Mobile Communication Technologies for Dummies.

Different communication technologies and then the different standards between countries and upon it the non-stop introduction of wireless gadgets often makes me confused and eventually I mix up the concepts. Now I decided to make myself a simple/easy to understand table for a quick review of these technologies.

Generation Name Year Frequency Data Rate
1G AMPS – Advanced Mobile Phone System (using FDMA) 1980’s 800 – 900 MHz
1G D-AMPS – Digital AMPS (adding TDMA to AMPS) 800 – 900 MHz
2G IS-95 (using CDMA) 1990’s 800 MHz
2G GSM – Global System for Mobile Communication (using TDMA) 1990’s 900 – 1800 MHz
2G GSM GPRS – General Packer Radio Services (by 3GPP*) 2000 144 Kbps
2.5G 1xRTT – One Time Radio Transmission Technology (by 3GPP2**) 2002 144 Kbps
2.5G EDGE – Enhanced Data GSM Environment (by 3GPP) 2003 384 Kbps
3G UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunication System 2002 1885 – 2025 MHz 1.92 Mbps
3G UMTS HSDPA – High Speed Downlink Packet Access 2002 14.4 Mbps
3G EV-DO – 1x-Evolution-Data Optimized (using CDMA) (by 3GPP2) 2.4 Mbps
3G EV-DO Rev. A (by 3GPP2) 3.1 Mbps
3G EV-DO Rev. B (by 3GPP2) 4.9 Mbps
4G UMB *** – Ultra Mobile Broadband (by 3GPP2) 288 Mbps downstream
4G LTE – Long Term Evolution (by 3GPP) 2009 1920 Mhz – 3600 Mhz 100 Mbps downstream 30 Mbps upstream

* – 3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Body responsible of up-gradation of GSM networks in Europe, Japan, North America, South Korea.

** – 3GPP2 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Body responsible for up-gradation of CDMA networks in US   (also South Korea and Japan.)

*** – Instead of adopting UMB, it has now been decided favoring LTE instead by the service providers.

4G is currently implemented in Sweden and South Korea. UK has recently declared licenses for 4G service provision. While in Pakistan 2.5G EDGE is currently implemented but not a single provider has upgraded to 3G. Huawei did implemented a couple of experimental 3G sites but its not sure where some operator would adopt it in near future.

P.S: Stuff here has been collected from various online resources and there might be some errors. So please do point them out so I can correct them.

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