Saturday, 23 September 2017

Technology of the future: 4G & 4G VoLTE

You may have heard words like 3G, 4G, VoLTE, or LTE floating around. But what do they mean? If you are considering buying a new phone, you’ll probably need to know a little bit about these networks before taking a trip to the mall.

The frequency used by 4G networks to transmit data is different from that of 3G networks. 4G is basically the fourth generation of consumer networking technology. It offers faster speeds as compared to 3G and is considered an evolutionary benchmark in developing Internet speeds. LTE is actually first generation 4G technology. Many technologies have been competing as 4G standards. Some of these include LTE, Worldwide Inter operability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), and Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB). 4G was manifested due to following reasons:

In March 2008, The International Telecommunications Union-Radio (ITU-R) agency decided on certain specifications for the standards of 4G.
These were:
·The peak download speeds for high mobility devices should be 100Mbits/s. High mobility refers to devices that are constantly on the move like when you use a phone in a car.
·Download speeds for low mobility devices should be 1Gbit/s.Low mobility refers to times when you are stationary (local wireless access) while using your device.
Unfortunately, this was not possible for telecoms operators to live up to. However, a few years later, the ITU allowed services rolled out by telecoms operators to be marketed as 4G as they were beyond 3G speeds. At present, the ITU does not have a definition as to what is 4G.

LTE, sometimes marketed as 4G LTE means Long Term Evolution. It is the protocol over which data is transferred. It was developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). This technology was created to provide up to 10x more speed than that of 3G networks. At present, even though LTE doesn’t reach the ITU-R guidelines, it is still the fastest network. LTE has also introduced a number of new technologies to operate more efficiently. Some of these include Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM), Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), and System Architecture Evolution (SAE).

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE. This technology supports voice communication over LTE. It gives users the benefit of using voice and data at the same time. VoLTE is sometimes referred to as HD voice as it enables high-quality voice calls. It supports quicker call connections, video calling, and WiFi calling. This technology enables users to make calls from their phones without using third-party apps like Skype. With VoLTE phones, the Global System for Mobiles (GSM) and the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technologies, which are the technologies used to facilitate 2G and 3G data, are expected to become obsolete as it will integrate both voice and data together in not too distant future.

Shekhar Singh
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science

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