4G is a term used to refer to the fourth generation of cellular wireless sets. It has been brought to the fore to replace 3G and 2G versions of standards. The very first idea was an analog cellular system that was based on Improved Mobile Telephone Service (IMTS) that was developed in 1970. Areas of coverage were divided into smaller cells each served using a low power transmitter and receptor thus the term "cellular". Improvement to this was by inventing the microprocessor together with digitizing the control link connecting the cell site and the mobile phone. This is the First Generation (1G) analog system (Seemab, 2010).Towards the end of 1980s, scientists came up with the Second Generation (2G) digital cellular systems that digitized the voice signal together with the control link. It was quite an improvement from the previous system and it provided much more capacity with much better quality at reduced costs. Access technology employed is the Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). It enhances the capacity of a spectrum and allows each user right of entry to the whole radio frequency channel within that short time of call.Seemab (2010) observes that wireless generations as viewed in the above cellular systems get faster and richer in features whenever newer technology is present. In the year 2001, the first 3G cellular system was developed. It ensured speedy communication anytime anywhere. It paved the way for facilitative innovative applications together with services. Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is the one used and it applies "spread" spectrum technology. For a very long period, it has always been used by military personnel as it is suited for encrypted transmissions. It enhances the capacity of the spectrum by permitting all users to engage all channels simultaneously. With CDMA, terminals can correspond with many other base stations at the same time.The background of 4G wireless technologies therefore can be summarized in terms of the steps involved, whereby the first was characterized by change from analog transmissions to digital, and the second signified by the introduction of things such as global roaming and increased data rates (PC Technology News and Analysis, 2010).
4G networks is an improvement in speed and possess an extra bandwidth as compared to3G networks. With it, one can surf the web, download music files and stream videos at a much faster rate while allowing opportunities for newer applications. This network was an original idea of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Peer to peer networking and end to end Internet Protocol has emerged as aspects of 4G recognizable with it (Global Trade Media, 2010).Long-Term Evolution, LTE has been assumed to have been the natural replacement of the recent 3G technologies. The reason for this is partly due to its application in updating UMTS networks to assure much faster rates of uploading and downloading data. So far, achievements have been made in the history of mobile communications, and attempts continue to be made so that a single universal standard of technologies is attained. The 4G concept of integration seems to be the route to provide this promise (Dept of EEE, 2009).Though 3G systems are available and still in good working condition, we require 4G networks due to their many opportunities in comparison with 3G. This technology most likely will lead to overcoming drawbacks of all other previous cellular technologies. With advancement in technology, costs of carrying out operations are very much reduced progressively. It is relatively cheaper and economical to use 4G technology. When looking at costs, there has been transitivity from commencement of discovery.Due to its affordability coupled with other desirable features, the other previous cellular technologies might soon become obsolete as subscribers shift their attention to it. A set of new and admirable services such as accessing the internet anytime from anywhere, enhanced ability for multimedia applications and global roaming will significantly lower costs specifically fueled by low-cost gadgets like netbooks and smart phones (PC Technology News and Analysis, 2010).
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Dept of EEE (2009) indicates that statistics show that with improvement in technology, the necessary bandwidth to be used for high speed data and the rate at which data can be passed cuts the cost significantly in comparison with current costs. However, the cost involved in managing, billing and issuing content over the network for the purpose of driving revenue so as to recover the initially high costs could prove to be a challenge for the service providers.Deployment of services might not be a rosy affair for the organizations involved. In conveying the spectral efficiency, there will be a need for establishment of base stations. Not one but several, since consumers' expectations which range in variety will increase ten-fold. This will involve capital costs and thus an extra burden. However, on the general there would be a global reduction in costs to the consumers.4G wireless technology has features that are unique to it and desirable, some of which have already been mentioned. The network boasts of higher bandwidths which enable provision of multimedia services at relatively lower costs. It will also ensure speedier internet connectivity to users and therefore a situation of better life streaming. The idea that the world is a global village because of technology will also come clear through video conferencing as it would transform e-commerce.Other characteristics of the technology include wider bandwidths, higher bitrates, global mobility through web roaming and service portability, fully Packet-Switched networks, elements of digital network, assured network security and scalability of mobile network. A good number of services, previously provided only by age-old circuit-switched networks can now be accessed on the internet as they have now been made available (Global Trade Media, 2010). Many other technologies are being invented to improve the quality of service ability of IP networks, among them are differentiated services and MPLS. This is due to the fact that most of these services necessitate certain levels of quality of service guarantees.The above features enable this type of technology to be utilized in different manners. 4G cellular technology is applied in the Admission Control for Cellular Packet Networks. Of interest, especially to users is how adaptable the application is and its dynamism as these are key in integration of the system's capabilities with other mobile technologies through more complex and advanced technologies (Dept of EEE, 2009). Telemedicine is one sure area of application of the technology. It can be explained using an example where a medical practitioner helping an accident casualty in a remote area could get access to medical records, for example X-rays and initiate a video conference to enable a remotely-based paramedic, a surgeon for that matter provide assistance at the scene.A detached database with graphical representations of buildings, streets and other physical properties of a metropolitan area can be supported by 4G location applications to enable subscribers using vehicles access to the data. Control of traffic can be done by establishing cameras with fibre on traffic lights. The images are transmitted back to a central command centre. This is also a form of fixed infrastructure in a way. During disaster, traffic control normally proves to be a difficult task. In case of a hurricane, 4G networks can allow officials access control boxes to alter inland traffic lanes to green. When there's disarray of the whole communications system, in case of natural disasters, the communication infrastructure could be set up within no time instead of days.