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Published on March 22nd, 2009 | by Arsalan Mir


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.

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About the Author

is a Telecom enthusiast with engineering background based in Lahore. On professional front, he is the Director Operations at the Target Group. He can be reached at arsalan (at) telecompk (dot) net

4 Responses to Generations – Do we need them?

  1. Basit Siddiqui says:

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    the offer didn’t looks so good coz its not of 30 second billing but your site telecompk.net looks so good and informative. i know so many things and information going on in the IT and especially in IT field in Pakistan.

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    Basit Siddiqui

  2. Babar Bhatti says:

    I’d say that we can do a lot with 2G. There was a lot of hype about 3G and many countries have not been able to recover the cost.

    Speaking from personal experience, the 3G experience in US is very inconsistent. The AT&T network is not satisfactory and I keep going from 3G to EDGE all the time. And this is in Dallas, the home base of AT&T.

  3. Ahmed Bilal Jan says:

    AslomAlukm everyone
    This is very interesting post and i am glad to comment on that post.
    Yesterday i was discussing with a friend of mine that just 5 years back life was totally different. not much cell phones.
    Or if we go ten years back Landlines were available in one or two houses in a street where we used to go to attend our calls and wait for our calls (some of you might have gone through this phase).
    To your first question Mr.Arsalan Mir
    Do we need them?
    I think that it was just the makers of this tech that made us edicted to this tech. I really cant say that we need it or not.
    To ur 2nd question. As it really given us benefit in terms of both services and economics (cost)!
    obviously the services which we are getting from cellular tech have made an impact on our life, now i case of an emergency we can make a phone call to make sure our loved once are ok.
    i would stop here and wait for others to comment!!!

  4. Pingback: Generations – Do we need them? | Tea Break

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