The G’s: Past, Present & Future!!!
The world saw its 1st 3G network deployed by NTT DoCoMo in Japan (2001), and we got our first 3G network in late 2008. The differentiating feature of 3G from 2G is the increased data rate of the order of up to 2 Mbps and simultaneous transmission of voice and data at high-speed. 3G networks need WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) along with 3G enabled handsets, and the emphasis is towards packet data in 3G against voice data in 2G. The target feature of 3G networks was to offer robust connectivity for streaming videos, web browsing and turn by turn GPS navigation. To further increase the data rate and to allow for the seamless movement of mobile users within heterogeneous networks, the 4G (4th Generation) networks emerged through 3.5G, 3.75G, and 3.9G. HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access) & HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) are features of 3.5G and give theoretical data rates of 5.8 and 14 Mbps, respectively. HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access enhanced), a feature of 3.75G further increased the data rate to up to 28 Mbps. The HSOPA (High-Speed OFDM Packet Access) is a key feature of 3.9G that was (mis)interpreted as 4G. Facilities like IP (Internet Protocol) telephony, Interactive Gaming Services, HD (High Definition) TV, Live TV etc are the add-ons for the real 4th Generation (4G) networks that offer a theoretical data rate of up to 100 Mbps.
Maybe the 6G communication would altogether change the communication scenario, visualized with the application of recently developed technologies such as Li-Fi (Light Fidelity). The Li-Fi has about 10,000 times more frequency spectrum available to use than in contemporary mobile communication, and almost zero interference. This, in turn, would motivate the research to be carried out for a common unified standard under the 7G (7th Generation) of networks.
Concluding, as the trend of increasing cellular capacity, extreme advancements have been observed within last 2-3 decades. As a rule of thumb, the capacity has also been increasing to 10 times of the previous mobile network generation. The upcoming 5G aims a real wireless world with no limitations while 6G integrates 5G with satellite networks. The 6G roaming issue drives 7G wireless networks, which aim to acquire space roaming. The world is trying to become completely wireless, demanding uninterrupted access to information anytime and anywhere with better quality, high-speed, increased data rate and a reduction in cost.
Mr. SAURABH SRIVASTAVA
Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering.