An insight on 4G Technology


Today, I used the 4G Airtel Data Card for the first time, while sitting at the Bangalore Airport. 3G technology has been around for 10 years, believe it or not, and it’s high time for the next mobile telecommunication technology to seep in. 4G, short for Fourth Generation, is creating the buzz around the world as the successor. Apart from the usual voice and message services offered by 3G, 4G offers mobile ultra-broadband internet access to laptops, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Simply put, it can give you the same or greater data speeds as home or office Wi-Fi when you’re in a taxi. In hotels and airports, it’s often faster than public Wi-Fi networks.

Who decides the 4G Standard? In March 2008, the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector (ITU-R) specified a set of requirements for 4G standards, named the International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced (IMT-Advanced) specification, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 gigabit per second (Gbit/s) for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users). Currently there are two potential candidates who are contenders for complying to the 4G standard defined by ITU. These are LTE and WiMAX.

4G vs 3G? The spread spectrum radio technology used in 3G systems, is abandoned in all 4G candidate systems and replaced by OFDMA multi-carrier transmission and other frequency-domain equalization (FDE) schemes, making it possible to transfer very high bit rates despite extensive multi-path radio propagation (echoes). The peak bit rate is further improved by smart antenna arrays for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) communications.

Your area has no 4G Network? In that case, you may fall back to a 3G network. On some services, you fall back to HSPA+, which is a slower 4G network, but still faster than 3G. airtel 4G LTE is currently only available in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune & Chandigarh, and will be coming soon to many more cities. Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilize RCOM’s nationwide intra-city fiber network for accelerated roll-out of 4g services in India.

Compatibility of your phone with 4G?  There can be signification issues on 3G network to upgrade to 4G as many of them were not built on forward compatibility.Mobile WiMAX Release 2 (also known as WirelessMAN-Advanced or IEEE 802.16m’) and LTE Advanced (LTE-A) are IMT-Advanced compliant backwards compatible versions of the above two systems, standardized during the spring 2011 and promising speeds in the order of 1 Gbit/s.

What to expect from 4G? Like other 4G LTE service providers, Airtel will give you a speed of around 5Mbps to 15Mbps. This speed is good for those who wants to download huge games from web, upload HD quality videos or even stream them on bigger screens. People also get 2Mbps of download speed on 4G network , so don’t get super excited after purchasing a 4G network. 

What’s Next? 5G! Expected to be introduced in the early 2020s.

Switch to 4G!!

ipTV Technology, the future of Television?

TVWe bought our new TV today. No, we did not. Our landlord got bored of his 1980’s TV. Before I could apply my research in buying a set top box for that antique piece, my landlord sent us the Digital Set top Box downstairs, for free. But if you do have a choice to buy a Set Top Box, go for an ipTV.

Introduction: ipTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. Instead of traditional boring transmission through terrestrial, satellite signal, and the good old cable television formats, in ipTV, television services are delivered using the Internet Protocol Network such as LAN and Internet. ipTV is not Internet TV and Internet TV is not Web TV( for all-not-so-obvious-reasons, but lets stick to the topic).  ipTV offers Triple Play Services, i.e. a one stop solution for Live TV, Internet and Telephone over the same broadband connection. The weather can’t play much of a spoil spot as the services are offered over broadband (there will be problems when we switch to satellite internet, which is not recommended).

Features: There are indeed some features in the ipTV that can really make the job of a TV salesman very easy. Let us look at some of them:- Live TV:  Live TV or Radio channel feeds broadcasted or multicasted over Internet Protocol network. Time Shifted TV:  You can Start, Stop, Record, Pause, Play Live TV channels at your convenience.Video on Demand: Unicast Services on the subscriber’s demands to deliver required content(videos, movies, documentaries). VoIP Telephony: Extension of VoIP features like SMS, Voice messages, OTT services, FAX, voice calls, call forwarding, etc.     


iptv2The diagram shows the IP network architecture supported by an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Infrastructure. Let me simplify the functional blocks for an easy understanding. There are three functional layers in the architecture: Service Layer (ipTV application platform), Control Layer (ipTV Controller) and the Media Layer (Transport Stream and Content Management). ipTV application platform is the user interaction portal with functionalities like Electronic Service Guide, Video on Demand. ipTV controller block is the functional block that provides interface to the IMS core and all session control functionalities like SIP, HTTP, etc. ITF (ipTV Terminal Function) performs the functionalities of encoding/decoding, buffering for both unicast and multicast streams and handles display and interactivity functions. The Media Layer, deserves a detailed explanation.

Your desired TV channels are picked up from satellites and the data is decrypted at the video processing servers. The raw streams are compressed into digital formats like MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. There are so many channels today. So the multiple channel streams are multiplexed (packed) into a single transport stream. The streams are packetized and sent over the IP network. The IP packets reach your home through a broadband access like DSL, where a splitter is used to separate out the TV from regular broadband (telephone and internet services). The desired channel can then be tuned into from the set top box. In the case of Video on Demand, the content is accessed by the subscriber over a unicast stream.

ipTV Manufacturers in India: With the digitization of the set top box services, it’s a golden opportunity to try out the ipTV Set Top Box! Airtel and Cisco are few good options to choose from.