Second generation mobile (2G) refers to the first wave of all-digital communications standards for cellular mobile applications, the first generation being analogue based systems. In most countries 2G is synonymous with GSM, the standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which accounts for over 80% of all worldwide connections. Other standards include CDMA, predominantly used in the USA. 2G technologies are robust and reliable due to the technology enhancements as well the networks being well established having been tweaked and optimised over the years.
Whilst later variants of 2G (e.g. GPRS) offered some data capability, it was not until the advent of 3G standards that mobile networks were designed from the outset with data services in mind. 3G also known as UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) is also well established and is currently the main vehicle for mobile data communications. The main standard for 3G is WCDMA which is a wide band coding scheme allowing data to be transmitted and received and having a higher spectral efficiency than GSM meaning that more information can be sent over the same frequency. 3G really kicked off the connected society and as it became more popular with the launch of smart phones, the networks suffered from capacity issues. The main network activities over the past five or so years has been to increase capacity by placing more and more equipment into dense user environments.
The advent of smartphones and tablet computers has led to an explosive growth in mobile applications. 3G technologies were not designed to be scalable to meet the huge demand for wireless data which this growth has produced, hence the move to develop 4G technologies. Targets set by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) meant that 4G should support data rates of up to 100MB/s for highly mobile communications, for example, in trains and cars, and up to 1GB/s for low mobility situations.
Although being marketed as 4G, LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a technology intended to support these high data speeds however, it does not satisfy the technical requirements to meet the targets set by the ITU. LTE Advanced also known as “True 4G” is based on the LTE standard and can offer the required data rates by employing a technique known as Carrier Aggregation and works by combining multiple LTE carriers utilising different spectrum bands.
iWireless Solutions has an unrivalled track record in the successful delivery of cellular mobile systems across all technologies and for multiple mobile operators. We specialise in providing solutions for difficult coverage scenarios and in delivering high capacity systems where there was previously insufficient infrastructure to meet the skyrocketing demand.