Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The evolution of cellular mobile technology (from 1G to 5G)

Do you still remember the first generation of mobile phone running on 1G analog cellular telecommunication network? The phone is as bulky as a brick with large external antenna. The average talk time for each battery recharge is about 35 minutes only. It was a luxury item.

Mobile phones started to become popular during the 2G digital era, whereby SMS text messages were made possible. Sending SMS at that time was not as convenient as today, as the phones were having physical T9 keypad, and typing alphabets would need more than one strokes.

Apple has changed the world during 3G era by introducing iPhone supported with iTune app store. Physical keypad was totally removed from the phone, giving larger space for its touch screen.

Today we are at 4G era, moving forward to 5G soon.

The table below summarizes the evolution of cellular mobile technology from 1G to 5G. We can see that for each advancement of generation, or sub-generation in between, there would be an increase in data transfer speed, and wider range of network application usage.

5G will be essential for the IoT connected world, particularly for connected vehicles and smart cities.

5G technology promises to greatly reduce the latency (the "preparation time" required before 2 wirelessly connected device to start transmitting data to each other) to around 1 milliseconds, compared with the current 30 milliseconds in 4G LTE.

5G technology also promises a 20 times increase in network speed from 4G, bringing gigabit Internet access possible to all mobile devices.

5G technology also promises a much stable and reliable signal strength by utilizing massive MIMO beamforming technology, which is a matured technology already in used in Wireless-AC WiFi networks for years.

On the other hand, 5G will require much stronger end-to-end cybersecurity protection and user privacy protection.

Are you excited to the upcoming 5G technology? It is said that key industry players are already working on 6G, which will mesh over satellite WiFi technology.


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