4G (also known as Beyond 3G), an abbreviation for Fourth-Generation, is a term used to describe the next complete evolution in wireless communications. A 4G system will be able to provide a comprehensive IP solution where voice, data and streamed multimedia can be given trousers on an "Anytime, Anywhere" basis, and at higher data rates than previous generations.
The approaching 4G (fourth generation) mobile communication systems are projected to solve still-remaining problems of 3G (third generation) systems and to provide a wide variety of new services, from high-quality voice to high-definition video to high-data-rate wireless channels. The term 4G is used broadly to include several types of broadband wireless access communication systems, not only cellular telephone systems. One of the terms used to describe
4G is MAGIC-Mobile multimedia, anytime anywhere, Global mobility support, integrated-wireless solution, and customized personal service. As a promise for the future, 4G systems, that is, cellular broadband wireless access systems have been attracting much interest in the mobile communication arena. The 4G systems not only will support the next generation of mobile service, but also will support the fixed wireless networks. Researchers and vendors are expressing a growing interest in 4G wireless networks that support global roaming across multiple wireless and mobile networks—for example, from a
cellular network to a satellite-based network to a high-bandwidth wireless LAN. With this feature, users will have access to different services, increased coverage, the convenience of a single device, one bill with reduced total access cost, and more reliable wireless access even with the failure or loss of one or more networks. 4G networks will also feature IP interoperability for seamless mobile Internet access and bit rates of 50 Mbps or more.
At the end of the 1940’s, the first radio telephone service was introduced, and was designed to users in cars to the public land-line based telephone network. Then, in the sixties, a system launched by Bell Systems, called IMTS, or, “Improve d Mobile Telephone Service", brought quite a few improvements such as direct dialing and more bandwidth. The very first analog systems were based upon IMTS and were created in the late 60s and early 70s. The systems were called "cellular" because large coverage areas were split into smaller areas or "cells", each cell is served by a low power transmitter and receiver. The 1G or First Generation was an analog system, and was developed in the seventies, 1G had two major improvements, this was the invention of the microprocessor, and the digital transform of the control link between the phone and the cell site. Advance mobile phone system (AMPS) was first launched by the US and is a 1G mobile system. Based on FDMA, it allows users to make voice calls in 1 country.
2G, or Second Generation
2G first appeared around the end of the 1980’s, the 2G system digitized the voice signal, as well as the control link. This new digital system gave a lot better quality and much more capacity (i.e. more people could use their phones at the same time), all at a lower cost to the end consumer. Based on TDMA, the first commercial network for use by the public was the Global system for mobile communication (GSM).
3G, or Third Generation
3G systems promise faster communications services, entailing voice, fax and Internet data transfer capabilities, the aim of 3G are to provide these services anytime, anywhere throughout the globe, with seamless roaming between standards. ITU’s IMT-2000 is a global standard for 3G and has opened new doors to enabling innovative services and application for instance, multimedia entertainment, and location-based services, as well as a whole lot more .In 2001,Japan saw the first 3G network launched. 3G technology supports around 144 Kbps, with high speed movement, i.e. in a vehicle. 384Kbps locally, and upto 2Mbps for fixed stations, i.e. in a building.
3. What is 4G?
Fourth generation (4G) wireless was originally conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the same organization that developed the wired Internet. It is not surprising, then, that DARPA chose the same distributed architecture for the wireless Internet that had proven so successful in the wired Internet. Although experts and policymakers have yet to agree on all the aspects of 4G wireless, two characteristics have emerged as all but certain components of 4G: end-to-end Internet Protocol (IP), and peer-to-peer networking. An all IP network makes sense because consumers will want to use the same data applications they are used to in wired networks. A peer-to-peer network, where every device is both a transceiver and a router/repeater for other devices in the network, eliminates this spoke-and-hub weakness of cellular architectures, because the elimination of a single node does not disable the network. The final definition of “4G” will have to include something as simple as this: if a consumer can do it at home or in the office while wired to the Internet, that consumer must be able to do it wirelessly in a fully mobile environment.
Let’s define “4G” as “wireless ad hoc peer-to-peer networking.” 4G technology is significant because users joining the network add mobile routers to the network infrastructure. Because users carry much of the network with them, network capacity and coverage is dynamically shifted to accommodate changing user patterns. As people congregate and create pockets of high demand, they also create additional routes for each other, thus enabling additional access to network capacity. Users will automatically hop away from congested routes to less congested routes. This permits the network to dynamically and automatically self-balance capacity, and increase network utilization. What may not be obvious is that when user devices act as routers, these devices are actually part of the network infrastructure. So instead of carriers subsidizing the cost of user devices (e.g., handsets, PDAs, of laptop computers), consumers actually subsidize and help deploy the network for the carrier. With a cellular infrastructure, users contribute nothing to the network. They are just consumers competing for resources. But in wireless ad hoc peer-to-peer networks, users cooperate – rather than compete – for network resources.
Thus, as the service gains popularity and the number of user increases, service likewise improves for all users. And there is also the 80/20 rule. With traditional wireless networks, about 80% of the cost is for site acquisition and installation, and just 20% is for the technology. Rising land and labor costs means installation costs tend to rise over time, subjecting the service providers’ business models to some challenging issues in the out years. With wireless peer-to-peer networking, however, about 80% of the cost is the technology and only 20% is the installation. Because technology costs tend to decline over time, a current viable business model should only become more profitable over time. The devices will get cheaper, and service providers will reach economies of scale sooner because they will be able to pass on the infrastructure savings to consumers, which will further increase the rate of penetration. This new generation of wireless is intended to complement and replace the 3G systems, perhaps in 5 to 10 years. Accessing information anywhere, anytime, with a seamless connection to a wide range of information and services, and receiving a large volume of information, data, pictures, video, and so on, are the keys of the 4G infrastructures. The future 4G infrastructures will consist of a set of various networks using IP (Internet protocol) as a common protocol so that users are in control because they will be able to choose every application and environment. Based on the developing trends of mobile communication, 4G will have broader bandwidth, higher data rate, and smoother and quicker handoff and will focus on ensuring seamless service across a multitude of wireless systems and networks. The key concept is integrating the 4G capabilities with all of the existing mobile technologies through advanced technologies. Application adaptability and being highly dynamic are the main features of 4G services of interest to users. These features mean services can be delivered and be available to the personal preference of different users and support the users' traffic, air interfaces, radio environment, and quality of service. Connection with the network applications can be transferred into various forms and levels correctly and efficiently. The dominant methods of access to this pool of information will be the mobile telephone, PDA, and laptop to seamlessly access the voice communication, high-speed information services, and entertainment broadcast services. Figure 1 illustrates elements and techniques to support the adaptability of the 4G domain. The fourth generation will encompass all systems from various networks, public to private; operator-driven broadband networks to personal areas; and ad hoc networks. The 4G systems will interoperate
networks, public to private; operator-driven broadband networks to personal areas; and ad hoc networks. The 4G systems will interoperate With 2G and 3G systems, as well as with digital(broadband) broadcasting systems. In addition, 4G systems will be fully IP-based wireless Internet. This all-encompassing integrated perspective shows the broad range of systems that the fourth generation intends to integrate, from satellite broadband to high altitude platform to cellular 3G and 3G systems to WLL (wireless local loop) and FWA(fixed wireless access) to WLAN (wireless local area network) and PAN (personal area network), all with IP as the integrating mechanism. With 4G, a range of new services and models will be available. These services and models need to be further examined for their interface with the design of 4G systems.