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!!