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4g Wireless Networks

In: Computers and Technology

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4G Wireless Networks
Sowmyalakshmi Sampath
Dr. Robert Culver
CIS 500
July 26, 2012

Abstract
From industries to individuals everyone requires the concept of connectivity everywhere. Technology is evolving very fast than ever before. Beginning with analog communication then transfer to digital communication techniques took place. Early years of this decade has seen a revolution in mobile systems like 2G. Internet related service required higher bandwidth and quality of service. This led to the evolution of 3G system through Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems (UMTS). Now 3G services are popular across the globe and have a strong customer base. Increase in further demands requires a raise in standard which has led to the advent of Long Term Evolution Standards of wireless communication technologies. This paper evaluates 3G and 4G Networks in terms of their service, network architecture and performance. It also deals with different technologies of these wireless standards like 4G LTE, WiMax, 4G WiBro in terms of their upstream and downstream speeds, availability of service, perception of users and their compatibility factors. Outlook of fierce competition among the service providers for 4G LTE and in what way it would benefit subscribers will also be discussed. Finally this paper will study the trend by which Verizon had the ability to cover more markets than AT&T for 4G LTE.
Keywords: upload speed, download speed, compatibility, service availability, architecture, user perception.

Compare and Contrast 3G and 4G Wireless Networks
Comparing and contrasting 3G and 4G wireless networks can be based on important factors like services and applications, network architecture, data throughput and user perceptions. Inherent capabilities of 3G networks are delivered through CDMA2000, UMTS, and EDGE. They offer position based services like GPS, B2C Services, entertainment, better mobility and interactive services. It includes variety of applications like multimedia which comprises of video conferencing, streaming of audio and video, mobile commerce, unified messaging and many other applications. On the other hand 4G wireless offers LTE and WiMax. According to Adibi et al. (2010) 4G will have goal of providing services in following way by replacing
Entire core of cellular network completely standardized based on the (Internet Protocol) IP for video, packet data utilizing Voice over IP (VOIP) and multimedia services. The newly standardized networks would provide uniform video, voice and data services to the cellular handset or handheld Internet appliance, based entirely on IP (Internet Protocol) (p.48).
This way 4G would provide seamless service of convergence, faster broadband, Telemedicine, Mobile marketing, data and entertainment services which comprises of applications like Mobile TV, sharing of video and music based on P2P technology, real time gaming, high quality video conferencing, IP telephony and M2M applications.
Key element in architecture would be switching systems used in core network. 3G is a wide area cell based system which employs circuit switching technology where as 4G networks on contrast use all IP based packet switching technique which is integrated with wide area and wireless LAN. This is responsible for transmitting request from user equipment to cell site and from there to central switching office wirelessly at high speeds compared to 3G. Added advantage in 4G architecture would be a privacy sub-layer at the MAC level which ensures secure data transmission which is incorporated in its OSI model arrangement when compared to 3G networks. Data throughput is an important factor for subscribers to choose their service providers. 3G networks offer data rates varying from minimum 128kbps to 2Mbps depending on either it is fixed or mobile. With this bandwidth rate it is able to offer wide range of internet services still it has bottlenecks in meeting current demands. On contrary 4G networks assure a practical bandwidth of 5Mbps and aims achieving a data rate of 100Mbps or higher rate. Current trend denotes that 3G networks are adapted by consumers in best manner. Since many service providers in market offer 3G technology at a competitive price. 4G networks are still being deployed and it would take time for complete stabilization of technology. From user perception cost effective offers, ease of using and value offered to them counts. With arrival of 4G boost in speed, better integration of application can be expected in real time in future.
Distinguish between 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and 4G WiBro Networks
Untethered performance and greater options for mobility from 4G wireless networks are put to use by various technologies like 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and WiBro networks. Collaboration of telecommunication associations paved way for 4G LTE which stands for Long Term Evolution. It supports high data rates with a downlink speed of 100Mbps and uplink speed of 50Mbps. Since these data rates are much faster over 3G networks, from end user point of view it provides them a better channel to efficiently use available technologies. On the other hand since 4G LTE is being deployed consumers would still have to wait to take complete advantage of its peak speeds. There might be issues in connectivity upon moving to areas where 4G LTE is not deployed which would be addressed in future by completing its deployment. Mobile networks like 4G LTE may have fewer cell sites in certain locations. In such case to provide uninterrupted connectivity to users becomes important. Hence backward compatibility is focus factor and 4G LTE is compatible with 3G networks and can fall back into the same when 4G device ranges exceeds. Service availability of 4G LTE has become possible with improved spectral efficiency and its potential of broadband access. Verizon which provides 4G services in 700 MHZ spectrum has covered more than 330 cities, further aiming to expand their services.
WiMax stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave access. According to Turban & Volonino (2011)
WiMax is an 802.16-based broadband wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) access standard that can deliver voice and data services at distances of up to 30 miles, without the expense of cable or the distance limitations of DSL (p.100).
WiMax is able to provide a downlink data rate up to 46Mbps and 7Mbps of uplink data rate within a bandwidth of 10Mhz. Peak data rates are up to 70Mbps depending up on either WiMax is fixed or mobile. Since its underlying architecture ensures proper availability of resources to subscribers it is indeed a popular 4G standard from the user point of view. It has a good cost to performance ratio which makes WiMax to be a contender. Each and every version of WiMax proves the scope of better coverage. It is designed with a good backward compatibility with 3G technologies and fixed WiMax. Since it is a new technology which is not completely saturated its service would be limited. It has slightly higher latency compared to 4g LTE, and non-line-of-sight may raise transmission issues with some signal distortion. But WiMax is emerging to be competitive technology with promising speed.
Wireless Broadband (WiBro) is 4G technology which was developed and launched in South Korea compliant to WiMax. It is designed to be a mobile version of regular broadband which could provide higher connectivity rates accompanied with mobility. It provides a data transfer rate of 50Mbps. Since this has a transceiver in motion it provides signal strength and strong connection. Currently WiBro is not as popular as other 4G networks. It is designed to have backward compatibility with WiMax 802.16e standards. Practical strength of WiBro can be analyzed once it is implemented on a large scale up on comparing its performance with other 4G technologies, which can measure its service availability. It is promising new scope of utilizing high speed wireless in motion with proper environment set up.
Competition between 4G LTE Carriers
Competition in any industry is a driving factor for new developments. With advent of wireless technologies and faster innovation is leading to a fierce competition among the service providers in recent years. Consumer demand keeps increasing, hence need for technology. Expectations from end-user are driving business this decade. Business is in need of mobility integrated environment than ever before. This leads to strong competition amidst of service providers since needs increase. Specific criteria for 4G LTE carriers would be speed because they have to compete with many national carriers, with available spectrum they have deliver better performance. Devices play a crucial role in competition, since there are limited access to newest devices in demand for which end user craves. Mobility now a day is connected with productivity, marketing and business. This is making new generation technology available to everyone at low prices. It offers better data plans, assures good network coverage to thrive the competition
4G LTE Market coverage of Verizon and AT&T
Verizon and AT&T are pioneers in mobile market in United States. Competition amongst these providers is getting tough in the arena of 4G LTE. Verizon began its 4G LTE coverage with 38 major metropolitan cities by the end of 2010. In the consecutive year they achieved better growth nationwide. Whereas AT&T began their mark with 4G services in 2011 to get hold of the market. Another reason is Verizon provides better network coverage compared to AT&T which is still implementing its 4G environment in many cities. Peak data rates of Verizon are comparably satisfying than AT&T which attracts customer base to Verizon. Revolution of wireless markets have led to easier access to new technologies then and there, we could expect many more changes and still a fierce competitive market than the current one in few years providing better services to the end user.

References
Adibi, Sasan, Mobasher, Amin, Tofigh, Tom (2010). Fourth-generation Wireless Networks: Applications and Innovations. Hershey, New York: Information Science Reference.
Smith, Clint P.E., Collins Daniel (2002). 3G Wireless Networks. McGraw-Hill.
Turban Efraim & Volonino Linda (2011) Information Technology for Management: Improving Strategic and Operational Performance 8th Edition (p. 8, 59-65). NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
UMTS Forum Report 11 (October, 2000). Enabling UMTS: Third Generation Services and Applications. Retrieved from http://www.umts-forum.org/content/view/1489/5/
Verizon LTE White Paper (2010). LTE: The Future of Mobile Broadband Technology. Retrieved from http://opennetwork.verizonwireless.com/pdfs/VZW_LTE_White_Paper_12-10.pdf
Verizon LTE White Paper (2011). 4G LTE: The Fastest, Most Advanced 4G Network in America. Retrieved from http://business.verizonwireless.com/content/dam/b2b/resources/4G_Benefits_Overview_Technical_Decision_Maker.pdf
Verizon Wireless (2011). News Center LTE Information Center. Retrieved from http://news.verizonwireless.com/LTE/Overview.html
WiMax Forum (2012). Retrieved from http://www.wimaxforum.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions

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