The set of telephone standards that describe the technical aspects of the system is defined as the generation of a wireless broadband. Each new generation in wireless communication has more advanced features and improved speed when compared to the older generation.
In this article, we are discussing in detail about 2G,3G, 4G and 5G mobile networks.
Second Generation (2G)
The second generation/2G mobile networks are based on GSM. Its previous generation, 1G used analog signals while 2G uses digital signals. 2G allows multiple users in a single channel by making use of multiplexing.
2G offers data speed up to 64 kbps and enabled the services like SMS and MMS for the first time. With the arrival of 2G, the quality of voice calls improved significantly. The network uses the bandwidth between 30 and 200 KHz.
Third Generation (3G)
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) is the core network architecture of 3G. The 3G network incorporates the aspects of 2G network with newer technologies to deliver faster data rates than 2G. By making use of packet switching, the original technology evolved to allow speeds up to 14 mbps. 3G uses Wide Band Network Coverage that offers better clarity of mobile communication than that made using 2G.
3G offers a real-world maximum download speed of 7.2 mbps and upload speed of 2 mbps. The numbers may not seem impressive today but it was quite celebrated when 3G was introduced in 2001. Even today, 3G proves effective when 4G connection isn’t available.
Fourth Generation (4G)
There are significant differences between 3G and 4G technology and it reflects in the difference between the data rates offered by the systems. Key technologies used by 4G are OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) and MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output). WiMAX and LTE are the most important 4G standards. Although 4G LTE is much advanced than 3G in terms of speed, it is not technically 4G.
4G is the predetermined standard for mobile network connections and 4G LTE is the term given to the path that is to be followed in order to achieve the predetermined standards.
4G LTE offers speeds up to 20 mbps and is well known for its high capacity. The cost per bit is quite low for speeds this high.
5G uses the radio millimeter bands that fall within the 30 to 300 GHz range. Latency in mobile networks refers to the time taken for a data packet to travel back and forth once between two points. Low latency is a desirable feature in mobile communication. 5G networks are popular for low latency, which is its most impressive feature. The network uses scalable orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) framework. The latency of 5G networks can be as low as one millisecond.
Let us discuss about 5G in detail, as it is the newest mobile network type.
Working Of 5G
Most network operators prefer integrating 5G networks into preexisting 4G networks in order to offer unhindered connection.
Radio access network and core network are the two major components of a mobile network. The radio access network contains various units including small towers, in-building and home systems, and masts, all connecting the wireless devices and mobile users to the main core network.
The millimeter wave frequencies of 5G make the connection range quite small. Hence small cells are characteristic of 5G networks. In order to ensure a continuous connection, the small cells are distributed in clusters. The connection complements the macro network with a wide coverage area.
The core network is the data network that handles all the mobile voice, internet and data connections. For introducing 5G, core network is being redesigned in order to achieve better integration with the internet and cloud based services.
Most advanced features of 5G network including network slicing for various applications and services, as well as network function visualization are managed in the core network. Network slicing is a methodology used to segment the network for a particular business, industry or application so that they can operate independently from other users.
5G uses massive MIMO antennas that have a large number of antenna connections to transfer data without any delay. This way, the users are able to simultaneously connect to the network. The 5G MIMO antennas resemble 4G antennas in size but with a higher frequency, the individual antenna size is made smaller, thereby allowing more elements to be installed in the same physical case.
The range of applications of each mobile network has expanded significantly when compared to its predecessors. 2G is mainly used for voice calls and text messages while 3G allows features like mobile TV, video conferencing and GPS. 4G is mainly beneficial for high speed applications, wearable devices and mobile TV. 5G is perfect for remote control of vehicles, high resolution video streaming, medical procedures and more.