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Assignment 2 4g Wireless Networks

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4G Wireless Networks
Walter Clay
Strayer University

Abstract
Today many of the wireless telephone companies from Verizon to AT&T to Sprint tries to persuade consumers that their networks are better than the other companies. 3G technologies ushered in the era of smart-phones and they have been the driving factor of many of the advances in wireless technologies today. As smart-phones and wireless technologies improve technologically savvy consumers are demanding more and more from wireless companies. Today, there are two wireless standards; 3G and 4G.

4G Wireless Networks When you look at 3G and 4G wireless networks you can compare and contrast them in four areas: service and application, network architecture, data throughput and user perceptions.
“Compare and contrast 3G wireless networks to 4G networks in terms of services and applications”
Applications are the primary reason consumers use smart-phones today. They get hooked on the convenience the applications bring to their lives. 3G is the first wireless network to provide these capabilities for consumers. For the first time they were able to have a video call with a family member on the go, they were able to stream movies and video, and even able to video conference on the go with the office. 4G picked up where 3G left off, it provided the capability to access information at the same speeds that you could on your computer at home. Consumers are now playing video games on the go, watching live sports events and high definition television on the go. Technically 4G is a new iteration of 3G technologies, but carriers chose to call it 4G as a marketing advantage to get consumers to switch companies. “Compare and contrast 3G wireless networks to 4G networks in terms of network architecture”
The key differences in the two wireless networks are the network architectures they travel on. 3G mobile networks are wide-area cellular telephone networkswide-area cellular telephone networks using a circuit-switched subsystem. They rely on huge satellites that connects to cellular towers. When you make call, a signal is transmitted to a cellular tower. That information is then transmitted to the central switching facility via a wide-area network. The switching facility then connects the request.
4G networks are a combination of wireless and wide area networks. They are not a circuit-switched subsystem, it is based on the Internet Protocol (IP) system. When you make a call on a 4G network, the data is transmitted to the central switching facility via a microwave signal. This is more reliable due to less downtime. The switching facility then connects to request using a wide-area network.
“Compare and contrast 3G wireless networks to 4G networks in terms of data throughput”
A major difference in the two is throughput. 3G data throughput rate 14.4 Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s on the uplink; 4G data throughput rate 100 Mbit/s on the downlink and 50 Mbit/s on the uplink. “Compare and contrast 3G wireless networks to 4G networks in terms of user perceptions”
Users of 3G services overall are happy with the capabilities it provides them. This is primarily due to the fact that it is all that is available to them or they may prefer a device that has better battery time, which a 3G device can provide. 3G is readily available to consumers nationwide and all major carriers support it. Initially 4G networks were plagued by outages and lack of coverage. But this did not sway consumers from early adoption of the new technology because it if upside when it comes to data throughput. As the wireless carriers have implemented their versions of 4G consumers learn that not all 4G carriers are created equal. Currently Verizon has the best coverage and implementation. Consumers overall experience is based on the typical user who only wants to stream music or watch the occasional television show, so they tend to no really care about which carriers’ 4G is the faster but which one is the most economical. Over the course of the next few year 4G will continue to get better as the technology transition from upgraded 3G devices to true 4G ones.
With the arrival of 4G networks, there have been multiple choices in how you implement it. The big three proponents are 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE), 4G Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax), and 4G (Wireless Broadband) WiBro “Distinguish between the 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro networks based on upload and download speeds”
4G LTE technology used mainly by Verizon Wireless. It supports data rate exchanges at speeds of 100 Mbps for downloads and 50 Mbps for uploads. 4G WiMax technology is primarily used by Sprint. It supports data rate exchanges at speeds of 70 Mbps for downloads and 30 Mbps for uploads. 4G WiBro is provided as an alternative to WiMax. It supports data rates of up to 30 Mbps depending on how close you are to the antenna.
“Distinguish between the 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro networks based on user perceptions”
Overall consumers that have transitioned to the 4G technologies that are available today are generally quite happy. They can watch videos and stream music faster than ever. Even with the advancements some users have experiences poor 4G services or no services at all. The majority of those user do not live in the major metropolitan areas. Eventually this will be solved as more 4G towers and capabilities are built and implemented. But the saving grace of wireless providers’ 4G devices are that many of them are backwards compatible with 3G technologies. “Distinguish between the 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro networks based on backward compatibility
Both 4G LTE and WiMax are backward compatible with 3G technologies. WiBro 4G was not implemented as an iteration of a 3G network and does not have a 3G predecessor. To take advantage of the 4G capabilities provided by wireless companies consumers had to upgrade from 3G to 4G devices. LTE as a technology was designed to be backwards compatible with 3G technologies. This allows a 4G device that moves out of the range of a 4G tower to fallback to a 3G network and continue to still function, but a slower 3G speeds.
Distinguish between the 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro networks based on service availability”
Verizon’s 4G LTE currently cover two-thirds of the United States. Sprint’s 4G WiMax network currently covers about one-third of the United States, but they are looking to transition mainly to LTE technology in the future but will continue to support WiMax. WiBro is assigned to Korea for their 4G needs. “Identify why the competition between the 4G LTE carriers has been so fierce and describe the benefits of this competition to the subscribers”
Today one of the big factors in the competition between carries is coverage. Most consumers do not think about the fact that they rarely travel outside of their living area and fall into the trap of coverage maps. It may be true that Verizon has the best coverage, but do you necessarily need that coverage is the question consumers should ask themselves. One factor that consumers should think about is speed. Consumers are looking for their wireless broadband speeds to be on par with their home internet providers. If you have the same capability to work on the go as you do at home or in the office you can be more productive in life and work. With many companies are looking at wireless service providers to provide access to their business networks. Wireless service providers see this area as a big money maker for their company and they are doing everything they can to lure businesses to their company to provide this capability. 4G technologies has taken this to a new level because of all the new 4G devices that have been created to take advantage of 4G networks. These devices allow users to be truly mobile and to work at the same levels on the go as they can in the office. You hear that competition drives prices down and the average study would say that. You will also say that data plans are more competitive. But the thing I have realized over the past 15 years is that companies work together to make prices. There is no technical reason why every wireless company cannot provide unlimited plans to consumers at the base price other than the simple fact that companies are being greedy. I do understand that companies have to increase their coverage areas to new markets, but as a person who has gone out and purchased the same equipment and installed it, I believe this competition is just another marketing ploy to get consumers to pay more money.
“Conclude why Verizon is able to cover more markets than AT&T”
Verizon is the first wireless service provider in the United States to offer a 4G services. With them providing this service first it allowed them to work out the bugs sooner and to get a jump start over AT&T. Initially Verizon offered unlimited data plans to users but has since moved away from that model. AT&T is catching up technology wise, but as for coverage they are still far behind Verizon. Verizon’s big play on unlimited plans and the latest devices gave them a big lead on AT&T when it came to consumers signing up for server also. Another key is Verizon’s ability to market through third party sellers, which netted them another 17 million customers. “Conclusion”
With the constant advances in technology both in wireless networks and mobile device the capabilities for consumers will continue to grow. At phone manufacturers and wireless network device manufacturers continue to improve devices wireless service providers will continue to find new way to get consumers to upgrade to the latest technology and to put more money in the companies’ wallets. With the advancement from 3G to 4G continues one only wonders what the next iteration of wireless networks will bring.
References
Cisco.com (2012) Managed 4G LTE WAN: Provide Cost-Effective Wireless Broadband Service, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CEQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.knauer-inc.com%2FPDF%2FManaged%25204G%2520LTE%2520WAN%2520Service.pdf&ei=zrx5UubQMbG2sAS6i4CgDw&usg=AFQjCNHwwuEFB7ZXtw-Dwe9Zk0vUKNzeBQ&sig2=XgwEEqFLKv9eknAwyaQS-g
Conjecture Corporation (2012) What Are the Differences between WiFi, WiMax and WiBro?, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-differences-between-wifi-wimax-and-wibro.htm
GoingWimax.com (2009) What is the Difference Between WiMax and LTE? http://www.goingwimax.com/what-is-the-difference-between-wimax-and-lte-4155/
Frank, R. (2012) Verizon: A Strong Play for Profits Now, http://seekingalpha.com/article/475501-verizon-a-strong-play-for-profits-now
Segan, S. (2012) 3G vs. 4G: What’s the Difference?, PCMag.com, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399984,00.asp
Turban / Volonino (2011) Information Technology for Management: Improving Strategic and Operational Performance 8th Edition, Class Text
Verizon Wireless (2011) News Center LTE Information Center, http://news.verizonwireless.com/LTE/Overview.html
Viswanahan, P. (2012) 3G Vs 4G – Which is Better? Pros and Cons of the 3G and 4G Networks, http://mobiledevices.about.com/od/carrierfaq/a/3g-Vs-4g-Which-Is-Better.htm

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