Technology Training

Wireless “G” technologies

Quite simply, the “G” stands for Generation, as in the next generation of wireless technologies. Each generation is supposedly faster, more secure and more reliable. The reliability factor is the hardest obstacle to overcome. 1G was not used to identify wireless technology until 2G, or the second generation, was released. That was a major jump in the technology when the wireless networks went from analog to digital. It’s all uphill from there. 3G came along and offered faster data transfer speeds, at least 200 kilobits per second, for multi-media use and was a long time standard for wireless transmissions regardless of what you heard on all those commercials when they told you you were getting a 4G connection.

It is still a challenge to get a true 4G connection, which promises upwards of a 1Gps, Gigabit per second, transfer rate if you are standing still and in the perfect spot. 4G LTE comes very close to closing this gap. True 4G on a wide spread basis may not be available until the next generation arrives. 5G?


What are the Standards of the G’s

Each of the Generations has standards that must be met to officially use the G terminology. Those standards are set by, you know, those people that set standards. The standards themselves are quite confusing but the advertisers sure know how to manipulate them. I will try to simplify the terms a bit.

1G – A term never widely used until 2G was available. This was the first generation of cell phone technology. Simple phone calls were all it was able to do. It was launched in Japan in 1979. It was completely analog technology and produced a lot of noise

2G – The second generation of cell phone transmission. A few more features were added to the menu such as simple text messaging. It was launched in Finland in 1991. Digital modulation was introduced making the system virtually noise free on voice calls.


  • Till 2G circuit switching was used, 2.5G onwards packet switching came into picture for data transmission
  • Data transmits at 64–144 kbps

2.75G (EDGE)

  • provides improved data rates
  • uses 8PSK encoding
  • EDGE is standardized by 3GPP as part of GSM family
  • it has three-fold capacity than GSM/GPRS
  • Applications: call forwarding, short messaging


3G – This generation set the standards for most of the wireless technology we have come to know and love. Web browsing, email, video downloading, picture sharing and other Smartphone technology were introduced in the third generation. 3G should be capable of handling around 2 Megabits per second. It was deployed in 2002. it increased the efficiency of spectrum by compressing audio. Applications: web browsing, high security, international roaming

4G – The speed and standards of this technology of wireless needs to be at least 100 Megabits per second and up to 1 Gigabit per second to pass as 4G. It also needs to share the network resources to support more simultaneous connections on the cell. As it develops, 4G could surpass the speed of the average wireless broadband home Internet connection. Few devices were capable of the full throttle when the technology was first released. Coverage of true 4G was limited to large metropolitan areas. Outside of the covered areas, 4G phones regressed to the 3G standards. When 4G first became available, it was simply a little faster than 3G. 4G is not the same as 4G LTE which is very close to meeting the criteria of the standards. came into picture in 2000 but deployed in 2010

The major wireless networks were not actually lying to anyone when 4G first rolled out, they simply stretched the truth a bit. A 4G phone had to comply with the standards but finding the network resources to fulfill the true standard was difficult. You were buying 4G capable devices before the networks were capable of delivering true 4G to the device. Your brain knows that 4G is faster than 3G so you pay the price for the extra speed. Marketing 101. The same will probably be true when 5G hits the markets.

What is 4G LTE?

4G LTE – Long Term Evolution – LTE sounds better. This buzzword is a version of 4G that is the latest advertised technology and is getting very close to the speeds needed as the standards are set. When you start hearing about LTE Advanced, then we will be talking about true fourth generation wireless technologies because they are the only two formats realized by the International Telecommunications Union as True 4G at this time. But forget about that because 5G is coming soon to a phone near you. Then there is XLTE which is a bandwidth charger with a minimum of double the bandwidth of 4G LTE and is available anywhere the AWS spectrum is initiated.

What is the new 5G?

There are rumors of 5G being tested although the specifications of 5G have not been formally clarified. We can expect that new technology to be rolled out around 2020 but in this fast-paced world it will probably be much sooner than that. Seems like a long ways away but time flies and so will 5G at speeds of 1-10Gbps. will support data rate >1Gpbs

Applications: Driverless Car, Radio Surgery, 8K video transmission




What’s the difference between wireless 4G and my wireless connection at home?

Wireless 4G is transmitted by mobile phone towers to a SIM card in your phone or tablet. You cWan pick this up anywhere there is a mobile signal.

Home wireless comes from you ADSL/Cable or NBN router which is connected by a cable running into your house. It then sends the signal wirelessly around your house. When you leave your house the signal drops, and the connection is lost.

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