Generations of Wireless communication

People are getting connected easily with others using the network for sharing data. The data is transmitted from the sender side to the client side either in a wired or wireless connection and the mode of medium will be guided or unguided. For the wired way of data transmission, the connections can be chosen from the coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, and twisted pair cable. Wireless Communication emerged in the 19th century and is used in every field of communication.

Wireless Communication

Data communication occurs in the unguided medium when the sender and receiver are not physically connected but use the free space as a medium for transmission using the antennas. The data transmission either uses Radio waves or microwaves to transmit wirelessly between the devices.

Generation of Wireless Communication

Martin Cooper is the man behind the evolution of wireless communication. It initially invented a device that wirelessly transmitted data and is considered the first generation of mobile communication. The various generations of wireless communication are −

  • 1G

  • 2G

  • 3G

  • 4G

  • 5G

1G Wireless Communication

1G was introduced in the USA. The first generation is the initial step to today’s technology and was introduced in the year the 1980s. Using the 1G technology, we can only make voice calls. The data is transmitted between the devices using analog signals. Out of the two types of frequency modulation, analog Frequency modulation is used and modulates the data signals in the form of sine waves.

Features of 1G wireless communication

  • The Operating frequency of 1G is 800 MHz and 900 MHz.

  • The Maximum rate of speed can be up to 2.5Kbps.

  • The Capacity of data to transmit via 1G will have a bandwidth of 30 KHz.

Drawbacks of 1G Technology

  • Only the voice can be transmitted in 1G and its quality is very low.

  • Mobile Phones cannot have a long life in battery usage and are very bigger which is very difficult to carry.

2G Wireless Communication

2G was introduced in Finland. To have advancement over the 1G, the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) was introduced. In the current technology, every system has the basis of GSM. This generation is responsible for the upgradation from voice calls to MMS (Multimedia Messaging System) and SMS (Short Message Systems).

Features of 2G wireless communication

  • The Digital frequency modulation or digital communication technique is used to transmit the data in the form of 0’s and 1’s of 1.8GHz.

  • The data speed of 2G is nearly up to 64 Kbps.

  • The Voice quality also improved from 1G, it supports both voice and data.

  • This generation is responsible for using the internet at a low speed using GPRS.

Drawbacks of 2G Technology

  • It needs strong network coverage for data transmission.

  • Even though it helps in sending messages, it cannot handle videos for transmission.

2.5G and 2.75G Wireless Communication

Before moving to 3G technology, various data transfer technologies were involved in increasing the data rate.

The First is the GPRS with a high data rate of 171kbps. Using the packet switching technique, the data is transferred, by dividing the data into small packets for an easy mode of transmission.

The Second technology is the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM) with an increased data rate of up to 473.6 Kbps. Later the technology used is CDMA with a data rate of 384 Kbps.

Features of 2.5G and 2.75G technology

  • It supports Email transmission and Internet browsing and also features cameras in cellular phones.

3G Wireless Communications

3G was introduced in Japan. It comes with data transfer technology such as UMTS (Universal Mobile Terrestrials System) for use in smartphones. With this feature, we can have the video calling option and play games online on cellular phones.

Features of 3G Technology

  • It supports both voice and data with a data rate of 3.1 Mbps.

  • The Internet Service provided is broadcast.

  • It has high security and international roaming.

Drawbacks of 3G Technology

  • The power consumption of using 3G technology is high.

  • It provides a wider capacity for data transmission at a faster speed.

  • The time taken to download via 3G is faster and more expensive to buy.

4G Wireless Communications

3G was introduced in South Korea. Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is data technology used and it provides faster data rate to upload and download data.

Features of 4G Technology

  • The Data rate provides a capacity of 100Mbps to 1Gbps and is highly securable by using the Encryption Technique.

  • The Internet Service provided by 4G is Ultra-Broadband.

  • It provides high speed and global mobility using the internet and International calls.

Drawbacks of 4G technology

  • It provides costlier hardware and infrastructure setup.

  • Due to the high data rate speed, the battery usage is less.

5G Wireless Communications

The technology which is currently implemented gives the user a high data rate. To support this high data rate for transmission it uses multi-meter waves and some unauthorized spectrum. The data transfer technology used is LTE advanced, OMA (Orthogonal Multiple access), and NOMA (Non-Orthogonal Multiple access).

Features of 5G Technology

  • The Internet service used is an ultra-fast mobile network.

  • It provides consumers with high security and a trustable transmission.


The Evolution of technology from the first to the current fifth Generation has its advantages and disadvantages. Currently, the fifth generation supports wwww (Wireless World Wide Web). The Technologies are updated according to the increased need and specifications of the user to turn globally wireless. It will be keeping emerging and provides greater speed of data and mainly a secured transmission.

Updated on: 03-May-2023

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