What is evolutionary process of cellular networks?

Cellular network is fundamental technology for mobile phones, personal communication systems, wireless networking etc. The technology is planned to replace high power transmitter/receiver systems for cell radio phones. For data transmission, cellular networks use lower capacity, shorter range, and more transmitters.


Prior to the advent of cellular technology, there were few mobile telephone systems in the late 1940s such as car-based telephone systems. The push to talk technique was used here. Later, Mobile Telephone System (MTS) and Improved MTS (IMTS) were introduced to support a larger number of mobile stations.

In 1979, the first 1G cellular network was launched in Japan. In 1981, the first international cellular network, Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) systems, came to operation in Nordic countries.

In 1983, two other 1G systems, Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) and Total Access Communication System (TACS) were introduced in the US and other European countries including the UK, Italy, respectively.

Generation Evolution of Cellular Network

Let us see the generation evolution of cellular network as explained below:

First generation

Step 1 − 1G networks had a channel capacity of 30KHz and a speed of 2.4kbps based on an analogue technology known as the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), which used Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) modulation.

Step 2 − 1G networks only made it possible to make voice calls, suffered from problems of reliability and signal interference and had little protection against hackers.

Second generation

Step 1 − Based on the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) digital signalling technology, which improved protection and power, 2G networks provided bandwidths from 30KHz to 200KHz and allowed users to send SMS and MMS messages up to 64kbps, albeit at low speeds.

Step 2 − The implementation of the so-called 2.5G, which implemented packet switching in the form of GPRS, contributed to continuous improvement of GSM technology.

Third generation

Step 1 − The main goal of 3G was to promote high-speed data, also based on GSM, and the initial 3G technology authorised data speeds of up to 14 Mbps.

Step 2 − 3G has allowed users to make video calls, surf the web, share files, play online games, and even watch TV online with its ability to transfer higher volumes of data at higher speeds.

Step 3 − Whereas 2G networks will allow the download of a 3-minute MP3 song in about 6-9 minutes.

Fourth generation

Step 1 − The launch of 4G really ushered in the age of smartphones and mobile handheld devices.

Step 2 − 4G is the first generation to use Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology to have potential download rates between 10 Mbps and 1 Gbps, delivering improved latency (less buffering) for end users, enhanced voice quality, instant messaging and social network services, streaming quality and higher download speeds.

Step 3 − 4G is also the first mobile IP based network that handles voice as just another service and is evolving the infrastructure to meet the quality of service (QoS) and rate requirements. Realizing that 4G/LTE networks would inevitably exceed capacity, the 5G requirement specification was specified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2015.

Fifth generation

Step 1 − The ITU specification for 5G is a step-change in performance over 4G and aims to address the requirements of the emerging applications.

Step 2 − The ITU assigned the concept of the 5G technical requirements to the 3rd Generation Collaboration Project, the Global Standards Body (3GPP).