cellular generations

(redirected from wireless generations)

cellular generations

The evolution of cellular communications networks is commonly known by 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G designations. We are currently in the fourth generation (4G). See also wireless LAN, wireless glossary and cellular vs. Wi-Fi.

4G - LTE
Starting in the 2011 time frame, GSM and CDMA carriers embraced LTE, which offers higher speeds than 3G networks. LTE embodies the design goals of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which integrates all communications using the IP protocol (voice, video, e-mail, Web, messaging, etc.). See LTE and IP Multimedia Subsystem.

4G - WiMAX
Sprint was the first carrier to offer a 4G cellular network in the U.S. Using the WiMAX technology, 4G service was rolled out to major cities in 2009, providing faster downloads than Sprint's 3G service. See WiMAX.

4G - HSPA+
In late 2010, the ITU officially designated HSPA+ as a 4G technology, having previously defined it as 3G. See HSPA.

3G - WCDMA/HSDPA and CDMA2000
Launched after the turn of the century, the third generation features faster access to the Internet with downstream speeds up to 1 Mbps and more depending on the 3G version. The predominant 3G technologies on the GSM side are WCDMA and HSDPA with CDMA2000 on the CDMA side (see WCDMA, HSPA and CDMA2000). 3G also embraces worldwide roaming for global travelers (see GAN).

2G/2.5G - GSM/CDMA, GPRS/EDGE/IS95-B
The second generation refers to the digital voice systems of the 1990s, replacing analog phones and based on the TDMA and CDMA air interfaces. First deployed in Europe, GSM became the predominant TDMA-based cellular system worldwide. Data networks (GPRS, EDGE, IS-95B) were added and commonly called 2.5G technologies, enabling Internet access and e-mail with slow downstream speeds up to approximately 200 Kbps. See GSM, CDMA, GPRS, EDGE and IS-95.

1G - Analog Voice
Introduced in the late 1970s, the first cellular systems were analog voice. Years later, some 1G cellphones occasionally provided wireless data service to a laptop by connecting them to the laptop's dial-up modem, but hookups were precarious, and when it worked, the data transfer rate was minuscule. See AMPS, TACS and NMT.


Dual Support
If an iPhone 3G is in range of a 3G cell tower, it uses the higher speed of HSDPA. However, it throttles down to the lower-speed EDGE (E) channel if a 3G HSDPA channel is not available. See HSPA.




Dual Support
If an iPhone 3G is in range of a 3G cell tower, it uses the higher speed of HSDPA. However, it throttles down to the lower-speed EDGE (E) channel if a 3G HSDPA channel is not available. See HSPA.
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, because 4G operates on a greater number of frequency bands than previous wireless generations, operators can employ lower-frequency signals that travel much further from transmitter stations using the same amount of power.
Customers can now manage mobile applications running over multiple wireless generations without having to replace existing WLAN access points.
We are pleased our partnership with Fonpods gives them a giant leap forward, not only to where the internet and wireless generations are now, but to where they are going -- enabling them to access more and more information on the one tool they would rather die than give up -- the mobile phone.
We also have added several key technologies that reach across multiple product platforms and wireless generations, thereby expanding our technology portfolio consistent with our strategic objectives.
In six short months, Spatial Wireless has begun delivering on the vision of providing solutions that bridge current and future wireless generations," said Pardeep Kohli, CEO of Spatial Wireless.

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