Skip to main content

2G, 3G, 4G: Why Wireless Standards Can Be Deceiving

This is a guest post by Jess about differences between 2G, 3G, 4G. Hardly a mobile phone ad is made these days without mentioning the device and network's stage in their evolutions in the form of their designated generation: 2G, 3G, and now 4G. It makes for a great easy way to differentiate between past and present, old and new, obsolete and cutting edge. Ever since mobile embraced digital technology and have ascended slowly year by year, I've always wondered where the "X"G-designation comes from, what it means, and how much it matters. With AT&T already proudly declaring their arrival into the 4G and the HTC 4G Android phone lineup increasing with countless other competitors ready to launch into the next generation too, I wanted to get to the bottom of this once and for all.

It turns out that the United Nations is who decides these matters. More specifically, the radio communications wing of the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the UN. The ITU-R designates certain speed requirements, one for fast mobility such as traveling by car or train, and another for walking and standing still, to determine whether a device and a network have reached the next "generation". For example 4G by definition requires that a connected device be able to receive/transmit at 400Mbit/s when in fast motion, and 1Gbit/s when the user is motionless or near motionless.

The thing is that the ITU-R is not a governing body, and their determinations are not legally binding. There is no such thing as a constructed overall entity that is THE 4G or otherwise: each company more or less creates their own way to achieve these speeds to be able to call their phones and networks members of the latest generation of technology. This has caused a fair amount of controversy in recent months. AT&T for example was criticized earlier this year for marketing several devices as 4G when they barely met the ITU-R standards and barely met the 4G standards as defined by AT&T themselves. Some mobile phone service providers are currently just retooling their 3G technologies to push their devices and networks to 4G speeds.

Simply enhancing the 3G technology is in many ways the only way you get to 4G. Since it's not based on particular technological leaps and more simply on speed, it's all about reaching a benchmark. But in order to do so, technology companies must compete to create networks that set the standard for the next generation. Ultimately, if it hasn't already happened, a mobile service provider will invent the next best method of increasing the speed of network and web access that more or less gets replicated. In the meantime, which is where we're at now to some extent, companies are simply experimenting with ways to get to the 4G level of excellence as defined by the ITU-R.

The "4G" label, arguably, could be considered nothing more than a simplified marketing tool when used in the selling of mobile devices. Think about it. It's easy to say, to remember, and it clearly draws a line between what is hot and what is not. When shopping for a smartphone, don't let the simple fact that it is "4G" influence you. See what those speeds really are and compare them to the ITU-R standards. That's the kind of research that ensures you get what you want.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

List Of Common Flowers in Kerala With Pictures

Kerala is one of the famous tourist spot situated on the south of India famous for its numerous wild life and thick vegetation. Like the Himalayan ranges on the north of India,

5 Common Examples Of Website Design Mistakes by Business Owners

This is a guest post by Sachin about five Common Examples Of Website Design Mistakes by Business Owners . When most business owners think about website design, they think about a brochure online. Online shopping sites are making a lot of money with the use of web-based applications to sell products, collect payments an arrange delivery. The only work left to do is pack and send the boxes. Smart applications can even print out the labels, so the only thing left to do it stick them on the box. Unfortunately, in many cases, websites are replacing people. For those of us left with a job, we can be thankful that many business owners make the following mistakes when it comes to websites and web design.


Don’t have one. This is the first and biggest problem of most business owners when it comes to website design. They think they don’t need one. Who can ever really do with less business? The reason why they have not been getting business from online sources in the past is because they have not …

AMOLED display coming to Samsung Galaxy Tab range

This is a guest post by Erica about the arrival of AMOLED display to Samsung Galaxy Tab range.Samsung could be transplanting a seven inch AMOLED screen into an upcoming addition to its Galaxy Tab range of tablet computers.

You may have experienced an AMOLED display in a small portable device before as Samsung, Nokia and HTC have all used them in smartphones to date. However, the expense of producing AMOLED screens has prohibited them from appearing on larger devices like tablets, until now.


The seven inch Galaxy Tab was launched last year but an update with an AMOLED screen would be most welcome, cutting energy consumption and improving colours and contrast ratios across the board.


The rumours about this device state that it will run Android 3.0, feature a three megapixel camera on the rear, a two megapixel snapper on the front and have a display resolution of 1024x600 which is not bad for a device of this size.


The hardware powering the new Galaxy Tab will consist of a 1.2GHz processor w…

Top 5 Online Resources for College Students

Being a successful college student means that you have to manage your time well, meet multiple deadlines, prioritize tasks, and still enjoy the last few years you have before you officially become a grownup. If you're a college student who's having some trouble managing everything, the good news is that there are a number of online resources that will help you work and study more efficiently. Here are five of the most popular online resources that will make your life easier as a college student:

1. Infomine – Created by librarians at University of California, California State University, Wake Forest University, and other U.S. colleges, Infomine is an internet library of online research resources for college students and professors. Infomine provides you with access to scholarly journals, ebooks, databases, and many other online materials that are useful for research projects and papers.

2. Mint.com – Managing your finances as a college student can be tough, especially if you…

10 Useful OS X Tips and Tricks

This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley about some useful OS tips.
For the most part, there are two types of computer users: Mac users and Windows users. Sure, there are other operating systems available, but for the most part we each own either a windows machine or an apple machine. In a previous post, Siju George presented 16 Useful Windows 7 Tips and Tricks. These tips are immensely useful for regular Windows users and for Mac users who are less comfortable handling a Windows machine. Because computer use is so fundamental to our society today, knowing the basics of both the Windows operating system and OS X (the Mac operating system) is essential. The following is a list of 10 basic tips and tricks for using OS X:

1. Right click on an open PDF in Safari (the web browser that comes with Macs) to get a context menu which includes the option to open the PDF in Preview.
2. Pressing Command and Q at the same time will close all applications when command-tabbing. This is the fastest way to…

Building Blocks for Virtual Businesses : Key technological systems you must have to succeed in the remote business world

This is a guest post by Ripley Daniels about "Key technological systems you must have to succeed in the remote business world.

Whenever I tell friends I had a tough day at the office, they laugh at me. That's because they know I don't really have an office. I work very hard but I work for a company that is completely remote. Only a few of my co-workers ever go into an office at all and when they do, it's only for short periods of time. Our "office" is a virtual one. To us, the traditional office workplace is a thing of the past, alongside Tyrannosaurus Rex, the slide rule, and telephones where you stick your finger in a hole and turn a dial.
Unfortunately, none of this prevents me from having tough days. I still have them. But the reasons have nothing to do with the fact that my co-workers and I don't have a brick and mortar edifice that we can use to plan, strategize, hold our meetings, make presentations, discuss sensitive business topics, build relatio…