which can carry speeds upto 10Gbps. 10Gbps would be super – efficient mobile and converged fiber – wireless network. Imagine downloading a 1 hour HD movie in 6 seconds, sounds amazing and complex as well as we get into the functionality. There has been a debate of how to manage the bandwidth with the growing technology in wireless communications and how the old and low frequency bandwidth can be improved. But the applications of 5G internet connections will range from hospitals, education, entertainment, simulation of electronic devices with the internet with minimum latency, and at the same time providing the connection at minimum costs.
Amongst all the countries where internet has been growing enormously, the top five countries providing a faster broadband network are Sweden which is on an average of 14.1Mbps, where 94% population uses internet, Switzerland for 14.5Mbps, Japan uses average of 15 Mbps, Hong Kong provides 16.3 Mbps on an average with 1Gb internet line for 26$, and South Korea tops the list as the “Home of high speed connection”, with 25.3 Mbps which provides the same 1Gb internet line for 20$!!! United States doesn’t even come in the picture where the average internet speed is 11.3 Mbps. With the new things replacing the old technologies on the internet and the Internet of Things which is happening all over the place there are some countries which do on follow internet at all. Internet is a taboo and the government shuns the use of Google and its aided services in countries like UAE, Burma, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Qatar which gives me goose bumps – because surviving without internet in this century will be inevitable.