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4g Wireless Networks

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Network capabilities and function are an increasing concern since the development of 3G and 4G networks. The third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) wireless networks have overpowered the technology industry. The 3G cell site is the equivalent of an 8-foot high storage cabinet filled with computer equipment in comparison to a 4G site which is about half the size and consumes about 5 times less power. With this document, the topics that will be covered in the comparison and contract of the 3G and 4G wireless network, the system applications within 4G which are 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and 4G WiBro. Competition between 4G LTE carriers an benefits and research investigation with the expansion of the 4G LTE with Verizon and AT&T. Comparing the 4G and 3G cell technology the 4G sites are more energy-efficient, built specifically for internet traffic; whereas 3G sites were designed for voice with the ability to handle internet content and 4G internet speeds are up to 10 times faster than 3G.

3G Wireless Networks vs. 4G Networks

Both wireless networks have provided adequate system capabilities; however, there are some contrasting issues as well. These networks can be compared and contrast based on Services and Application, Network Architecture, Data Throughput and User Perception.

Services and Application:

Packet switching is the dividing of messages into packets before they are sent, transmitting each packet individually, and then reassembling them into the original message once all of them have arrived at the intended destination. 3G and 4G both have a packet switching technique which they operate along with the capabilities of using radio wave to send and receive data in addition to rely on networks that divide geographic regions into smaller areas known as cells. However, 4G offers a wider bandwidth, or range of frequencies in relation to 3G. With the wider bandwidth, 4G offers more advanced services and application like wireless broadband internet access, multimedia messaging service, video chat, mobile television, high definition TV, digital video broadcasting, real time audio and high speed data transfer to name a few. The 3G applications which are essential only involve higher data speed, enhanced audio and video streaming, video conferencing, high speed Web and WAP and TV through the Internet. However, the 4G network also has Wimax2 and LTE-Advance as in 3G network doesn't (3G vs 4G, 2011).

Network Architecture:

Without any hesitation, there is no comparison of the two systems with the structure of the network. The 4G network has an integration of wireless LAN and wider area.

Data Throughput:

Speed is major factor for any network provider and consumers make decisions off the immediate data response. 3G remain the slowest among internet connectivity technologies; a result of its narrow bandwidth. While 3G offers a maximum data transfer rate of 3.1 megabits per second, 4G can provide data transfer rates of 100 Mbps to over 300 Mbps. The peak upload rate for 3G is 50 Mbit/s in comparison to 500 Mbit/s to 4G while the peak download rate is 1 Gbit/s for 4G and 100 Mbit/s for 3G (Vuong, 2010).

User Perceptions:

Both the 3G and 4G provide users with an illusion of what speed information is transferred to them. Users want information in a timely manner; however, selecting a network causes for some hesitation when uncertainity is present. Users want a network that is fast but efficient as well. It is becoming more common for user to subscribe to the 4G network for the sole purpose of speed. Currently, 3G is becoming a growing trend in China and expecting to reach 300 million in 2012 while 4G is the network of choice in the United States (Vuong, 2010).

4G Networks (LTE, WiMax, and WiBro)

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. LTE is a 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that's designed to provide up to 10x the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices.

The main difference between 4G and 4G LTE: 4G provides IP based support while 4G LTE's goal is to improve speed (Decoded: What is 4G, what is 4G LTE and what is WiMAX, 2012).

WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a dedicated data network offering wider coverage and a higher capacity



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