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4g Wireless Networks

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Technology has shaped the world into what it is today. We have gone from plugging mobile phones into the car, to wireless service over the years. As consumers become more demanding in what they want and need in a wireless network, the more technology evolves through faster service, connectivity, and mobility. 3G and 4G networks are the technology of today, but tomorrow will yield another network much better. 3G and 4G are similar but different when taking the services and applications, their architecture, data throughput, and users perceptions of these networks into consideration when choosing the right network. 3G is the 3rd generation of cellular telecommunications technology that offers broadband services in CDMA, EDGE, EV-DO, and HSDPA, while 4G offers LTE, WiBro, and WiMax (Turbin, 2011. Table 4.1. pg. 97). The Applications a network offers, brings the consumers closer choosing the right network. 3G allows streaming and listening to music, watching movies, playing games, taking better pictures, and video calling. 4G offers the same applications as 3G with additions of its own; Hi Def TV through the cellular service and multiplayer capable games, and downloading social media. The architecture of 3G lies within its Wide Area Cell based circuit switched system, providing voice and data. This means when a user makes a call, its signal is transmitted through a dedicated circuit that can only be used by that call until the session has ended (Turbin, 2011. pg. 94-95.). Unlike the old landline phone, where lines would get crossed and you find that someone else is in on your conversation. 4G uses a combination of LAN and Wide Area Cell, and it does not use the circuit switched subsystem. It uses packet switching Internet Protocol (IP), meaning the path of the signal is digital and shared over a network (Turbin, 2011. pg. 96). Data throughput or transfer, is the amount of time it takes to deliver voice and data over a network. People want things done fast, is also important to consumers. 3G has a data throughput ranges from 307 kbps (kilobits per second) to 3.1 mbps (megabits per second), but 4G has a range from 3 to 5 mbps, with the potential of 100 to 300 mbps (3G vs. 4G). Some consumers have no problem using 3G, now that everyone is converting over to 4G. The 3G network is not as congested anymore, downloading is faster. Waiting a little longer is not an issue, if the phone is used for voice and minor data usage anyway. 4G consumers are happy with their choice to switch from 3G. They have faster download and upload speeds, better and faster internet service, great video and picture taking. Even though, they both offer video calling, 4G does not have the constant buffering like 3G. Consumers have dropped calls with both networks, which is supplied by 3G. 4G has several different network services, 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro. 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is 10 times faster than 3G by supporting downloads of up to 100 mbps and uploads of 50 mbps (GSMA.com). Verizon users are happy with the service, there is a wider coverage area. Once outside the coverage area, customers are experiencing slow service or no service at all. They like streaming movies and music within seconds. LTE has a backward compatibility with GSM and HSPA, meaning if a connection is lost from 4G, it will use 3G, but 3G cannot use 4G, if the connection is lost (September 2009). There are only 2 service providers of 4G LTE; Verizon and AT&T. WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a wireless broadband service providing voice and data, often used instead of Cable/DSL services (Turbin, 2011. pg. 100 ). It has download speeds of 140 mbps and upload speeds of over 100 mbps (July 2011.), while providing a range of service for up to 30 miles for fixed (stationary) stations and 3-10 miles for mobile stations (WiMax.com). The newer mobile WiMax has a backward compatibility with the older fixed WiMax, and the 3g network. The availability of the service is mainly used in areas where service is not provided by any other network. Users complain that once there is a certain number of people using it, the service locks down. The way technology is evolving, WiMax is the next big thing for broadband service. The last 4g service network is WiBro, and like WiMax it is a wireless broadband but for internet access. WiBro and WiMax have the same transmission speeds, but WiBro can track a receiver that is moving from place to place with speeds for up to 74 miles per hour (Kayne, R.). WiBro was created in South Korea and a reason why it is not widely known in the United States. Carriers of 4G LTE are in competition with one another because they want to be the best technological entity in the business and show they were the first one to
4G WIRELESS NETWORKS accomplish it. If have the best and most current service, newest compatible devices, and provide optimal service, consumers have no need to seek services anywhere else. Mobility at lightening speed is what consumers are looking for. Subscribers benefit from the competition because service providers are going to provide affordable prices with data plans and amount of internet usage. Verizon and AT&T are the best wireless service providers today. They are often in competition for the number one spot, so both of them in the spotlight for 4G LTE is not a shock. Verizon is able to cover more markets than AT&T because they got a head start and began their 4G LTE service in December 2010, while AT&T only started in 2011 (April 2012). That gives Verizon a large gap to market their LTE service and devices while AT&T decided to join the new 4G service or not. Verizon already had a better 3G and 4G coverage than AT&T, adding 4G LTE was a simple task to achieve.

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