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History of Mobile Communications

The history of mobile communications


can be divided into the following
categories:
First Generation (1G) Systems
Second Generation (2G) Systems

Third Generation (3G) Systems

1G
First
Generation
Systems
use
analog
communication techniques to transmit voice
data over the radio spectrum. There are a
number of different protocols for 1G systems.
These are:
Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) systems
Advanced Mobile Phone Services (AMPS)
Total Access Communication System (TACS)

The first cellular commercial systems were not


installed until the late 1970s with the
implementation of the Nordic Mobile Telephone
(NMT) system in Europe in 1979. There are two
versions of the NMT system, NMT-450 and
NMT-900.
These use different carrier frequencies and were
implemented in some countries because of lack
of capacity on the 450MHz bandwidth. The
Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) was
implemented in the US in 1982. The Total
Access Communication System (TACS) followed
in the UK in 1983.

The following table describes 1G systems that


have been implemented:
Base Tx
(MHz)
Base Rx
(MHz)
Multiple
Access
Method
Modulation
Technique
Radio Channel
Spacing
Number of
Channels
Spectrum
Allocation

AMPS

TACS

NMT450

NMT900

869-894

935-960

463-468

935-960

824-849

890-915

453-458

890-915

FDMA

FDMA

FDMA

FDMA

FM

FM

FM

FM

30 kHz

25 kHz

25 kHz

12.5 kHz

832

1000

200

1999

50 MHz

50 MHz

10 MHz

50 MHz

2G
For second generation systems digital radio
techniques are used. 2G systems have a much
higher capacity, greater security and more
advanced services than 1G systems. For 2G
systems a frequency channel is simultaneously
divided amongst several users using techniques
such as code division and time division. Current
2G mobile phones send and receive data at 9.6
kbps. 2G systems were introduced in the mid
1990s.

The main standards for 2G systems


are:
Global System for Mobile Communications
(GSM)
Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
Interim Standard 136 (IS-136) TDMA

For 2G systems different countries have adopted


different standards. However, by far the most
successful and widely used 2G system is the
GSM system. Only in North America has GSM
not reached a dominant position. GSM is the
main 2G system implemented throughout
Europe and Asia, as well as Australia.
GSM uses the 900MHz band, but there are also
several derivatives (GSM-1800, GSM-1900).
These differ in the frequency band used for the
carrier frequency.

The main reason for introducing the derivatives


was because of lack of capacity in the 900MHz
band. GSM is a Time Division Multiple Access
(TDMA) system.
CDMA is a 2G system where different
transmissions are separated by codes instead of
by other techniques. CDMA becomes very
important for 3G systems because 3G
communications is based on this technology.
CDMA will be discussed in depth later. CDMA
has been implemented throughout North
America as a 2G system

IS-136 is a 2G system also implemented in North


America. It is a digital upgrade of the AMPS 1G
system and it uses TDMA as its radio
transmission technology.

The following table shows the


differences between 2G technologies:
GSM

CDMA (IS-95)

IS-136

Base Tx (MHz)

925-960

869-894

851-866

Base Rx (MHz)
Multiple Access
Method
Modulation
Radio Channel
Spacing
Users/Channel
Number of
Channels
CODEC
Spectrum
Allocation

880-915

869-894

806-821

TDMA/FDMA

CDMA

TDMA

0.3 GMSK

QPSK

Pi/4DPSK

200 kHz

1.25 MHz

30 kHz

64

124

19

600

RELP-LTP/ACELP

CELP

ACELP

50 MHz

50 MHz

30 MHz

2.5G Systems
2G systems have limited capabilities due to their data
rate. A typical data rate for a 2G system is 9.6 kbps.

Generation 2.5 (2.5G) systems is a term which broadly


includes all advanced upgrades of the 2G systems. It is
the generation of mobile phones following 2G and can be
seen as a transitional stage between 2G and 3G systems.
The aim of upgrading the system is to increase the data
rate of the communication system. Generally, a 2.5G
GSM system includes at least one of the following
technologies:

High Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HSCSD)


General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution
(EDGE)
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA2000)
(phase 1)

Note that the line as to what is a 2.5G technology


and what is a 3G technology is somewhat blurry.
A 3G device is defined as a mobile device which
is capable of transmitting at 144 kbps. Note that
some of the technologies included in this report
are capable of transmitting at this data rate, but
their average user data rate is lower than 144
kbps.

The following table shows the


differences between 2G and 2.5G
systems:
Technology

Features

2G

2.5G

Phone Calls
Voice Mail
Receive Simple
text messages
Phone Calls
Fax Messages
Voice Mail
Send/receive large
email messages
Web Browsing
Video and Picture
Messaging

Average Data
Rate

Time to
download a 3
min MP3 song

10 kbps

31-41 min

64-144 kbps

6-9 min

3G
3G Mobile communications is defined as the
third
generation
of
wireless
(mobile)
communication technology. A 3G device will
provide a huge range of functionality to your
mobile phone. 3G devices will allow for
simultaneous transmission of speech, data, text,
video, pictures and audio. 3G networks have the
capability to provide the following services to
users:

Voice/phone services
High Speed mobile internet access
Entertainment on demand, including music and
movies
Mobile Video conferencing
Video and picture messaging capabilities
Mobile shopping services
Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast services. This
involves sending information to a particular
group of users (subscribers). An example of this
is sending news/sports updates to those users
that subscribe to this service.

3G devices will contain an all-in-one mobile


phone, palmtop computer and entertainment
system. The 3G device will contain a mobile
phone, high resolution screen, MP3 player,
camera, and user interfaces for the palmtop
computer (keyboard/mouse etc.)

A 3G network must be capable of providing


users with very fast data rates. The International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) defined a 3G
device as a device capable of transmitting at 144
kbps or more. Current 2G data rates are
approximately 9.6 kbps. The following table
gives a description of the advantages and
differences of 3G technology to earlier
technology (2G and 2.5G systems).

Technology

2G: The technology of most


current digital mobile

phones

2.5G Wireless: The best


technology now widely
available

3G Wireless: Combines a
mobile phone, laptop PC
and TV

Features

Transmission Speed

Average Time to
download a 3 min MP3
song

Phone Calls
Voice Mail
Receive simple data
files (text email
messages)

10 kbit/sec

31-41mins

64-144 kbit/sec

6-9 mins

Phone calls
Fax messages
Voice mail
Send/receive large
email messages
Web browsing

Phone calls
Fax messages
Global roaming
Send/receive large
email messages
High speed web
navigation and
browsing
Videoconferencing
TV streaming

144 kbit/sec for high


mobility traffic eg. in moving
car
384 kbits/sec for low mobility traffic
eg. user is travelling at walking pace
2 Mbits/sec in good conditions eg.
user is stationary

11sec-1.5 mins

There are many different competing standards


(protocols) for 3G technology. A protocol defines
the rules for which communication can take
place eg. what frequency spectrum and carrier is
used,
what
modulation/demodulation
techniques are used etc. The International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) considered
the proposals put forward by a number of groups
to provide 3G technology. The proposals which
were accepted by the ITU in IMT-2000 are as
follows:

Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), which is also


known as UMTS
Time-Division Synchronous CDMA (TDSCDMA)
CDMA2000