5G: Five things to know

It is heralded as an essential step to a brave new world of technology, but in the here and now, super-fast 5G networking is already pitting China against the West.

Intel withdraws from 5G smartphone modem business

US electronics giant Intel said Tuesday it was withdrawing from the 5G smartphone modem business, hours after Apple and American microchip manufacturer Qualcomm announced they had clinched an agreement to end a battle over ...

Beyond 5G: The next generation

For many of us, when we send a text or make a call from our cell phones, we're relying on 4G. Though for as much as we rely on it, very few of us know what it actually means. In reality, the "G" in these terms only stands ...

Mobile price wars as Indian tycoon pledges free 4G

Outside a tiny Reliance store in a trendy Mumbai neighbourhood, residents queued for hours this week for a new SIM card promising free data—and a dramatic reshaping of the Indian mobile landscape.

Sri Lanka takes stake in Google balloon Internet venture

Sri Lanka's government announced Monday it would take a 25 percent stake in a joint venture with Google designed to deliver a high-speed Internet service powered by balloons and that tests would begin this month.

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4G

In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).

A 4G system is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to laptop computer wireless modems, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Facilities such as ultra-broadband Internet access, IP telephony, gaming services, and streamed multimedia may be provided to users.

IMT-Advanced compliant versions of LTE and WiMAX are under development and called "LTE Advanced" and "WirelessMAN-Advanced" respectively. ITU has decided that LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. On December 6, 2010, ITU recognized that current versions of LTE, WiMax and other evolved 3G technologies that do not fulfill "IMT-Advanced" requirements could nevertheless be considered "4G", provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced and "a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed."

As seen below, in all suggestions for 4G, the CDMA spread spectrum radio technology used in 3G systems and IS-95 is abandoned and replaced by OFDMA and other frequency-domain equalization schemes. This is combined with MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out), e.g., multiple antennas, dynamic channel allocation and channel-dependent scheduling.

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