4G MOBILE NETWORKS - TECHNOLOGY BEYOND 2.5G AND 3G
Jun-seok Hwang*, Roy R. Consulta** & Hyun-young Yoon*** Seoul National University Republic of Korea
Based on the study, 4G mobile technology is in a determining and standardization stage. Although 4G wireless technology offers higher data rates and the ability to roam across multiple heterogeneous wireless networks, several issues require further research and development. Since 4G is still in the cloud of the sensible standards creation, ITU and IEEE form several task forces to work on the possible completion for the 4G mobile standards as well. 3GPP LTE is an evolution standard from UMTS, and WiMAX is another candidate from IEEE. These technologies have different characteristics and try to meet 4G characteristics to become a leading technology in the future market. Under these circumstances, this paper will present about the current trends and its underlying technologies to implement the 4G mobile technology. This paper also shows some of the possible scenarios that will benefit the 4th generation technology.
4G Mobile Technologies, 3GPP Long Term Evolution, WiMAX, WiBro, Software Defined Radio, Open Architecture
In a world of fast changing technology, there is a rising requirement for people to communicate and get connected with each other and have appropriate and timely access to information regardless of the location of the each individuals or the information. The increasing demands and requirements for wireless communication systems ubiquity have led to the need for a better understanding of fundamental issues in communication theory and electromagnetic and their implications for the design of highly-capable wireless systems. In continuous development of mobile environments, the major service providers in the wireless market kept on monitoring the growths of 4th generation (4G) mobile technology. 2G and 3G are well-established as the mainstream mobile technology around the world. 3G is stumbling to obtain market share for a different reasons and 4G is achieving some confidence.
In 2010, the total mobile subscriber base in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, is expected to grow up to 2500 millions and penetration will be over 50% . This kind of demand growth will require the support of higher capacity networks.
Given the technology at large, 4G mobile technology as an example, will give people a more convenience and ease in lifestyle. With the "anytime, anywhere, anything," capability, 4G wireless technology will benefit every individual regardless of time and place. Considering global standpoint, this technology stands to be the way to communicate and connect all the time with more ubiquitous means. Therefore, given the ubiquitous networking, e-commerce (or even m-commerce), unified messaging, and peer-to-peer networking, expansion to the mobile and wireless surroundings must reach its maximum possibilities. 
The trail going to 4G mobile technology embraces lots of significant trends. Major mobile players have been investing to 2G and the succeeding technology. 4G mobile technologies are perceived to provide fast and high data rate or bandwidth, and offer packetized data communications. Since 4G is still in the cloud of the sensible standards creation, ITU and IEEE form several task forces to work on the possible completion for the 4G mobile standards as well.
Users' experiences of latest booming Internet forces industry to investigate means to provide high data rate regardless of mobility. 4G is being discussed as a solution to the inquiry and its vision and requirements are being standardized in various standardization bodies. 4G service vision is given from this research. There still have large room for the purpose of service application vision: 3G is being delayed in its commercialization and about a decade of change is left for 4G. However, we believe this paper will promote discussion of 4G services by presenting our vision of 4G services.
In this paper, we also outline the current trend of next generation of wireless communications and investigate 4G candidate technologies. Based on this investigation, four scenarios will be discussed to predict and analyze 4G. The final section will provide some policy implications and issues.
2. TREND OF 4G TECHNOLOGY 2.1. 4G CHARACTERISTICS 2.1.1 CONVERGENCE SERVICES
The idea of convergence means that the creation of the atmosphere that can eventually provide seamless and high-reliable and quality broadband mobile communication service and ubiquitous service through wired and wireless convergence networks without the space problem and terrestrial limitation, by means of ubiquitous connectivity. Convergence among industries is also accelerated by formation of alliances through participation in various projects to provide convergence services.
4G mobile systems will mainly be characterized by a horizontal communication model, where such different access technologies as cellular, cordless, wireless LAN type systems, short-range wireless connectivity, and wired systems will be combined on a common platform to complement each other in the best possible way for different service requirements and radio environments .
The development is expected to inspire the trend of progressive information technologies a far from the current technical focus on fully mobile and widespread convergence of media. The trends from the service perspective include integration of services and convergence of service delivery mechanisms. In accordance with these trends, mobile network architecture will become flexible and versatile, and new services will be easy to deploy.
2.1.2. BROADBAND SERVICES
Broadband is a basis for the purpose of enabling multimedia communications including video service, which requires transmission of a large amount of data; it naturally calls media convergence aspect, based on packet transport, advocating the integration of various media on different qualities.
The increasing position of broadband services like Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) and optical fiber access systems and office or home LANs is expected to lead to a demand for similar services in the mobile communication environment. 4G service application characteristics will give broadband service its advantages;
1) Low cost
To make broadband services available to the user to exchange various kinds of information, it is necessary to lower charges considerably in order to keep the cost at or below the cost of existing service.
2) Coverage of Wide Area
One feature of mobile communications is that it's availability and omnipresent. That advantage is important for future mobile communication as well. In particular, it is important to maintain the service area in which the terminals of the new system can be used during the transition from the existing system to a new system.
3) Wide Variety of Services Capability
Mobile communication is for various types of users. In the future, we expect to make the advanced system performance and functionality to introduce a variety of services not only the ordinary telephone service. Those services must be made easier for anyone to use.
2.1.3. INTERACTIVE BCN (ALL-IP) WITH HOME-NETWORKING,
TELEMETRIC, SENSOR-NETWORK SERVICES
Since technologies are becoming more collaborative and essential. Evolution of all network services based on All-IP network is needed for more converged services. IP-based unified network for far above the ground quality convergence services through active access is what broadband convergence network is all about. ALL-IP or Next Generation Network-IP based convergence of wired or wired backbone network, which may be the most rapidly deployed case of convergence.
All-IP technology networking and IP multimedia services are the major trends in the wired and wireless network. The idea of the broadband convergence network (BcN) fit in the provision of a common, unified, and flexible service architecture that can support multiple types of services and management applications over multiple types of transport networks. 
The primary purpose of putting 4G service application into more interactive-driven broadband convergence network is its applicability for home-networking, telemetric, and sensor-network service. Collaborative converged network will give a more beneficial service and application, especially if it is in broadband computing to the users and its providers.
To give more emphasis on this service application, one example is home-networking as its applicability binds to give more advantage to the users and the society in terms of broadband connectivity. Far more than broadband convergence network application, telemetric application will put more tangible emphasis on the 4G mobile technology application.
2.1.4. FLEXIBILITY AND PERSONALIZED SERVICE
The key concern in security designs for 4G networks is flexibility. 4G systems will support comprehensive and personalized services, providing stable system performance and quality of service. To support multimedia services, high-data-rate services with good system reliability will be provided. At the same time, a low data rate transmission cost will be maintained. In order to meet the demands of these diverse users, service providers should design personal and customized services for them. Personal mobility is a concern in mobility management. Personal mobility concentrates on the movement of users instead of users' terminals, and involves the provision of personal communications and personalized operating environments.
Implementing SDR to 4G offers an advantage benefits to service providers, manufacturers and subscribers as well; such as, for service providers; 
1) Enhance the effectiveness of the infrastructure resources.
2) Superior space efficiency
3) Decrease operational expenditure suitable to reduced need for hardware site upgrades.
4) Decrease capital expenditure because of rise in usage of accessible network elements.
5) Improbable and faster time to market for new service and applications.
The benefit of SDR for manufacturers is through a decrease in the number of separate platforms which will be needed for the purpose of the diverse wireless technologies.
2.2. CANDIDATE SERVICES BEYOND 3G 2.2.1 3GPP LTE
As hype about multiple standards paths in the wireless technology has caused significant confusion in the market, the initiative in 3GPP LTE or the so-called Third Generation Partnership Programme - Long Term Evolution is the name given to a project develops the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) mobile phone standard to cope and manage with future requirements in terms of wireless technology. Objectives include improving efficiency, lowering costs, improving services, making use of new spectrum opportunities, and better integration with other open standards. Since the project is currently in progress, it has put itself some specific goals, much of which is leaning around upgrading UMTS to a technology name fourth generation mobile communications technology, essentially a wireless broadband Internet system with voice and other services built on top. The aim of the project comprises of: 
Â¢ Download rates of 100Mbps, and upload rates of 50Mbps for every 20MHz of spectrum Sub-5ms latency for small IP packets
Â¢ Increased spectrum flexibility, with spectrum slices as small as 1.6MHz.
Â¢ Coexistence with legacy standards (users can transparently start a call or transfer of data in an area using an LTE standard, and, should coverage
be unavailable, continue the operation without any action on their part using GSM/GPRS or W-CDMA-based UMTS)
3GPP LTE is planned as a development to existing 3GPP standards. The project was aimed as the standard technology for 2.5 GHz "3G extension band." Compared to UMTS, 3GPP LTE is exclusive and solely packet-switched and IP-based which means that circuit switched core network does not exist.
2.2.2. WIMAX AND WIBRO
WiMAX is Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and this technology is a standard created by IEEE to form the IEEE 802.16 standard Based pm this standard, WiBro is the service name for Mobile WiMAX in Korea. WiBro uses the Mobile WiMAX System Profile. The system profile contains a comprehensive list of features that the equipment is required or allowed to support As a result, WiBro offers the same capabilities and features of Mobile WiMAX. It describes this technology as an alternative to cable and DSL and a standards-based technology enabling and allowing the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access. The aim of the project comprises of: 
Â¢ Peak downlink sector data rates up to 46 Mbps, assuming a DL/UL ratio of 3:1, and peak uplink sector data rates up to 14 Mbps, assuming a DL/UL ratio of 1:1, in a 10 MHz channel
Â¢ Support end-to-end IP-based QoS
Â¢ Available different channelization from 1.25 to 20 MHz to comply with varied worldwide requirements.
In a prevailing market, operators are more interested and involved in using WiMAX for low cost, low expense voice transport and delivery of services.
WiMAX has a two stage evolution steps. First, the expansion of the overall fixed wireless market will not going to happen as a result of WiMAX technology, slow migration of purchasing behavior from proprietary equipment to WiMAX equipment. In adopting and implementing WiMAX equipment, service providers will be skeptical pending and until prices drop to the point where service providers cannot manage to pay to disregard WiMAX. Currently, users will see the beginning of the 2nd stage of WiMAX, which is the dawn of metro area portability. Since 802.16e or the so called Broadband Wireless Access Standards was approved already, laptops and other mobile devices can now embed with WiMAX chipsets, so the user can now have Internet access ubiquitously with in WiMAX areas. So, the WiMAX's 2nd stage might be very disruptive and upsetting to 3G operators and could drive a round of WiMAX network overlays in urban zones.
2.2.3. IEEE 802.20
The IEEE 802.20 or so-called Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) specification is also the first IEEE standard that explicitly addresses the needs of mobile clients in moving vehicles. The design parameters of the specification include support for vehicular mobility up to 250 Km per hour. This criterion will support use in fleet cars and trucks, as well as in the high-speed commuter trains in use throughout much of the world.
Whereas 802.16e's roaming support is generally limited to local and regional areas, 802.20 shares with 3G the ability to support global roaming. Like 802.16e, 802.20 supports QoS to give good quality for low-latency services, unlike 3G cellular data service, which is an inherently high-latency architecture .
Both 802.16e and 802.20 also share synchronous efficiency between uplinks and downlinks, as opposed to the asynchronous nature of 3G cellular networks, which have lower-efficiency uplinks, relative to their downlinks. Higher efficiency uplinks can be beneficial to those business users who must perform large data synchronizations or uploads to central corporate systems from their mobile systems.
The 802.20 standard plans to combine a number of the desirable features of 802.16e with those of 3G cellular data networks, while reducing the limitations of both those modalities. Thus, 802.20 solutions will address the need for a broad spectrum of functionality for mobile business and personal computing implementations.
3.1. SCENARIO OUTLINE
A key feature of 4G is likely to be the availability of significantly higher data rates than for third-generation (3G) systems. It has been suggested that data rates up to 100 Mbps for high mobility and 1 Gbps for low mobility should be the target value. These data rates suggest higher spectral efficiencies and lower cost per bit will be key requirements for such future systems. Additional important and expected features are likely to be increased flexibility of mobile terminals and networks, multimedia services, and high-speed data connections. Future convergence systems will clearly be another feature. Based on these visions and characteristics of the 4th generation (4G) for future wireless telecommunication, new spectrum allocation issue, and technology feasibility, the advent of 4G service will bring a number of changes of competition environment, regulation and policy as well as service change into future wireless communication. Accordingly, it is very important we expect what kinds of possibility we have for the 4G service to prepare well.
100Mbps 1 Gbps
Data Transmission Rate 3 50Mbps 100Mb|
FIGURE 2 OPTIONS OF EVOLUTION PATH TOWARD 4G
Several scenarios are described to display the situations of the wireless communication industry as the 4G. These scenarios are based on different wireless access technologies such as WiMAX, WiBro, 3G LTE, and IEEE802.20. In the on-going 4G studies in the standardization bodies and relative industries, one of the aims is to establish an integral wireless system that would seamlessly connect the enhanced forms of existing 3G wireless systems such as WCDMA with HSDPA. In this scenario, existing carriers will maintain present customer base and services are integrated 4G. On the other hand, however, it has become possible by technological innovation that non-3G wireless services develop as competitors against 3G services such as WiMAX, or further enhanced IEEE 802 standards. In addition, individuals and organizations have started providing open and free wireless communication services by opening up, through various technologies. Figure 2 shows that these different evolution path toward 4G. For the scenarios we provided in the paper, we assumed that the advent of 4G service will be after 2012. 4G service will be determined whether it can support 4G characteristics technically, and hold the market with service differentiation from competitors. In order to forecast the form of realization of 4G systems, we construct four scenarios in the paper.
3.2. SCENARIO OPTIONS
3.2.1. SCENARIO 1
The first scenario is that current 3G service is evolved into 3GPP LTE (long term evolution) which is one of the candidate technologies for 4G. Under the 3GPP LTE, 4G technology will be used basically in 3G spectrum and platform that means existing carriers maintain present customer base and services are
integrated 4G. To support broadband service there will be an additional spectrum band with current 3G spectrum band. 3GPP LTE plan to support All-IP based backbone network to connect with other heterogeneous networks seamlessly. In this scenario, 3G incumbent service providers will maintain current subscribers and 3G services will be integrated to 4G. On the other hand, WiMAX and other services will not have a market power but they will be a complement service to
Existing service providers maintain current subscribers and services are integrated 4G (3GPP LTE) Scenario :
New service providers control subscriber connections toward 4G (WiMAX, WiBro)
Co-existence and mutual prosperity of existing service providers (3GPP LTE & WiMAX, WiBro) Scenario :
Absence of service providers capable of service integration (Spread of open transmission)
FIGURE 3 4G SCENARIO OPTIONS
3.2.2. SCENARIO 2
The second scenario is that fixed wireless, led by IEEE, enhances techniques to support mobility and fulfill 4G characteristics. Especially, mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) technology, WiBro in Korea, is very close to 4G technology which includes OFDM and MIMO. Moreover, there will be a possibility that IEEE 802.20 technology support high mobility to compensate low mobility of WiMAX. In this scenario incumbent service providers based on 3G get smaller market power and there will be a chance for new service providers which control current subscriber connections. In this scenario, a competition structure in the market will be shifted and changed.
3.2.3. SCENARIO 3
The third scenario is that both 3G LTE and WiMAX exist. They are in a complementary relationship with each other. Subscribers would possess both 3GPP LTE and WiMAX terminals, and they will adapt to use either of them according to the usage scene and needs. By the SDR (software defined radio) technology, subscribers will get flexibility between different services. Additionally, there could be s new mobile access service as well in a new spectrum band. Current minor service provider will try to adopt this new radio access technology
to get future market power, and also new service providers will appear to enter the market. In this scenario, a number of different service providers will compete for the leadership break out upon introduction of 4G
3.2.4. SCENARIO 4
The last scenario is that subscribers switch over to cost-free transmission services, due to the fact that 3G LTE and WiMAX do not successfully deployed with high cost and dissatisfied service. Arrival of wireless IP phones utilizing high quality VoIP through various networks would enable free transmission services to absorb the need of both voice calls and multimedia service so that handheld makers will get much power than service providers based on the Software defined Radio (SDR) technology. These handheld makers will lead service integration including free transmissions by developing their own multi-mode handsets that would not require reliance upon particular operators. Therefore, in this scenario, service providers would get limited market such as high quality-sensitive business users. However, handheld manufacturers and contents providers regard the free transmission market that secures subscribers as important, and develop unique products and services that would appeal to the users. If this scenario is realized, there will be a dramatic change in the value chain of wireless communication industry.
3.3. SCENARIO ANALYSIS
For the purpose of understanding of each scenario's impact on the wireless communication industry, we analyze each scenario based on feasibilities about technology and expected time plan. In addition that we examine the question as to whether each scenario fulfills 4G characteristics which are expected previous research and market situation. Furthermore, we investigate each scenario and find its own pros and cons.
18.104.22.168. TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY
Based on the 4G characteristics as we mentioned earlier in this paper, 4G should fulfill convergence, broadband, flexibility, personalized services and All-IP network, Basically standards of 4G candidate services plan to meet these characteristics. In the first scenario, 3GPP LTE include reduced latency, higher user data rates up to 100 Mbps with high mobility, improved system capacity and coverage, and reduced overall cost for the operator. Additionally, it is expected that IP-based 3GPP services will be provided through various access technologies. In the second scenario, mobile WiMAX and IEEE 802.20 also meet all the requirements for mobile Internet access. It supports multiple handoff mechanisms, power-saving mechanisms for mobile devices, advanced QoS and
low latency for improved support of real-time applications , Furthermore, mobile WiMAX was designed from the ground up to be an All-IP technology.
TABLE 1 COMPARISON TARGETS BETWEEN DIFFERENT RADIO ACCESS TECHNOLOGIES FOR 4G
WiBro IEEE 802.20 3GPP LTE
Key technology OFDMA, MIMO OFDMA, MIMO OFDMA/SC-FDMA, MIMO
Duplex TDD/FDD TDD/FDD TDD/FDD
Channel Bandwidth 10 MHz 5 ~ 20 MHz 1.25 ~ 20 MHz
rate (network) DL 46 Mbps 260 Mbps 100 Mbps
UL 14 Mbps 60 Mbps 50 Mbps
Mobility Middle High (~250 Km/h) High (~250 Km/h)
Coverage 2 ~ 5Km (typical) MAN scale < 20km, WAN scale
Frequency Band 2 ~6GHz Below 3.5 GHz WCDMA band with additional band
Commercial ready 2007 ~ 2008 unexpected 2009 ~2010
In the scenario 1, subscribers will get broadband service with high mobility without any confusion because WCDMA providers can make their current infrastructure reusable for 3GPP LTE. However, current WCDMA use spectrum resources that are limited and typically too expensive for cost effective high capacity and high throughput broadband services.
In the scenario 2, subscribers will experience new technology with a two-to-three year time advantage over the first scenario, 3GPP LTE, which is still in the early stage of development. However, in the beginning of mobile WiMAX deployment, it will not get the voice revenues of mobile operators, as cellular networks offer a cost-effective infrastructure for voice communications with an extensive coverage that WiMAX is not designed to replace.
In the scenario 3, subscribers will have choices between 3GPP LTE and mobile WiMAX. 3G service providers may deploy WiMAX as an overlay to their 3G networks and to make an evolution to 4G because in the beginning stage of each technology, technical characteristics are a bit different each other so that each technology can be compensate each other. However, because of the economic burden, service providers may focus on one service and competition will be very
In the scenario 4, regulation issue is more important than feasibility of technologies such as VoIP and SDRs. Except technology development, there remain significant commercial, regulatory, and technological hurdles to overcome especially, spectrum sharing methodology should be implemented for the dynamic spectrum access related to SDR. After the challenges currently facing SDR are overcome, and then it will have the potential to irrevocably alter the wireless value chain by shifting the operational balance.
22.214.171.124. SCHEDULING FEASIBILITY
If service providers or manufacturers are looking to implement a new technology, they must make sure that they have both the time and the resources to make it work. Not only technical consideration, also there are other things to be considered such as legal, operational, and expected time plan.
The first commercial launch of HSDPA-based services was announced in December 2005 and operators in Europe and Japan have announced plans to launch services based on HSDPA in 2006. HSUPA/HSPA availability is not expected until the 2007 or 2008 timeframe. Since approved standards for LTE are not expected until 2007, it is not likely that products will be available until 2009 or later.
The IEEE standard on mobile broadband, IEEE802.20, is currently on hold as a result of allegations of impropriety in the standards process. Initial contributions are similar in nature to IEEE 802.16e-2005 in that they use OFDMA address flexible channelization to 20 MHz, and provide peak data rates on the order of 100 MHz. Current contributions do not base the technology on Flash OFDM, though there are common elements. Assuming standards work resumes, efforts are at a stage where the technology could possibly be commercialized by 2008.
By developing of SDR technology, the network controlled operations include service delivery and resource allocation within one access technology, "3 Mode Terminals." This scheme is currently being extended to inter-access-system operations, "integration GSM/UMTS/WLAN, n-node terminals," but essentially it will still be network controlled. With the initial liberalization of the spectrum market, load aware terminals with limited decision making capabilities can be expected; their reconfigurability will be still restricted to mode switching only. Ideally, they are likely to be replaced by radio environment aware terminals that will be reconfigurable to any access technology.
HSDPA DL:14.4Mbps UL:384Kbps BW:5MHz
HSDPA/HSUPA] DL:14.4Mbps UL:5.76Kbps
LTE DL:100Mbps UL:50Kbps
* IEEE 802.20 has not been scheduled yet
Source: 3GPP (http://www.3gpp.org
), WiMAX Forum, SDR Forum
FIGURE 4 4G TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP
Considering an expected schedule, 4G will be commercialized after 2012 regardless of which services will be. Therefore, it will not be flourish in the future market, unless each technology should finalize its standards soon and develop systems.
3.3.2. MARKET TRENDS
In consideration of the market situation, we review market acceptance and adoption of wireless data and deployments of 3GPP and WiMAX networks around the world. 3GPP LTE and WiMAX technologies encompass a huge range of evolving capability, but how well do these technologies actually address market needs. Basically, 3G operators have shown less interest in mobile WiMAX and are more interested in upgrading their own networks that would enable them to compete with WiMAX.
In Korea, launching of WiBro has not been spectacular. What was supposed to become a flagship for Korea's WiMAX technology can still be considered a pilot project. In July 2006, KT launched commercial service in Seoul and surrounding cities where it had provided pilot service. Both KT and SKT offer only the
Samsung PCMCIA card for the service. However, it is expected that WiBro adoption in Korea will be rather gradual and modest compared to initial estimations.
Currently, UMTS is commercially launched by 107 operators in 50 countries with 79 more networks planned or in deployment. After Cingular Wireless launched the world's first wide scale UMTS/HSDPA network in December 2005, 103 operators have announced their HSDPA deployment plans.  It is expected that nearly all UMTS operators will deploy HSDPA, essentially a simple upgrade to the existing system. Furthermore, this upgrade can be continued to 3GPP LTE in a few years.
In a handheld industry, manufacturers have already shipped the world's first handsets that support HSDPA, and in May of this year, 2006, the first commercial network with HSDPA handhelds was launched in South Korea. In addition to allowing data to be downloaded at up to 1.8 Mbps, the initial handsets offer such applications as satellite-transmitted Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) TV programs; have two to three-megapixel cameras, Bluetooth, radios and stereo speakers.
Although there are still a lot of things to be considered, according to these market changes, to meet needs of consumer demands in a right time, time-to market is also critical factor.
3.3.3. SWOT ANALYSIS - 4G
Considering 4G characteristics, expected scenarios and market trends, we can find out strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of 4G with better understandings. The lists and findings follow.
Strengths in 4G:
- 4G visions take into account installed base and past investments
- Strong position of telecommunications vendors expected in the marketplace.
- Faster data transmission and higher bit rate and bandwidth, allow more business applications and commercialization
- Has advantage for personalized multimedia communication tools
Weakness in 4G:
- No large user community for advanced mobile data applications yet
- Growing divergence between telecommunications vendors and operators
- Not possible to offer full internet experience due to limited speed and bandwidth
- Comparatively higher cost to use and deploy infrastructure compared fast mobile generation
Opportunities in 4G:
- Evolutionary approach may yield opportunities for the 4G
- Emphasis on heterogeneous networks capitalizes on past investments
- Strategic alliance and coalition opportunities with traditional non-telecommunication industries
- Sophisticated and mature commercialization of 4G technology would encourage more applications of e-commerce and m-commerce
- Worldwide economy recover stimulates consumption and consumer confidence, therefore bring in opportunities for telecommunication sections
- It is expected and predicted that consumers will continue to replace handsets with newer technology at a fast rate.
- Desirable higher data capacity rates, the growth opportunity for 4G is very bright and hopeful.
Threats in 4G:
- Faster rate of growth and developments in other region
- Since 3G mobile is still in the market, it squeezes the market competition in the mobile industry.
As we come up with the SWOT analysis out of this 4G technology, it is inevitable that 4G would completely replace 3G in a long run. Nevertheless, 4G and 3G tend to keep a co-competitive relationship in a short run. In order for 4G to grow in the future market, it is unavoidable to compete with 3G and acquire 3G's customers.
As it was also analyzed and investigated through the scenarios, the comparison was made here that among three candidates for the 4G presented. Every service providers and manufacturers strategize towards high mobility and high data rates whether it is 3GPP, WiMAX or even WiBro oriented. However, the mainstream of service providers concern about regulation, uncertainty of market, and economic burden. There is also new spectrum allocation issue which should be resolved and determined, much as the technology feasibility. Any how, there are still plenty of opportunities for 4G. Under these circumstances, to be flourished in the future telecommunication market, each technology should be finalized its standards soon and developed systems to meet needs of consumer demands in a right time. Furthermore, the technical development, change and innovation should be reflected in a future regulation policy.
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*This research was supported by the MIC, Korea, under the Information Technology Research Center (ITRC) support program supervised by the IITA and partly supported by International IT Policy Scholarship program (ITPP) in Seoul National University.
**National Computer Center (Philippines)