1) Compare and contrast 3G wireless networks to 4G networks in terms of:
a) Services and application
The emergence of 3G wireless network marked the first high speed data network whereas 4G wireless networks were created to replace the first ones. 4G networks are considered to be a new generation of mobile networks. The interest in 4G networks is due to the set of new services available among them constant access to the Internet anytime and from anywhere, wider support for multimedia applications, and global roaming.
3G network allows consumers to develop such apps as video conferencing, online billing system, etc. and it is a reliable platform for mobile phone games with animation and graphics. 4G networks provide the opportunity to use good mobile services including movie streaming and video, video calling, and video conferencing as it offers a high speed.
4G, unlike 3G wireless networks, is IP based. Every user that is connected to the Internet has an IP address making it easier to integrate the infrastructure of all current networks and access applications and services. The services of 4G include high definition mobile television,, 3D television, video conferencing, IP telephony and others.
Applications of 3G are CDMA 2000, UMTS, EDGE, and others, of 4G - WiMAX and LTE-Advance.
b) Network architecture
The mobile network of 3G is a network with a subsystem that is circuit-switched. The network relies on large connections of a satellite that are connected to telecommunication towers.
The 4G networks does not have a subsystem that is circuit-switched as it is based system of Internet Protocol (IP) that purely packet and uses a radio signal which is sent to a 4G cell site in case a user accesses a website.
c) Data throughput
The rate of data throughput for 3G is up to 3.1 Mbps providing 5 – 20MHz bandwidth whereas the rate of data throughput for 4G networks is 3 to 5 at a range of 100 to 300 Mbps with 100MHz bandwidth or even more.
d) User perceptions
3G network technologies are believed to be an essential addition to WAN access technologies, and a valuable tool in cases of rapid deployment, and support of remote or temporary locations. As phones are very often used as portable mini computers, they are widely used for their application rather than talking.
Many users are satisfied with the service provided by 3G wireless network. Its competitive pricing has users opportunity to access mobile technology. However, 4G networks have a lot of complaints concerning coverage areas. 3G network technologies are believed to be an essential addition to WAN access technologies, and a valuable tool in cases of rapid deployment, and support of remote or temporary locations.
2) Distinguish between the 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro networks based on:
a) Upload and download speeds
WiMax, Wibro, and LTE was designed with similar goals to enable network connectivity of worldwide wireless data for laptops, cell phones and other devices.
LTE provides downstream speed of 100 Mbps and upstream speed of 50 Mbps. The most advanced in the terms of speed is considered to be 4G LTE. One of the disadvantages is a relatively small coverage as the network is still under construction and is not available in all parts of the country. LTE is considered to be a favorite technology used by the leading carrier companies.
WiMAX is able to operate at the distance of 30 miles. Upstream and downstream speed is expected to be 70 Mbps, but actual 10 Mbps speed may be achieved at the distance of 10 km. The WiMAX physical layer architecture provides a high speed rate of data. It offers easy data scaling with possible channel bandwidth.
The WiBro base station provides from 30 to 50 Mbits per carrier. The coverage range is 70km along the radius of 4km. Transmission speeds for WiBro and WiMAX are same.
b) User perceptions
LTE is widely used due to its customer address control, security, enhanced customer experience, and services for diverse uses. WiMAX has been appreciated for the fact that it can offer voice and data services avoiding high expenses. Its ratio exceeds all other technology it has become the reason why the technology is accessed by millions of users. WiBro is offered as an alternative to WiMax, so followers of WiMAX easily use it feeling no difference between them. LTE is considered to be a favorite technology used by the leading carrier companies. The WiBro technology provides services of very high quality including loss responsive data inclusion and video streaming content inclusion. It is considered to be a great advantage over LTE and WiMAX technology.
c) Backward compatibility
LTE was developed to be backward compatible with HSPA and GSM. A WiMax standard of 802.16e (Mobile WiMax) was designed to be backwards compatible with its previous version. Both LTE and WiMax are backward compatible with 3G wireless network technologies.
d) Service availability
In general, users are happy with the 4G LTE services which are offered today, not taking into account problems with poor connectivity and sometimes absence of it. WiMax Service availability is very limited as it allows to be accessed only by users on the standard. Thus, any other user who is trying to access it will be cut off.
3) Identify why the competition between the 4G LTE carriers has been so fierce and describe the benefits of this competition to the subscribers.
One of the main reasons why there is a fierce competition between the 4G LTE carriers in an increasing number of customers, as well as availability speeds of mobile broadband that are competing with fixed technologies of the line access. When a person can move and have the same connectivity level and connection speed, the productivity will greatly increase. Among other reason of the competition are undeveloped countries, rural and remote areas which have no access to wired telephone infrastructures.
4) In January 2012, Verizon stated that 4G LTE is available in 190 cities covering 200 million American subscribers. According to AT&T’s Website, they had plans for covering 20 million Americans in 15 markets by the end of 2011. Conclude why Verizon is able to cover more markets than AT&T.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the two largest carriers of America due to the fact that they have control over the wireless market. In 2012 Verizon Wireless reported to have 111.3 million customers of wireless network whereas AT&T had only 105.2 million subscribers.
The Verizon 4G LTE network provides a variety of advantages over other 4G competitors as it makes the most advanced and the largest 4G network world wide. It is the only carrier with the C Block spectrum coverage of 700 MHz. The carrier launched its 4G network later than its competitors (in December, 2010) surprised the society by the speed it provides. 4G LTE network of the carrier supports a variety of 4G LTE devices which range from mobile hotspots and tablets to the sophisticated smartphones and other devices. Verizon has an opportunity to offer attractive data plans to the customers due to a huge customer base. It has data plans for various product and night web surfing.
Thus, Verizon was the first carrier in America that offered a 4G LTE network. Offering unlimited service plans it gained a huge number of users. 17 million users were obtained due to the company delivery of wholesale access through third party resellers.