About Third Generation ( 3G)

Third Generation

Third Generation ,3G ,2G

Among the many questions asked about 3G, one of the most frequent is ‘Why do we
need it?’. The answer lies in the planning. 2G was a response to a need for cheaper,
more reliable, mobile communications which could easily cross international boundaries.
The technology evolved through different phases which can be roughly characterized
as: speech → speech related services → data services. Mobile Internet access was not
initially envisaged, and this is why GSM has had to be supplemented with such things
as HSCSD, GPRS and EDGE in the final phase (phase 2+). 3G, on the other hand, was
intended from the outset to enable high bit-rate mobile data services (in addition to speech
calls and traditional services) and has been planned accordingly.
The evolution towards 3G and beyond is happening on different levels. On the technological
level we have a new radio access network, the UTRAN (UMTS radio access
network), which interfaces with the GSM circuit switched (CS) core network for speech
calls and the GPRS packet oriented (PO) core network for data transfer. On the services
level, GSM required the addition of first the intelligent networks (IN) platform, to enable
a greater variety of national services, and then the CAMEL (customized applications for
mobile network enhanced logic) platform to make these services available while roaming
outside the home PLMN. Modifications were needed to the radio access technology to
enable high speed data services to be implemented. UMTS has been designed so that the
services provided to the end-user are independent of the radio access technology.
On the network level, the current evolutionary trend is towards so called ‘all-IP’
networks. The convergence of CS and PO technologies already begun with the implementation
of GPRS will reach its logical conclusion at some point in the future when the
radio access networks, GERAN (GSM/EDGE radio access network) and UTRAN, will
connect directly to a packet data network. Speech will be carried as voice over IP (VoIP)
and will be routed from the source to the destination in the same way that other data
packets are routed from one application to another.
The technological evolution from FDMA in 1G, through the combination of FDMA and
TDMA in 2G, and on to CDMA in 3G, is a clear progression with each new development
seeking to solve the problems of the previous generation. The evolution of the services
offered to the end-user, however, is not such a linear process and thus a clear development
path is difficult to identify. Providers are using the Internet as a base to offer their content
and services to end-users with a great variety of terminal equipment. To maximize their
revenues, they need to reach the maximum possible number of people and so must serve
users with equipment from different phases and different generations. SMS, HSCSD,
GPRS and WAP can all be used as means to bring value added services to the user and
here is where the real strength of GPRS can be seen. The GPRS infrastructure can be
utilized to deliver SMS and WAP services to both GSM and UMTS users. Here again
we see evolution resulting in convergence. The implementation of GPRS was originally
seen as a bridge between 2G and 3G but in actual fact has resulted in developments that
have a direct affect on both generations.

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