We rely on our cellular networks to keep us connected when mobile. In this video, you’ll learn about early cellular technology and the latest mobile networks.
You often hear our mobile devices described as cell phones. That’s because we broke up the geography into these separate cells of communication, and we placed antennas at the corners of these cells so that we could communicate using these mobile devices. We began this method of communication with 2G networks. And we separated 2G networks into two different camps of technologies. One was GSM, which is the global system for mobile communications, and the other type of standard that was commonly used was CDMA, which is Code Division Multiple Access.
These 2G networks were built with voice communication in mind. They were built so that you could make phone calls. And the idea of sending data over this network was not part of the original engineering.
There were minor changes made with 2G that could support some data exchange, but the primary focus was on voice communication. 3G networks were introduced in 1998, and these networks provided more data functionality than we had with the 2G networks. These 3G networks really changed how we started to use our mobile devices, because this increased bandwidth meant that we could have different types of applications.
We were able to run GPS technologies and have video on demand and use much more data than we were using with 2G. With 4G technology, we began to consolidate the type of wireless networking that we were doing over these mobile networks. Most of this consolidation consisted of LTE, or Long Term Evolution, networking.
This was based on GSM and EDGE, which was the enhanced data rates for GSM evolution. So we took the data that we were getting from 3G and improved what we were able to do with 4G networks. In fact, the LTE standard supported download rates of 150 megabits. And an improvement to LTE called LTE Advance doubled that to 300 megabits per second.
Of course, we’re already planning for the update to 4G, which will be our 5G networks. And a roll out of those will be in late 2018, 2019, and then worldwide, we’ll see rollouts in 2020. 5G technologies will be able to use much higher frequencies. And if you’re using those frequencies, you could see some significant performance improvements. This will not only increase the number of frequencies available but will have some significant improvement in the data throughput as well.