4G Technology

Have you ever gone to the cell phone company to get a cell phone, and you know exactly what you want? You know the exact phone, coverage, data plan, everything that you need. When you tell the clerk exactly what you need down to the color, he looks at you strangely and asks if you are sure that this is what you want. You ponder it for a second and decide that, yes this is exactly what I want, I have thought about it for weeks and I am positive this is what I want.

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The clerk then explains that the phone that the phone you planned on buying may not be able to handle the new network that they are going to be implementing in a few months and may end up having to buy a new phone in a few months to meet the new network requirements. You consider this for a moment and decide to go with one of the newer phones that will work on the new network.
This is the biggest problem we have today with technology; the fact that technology is changing so often that it is nearly impossible to keep up with. You buy a new computer with the best processor available and two months later, they have a faster one that can handle way more programs running at once, or you buy a router that handles DSL and a year later FIOS comes along and the router you have cannot handle the speed of FIOS so you have to go out and get a new router. Just like the example above, networks are changing so quickly that it is becoming very costly and inefficient to update the hardware as fast. For instance, from 2003 to about 2009, 3G networking was being created and implemented on many of the cellular networks around; so many people went out and bought new phones that could handle the new faster 3G technology as opposed to the 2G technology that was available. Then, not even a year later, 4G networks were being created and starting to make its way to many of the cellular companies, gaming networks and WI-FI networks, which forced many people to have to go out and upgrade to better equipment.
According to wisegeek.com, 4G Technology is the fourth generation of wireless communications currently being developed for high speed broadband mobile capabilities. Basically what that boils down to is that 4G is the next generation of mobile phone and other wireless networks. 4G just means faster wireless, whether it be on a cell phone or on a wireless network with a laptop, everything will download faster than the earlier 2G and 3G networks. The 4G networks are said to be able to download 100 Mbits per second at its slowest point; which is very likely if you are in a car or train travelling. At its fastest point 4g networks are said to be able to download 1 gigabyte per second; which is more likely to happen if you are staying in one spot such as your home or office.
4G networks make it possible for so many new things, such as video chat and mobile television, on phones and computers due to the faster download speeds. This gives users more of a use for phones and computers. With the 4G phones alone you would have the capability to access the internet, send picture mail, video chat, watch mobile television, listen to real time audio, and transfer data a lot quicker than previously possible. 4G technology is not however just for phones and computers, it is said that in a few years 4G technology could also be used for video cameras, gaming devices, vending machines and even refrigerators. There are plans for 4G to be available in almost every piece of technology available.
With technology changing so rapidly and users needing to be able to do so many things with their computers and cell phones, as well as being able to multitask without slowing down the speed of what they were previously doing; networks are going to have to change just as quickly. Networks are going to have to get faster, they are going to have to get so fast that no matter how many users are accessing the resources available and no matter how many things they are trying to do at one point, no user will notice a decrease in speed or productivity in the computer or phone. Nothing is more frustrating than everyone in the office trying to do their job and while in the middle of something, everything just seems to come to a halt; usually because the network is trying to keep up with all of the resources being accessed and trying to go outside the network and access things from other places and bring them into the network.
The hardware is also going to have to become more advanced. Computers and phones alike are going to have to have faster processors, more memory to store the information and run the programs needed. They are also going to have to have the capability of access more and more networks at once, especially when the user is running more applications at once. Hardware is going to have to become more advanced and have more than one capability, such as the phone having the capability of a computer and a computer having the capability of a phone, much like the Motorola Atrix 4G.
4G is becoming such a standard for wireless networks as well as mobile networks that it is hard to find a company that is not using the 4G networking. Many of these companies that have 4G networks are even broadening their services because of the technology. Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, and Sprint Nextel have all gone from being strictly cell phones to selling wireless aircards. These cards are usually USB devices that plug in to users computers and allow the customer to hook their computers to the 4G networks when wireless networks are too far away or unreliable. Some companies such as, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, have taken the aircards to a whole other level and actually sell computers with wireless network cards built in to their customers.
While 4G sounds so exciting when it comes to the capabilities it has and availability of access to it, there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes for these networks to become possible. Regulations are put in to place for everything now, and 4G networking is no exception. These regulations set a basic standard of what the network is supposed to do and what the hardware is supposed to handle. For example, according to the CDMA standards, 4G devices must be able to handle three 1.25 MHz carriers for data transfer. These devices must also be able to support context rich multimedia services and applications, be able to access multiple types of networks and be able to access multiple networks at one time. The 4G networks themselves must be able to roam outside the coverage area, they must be able to protect the network and devices from worms and viruses, and be able to support context rich multimedia services and applications while downloading at a minimum of 100 Mbit/s.
4G networking has had a large impact on technology all over the world in many ways including, improving performance of technology, enabling and enhancing mobile applications, expanding the network capabilities of devices, allowing customers more experience with different applications and finally by helping business models to become more up to date. 4G is helping users to get more work done because of the faster downlink and uplink throughput and decreasing the delay of information. It is also making applications more accessible, more enhanced and overall providing more applications such as mobile television and video chatting.
Today everything is so fast paced that it is almost impossible to keep up with everything going on; people are constantly running here or there, doing this or that, we barely have time to sit down and relax. Why should our technology be any different? Because we are living in such a fast paced world where we are constantly going and have a mentality of it needs done now, technological developers are constantly trying to come up with the next best thing. First they came up with desktop computers, then people decided they needed to be able to take their work with them so they developed laptops. People decided that they could not wait to get home and call people and needed to talk while on the go so cell phones were invented; next people decided that they could not take the time to sit down and hook their laptops up to network cables so wireless came about. Then people decided that they did not want to carry the laptops around all the time so the cell phones got internet and storage so people could save things to the phone and use them and access internet on the go. This is when 2G networks came about, then they became too slow so 3G was invented. Now that our mentality has changed again to the point that we cannot wait that extra 10 seconds for the page to load on our phones they have come up with 4G. What will come next to curb our feeling of impatience when the 4G network becomes “too slow” in our ever growing fast paced world?

References
Chavis, Jason. (March 4, 2011). What is a 4G Network?. Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-4g-network.htm
Hayes, Patrick and Farooq, Armaghan. (2010). 4G Services – Market Opportunities and Implications. Retrieved from http://www.tmng.com/knowledge-center/insights/4g-services-market-opportunities-implications
Higginbotham, Stacey. (August 13, 2008). Countdown to 4G: Who’s Doing What, When. Retrieved from http://gigaom.com/2008/08/13/countdown-to-4g-whos-doing-what-when/
Ibrahim, Jawad. (2002). 4G Features. Bechtel Telecommunications Technical Journal, 1(1), 11 – 14.
Miller, Dave. (April 14, 2010). 3G Vs. 4G Network. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_6306621_3g-vs_-4g-network.html
Satalkar, Bhakti. (July 10, 2010). 4G vs 3G. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/4g-vs-3g.html

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