Wondering what actually all those 2G, 3G, 4G and so on mean? Do you hear about it often, yet you are not able to connect it with any rule or visualization? Let’s learn something about all the wireless cellular technology generations. It's time to come along with those technologies that have gone down in history and solutions that continue to await introduction.
That may be quite easy to understand, as 1G is for the first generation of wireless cellular technology, 2G refers to the second one, 3G to third, and all the rest goes analogously. It will not surprise us, as that behind each subsequent technology faster and more advanced features are hidden. Nowadays, 3G and 4G technology are those most popular and commonly used. However, on the horizon appeared another, obviously more modern technology, not surprising in its name – 5G. Does it mean that all the previously used will automatically disappear? Can’t say for sure. But at first, we have to look at all of them, to see what they are all about.
This one is history now. It includes voice only. It is the first generation of wireless cellular technology, which began in the 80s. It was for voice calls only. The maximum speed of 1G was 2.4 Kbps.
From 1991 we’ve got 2G tech. It comes up with call and text encryption, along with data services such as SMS, MMSor picture messages. It was the revolution, which took cell phones from analog to the digital world. The max speed of 2G with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is 50 Kbps.
The third generation, introduced in 1998, enables unrestricted radio access to the global telecommunications infrastructure via the terrestrial segment, both for stationary and mobile users. Audio and video transmission and packet data transmission are included here. The transition to the 3G telephony system required modernization of all elements of the network architecture. The maximum speed can reach 2 Mbps for non-moving devices and 384 Kbps moving vehicles.
Released in 2008 4G involves sending audio and data using IP based packet commutation. It has a simplified backbone network architecture and improved data rate in the radio network in relation to previous standards. Internet via 4G network achieves speeds that allow you to comfortably use those Internet functions that require the highest parameters. Nowadays, 4G is the most popular generation. Max speed of 4G can reach 1Gbps for devices which stay in one place, and 100 Mbps for those in move.
The newest, 5G technology offers way more fast data rates, higher connection density, lower latency and so on. So let’s take a closer look at this super modern technology.
Key performance requirements defined by the ITU for the 5G network:
5G technology allows for much faster Internet access. The achieved data transfer speed exceeds the needs of the individual Internet user. The estimated internet speed in 5G is in the range of 10 to even 100 Gb per one sec! Specialists developing this standard says that the speed of the 5G Internet can ultimately be even greater. The currently popular LTE technology, which has already been a kind of revolution in the telecommunications industry, achieves a bandwidth of 300 Mb per sec for comparison. What is important, the efficiency of the latest technology is not to be affected by the number of users currently using the network. Of course, it is not only focused on the standard needs of individual network users. It allows efficientlyand seamlessly exchanging and processing data via a network between buildings, cars, various systems (health, security) and electronic equipment and household appliances.
Data on the phone will be downloaded a thousand times fasterthan today. We will not have to install applications on smartphones. Fast connection to the Internet will make us able to use them in the cloud. The 5G channels are irreplaceable here because they provide delays not counted in tens or hundreds of milliseconds but in individual milliseconds. According to preliminary estimates, they will be approximately one hundred times lower than the delays observed in 4G networks. When it comes to peak speeds, 5G networks pierce 4G networks at least 20 times. It is estimated that the minimum data download speeds in 5G networks will not be lower than 20 Gbps, whereas in 4G networks it is 1 Gb per sec.
However, we cannot say that it will be the end of 4G and previous technologies. At least not now. The whole process of implementing this technology will take a lot of time. And although we are definitely closer to that than ever, we will not imply 5G right away. It requires a lot of many technological changes. Nevertheless, it is a chance for a definitely better quality of life. Yet if we look more prospectively, and reach for a little further future, then we can say that one day, 5G will definitely replace the existing technologies, because - as we can see above - in many aspects it is far beyond that.