The world of mobile phones is probably the one that has evolved the most in the technological world in recent years. These changes have been influenced by the different developments of mobile connection networks for this type of device. From having the Internet in our hands to making immediacy something every day, we have seen numerous evolutions. For this reason, in this article, we are going to deal with the evolution of these wireless data networks.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What are G’s?
- 2.1 1G mobile network
- 2.2 2G mobile network
- 2.3 3G mobile network
- 2.4 4G mobile network
- 2.5 5G mobile network
- 2.6 6G mobile network
- 2.7 7G mobile network
- 3 Controversies of mobile networks
In the 1970s, when the first cell phones came on the market , they were big and cumbersome and could only be used for talking. It’s hard to understand now, but when SMS messages were integrated into mobile phones on 2G mobile networks, we got a new method of communication that would end up having a huge effect on our future.
The first big breakthrough came when the first network allowed us to have a fully functional Internet on our mobile phones, 3G, which later became 4G and its “blazing” speeds. We are currently experiencing the 5G revolution that seems to live in the future, but in reality we reside in the present. 6G is already being developed to dethrone current technology, but that’s the future, for now…
What are the G’s?
Nobody could imagine that the revolution would lead to modern networks and 5G in the past. The reality is that our lives are somehow controlled by telephone networks and mobile Internet connections, which have evolved over time into today’s highly debated and controversial 5G technology .
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) , which sets the specifications for telephone networks, oversees them. The IMT-Advanced committee, among other things, establishes the criteria for a technology to be considered contemporary.
The Gs is simply a way of identifying the generation of this type of technology. 5G would be the fifth in its generation, for example.
1G mobile network
The Tokyo metropolitan area was the first place to offer wireless mobile service based on 1G technology in 1979 . At that time it was still a mostly analog standard, which caused the first technological revolution. However, this technology had a fundamental flaw: only one individual at a time could use a specific frequency band.
1G networks were analog only and capable of transmitting only voice. At that time a narrow coverage was typical because this technology was still very primitive. Although the standards are largely identical around the world, the standards for this first type of mobile network were not applied uniformly, because they were the first of their kind. In Spain, the TMA was used, while in France the Radiocomm 200 was used, in Italy the RTMI and in the United Kingdom the TACS, which is one of the three that exist in Japan, including the TZ-801, the TZ-802, and the TZ-803.
2G mobile network
The first digital GSM network was the 2G system . It was born with the GSM specification. Network bandwidth was increased, leading to faster speeds and new features such as SMS, MMS, and WAP connection. A key sociocultural transformation occurred when SMS was first launched with a 2G network. The short messages of 160 characters, which altered the way we relate to each other, were among the first we sent.
The basis for this second generation, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) was developed in the 1980s and is still in use. A leap forward, although its slowness greatly limits the experience. Data transfer speeds vary between 56 kbps and 114 kbps , making it unsuitable for any Internet use.
Later the EDGE technology (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) or EGPRS (Enhanced GPRS) would arrive, it is an evolution of the previous GPRS system. When it was introduced, it was extremely vital, as it allowed to perform the same tasks as GPRS but with a higher level of fluidity, thanks to its speed of 384 Kbps.
Back then, it was already feasible to send large SMS, since it could be opened at a certain speed. EDGE technology is still used today, and you can recognize it if you look at your mobile, as it will show an E along with the coverage, indicating that it has an active EDGE connection.
Furthermore, EDGE paved the way for 3G quality…
3G mobile network
In the early 2000s, South Korea and Japan were the first nations to adopt the third generation of mobile Internet technology , while Spain was the first to adopt it in 2005. The UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) standard, which evolved Starting from the CDMA used in 2G networks, is the basis of this generation.
The 850, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz frequency bands are used, which offer more bandwidth. Internet reaches mobile phones with 3G, which has a download speed of 21 Mbps.
With 3G connections, data exchanges are faster and more reliable , so data can be used for more purposes, including media files, than were previously possible. When it was introduced, the connection speed of up to 2 Mbps was a big step forward in this area.
Later a new coverage would arrive under the designation “H”, indicating that it is 3G + technology . HSPDA technology was the standard for enhanced 3G. It provided users with up to 14.4 Mbps download. Even at the time, this was a very significant change.
There were other additional standards: HSUPA and HSPA+ (HSPA+ Evolved). The latter offers up to 84 Mbps download and 22 Mbps upload. The best thing about HSPA+ is that it allows you to upload files.
In 2008, the technology was called 3G LTE, that is, Long Term Evolution , a term used to indicate the evolution of a communication standard to improve its performance. The important thing about 3G LTE is the introduction of MIMO, Multiple Input , Multiple Output technology in mobile networks.
4G mobile network
The way we live our life has radically changed: We can now send emails with our mobile devices, download apps from the App Store, make video calls with Whatsapp and go beyond SMS with the help of other transfer apps. And all thanks to the new 4G LTE .
On June 27, 2011 (although the technology was developed in 2010), the day the license was granted, the story of LTE, the fourth-generation cellular network, began. Speeds are significantly faster than 3G, to accommodate the needs of new mobile communication and the Internet of Things (IoT) is already possible: HD and 4K video streaming, high-quality music streaming, and IoT, with devices, always connected and controlled anywhere.
It is based on the 3GPP standard . In theory, the speeds between which this connection moves are up to 150 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up.
It must be said that, as happened with 3G, there was also a 4G+, that is, an improved 4G connection. 4G + technology can reach download speeds of 300 Mbps and upload speeds of 50 Mbps. LTE Advanced, 4.5G, or LTE-A, was introduced in 2015 to improve 4G performance.
The 700 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies are used to provide this enhanced connectivity. By combining these frequencies, a speed increase of 100-150 Mbps is achieved, which represents an improvement of 50% compared to conventional 4G connections.
5G mobile network
In Spain, there are already many areas that have 5G wireless networks, but the true 5G will not be implemented for some time. NSA (Non Standalone) and SA (Standalone) are two types of current 5G technology. NSA technology cannot work independently on 5G networks and therefore requires current 4G infrastructure to work.
In other words, the new standard is used to connect our device to the antenna, but the 4G standard is used to connect the antennas, so we will never reach 5G speeds. With NSA technology you can achieve up to 2 Gbps download and up to 150 Mbps upload.
5G technology ensures extremely high reliability , higher connection speed, lower latency, and better performance than LTE when connecting a large number of devices. The frequencies planned for the transmission of the 5G signal are 700 MHz (TVs currently use this frequency), 3600-3800 MHz, and 26 GHz (which use higher than current electromagnetic waves).
With shorter distances between receiver and transmitter, data can be transmitted faster and more accurately, as long as obstacles are less of a problem. In addition, 5G promises to bring coverage to areas that until now were “paradises” without possible connectivity.
The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance defines “5G” as a standard capable of meeting the following scenarios:
- Speed – It is promised to be 100 times faster than conventional 4G. The maximum potential speed is 20 Gbps and this allows you to quickly download large amounts of data. For example: Downloading a movie takes a few seconds. Its speed is directly proportional to the number of clients that will connect to the network, so not everything is an advantage.
- Power Consumption – 5G cells are also known to have limited power consumption, even when under load. Therefore, they must be equipped with an energy saving mode for when they are in an idle state.
- Capacity: The data transmission capacity will increase, as does the speed. Therefore, there will also be new possibilities now not possible with the current 4G.
- Latency: It has a time interval between sending the signal and its reception that is 30 to 50 times less than 4G, which is much faster. This allows devices and appliances to be controlled remotely and in real-time (autonomous vehicles, remote surgical operations, road, port, and airport traffic management, IoT devices, Industry 4.0, real-time monitoring, etc.).
- Density: it allows connecting up to a million devices per km2, 100 times more than the current 4G, and without affecting the connection speed. It is precisely this characteristic that is most interesting for the IoT or the Internet of Things. In the future, networks will no longer be used only for mobile devices, but also for communication between objects, from household appliances to connected vehicles, through traffic signals, sensors, industrial machinery, toys, and much more. This, helped with cloud computing technologies, fog computing, and edge computing, would have endless possibilities in the future.
It is estimated that 5G will be available to 40% of the world’s population by the end of 2024 and that 1.5 billion people will be subscribed to it. 5G networks will be networks of networks, employing “Small Cells” (a technology similar to MIMO) that will provide widespread coverage in all environments by placing tiny antennas in a capillary fashion (more antennas with fewer emissions).
6G mobile network
5G has not yet been fully implemented and 6G is already beginning to be talked about . Many minds are already planning and developing what the future of mobile connectivity will be. It is expected that it could arrive by the year 2030, and it will come loaded with higher speed and also with news regarding 5G. But for now, it’s just science fiction.
Some of the features that could come with 6G include:
- Transfer speeds that would be expressed in Terabytes instead of gigabytes.
- The coverage will be even greater than with 5G, which already allows rural areas to be connected and could mean that with 6G practically the entire planet is under this coverage.
- Energy consumption will be reduced compared to the 5G network, which will be positive in many aspects where efficiency matters.
- The latency of these 6G networks will be lower than that of 5G, which means faster connections that will be almost instantaneous.
- It could be key to the development of technologies such as AI, robotics, Industry 5.0, among others.
7G mobile network
Even though 5G is not yet complete and 6G is beginning to be talked about, there is also information about what 7G could be, the future of connectivity. Of course, it will have higher frequencies, much lower latencies, and higher speeds. But it will also come with other very interesting possible improvements.
For example, there is talk that the 7G computing infrastructure will be capable of autonomously deciding the most appropriate place for things to be produced to do so in the fastest and most efficient way.
There is also talk of hypothetical 7G solutions such as:
- Cybersecurity threat detection.
- Greater control.
- Possibilities with new BCI interfaces (brain-computer interfaces).
- New possibilities for health control through biometric sensors in real-time for each patient.
- Anticipation of natural catastrophes helped by other technologies.
- Improvements for IoT management.
Mobile network controversies
Since recent mobile phone technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, no studies have been done on health effects, thus leaving many conspiracy theories and possible adverse effects running around the networks. Like the technology itself, concerns about the health effects of wireless transmissions are nothing new.
To date, and after extensive studies, there are no negative health effects that are causally attributed to wireless exposure, although it is still non-ionizing radiation to which exposure must be limited. There is no evidence in the scientific literature to suggest that people who use mobile phones are at increased risk of experiencing adverse health effects when recommended exposure guidelines are applied (devices must pass certain certifications in order to be sold).
On the other hand, the information that arrives through the networks must be taken with caution , since there are many interests behind it, both in saying that they are harmful and in saying the opposite. Without going any further, 5G has opened a geopolitical and technological war between the US and China, since the Asian giant has conquered this new technology before.
Despite the large number of studies carried out on the effects of mobile telephony on health in the last two or three decades, there is no evidence that the risk to health increases with exposures to EMF or EMF (ElectroMagnetic Fields) below the levels established by international organizations. Based on the available scientific evidence, there is no health risk associated with exposure to the lower levels of RF EMFs to which humans are exposed through mobile phones, cell towers, antennas, and 5G devices. Therefore, in principle, they would not be carcinogenic as some point out.
If, as we have seen above, children absorb higher amounts of radiation, they are more vulnerable to health effects due to their developing bodies, and will have greater cumulative exposure throughout their lives, because they are digital natives. For this reason, studies continue to be carried out and it is still a worrying issue.
The physiological effects of electromagnetic radiation vary as a function of frequency , so the advent of 5G has prompted a major international review of the relevant radiation safety guidelines, in which it was agreed that there was not enough data to allow a meaningful assessment of health risks. However, many governments are concerned and continue to commission studies from the scientific community.
Without going any further, some scientists ask the European Commission to delay the expansion of 5G networks until the possible risks to human health and the environment are fully investigated by scientists independent of the industry.
In addition, many people claim that they are sensitive to this type of electromagnetic radiation and that they suffer from various types of ailments when exposed to them. However, it is not something that is classified as a disease.
Despite the silence of many regarding new wireless communication technologies, the explosion of signals of this type has already been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and innumerable other health problems. Even with the arrival of 5G and vaccines , another controversy has been opened, although this last one without scientific foundations.
To conclude, say that it is important to have independent studies , not financed by governments or by companies that are interested in the implementation of this type of technology, since this implies manipulating the results to obtain the answer they are looking for, and not the truth. . Therefore, for the moment you can use all technologies in moderation, pending more relevant studies.
Also, read about How To Find iPhone With Apple Watch: The Super Easy Ways
Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.