3g vs. 4g

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4G Wireless Networks
Ellen King
Dr. James Francisco
CIS 500: Information Systems for Decision Making
November 3, 2012

It has been known for centuries that information is power. What was not known for centuries was how to store information and knowledge in such a way that it can be accessed by everybody from anywhere, anytime. (Alrefai, AbuAli, & Mohammad, 2011)

We rely on our cell phones, mobile computers and tablets more and more each day. We are always on the go and we like having the world at our fingertips. The next generation wireless network, as dictated by the standards, creates the opportunity to offer high-speed data services, to build simplified network architecture, and to reduce different operations. Today we can have information access from anywhere all the time even in a state of mobility. Buzzwords such as mobile, ubiquitous, nomadic, untethered, pervasive, and any time anywhere, are used by different people to refer to the new breed of computing that utilizes small portable devices and wireless communication networks. (Alrefai, AbuAli, & Mohammad, 2011)

Just as each generation of a family leaves behind footprints of a rich history for the next generation to follow, generations of mobile telephone systems follow the same unique path. The First generation or 1G Mobile telephony system focused on delivering advanced mobile phone service in North America with allocated bandwidth of two 25mHz; one for transmission from base to mobile unit and the second one for transmission from mobile unit to base. The second generation or 2G uses digital encoding, 2G networks support high bit rate voice, limited data communication and different levels of encryption. In 2G systems the data transfer rate is only around 9.6 kpbs, which is far too slow for retrieving rich information comprising text and images. (Alrefai, AbuAli, & Mohammad, 2011)

Each new generation usually brings new base technologies, more network capacity for more data per user, and the potential for better voice quality too. There are so many varieties of 3G, though, that a “3G” connection can get you Internet speeds anywhere from 400Kbps to more than ten times that. 4G phones are supposed to be even faster, but that is not always the case. There are so many technologies called “4G” and so many ways to implement them, that the term is almost meaningless.

3G networks support multimedia and broadband services at faster speeds than prior generations; they have far greater ranges because they use large satellite connections that connect to telecommunication towers. (Turban & Volonino, 2011) 3G systems were designed to offer mobile multimedia communication capabilities in a seamless and efficient manner. Regardless of their location users will be able to use a single device in order to enjoy a wide variety of applications. Some key characteristics of 3G systems are as follows: 1. Support for both symmetric and asymmetric traffic.

2. Packet-switched and circuit switched service support such as internet (IP) traffic and high performance voice services. 3. Support for running several services over the same terminal simultaneously. 4. Backward compatibility and system interoperability.

5. Support for roaming. (Papadimitriou, Pomportrio, Nicopolitidis, & Obaidat, 2003) 4G offers faster access to data using mobile phones, streaming video works better with 4G with less stuttering and a higher resolution.

In comparison of 3G and 4G there are a number of factors to take into consideration, data throughput, network architecture, services , application and user perception. In terms of data throughput, 3G offers up to 3.1mbps whereas 4G offers 3 -5 mbps with a potential estimated range of 100 to 300 mbps. The network architecture of 3G is wide area cell based as opposed to 4G being and integration of wireless LAN and Wide Area. 3G service is still more prevalent in most areas than 4g, although customers...
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