Sunday, March 21, 2010

4G Technology Our Future....

We all are the prominent users of mobile technology. At present 2G Technology (GSM) is widely used worldwide. The problem with 2G technology is that the data rates are limited. This makes it inefficient for Data Transfer applications like video conferencing, music or video downloads, etc. To increase the speed various new technologies have come into picture. The first is 2.5G (GPRS) and second is 2.75G (EDGE) technologies that allows data transfer at a better rate than 2G and recently 3G (WCDMA/UMTS) technology has come into picture. The maximum theoretical data transfer with this 3G technology is 2Mbps (practically it could be a 384Kbps max or even less).

4G refers to the fourth generation of cellular wireless and is a successor to 3G and 2G standards. The 4G technology which is at its infancy is suppose to allow data transfer upto 100Mbps outdoor I.e while moving and 1Gbps indoor I.e while on stable position.4G is capable of providing users with streaming high-definition television, the content of a DVD-5 (for example a movie) can be downloaded within about 5 minutes for offline access. The main objective of the 4G technology is to accommodate the Quality of Service and rate requirements set by forthcoming applications like wireless broadband access, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), video chat, mobile TV, HDTV content, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), minimal services like voice and data, and other services that utilize bandwidth.

For getting Quality of Service 4G working group has set some standards such as spectrally efficient system (in bits/s/Hz and bits/s/Hz/site) , High network capacity: more simultaneous users per cell, smooth handoff across heterogeneous networks (that means there won’t be any call failure if there is change in network), Seamless connectivity and global roaming across multiple networks, High quality of service for next generation multimedia support, Interoperability with existing wireless standards (so that the old model cell phone can also be used with the new network without any changes) , An all IP packet switched network.

As described in 4G consortia including WINNER (Wireless-World-Initiative-New-Radio) and WWRF (Wireless World Research Forum), where WINNER is a consortium to enhance mobile communication systems and a key technology based approach has summarized and considered points as "Coverage, radio environment, spectrum, services, business models and deployment types, users".

The principal technologies used are :
  • Baseband techniques:
    1. OFDM: To exploit the frequency selective channel property
    2. MIMO: To attain ultra high spectral efficiency
    3. Turbo principle: To minimize the required SNR at the reception side
  • Adaptive radio interface
  • Modulation, spatial processing including multi-antenna and multi-user MIMO
  • Relaying, including fixed relay networks (FRNs), and the cooperative relaying concept, known as multi-mode protocol

Unlike 3G, which is based on two parallel infrastructures consisting of circuit switched and packet switched network nodes respectively, 4G will be based on packet switching only. This will require low-latency data transmission.

By the time that 4G is deployed, the process of IPv4 address exhaustion is expected to be in its final stages. Therefore, in the context of 4G, IPv6 support is essential in order to support a large number of wireless-enabled devices. By increasing the number of IP addresses, IPv6 removes the need for Network Address Translation (NAT), a method of sharing a limited number of addresses among a larger group of devices, although NAT will still be required to communicate with devices that are on existing IPv4 networks.

The current 4G service providers in the world are Clear, Sprint & T-Mobile and some other very few worthy to be counted on our fingers. But these services are not full fledge and it is available in only few cities across the world like Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia etc.

Where as in India current technology being used is 2G and 3G, where as 3G is only provided by only BSNL & MTNL service provider. Any how these technology has not fully flourish since MTNL is still testing its connection in Delhi. Moreover BSNL 3G service charges Rs. 1/MB for limited type connection and Rs. 3000 Monthly for Unlimited connection.

comparing 4G technology with 3G technology we can easily find that resource utilization is less hence we can expect low cost if 4G technology is implemented in India. According to a recent news item, China has decided to move to 4G networks, bypassing 3G. Since there are many problems in allocating 3G spectrum to telecom networks and in setting up 3G mobile networks at high costs and China have been examining these issues since 2003.

Some of the mobile phone that support 3G technology are like Nokia, Lure, Motorola, BlackBerry where as some of the mobile phone that support 4G technology are like HTC, iPhone, Motorola. So its not difficult adopt to changing technology with a little bit of high cost for a new Mobile Phone!!

Anyhow who does not want a 1Gbps connection...!! Everyone love’s to have the fastest technology on there hands!! so lets hope for the 4G connection to be launched in India as soon as possible like it happened in China!! Since other service providers did not launch 3G so we can still have a hope..!!

- Palakal Bridewin Durandose