Since the introduction of first commercial mobile phone in 1983 by Motorola, mobile technology has come a long way. Be it technology, protocols, services offered or speed, the changes in mobile telephony have been recorded as generation of mobile communication. Here we will discuss the basic features of these generations that differentiate it from the previous generations.
1G refers to the first generation of wireless mobile communication where analog signals were used to transmit data. It was introduced in the US in early 1980s and designed exclusively for voice communication. Some characteristics of 1G communication are −
2G refers to the second generation of mobile telephony which used digital signals for the first time. It was launched in Finland in 1991 and used GSM technology. Some prominent characteristics of 2G communication are −
When GPRS technology was introduced, it enabled web browsing, e-mail services and fast upload/download speeds. 2G with GPRS is also referred as 2.5G, a step short of next mobile generation.
Third generation (3G) of mobile telephony began with the start of the new millennium and offered major advancement over previous generations. Some of the characteristics of this generation are −
Data speeds of 144 kbps to 2 Mbps
High speed web browsing
Running web based applications like video conferencing, multimedia e-mails, etc.
Fast and easy transfer of audio and video files
Every coin has two sides. Here are some downsides of 3G technology −
The intermediate generation, 3.5G grouped together dissimilar mobile telephony and data technologies and paved way for the next generation of mobile communication.
Keeping up the trend of a new mobile generation every decade, fourth generation (4G) of mobile communication was introduced in 2011. Its major characteristics are −