The cellular network is a wireless network spread over large land areas called cells. Each of this cell is served by at least one base station. These cells use another set of frequencies from that of the neighboring cells so to provide guaranteed bandwidth and avoid interference. When these cells are joined together, they provide radio coverage and connect large geographic area. Thus, portable transceivers i.e. mobile phones and pagers can communicate with each other, being anywhere in the network. There are 3 main categories of cellular networks, including 2G, 3G, and 4G.
The first ever cellular network was the first generation or 1G network. This type of technology relied on the distributed transceivers network for communication between mobile phone devices. The first generation network used analogue circuit switched technology with FDMA. It had unreliable handover, low traffic capacity, poor security, and poor voice quality. Moreover, it could only be used for voice calls.
The second generation or 2G introduced digital technology, which had many advanced features in comparison to 1G network. First, 2G technology was capable of handling large number of calls and so was deployed in densely populated areas. There were much less risk of interference and hand-offs. Moreover, 2G technology was also capable of providing more advanced features like caller ID and text messages. Second generation systems, other technology, i.e. time division multiplex access (TDMA) along with frequency division multiplexing is being used .
Third generation or 3G is currently the latest stage of wireless communication technology. This technology has been largely improved from the last ones. It provides higher data transmission rates and increased capacity; thus making it suitable for high speed data applications and voice calls. 3G systems make use of packet switching technology, which is faster and more efficient than traditional circuit switched systems. It is, therefore, 3G mobile phones are capable of providing much more features like video streaming, video conferencing, multimedia, paging, email, web browsing, and navigational maps.
Each of these networking systems use specific technologies as discussed earlier, i.e. first generation systems use frequency division multiplexing, second generation systems use time division multiplexing, third generation systems use code division multiplexing, and fourth generation systems use orthogonal frequency division multiplexing. These technologies will be briefly discussed in the next section.
Important Networking Technologies
CDMA is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. Several transmitters send transmission at the same time over a single communication channel. Thus, several users can share the bandwidth of various frequencies which is called as multiplexing. In CDMA, special coding scheme and a spread spectrum technology are being used so that multiple users can be multiplexed over a single physical channel.
In comparison to CDMA, TDMA divides channel into different time slots. Each time slot is allocated to a single user. This type of access method is usually used for slow voice, data signals, compressed video, and high speed data .
Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA)
FDMA is the process in which a channel or bandwidth is divided into multiple individual bands. Each band is used by an individual user. This technology is usually being used in a cable television system. Now, it is also being used in fiber optic communication systems. Analog telephone systems use old FDMA systems so to place multiple telephone calls on one line.
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Access
OFDMA is an access method which is usually being used in the long term evolution or LTE cellular systems. This modulation method divides single channel into multiple narrow orthogonal bands. There is a space between these bands so that they don’t interfere with each other. Each carrier has hundred to thousands of subcarriers in each band. OFDMA technology is usually being used for wireless MAN or WiMAX, 4th generation mobile broadband standard, and other latest systems.
Cellular networking technologies have made huge advancements and added great efficiency to the systems from first generation to third generation. However, there is still a space for innovations in cellphone networking technologies. The next section discuss about the expected changes and advancements in cellular networking systems in future.
Cellphone Technologies of the Future
Fourth generation or 4G systems are more reliable than third generation or 3G. Some companies have already started developing 4G communication system but it is not yet so common. These systems have the ability to transfer more data on mobile phones as it has a high uplink rate up to 200Mbps. The fourth generation technology uses CDMA and an OFDMA technology to improve the speed and quality of communication. OFDMA or orthogonal frequency division multiplexing divides a single channel to several subchannels at different frequencies. It boosts up bandwidth by making the system carry various transmissions at the same time. Therefore, mobile phones can even work as televisions using this technology. Telecommunication companies are aiming to employ this technology to systems as soon as possible so as to add convenience for their customers.
Cellophones now offer great range of facilities to the people all over the world. People are pulling out great number of opportunities of these advancements in cellular networking technologies. It has transformed our lives and every other field of life. The next section discusses about the impact of these advancements in cell phone technologies on businesses and other fields.
Impact of Cell phone Technologies for Businesses
Mobile technology is rapidly changing every field of life, whether it is education, business, routine life or economic position of the world. As according to an estimate, out if 7 billion people around the world, there are 6 billion mobile users. It is, therefore, cell phone networks are considered as one of the most important medium to communicate with the world. Mobile phones are used at educational institutes by the students and teachers communicate with each other and access useful and informative data. Mobile phones have transformed agricultural business too. Now, farmers can have an access to the markets through their mobile phones and be updated with the latest prices and products; thus increasing their profits.
Mobile phones are greatly changing the statistics of bank account holders. As according to the report of the year 2012, about 2.5 billion people were unbanked. It is due to the reason that, people have started using their mobile phone services for basic banking transactions, i.e. transfer money, insurance policies, and collecting payments through agencies. These latest services have highly profited telecom industry and companies. As according to statistics of the year 2012, African mobile market earned $61 billion. Similarly, other developed and underdeveloped countries’ mobile markets are also making huge profits.
Cell phones have made it much easier for the intelligence agencies and other departments to track a person. Criminal networks can much easily be tracked now through the use of mobile phones. Besides the advantages of cell phones at businesses, the risks of data theft and viruses have also been increased. Cyber criminals can illegally access mobile network and so company’s confidential data. For this reason, companies have to largely invest in making their systems secure and risk free.
Now, mobile phone technology is used in hospitals and by doctors to spread awareness among people regarding health care. Different techniques are being used, i.e. heath text messaging, mobile phone apps, remote monitoring, and remote monitoring improve the standard of health around the world. Currently, there are a number of NGOs also working for the same cause. An international NGO is working on a project “Malaria No More”. It uses mobile technology to tackle the ratio of malaria around the world .
Mobile technology is now widely being used at businesses to improve productivity and profitability. Apple iPhone, iPad, Android and other phones have now been enabled to download various applications or mobile apps and easily access websites through their phone. Businesses usually develop their apps so that customers can access their websites being anywhere and purchase items through their phone. This trend of online shopping has been highly increased due to the ease and comfort of the customers. As according to statistics of the year 2013, 88% companies have already adopted or seeking for the mobile websites. It is also expected that by 2015, the ration of mobile apps and PC will reach to 4 ratio 1.
What makes Cellphone Technologies Revolutionary?
Reviewing from first generation to fourth generation systems, technology has brought several advancements. It was never imagined, how well cell phones will become the necessary part of our life. Two main properties of mobile phones i.e. high speed internet and mobility have made cell phones revolutionary. Now, people can access the internet and do online shopping or get any information while being anywhere in the world. In past times, people had to depend on the wired telephones. They were unable to use an internet when they are out. Even the speed of an internet was so slow that video streaming was not possible; neither the voice quality was up to the level. But, with the advent of 3G and 4G technologies, people can even watch live videos on their phones. These technologies have revolutionized the trends around the world. It has improved productivity and profitability of businesses around the world and also minimized communication gaps .
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