Comparing and Contrasting 3G and 4G Networks
The evolution of cellular mobile communication networks in the last twenty years has been so quick, leading to a situation whereby the technology is evolving so quickly. In the early ages of mobile communication, data communications were in forms of dial up connection, which were totally unpredictable and slow. With time, wireless access protocol (WAP) was superseded by the general packet radio services (GPRS), which provided improved speeds and functions. With time, developers were able to develop an enhanced form of GPRS known as EDGE in 2.5G networks, in order to provide a more reliable form of wireless connection. Developers were aiming at building a technology that would rival the wired connections I terms of speed. The development of 3G networks directly provided excellent and fast speeds that were quite satisfactory, such as WCDMA and HSPA. Currently, the development of 4G networks has pushed the boundaries further, leading to a situation whereby the wireless network connection is now able to challenge wired communication in terms of speeds (Halonen et al 2003).
Differences Between 3G And 4G
The third and fourth generation of wireless data transmission has a wide range of differences under different fields. Whereas there has not been any clear definition put across by ITU, the average and lowest rates of the 3G cellular networks. However, it operates on minimum rates of 2Mbit/s for stationary or walking users and 384Kbit/s in a moving vehicle while for 4G the minimum and average rate is 100Mbit/s for high-mobility services such as pedestrians and stationary users. The CMDA broad continuum data line expertise as used in 3G networks and IS-95 has been discarded and substituted with OFDMA in 4G. In terms of security, 3G allows the user equipment (UE) to authenticate the system it is attaching to, and the user can be sure the network is the required one and not an impersonator. It uses the KASUMI block crypto instead of the older A5/1stream cipher. In addition, the end-to-end protection is offered when application framework such as IMS are accessed. However, the 4G cellular network has higher security levels due to the leading technologies used such as MIMO that has an unusually high frequency hence high efficiency, the medium-based scheduling to utilize time-varying channels and link adoption that is responsible for adaptive modulation and error correcting codes (Zahariadis et al 2002).
3G provides dual infrastructure packet-switched nodes for data services and circuit-switched nodes for voice calls. In 4G system, the circuit-switched platform is abandoned, and only a packet-switched network is provided. Therefore, in these recent systems the voice calls are replaced by IP telephony. Although the 3G systems have numerous improvements on the earlier generations, hence the advantages of higher data rates, newer frequency bands and non-backward compatible transmission technology as per the UMTS system standards set for 3G systems have been developed. The 4G network has higher quality preference such as higher usability support for multimedia services with low-transmission cost (Honkasalo et al 2002). The other difference comes in with ITU requirements for 4G and 3G standards.
For the 4G, it must fulfill requirements such as must be based an all-IP packet-switched network, dynamic sharing and utilization of the network support more simultaneous resources users per cell, scalable channel bandwidth of between 5-20MHZ, system spectral efficiency of up to 3bits/Hz/cell in the down link and 2.25bits/Hz/cell in the usage. The system should also possess smoother handovers across the heterogeneous networks and the ability to provide high quality of services for generation multimedia support. On the other hand, the 3G systems must adhere up to standards in order to provide maximum data rates of up to 200k/bits. They are manufactured based on kindred-spread spectrum radio transmission technology.
The 3G and 4G cellular networks have some properties in common thus having similarities. They include-: both are wireless telecommunication cellular devices. They both use radio transmissions in passing data and in communication although both support packet switched networks since they carry both voice and Internet traffic and they should be able to provide different levels of QoS. Basic 3G and 4G networks are established to follow the reference guidelines originally set by ITU (Zahariadis et al 2002). When it comes to implementation of these cellular networks, they are used primarily used with the same appliances, electronics in the telecommunication sector. These include mobile TV, smart phones, video on demand, video conferencing, telemedicine, and communication based services. They also have the same channel access, for example same amount of bandwidth of 5-20MHz and same mobile overall top speeds of 200kmph.
It is notable that the 4G cellular and wireless network has borrowed a lot from the 3G network type hence a clear improvement of the past and previous generations. It seems that this network will ultimately deliver on all the technological promises ever made and meet up to the expectations of customers and dreams of developers. This will result to high-speed data, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) network being a reality. Meanwhile, developers are trying to get the best of the 3G network in order to meet customer's needs with palatability and at an affordable cost. Technology is rapidly evolving and there is hope for better things to come in telecommunication through the empowerment both in the private and public sectors (Honkasalo et al 2002).
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