How 3G differs from 4G
Two of the most widely used technologies for mobile wireless access are 3G and 4G. While 3G is the norm nowadays, 4G is the technology of the future and is currently being used in larger centers throughout Europe and North America.
3G stands for Third Generation Networks. It has rapidly replaced 2G networks because of its speed. The modern cell phones, called smart phones, are designed to support voice calling as well as video calling, Internet access and a wide variety of applications that a user can access when mobile. With a speed variation of up to 200kbit/s, it allows for voice and data services at the same time. However, the transfer of data alone is much faster and can be several Mbit/s.
All of the 3G technologies that are in use at the present time use acronyms to denote the name of the network. Some of these are:
- EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution)
- Ev-Do (Evolution-Data Optimized). This technology uses Code or Time Division Multiple Access
- HSPA (High Speed Packet Access. This uses 16QAM modulation. The rate for data transfer on a downlink is 14 Mbit/s and on an uplink it is 5.8 Mbit/s.
- WiMAX (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access – 802.16)
4G stands for Fourth Generation Networks. This is the technology that is turning heads because of its rapid speed. Users in a car or on a train can now access a data rate of 100mbit/s. When using a mobile phone in one static location, the data rate is 1Gbit/s. This increase in speed represents a revolutionary improvement to the world of mobile broadband. 4G technology is very similar to having a LAN or an Ethernet connection.
With 4G technology all smart phones will have access to high speed Internet access. This includes tablets and laptops as well as other mobile devices. It offers a much higher speed than Cable or DSL.
This technology has not been launched all over the world. Once it is, users will have at least 54Mbit/s for downloading information, music or movies to a handheld mobile device and they will be able to run the same applications on this device as they can now run on a PC. VoIP calls will be possible through the mobile phone as well as SKYPE, YouTube and many more commonly used applications. It will undoubtedly be the death of the mobile voice market. You will also be able to subscribe to local numbers and receive calls on your phone by means of the Internet. You will also be able to do this in any area that has 4G coverage.
One of the advantages that 4G technology will bring is that while you are traveling you will be able to make video calls and have face to face meetings. This will certainly change the way the world does business and will cut down on travel expenses to attend meetings and conferences.
4G is still being developed even though it is in use in some parts of Europe and North America. The providers of this technology include Telnor, Telia and Tele2 in Europe and Verizon and Sprint in the US. It is expected that this technology will also make it possible to use interactive roaming in any part of the world and allow users a better quality of service. The technologies that are presently being used in 4G networks are wi-fi, UMB, HC SDMA, 802.16e WiMAX and flash OFDM.
- 4G is much faster than 3G.
- The 4G network is completely IP, but 3G is a combination of packet switching and circuit networks.
- Some 4G technologies are adoptions of 3G and have been classified as 3.9G.