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Assignment 2: 4g Wireless Networks

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Assignment 2: 4G Wireless Networks
Sierah Nguon
Professor Yeates
CIS 500
April 29, 2012

Different wireless companies such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint always tries hard to convince consumers that their wireless network is the best, the fastest or offers the latest technology for mobile devices. With changing technology, almost everybody has a smart phone which enables them to check their emails or surf the web. Currently, there are two different wireless networks: 3G and 4G. 3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunication is pretty much an application service that includes wide-area wireless voice telephone, mobile internet access, video calls, and mobile TV, all in a mobile environment. 4G is pretty much the same concept as 3G except it’s ten times faster than 3G. (Lee, 2011). Smartphone users are now consuming more data than ever before on a per-user basis (Kellogg, 2011). With the availability of new apps, services, and cloud storage, users are now utilizing their internet connection more than before (Nguyen, 2012). The current architecture of the 3G network starts with a base station what is referred as a Node B. The radio network controller (RNC) will provide various types of radio-related functionality such as: resource allocation, link layer encryption, and paging and fine-grained location tracking for mobiles in idle mode. It will also provide mobility anchoring for mobiles` data flow as they move from node to node. Meaning it will receive data destined for a given mobile and redirecting the data to the mobile’s current point of attachment. The Serving GPRS support node (SGSN) is the main component of the GPRS network that provides high levels of mobility anchoring, paging, and location tracking for idle mobiles moving from one RNC to another RNC. Finally the Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) would be responsible for the interworking between the GPRS network and the external packet switched networks. It will allocate IP address to mobiles and acts as a gateway router for the subnet from which the mobile’s IP address is allocated. Data designed for the given mobile is routed from the Internet to the GGSN. The GGSN applies operator policies to the data flow, which will then give a tunnel data to the mobile’s serving SGSN. The SGSN will then tunnel the data to the RNC, then it will segments the data into link layer protocol data unites which will deliver it to Node B (base station). Below is a diagram of how the 3G network architect would look like (Agrawal & Bedekar, 2007). Figure 1. 3GPP network architecture (Agrawal & Bedekar, 2007). 4G networks will not fix dropped calls or other service problems but it is a lot faster than the 3G network. It lets the consumers browse the web, download songs and stream movies a lot quicker than the 3G networks (Lee, 2011). When comparing 3G and 4G, the data throughput for 3g is up to 3.1 mbps and the 4G data throughput is 3-5 mbps. 4G networks have a higher frequency band at 2-8GHz compared to 1.8-2.5GHz. In addition, the peak download rate for 4G is much more than 3G (3G vs 4G, 2011). As for user perception, most people think that 4G is faster than 3G, which is true. However, wireless carriers do no advertise how fast 4G is with numbers, instead, they advertise the “experience” and the “feel” of the technology. There are three different wireless networks for mobile carriers: 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro. The two main networks would be the 4G LTE and 4G WiMax. The 4G LTE is a lot more popular than the other two networks it has been adopted by more commercial operators around the world and it’s faster than the 4G WiMax. 4G WiMax never caught on in the U.S. market because only one carrier decided to adopt it which was Sprint (Reed, 2011). As far as competition goes, Verizon is miles ahead of the competition. They were the first carrier to offer 4G LTE and they offer more coverage and have over 200 million subscriber. Sprint’s response to Verizon’s coverage would be their unlimited data plan versus Verizon’s capped plans. The reason Verizon was able to cover more markets than AT&T is because they already invested money into creating 3G and 4G networks. They knew that 3G and then 4G will be the better technology. AT&T solution was to buy out T-Mobile because they have the better coverage. But the merger did not go through because the government thought it would be a monopoly.

Works Cited

3G vs 4G. (2011). Retrieved April 29, 2012, from Diffen: http://www.diffen.com/difference/3G_vs_4G Agrawal, R., & Bedekar, A. (2007, December). Network Architecture for 4G: Cost
Considerations. Retrieved April 29, 2012, from IEEE Xplore: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/application/enterprise/entconfirmation.jsp?arnumber=4395369&tag=1 Kellogg, D. (2011, June 17). Average U.S. Smartphone Data Usage Up 89% as Cost per
MB Goes Down 46%. Retrieved April 29, 2012, from Nielsen Wire: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/average-u-s-smartphone-data-usage- up-89-as-cost-per-mb-goes-down-46/
Lee, A. (2011, July 19). 3G vs. 4G: What You Should Know Before You Switch. Retrieved
April 29, 2012, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/19/4g-network- what-you-should-know_n_879609.html Nguyen, C. (2012, January 6). iPhone 4S Users Consuming Twice as Much Data as iPhone 4 Users. Retrieved April 29, 2012, from Gotta Be Mobile: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/01/06/iphone-4s-users-consuming-twice-as-much-data-as- iphone-4-users/
Reed, B. (2011, November 2). LTE vs. WiMAX . Retrieved April 29, 2012, from Network
World: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/102011-tech-arguments-lte-wimax-
252225.html

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