1st generation to 4G

Comparison between 1G to 4G

The telecommunication service in World had a great leap within a last few year. 6 billion people own a mobile phones so we are going to analyze the various generations of cellular systems as studied in the evolution of mobile communications from 1st generation to 4th generation .


  • 1G is the first generation celullar network that existed in 1980s.
  • It transfer data (only voice) in analog wave
  • These services are provided with circuit switching.
  • It has limitation because there are no encryption, the sound quality is poor
  • The speed of transfer is only at 9.6kbps.


  • 2G Narrow Band Wireless Digital Network is used rather than analogue wireless network.
  • It brings more clarity to the conversation than 1G.
  • Both (1G ,2G) deals with voice calls and has to utilize  maximum bandwidth.
  • A typical 2G GSM network service ranges from 800/900MHz or 1800/1900 spectrum is used.
  • The bandwidth of 2G is 30-200 KHz.
  • It provides the facility of short message service(SMS) .

2G Technologies:

2G technologies can be divided into TDMA-based and CDMA-based standards depending on the type of multiplexing used. The main 2G standards are:

GSM (TDMA-based): originally from Europe but used in almost all countries on all six inhabited continents. Over 60 GSM operators are also using CDMA2000 in the 450 MHz frequency band (CDMA450).

IS-95 aka cdmaOne (CDMA-based): used in the Americas and parts of Asia. Over a dozen CDMA operators have migrated to GSM including operators in Mexico, India, Australia and South Korea.

PDC (TDMA-based):used exclusively in Japan.

iDEN (TDMA-based): proprietary network used by Nextel in the United States and Telus Mobility in Canada

IS-136 a.k.a. D-AMPS (TDMA-based): was once prevalent in the Americas but most have migrated to GSM.


Using digital signals between the handsets and the towers increases system capacity in two key ways:

Digital voice data can be compressed and multiplexed much more effectively than analog voice encodings through the use of various codecs, allowing more calls to be packed into the same amount of radio bandwidth.

The digital systems were designed to emit less radio power from the handsets. This meant that cells had to be smaller, so more cells had to be placed in the same amount of space. This was made possible by cell towers and related equipment getting less expensive.

How is 1G different from 2G?????


  • Going all-digital allowed for the introduction of digital data services, such as SMS and email.
  • Greatly reduced fraud. With analog systems it was possible to have two or more "cloned" handsets that had the same phone number.
  • Enhanced privacy. A key digital advantage not often mentioned is that digital cellular calls are much harder to eavesdrop on by use of radio scanners. While the security algorithms used have proved not to be as secure as initially advertised, 2G phones are immensely more private than 1G phones, which have no protection against eavesdropping.


  • In less populous areas, the weaker digital signal may not be sufficient to reach a cell tower. This tends to be a particular problem on 2G systems deployed on higher frequencies, not on lower frequencies
  • Analog has a smooth decay curve, digital a jagged steppy one. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Under good conditions, digital will sound better. Under slightly worse conditions, analog will experience static, while digital has occasional dropouts. As conditions worsen, though, digital will start to completely fail, by dropping calls or being unintelligible, while analog slowly gets worse, generally holding a call longer and allowing at least a few words to get through.
  • While digital calls tend to be free of static and background noise, the lossy compression used by the codecs takes a toll; the range of sound that they convey is reduced. You will hear less of the tonality of someone's voice talking on a digital cellphone, but you will hear it more clearly.


  • In 3G Wide Brand Wireless Network is used with which the clarity increases and gives the perfection as like that of a real conversation. It allows simultaneous use of speech and data services and offers data rates of up to 2 Mbps, which provide servcies like video calls, mobile TV, mobile Internet and downloading.
  • The data are sent through the technology called Packet Switching .
  • Voice calls are interpreted through Circuit Switching.
  • It comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming.
  • 3G is mostly used with mobile phones and handsets as a means to connect the phone to the Internet or other IP networks in order to make voice and video calls, to download and upload data and to surf the net.
  • There are a bunch of technologies that fall under 3G, like WCDMA, EV-DO, and HSPA and others.
  • 3G operates at a range of 2100MHz and has a bandwidth of 15-20MHz. High speed internet service, video chatting are the assets of 3G.

How is 2G different from 3G?????


3G has the following enhancements over  the previous networks: Several times higher data speed;

  • Enhanced audio and video streaming;
  • Video-conferencing support;
  • Web and WAP browsing at higher speeds;
  • IPTV (TV through the Internet) support.
  • Several times higher data speed;
  • Enhanced audio and video streaming;
  • Video-conferencing support;
  • Web and WAP browsing at higher speeds;
  • IPTV (TV through the Internet) support.


  • In comparison to 2G customers will have to pay a relatively high license fee for 3G.
  • The network construction and maintenance for 3G is much expensive than 2G.
  • From the point of view of customers, expenditure will be excessively high if they make access to various facets of 3G.

3G Technical Specifications:

The transfer rate for 3G networks is between 128 and 144 kbps (kilobits per second) for devices that are moving fast and 384 kbps for slow ones(like for pedestrians). For fixed wireless LANs, the speed goes beyond 2 Mbps.

3G is a set of technologies and standards that include W-CDMA, WLAN and cellular radio, among others.


3G is not very cheap, but it is worthwhile for users that need connectivity on the move. Some providers offer it within a somewhat costly package, but most of them have plans where the user pays for the amount of data transferred. This is because the technology is packet-based. For example, there are service plans where there is a flat rate for the first Gigabyte of data transferred, and a per minute cost for each additional Megabyte.

Applications of 3G:

Some of the applications are:

  • Mobile TV
  • Video on demand
  • Videoconferencing
  • Telemedicine
  • Location-based services


4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards .It comes as an improvement over 3G networks and may stand as a successor thereof. While 3G is a suite of several wireless network protocols, 4G is basically one protocol, called WiMAX. There is also the other standard called LTE Advanced, but WiMAX (technically termed 806.16m) is more common. For this reason, many people use 4G and WiMAX interchangeably. 4G standards are WAN standards, i.e. they offer connectivity to devices over a wide area. A 4G network can cover a whole city or country.

4G is also called WiBro in Korea.

It is also Known As:               WiMAX, WiBro, 802.16m

In 2008, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication  and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication .




 Stands for WorldWide Interoperability for Microwave Access and is technically referred to by the IEEE as 802.16. WiMAX is also commonly termed 4G network. It is a wireless wide area network (WAN) that provides the high speed of DSL while also providing connectivity in every corner of its coverage area, and provides the suitability of Wi-Fi while not requiring hotspots and not having distance limitations. WiMAX gives to wireless Internet connectivity what GSM has given to phones.

  • WiMAX is quite powerful, with a speed of up to 70 Mbps
  • WiMAX has a range of around 50 km in a circle
  • A WiMAX connection is normally non-line-of-sight, which means that the transmitter and the receiver need not have a clear line between them

How is 3G different from 4G?????


  • 4G in addition to that of the services of 3G some additional features such as Multi-Media Newspapers, also to watch T.V programs with the clarity as to that of an ordinary T.V. In addition, we can send Data much faster that that of the previous generations.
  • A 4G system is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to laptop computer wireless modems, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
  • 3G is packet-based and users normally have a threshold package. Data transferred beyond the limit of this package is paid per excess MB. WiMAX allows unlimited connectivity for all kinds of data, including data, voice and video.