Published on March 22nd, 2009 | by Arsalan Mir4
Generations – Do we need them?
The wireless panorama is changing at a high-speed. Starting with the 1st Generation of communication networks (1G) in the early 80s and many evolutions we now have 4th Generation to talk about. In the last 3 years we have seen the deployments of 3G networks and most recently the work on 4G is on the peak.
From 1G to 4G we have seen changes in the modulation schemes, duplexing methods, multiple access technologies, data rate, speech coding, antenna systems and other aspects which have played a role to make communication efficient over the period of time.
But the question remains, do we need them? So much of an advancement of technology, has it really given us benefit in terms of both services and economics (cost) ?
Let’s take a look at each generation.
1st Generation (1G) had the famous AMPS standard. It offered basic voice services with cost being high initially but went down with time.
2nd Generation (2G) is well known for the GSM technology. It started off with offering digital voice services and then we had the short message service (SMS). The 2G changed the lives of many, it became impossible to live without a cell phone. Initially these services came with costs not in the range of average consumer but still gained popularity and the cost went down with time. Earlier a call received was charged, but today we have SMS packages, Friends and Family offer, One Free number offer and many more.
Then came the evolutions of 2G, we saw high speed data links on GPRS or EDGE. This laid the foundation of mobile internet. Once again the initial costs were high and it offered limited services. This evolution raised many questions on its actual need. Why need mobile internet with limited services when we have broadband or dial-ups at offices and homes? Although, these services are not as popular as SMS, but with time they have captured a small proportion of the population. Businesses today rely heavily on GPRS/EDGE to get online to check emails and act upon them immediately. Social networks are fast expanding on GPRS/EDGE, examples include facebook and twitter. With all this happening the cost again has gone down.
I would leave this post here for discussions and continue it later.