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History of Communication Technology

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With the development of technology, the changes in communication have a pivotal impact on various areas. Definitely, advanced technology is the main driver of these changes. Not only the way of communication has changed, but also the content and means of communication have evolved. The aim of this essay is to examine the evolution of communication technology in China and evaluate its impact on individuals and society.

Before 1990s, the main technology applied in communication was called 1G, or the first-generation of wireless telephone technology (Rathod 2012). It transferred only voice data without being encrypted. The sound quality and the speed of transfer were in poor conditions as well. However, over the last 20 years, the quality of communication in China has increased significantly with the development of 2G, 3G and 4G communication technologies.

In 1990s, the 2G technology was introduced. This abbreviation refers to digital voice systems, i.e. systems that transmit information via voice signals, which replaced early analog phones. 2G may be considered a revolutionary technology as it not only improved communication, but also contributed positively to public health. In terms of communication, 2G devices secured privacy, which means the data will be encrypted before transferring. What is more, this digital technology allowed designing radio-free mobile devices which are less harmful for human health. However, the main advantage of this technology - the use of digital signals - is also its major limitation; in other words, if the digital signals is weak, it cannot reach a cell tower and, therefore, people who live in distant areas cannot use 2G to a full extent. Eventually, the need for a more reliable communication technology had become obvious, and here came the 3G communication technology.

As UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) Forum (2005) claimed, 3G was first available in 2001 in Japan and it was not introduced to China until 2009. This technology enables using various services with higher speed and stability, such as GPS, digital television and visual conferencing. In addition to convenience and functionality, 3G services are extensive available, which means people may be connected with each other by communication networks with less limitations. This advantage is especially visible in China: according to statistics, China have total of 56.71 million 3G users in 2012 (Cellular News 2012). However, subscribers must pay for 3G mobile handsets, which are more expensive than 2G devices. Additionally, 3G handsets are more power-consuming. That is to say, with the same power condition, 3G devices work few hours than 2G models.

Meanwhile, with the wide use of 3G technologies in China, the implementation of 4G technology is on its way and is expected to be widespread before 2015. 4G is an advanced step up from 3G, which represents the highest achievement in communication technology. 4G users are provided



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