Cellular Technologies Overview
If someone were to ask you to list our the different types of cellular technologies that are currently offered on the market, would you know what to answer with? The average person may not be able to provide many examples, some may not even know just what cellular technology really is. Cellular technology is what our mobile phone networks are based off, it refers to a network technology that facilitates mobile device communication that are comprised of cells and transceivers. The most common type of transceivers within a cellular network are of course our mobile phones or cell phones as many would call it. Today our mobile phones can communicate with each other through various ways such as placing phone calls, sending messages via short message service (SMS) also known as text messages, checking emails, and web browsing.
Types of Technology
Going back to the original question, just what types of cellular technologies are currently offered out on the market today? Major technologies throughout the history of cellular technology include 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, GSM, CDMA, and LTE.
Past, Current, and Future Technologies
- 1G refers to the first generation of wireless cellular technology that was introduced, they were titled with the level and G for generation (1G through 4G). New generations usually bring new technologies, more network capacity for more data per user, and better voice quality too. 1G was the first generation of GSM and used analog technology meaning the signals used were represented as a series of sine wave.
- 2G (Second Generation) was introduced in the 1990's and became first to be digitally encrypted becoming more efficient and enabling far greater wireless penetration level and introduced text messages.
- 3G (Third Generation) launched around the 2000's with the capabilities of using wireless voice telephony, mobile internet access, fixed wireless internet access, and video calls.
- 4G (Fourth Generation)current technology which was later introduced allowing to allow mobile phones to be used for gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video converencing, and 3D television.
- GSM (Global System for Mobiles) was the first major deployment to use encryption with 2G and is considered the world-wide option currently covering about 90% market share. GSM phones use SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) cards which are key features for GSM networks. These SIM cards allow for you to switch phones at any given moment but will only be compatible with other GSM phones and networks.
- CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) are often found in the US and Russia due to having better rural coverage. CMA do not use SIM cards when first launched but instead the phones were specifically built to work on the carrier's network. They are based on encoding multiple connections with different keys and then decoding them on the receiving end.
- LTE (Long Term Evolution) is considered more as a path followed to achieve 4G status vs being an actual technology, which is why it's considered as an upgrade for both GSM and CDMA based networks. It increased bandwidth availability for boice and data communications by using a different radio interface combined with several network improvements.
- 5G (Fifth Generation) this new technology is still in its early stages and currently being worked on with some carriers even stating that they are currently in production. However, not all 5G works the same and vary depending on who the carrier is. It is predicted that there will be both slow but responsive 5G and fast 5G but with limited coverage. 5G brings three new aspects to the table: greater speed, lower latency, and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once.