4G is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology, succeeding 3G. A 4G system must provide capabilities defined by ITU in IMT Advanced. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.

The first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard was commercially deployed in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden in 2009, and has since been deployed throughout most parts of the world. It has, however, been debated whether first-release versions should be considered 4G LTE, as discussed in the technical understanding section below.

Technical understandings

In March 2008, the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector (ITU-R) was specified a set of requirements for 4G standards, named the International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced (IMT-Advanced) specification, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s)(=12.5 megabytes per second) for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 gigabit per second (Gbit/s) for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).[1]

Since the first-release versions of Mobile WiMAX and LTE support much less than 1 Gbit/s peak bit rate, they are not fully IMT-Advanced compliant, but are often branded 4G by service providers. According to operators, a generation of the network refers to the deployment of a new non-backward-compatible technology. On December 6, 2010, ITU-R recognized that these two technologies, as well as other beyond-3G technologies that do not fulfill the IMT-Advanced requirements, could nevertheless be considered "4G", provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced compliant versions and "a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed".[2]

Mobile WiMAX Release 2 (also known as WirelessMAN-Advanced or IEEE 802.16m') and LTE Advanced (LTE-A) are IMT-Advanced compliant backwards compatible versions of the above two systems, standardized during the spring 2011, and promising speeds in the order of 1 Gbit/s. Services were expected in 2013.

As opposed to earlier generations, a 4G system does not support traditional circuit-switched telephony service, but all-Internet Protocol (IP) based communication such as IP telephony. As seen below, the spread spectrum radio technology used in 3G systems is abandoned in all 4G candidate systems and replaced by OFDMA multi-carrier transmission and other frequency-domain equalization (FDE) schemes, making it possible to transfer very high bit rates despite extensive multi-path radio propagation (echoes). The peak bit rate is further improved by smart antenna arrays for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) communications.

Backgrounds of 4G

In the field of mobile communications, a "generation" generally refers to a change in the fundamental nature of the service, non-backwards-compatible transmission technology, higher peak bit rates, new frequency bands, wider channel frequency bandwidth in Hertz, and higher capacity for many simultaneous data transfers (higher system spectral efficiency in bit/second/Hertz/site).

New mobile generations have appeared about every ten years since the first move from 1981 analog (1G) to digital (2G) transmission in 1992. This was followed, in 2001, by 3G multi-media support, spread spectrum transmission and, at least, 200 kbit/s peak bit rate, in 2011/2012 to be followed by "real" 4G, which refers to all-Internet Protocol (IP) packet-switched networks giving mobile ultra-broadband (gigabit speed) access.

While the ITU has adopted recommendations for technologies that would be used for future global communications, they do not actually perform the standardization or development work themselves, instead relying on the work of other standard bodies such as IEEE, The Wi MAX Forum, and 3GPP.

In the mid-1990s, the ITU-R standardization organization released the IMT-2000 requirements as a framework for what standards should be considered 3G systems, requiring 200 kbit/s peak bit rate. In 2008, ITU -R specified the IMT – Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G systems.

The fastest 3G-based standard in the UMTS family is the HSPA+ standard, which is commercially available since 2009 and offers 28 Mbit/s downstream (22 Mbit/s upstream) without MIMO, i.e. only with one antenna, and in 2011 accelerated up to 42 Mbit/s peak bit rate downstream using either DC-HSPA+ (simultaneous use of two 5 MHz UMTS carriers)[3] or 2x2 MIMO. In theory speeds up to 672 Mbit/s are possible, but have not been deployed yet. The fastest 3G-based standard in the CDMA2000 family is the EV-DO Rev. B, which is available since 2010 and offers 15.67 Mbit/s downstream.

Frequencies for 4G LTE Networks

Mobile 4G network uses several frequencies which are:

700 MHz (Band 28 - Telstra / Optus)
850 MHz (Band 5 - Vodafone)
900 MHz (Band 8 - Telstra)
1800 MHz (Band 3 - Telstra / Optus / Vodafone)
2100 MHz (Band 1 - [a small number of Telstra sites] / Optus [Tasmania] / Vodafone)
2300 MHz (Band 40 - Optus [Vivid Wireless spectrum])
2600 MHz (Band 7 - Telstra / Optus)

In Australia, the 700 MHz band was previously used for analogue television and became operational with 4G in December 2014.[4] The 850 MHz band is currently operated as a 3G network by Telstra and as a 4G network by Vodafone in Australia.[5]

IMT-Advanced requirements

This article refers to 4G using IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced), as defined by ITU-R. An IMT-Advanced cellular system must fulfill the following requirements:[6]

  • Be based on an all-IP packet switched network.
  • Have peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access.[1]
  • Be able to dynamically share and use the network resources to support more simultaneous users per cell.
  • Use scalable channel bandwidths of 5–20 MHz, optionally up to 40 MHz.[1][7]
  • Have peak link spectral efficiency of 15-bit/s/Hz in the downlink, and 6.75-bit/s/Hz in the up link (meaning that 1 Gbit/s in the downlink should be possible over less than 67 MHz bandwidth).
  • System spectral efficiency is, in indoor cases, 3-bit/s/Hz/cell for downlink and 2.25-bit/s/Hz/cell for up link.[1]
  • Smooth handovers across heterogeneous networks.

In September 2009, the technology proposals were submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as 4G candidates.[8] Basically all proposals are based on two technologies.:

Implementations of Mobile WiMAX and first-release LTE are largely considered a stopgap solution that will offer a considerable boost until WiMAX 2 (based on the 802.16m spec) and LTE Advanced are deployed. The latter's standard versions were ratified in spring 2011, but are still far from being implemented.[6]

The first set of 3GPP requirements on LTE Advanced was approved in June 2008.[9] LTE Advanced was to be standardized in 2010 as part of Release 10 of the 3GPP specification. LTE Advanced will be based on the existing LTE specification Release 10 and will not be defined as a new specification series. A summary of the technologies that have been studied as the basis for LTE Advanced is included in a technical report.[10]

Some sources consider first-release LTE and Mobile WiMAX implementations as pre-4G or near-4G, as they do not fully comply with the planned requirements of 1 Gbit/s for stationary reception and 100 Mbit/s for mobile.

Confusion has been caused by some mobile carriers who have launched products advertised as 4G but which according to some sources are pre-4G versions, commonly referred to as '3.9G', which do not follow the ITU-R defined principles for 4G standards, but today can be called 4G according to ITU-R. Vodafone NL for example, advertised LTE as '4G', while advertising now LTE Advanced as their '4G+' service which actually is (True) 4G. A common argument for branding 3.9G systems as new-generation is that they use different frequency bands from 3G technologies ; that they are based on a new radio-interface paradigm ; and that the standards are not backwards compatible with 3G, whilst some of the standards are forwards compatible with IMT-2000 compliant versions of the same standards.

System standards

IMT-2000 compliant 4G standards

As of October 2010, ITU-R Working Party 5D approved two industry-developed technologies (LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced)[11] for inclusion in the ITU's International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced program (IMT-Advanced program), which is focused on global communication systems that will be available several years from now.

LTE Advanced

See also: 4GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) below

LTE Advanced (Long Term Evolution Advanced) is a candidate for IMT-Advanced standard, formally submitted by the 4GPP organization to ITU-T in the fall 2009, and expected to be released in 2013. The target of 3GPP LTE Advanced is to reach and surpass the ITU requirements.[12] LTE Advanced is essentially an enhancement to LTE. It is not a new technology, but rather an improvement on the existing LTE network. This upgrade path makes it more cost effective for vendors to offer LTE and then upgrade to LTE Advanced which is similar to the upgrade from WCDMA to HSPA. LTE and LTE Advanced will also make use of additional spectrums and multiplexing to allow it to achieve higher data speeds. Coordinated Multi-point Transmission will also allow more system capacity to help handle the enhanced data speeds. Release 10 of LTE is expected to achieve the IMT Advanced speeds. Release 8 currently supports up to 300 Mbit/s of download speeds which is still short of the IMT-Advanced standards.[13]

Data speeds of LTE-Advanced
LTE Advanced
Peak download 1000 Mbit/s
Peak upload 0500 Mbit/s

IEEE 802.16m or WirelessMAN-Advanced

The IEEE 802.16m or WirelessMAN-Advanced evolution of 802.16e is under development, with the objective to fulfill the IMT-Advanced criteria of 1 Gbit/s for stationary reception and 100 Mbit/s for mobile reception.[14]

Forerunner versions

3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE)

See also: LTE Advanced above
Samsung 4G LTE modem-4
Telia-branded Samsung LTE modem

The pre-4G 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is often branded "4G – LTE", but the first LTE release does not fully comply with the IMT-Advanced requirements. LTE has a theoretical net bit rate capacity of up to 100 Mbit/s in the downlink and 50 Mbit/s in the uplink if a 20 MHz channel is used — and more if multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), i.e. antenna arrays, are used.

The physical radio interface was at an early stage named High Speed OFDM Packet Access (HSOPA), now named Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA). The first LTE USB dongles do not support any other radio interface.

The world's first publicly available LTE service was opened in the two Scandinavian capitals, Stockholm (Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks systems) and Oslo (a Huawei system) on December 14, 2009, and branded 4G. The user terminals were manufactured by Samsung.[15] As of November 2012, the five publicly available LTE services in the United States are provided by MetroPCS,[16] Verizon Wireless,[17] AT&T Mobility, U.S. Cellular,[18] Sprint,[19] and T-Mobile US.[20]

T-Mobile Hungary launched a public beta test (called friendly user test) on 7 October 2011, and has offered commercial 4G LTE services since 1 January 2012.

In South Korea, SK Telecom and LG U+ have enabled access to LTE service since 1 July 2011 for data devices, slated to go nationwide by 2012.[21] KT Telecom closed its 2G service by March 2012, and complete the nationwide LTE service in the same frequency around 1.8 GHz by June 2012.

In the United Kingdom, LTE services were launched by EE in October 2012,[22] and by O2 and Vodafone in August 2013.[23]

Data speeds of LTE
Peak download 0100 Mbit/s
Peak upload 0050 Mbit/s

Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e)

The Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e-2005) mobile wireless broadband access (MWBA) standard (also known as WiBro in South Korea) is sometimes branded 4G, and offers peak data rates of 128 Mbit/s downlink and 56 Mbit/s uplink over 20 MHz wide channels.

In June 2006, the world's first commercial mobile WiMAX service was opened by KT in Seoul, South Korea.[24]

Sprint has begun using Mobile WiMAX, as of 29 September 2008, branding it as a "4G" network even though the current version does not fulfill the IMT Advanced requirements on 4G systems.[25]

In Russia, Belarus and Nicaragua WiMax broadband internet access were offered by a Russian company Scartel, and was also branded 4G, Yota.[26]

Data speeds of WiMAX
Peak download 0128 Mbit/s
Peak upload 0056 Mbit/s

In the latest version of the standard, WiMax 2.1, the standard have been updated to be not compatible with earlier WiMax standard, and is instead interchangeable with LTE-TDD system, effectively merging WiMax standard with LTE.

TD-LTE for China market

Just as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX are being vigorously promoted in the global telecommunications industry, the former (LTE) is also the most powerful 4G mobile communications leading technology and has quickly occupied the Chinese market. TD-LTE, one of the two variants of the LTE air interface technologies, is not yet mature, but many domestic and international wireless carriers are, one after the other turning to TD-LTE.

IBM's data shows that 67% of the operators are considering LTE because this is the main source of their future market. The above news also confirms IBM's statement that while only 8% of the operators are considering the use of WiMAX, WiMAX can provide the fastest network transmission to its customers on the market and could challenge LTE.

TD-LTE is not the first 4G wireless mobile broadband network data standard, but it is China's 4G standard that was amended and published by China's largest telecom operator – China Mobile. After a series of field trials, is expected to be released into the commercial phase in the next two years. Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson's vice president said: "the Chinese Ministry of Industry and China Mobile in the fourth quarter of this year will hold a large-scale field test, by then, Ericsson will help the hand." But viewing from the current development trend, whether this standard advocated by China Mobile will be widely recognized by the international market is still debatable.

Discontinued candidate systems

UMB (formerly EV-DO Rev. C)

UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) was the brand name for a discontinued 4G project within the 3GPP2 standardization group to improve the CDMA2000 mobile phone standard for next generation applications and requirements. In November 2008, Qualcomm, UMB's lead sponsor, announced it was ending development of the technology, favouring LTE instead.[27] The objective was to achieve data speeds over 275 Mbit/s downstream and over 75 Mbit/s upstream.


At an early stage the Flash-OFDM system was expected to be further developed into a 4G standard.

iBurst and MBWA (IEEE 802.20) systems

The iBurst system (or HC-SDMA, High Capacity Spatial Division Multiple Access) was at an early stage considered to be a 4G predecessor. It was later further developed into the Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) system, also known as IEEE 802.20.

Principal technologies in all candidate systems

Key features

The following key features can be observed in all suggested 4G technologies:

  • Physical layer transmission techniques are as follows:[28]
    • MIMO: To attain ultra high spectral efficiency by means of spatial processing including multi-antenna and multi-user MIMO
    • Frequency-domain-equalization, for example multi-carrier modulation (OFDM) in the downlink or single-carrier frequency-domain-equalization (SC-FDE) in the uplink: To exploit the frequency selective channel property without complex equalization
    • Frequency-domain statistical multiplexing, for example (OFDMA) or (single-carrier FDMA) (SC-FDMA, a.k.a. linearly precoded OFDMA, LP-OFDMA) in the uplink: Variable bit rate by assigning different sub-channels to different users based on the channel conditions
    • Turbo principle error-correcting codes: To minimize the required SNR at the reception side
  • Channel-dependent scheduling: To use the time-varying channel
  • Link adaptation: Adaptive modulation and error-correcting codes
  • Mobile IP utilized for mobility
  • IP-based femtocells (home nodes connected to fixed Internet broadband infrastructure)

As opposed to earlier generations, 4G systems do not support circuit switched telephony. IEEE 802.20, UMB and OFDM standards[29] lack soft-handover support, also known as cooperative relaying.

Multiplexing and access schemes

Recently, new access schemes like Orthogonal FDMA (OFDMA), Single Carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA), Interleaved FDMA, and Multi-carrier CDMA (MC-CDMA) are gaining more importance for the next generation systems. These are based on efficient FFT algorithms and frequency domain equalization, resulting in a lower number of multiplications per second. They also make it possible to control the bandwidth and form the spectrum in a flexible way. However, they require advanced dynamic channel allocation and adaptive traffic scheduling.

WiMax is using OFDMA in the downlink and in the uplink. For the LTE (telecommunication), OFDMA is used for the downlink; by contrast, Single-carrier FDMA is used for the uplink since OFDMA contributes more to the PAPR related issues and results in nonlinear operation of amplifiers. IFDMA provides less power fluctuation and thus requires energy-inefficient linear amplifiers. Similarly, MC-CDMA is in the proposal for the IEEE 802.20 standard. These access schemes offer the same efficiencies as older technologies like CDMA. Apart from this, scalability and higher data rates can be achieved.

The other important advantage of the above-mentioned access techniques is that they require less complexity for equalization at the receiver. This is an added advantage especially in the MIMO environments since the spatial multiplexing transmission of MIMO systems inherently require high complexity equalization at the receiver.

In addition to improvements in these multiplexing systems, improved modulation techniques are being used. Whereas earlier standards largely used Phase-shift keying, more efficient systems such as 64QAM are being proposed for use with the 3GPP Long Term Evolution standards.

IPv6 support

Unlike 3G, which is based on two parallel infrastructures consisting of circuit switched and packet switched network nodes, 4G is based on packet switching only. This requires low-latency data transmission.

As IPv4 addresses are (nearly) exhausted,[Note 1][30] IPv6 is essential to support the large number of wireless-enabled devices that communicate using IP. By increasing the number of IP addresses available, IPv6 removes the need for network address translation (NAT), a method of sharing a limited number of addresses among a larger group of devices, which has a number of problems and limitations. When using IPv6, some kind of NAT is still required for communication with legacy IPv4 devices that are not also IPv6-connected.

As of June 2009, Verizon has posted Specifications [2] that require any 4G devices on its network to support IPv6.[31]

Advanced antenna systems

The performance of radio communications depends on an antenna system, termed smart or intelligent antenna. Recently, multiple antenna technologies are emerging to achieve the goal of 4G systems such as high rate, high reliability, and long range communications. In the early 1990s, to cater for the growing data rate needs of data communication, many transmission schemes were proposed. One technology, spatial multiplexing, gained importance for its bandwidth conservation and power efficiency. Spatial multiplexing involves deploying multiple antennas at the transmitter and at the receiver. Independent streams can then be transmitted simultaneously from all the antennas. This technology, called MIMO (as a branch of intelligent antenna), multiplies the base data rate by (the smaller of) the number of transmit antennas or the number of receive antennas. Apart from this, the reliability in transmitting high speed data in the fading channel can be improved by using more antennas at the transmitter or at the receiver. This is called transmit or receive diversity. Both transmit/receive diversity and transmit spatial multiplexing are categorized into the space-time coding techniques, which does not necessarily require the channel knowledge at the transmitter. The other category is closed-loop multiple antenna technologies, which require channel knowledge at the transmitter.

Open-wireless Architecture and Software-defined radio (SDR)

One of the key technologies for 4G and beyond is called Open Wireless Architecture (OWA), supporting multiple wireless air interfaces in an open architecture platform.

SDR is one form of open wireless architecture (OWA). Since 4G is a collection of wireless standards, the final form of a 4G device will constitute various standards. This can be efficiently realized using SDR technology, which is categorized to the area of the radio convergence.

History of 4G and pre-4G technologies

The 4G system was originally envisioned by the DARPA - the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA selected the distributed architecture and end-to-end Internet protocol (IP), and believed at an early stage in peer-to-peer networking in which every mobile device would be both a transceiver and a router for other devices in the network, eliminating the spoke-and-hub weakness of 2G and 3G cellular systems.[32] Since the 2.5G GPRS system, cellular systems have provided dual infrastructures: packet switched nodes for data services, and circuit switched nodes for voice calls. In 4G systems, the circuit-switched infrastructure is abandoned and only a packet-switched network is provided, while 2.5G and 3G systems require both packet-switched and circuit-switched network nodes, i.e. two infrastructures in parallel. This means that in 4G traditional voice calls are replaced by IP telephony.

  • In 2002, the strategic vision for 4G — which ITU designated as IMT Advanced— was laid out.
  • In 2004, LTE was first proposed by NTT DoCoMo of Japan.[33]
  • In 2005, OFDMA transmission technology is chosen as candidate for the HSOPA downlink, later renamed 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) air interface E-UTRA.
  • In November 2005, KT Corporation demonstrated mobile WiMAX service in Busan, South Korea.[34]
  • In April 2006, KT Corporation started the world's first commercial mobile WiMAX service in Seoul, South Korea.[35]
  • In mid-2006, Sprint announced that it would invest about US$5 billion in a WiMAX technology buildout over the next few years[36] ($6.21 billion in real terms[37]). Since that time Sprint has faced many setbacks that have resulted in steep quarterly losses. On 7 May 2008, Sprint, Imagine, Google, Intel, Comcast, Bright House, and Time Warner announced a pooling of an average of 120 MHz of spectrum; Sprint merged its Xohm WiMAX division with Clearwire to form a company which will take the name "Clear".
  • In February 2007, the Japanese company NTT DoCoMo tested a 4G communication system prototype with 4×4 MIMO called VSF-OFCDM at 100 Mbit/s while moving, and 1 Gbit/s while stationary. NTT DoCoMo completed a trial in which they reached a maximum packet transmission rate of approximately 5 Gbit/s in the downlink with 12×12 MIMO using a 100 MHz frequency bandwidth while moving at 10 km/h,[38] and is planning on releasing the first commercial network in 2010.
  • In September 2007, NTT Docomo demonstrated e-UTRA data rates of 200 Mbit/s with power consumption below 100 mW during the test.[39]
  • In January 2008, a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spectrum auction for the 700 MHz former analog TV frequencies began. As a result, the biggest share of the spectrum went to Verizon Wireless and the next biggest to AT&T.[40] Both of these companies have stated their intention of supporting LTE.
  • In January 2008, EU commissioner Viviane Reding suggested re-allocation of 500–800 MHz spectrum for wireless communication, including WiMAX.[41]
  • On 15 February 2008, Skyworks Solutions released a front-end module for e-UTRAN.[42][43][44]
  • In November 2008, ITU-R established the detailed performance requirements of IMT-Advanced, by issuing a Circular Letter calling for candidate Radio Access Technologies (RATs) for IMT-Advanced.[45]
  • In April 2008, just after receiving the circular letter, the 3GPP organized a workshop on IMT-Advanced where it was decided that LTE Advanced, an evolution of current LTE standard, will meet or even exceed IMT-Advanced requirements following the ITU-R agenda.
  • In April 2008, LG and Nortel demonstrated e-UTRA data rates of 50 Mbit/s while travelling at 110 km/h.[46]
  • On 12 November 2008, HTC announced the first WiMAX-enabled mobile phone, the Max 4G[47]
  • On 15 December 2008, San Miguel Corporation, the largest food and beverage conglomerate in southeast Asia, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar Telecom QSC (Qtel) to build wireless broadband and mobile communications projects in the Philippines. The joint-venture formed wi-tribe Philippines, which offers 4G in the country.[48] Around the same time Globe Telecom rolled out the first WiMAX service in the Philippines.
  • On 3 March 2009, Lithuania's LRTC announcing the first operational "4G" mobile WiMAX network in Baltic states.[49]
  • In December 2009, Sprint began advertising "4G" service in selected cities in the United States, despite average download speeds of only 3–6 Mbit/s with peak speeds of 10 Mbit/s (not available in all markets).[50]
  • On 14 December 2009, the first commercial LTE deployment was in the Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo by the Swedish-Finnish network operator TeliaSonera and its Norwegian brandname NetCom (Norway). TeliaSonera branded the network "4G". The modem devices on offer were manufactured by Samsung (dongle GT-B3710), and the network infrastructure created by Huawei (in Oslo) and Ericsson (in Stockholm). TeliaSonera plans to roll out nationwide LTE across Sweden, Norway and Finland.[51][52] TeliaSonera used spectral bandwidth of 10 MHz, and single-in-single-out, which should provide physical layer net bitrates of up to 50 Mbit/s downlink and 25 Mbit/s in the uplink. Introductory tests showed a TCP throughput of 42.8 Mbit/s downlink and 5.3 Mbit/s uplink in Stockholm.[53]
  • On 4 June 2010, Sprint released the first WiMAX smartphone in the US, the HTC Evo 4G.[54]
  • On November 4, 2010, the Samsung Craft offered by MetroPCS is the first commercially available LTE smartphone[55]
  • On 6 December 2010, at the ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar 2010, the ITU stated that LTE, WiMax and similar "evolved 3G technologies" could be considered "4G".[2]
  • In 2011, Argentina's Claro launched a pre-4G HSPA+ network in the country.
  • In 2011, Thailand's Truemove-H launched a pre-4G HSPA+ network with nationwide availability.
  • On March 17, 2011, the HTC Thunderbolt offered by Verizon in the U.S. was the second LTE smartphone to be sold commercially.[56][57]
  • In February 2012, Ericsson demonstrated mobile-TV over LTE, utilizing the new eMBMS service (enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service).[58]

Since 2009 the LTE-Standard has strongly evolved over the years, resulting in many deployments by various operators across the globe. For an overview of commercial LTE networks and their respective historic development see: List of LTE networks. Among the vast range of deployments many operators are considering the deployment and operation of LTE networks. A compilation of planned LTE deployments can be found at: List of planned LTE networks.

United Kingdom

On 5 April 2018, the UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, announced the results of a spectrum auction of the 2.3 GHz band (for improved 4G capacity) and the 3.4 GHz band for future 5G mobile services.[59]

Beyond 4G research

A major issue in 4G systems is to make the high bit rates available in a larger portion of the cell, especially to users in an exposed position in between several base stations. In current research, this issue is addressed by macro-diversity techniques, also known as group cooperative relay, and also by Beam-Division Multiple Access (BDMA).[60]

Pervasive networks are an amorphous and at present entirely hypothetical concept where the user can be simultaneously connected to several wireless access technologies and can seamlessly move between them (See vertical handoff, IEEE 802.21). These access technologies can be Wi-Fi, UMTS, EDGE, or any other future access technology. Included in this concept is also smart-radio (also known as cognitive radio) technology to efficiently manage spectrum use and transmission power as well as the use of mesh routing protocols to create a pervasive network.

See also


  1. ^ The exact exhaustion status is difficult to determine, as it is unknown how many unused addresses exist at ISPs, and how many of the addresses that are permanently unused by their owners can still be freed and transferred to others.


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  15. ^ "how to download youtube videos in jio phone – 4G/LTE — Ericsson, Samsung Make LTE Connection — Telecom News Analysis". quickblogsoft.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
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  27. ^ Qualcomm halts UMB project, Reuters, November 13th, 2008
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External links

Preceded by
3rd Generation (3G)
Mobile Telephony Generations Succeeded by
5th Generation (5G)
(currently under formal research & development)

3G, short for third generation, is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology. It is the upgrade for 2G and 2.5G GPRS networks, for faster internet speed. This is based on a set of standards used for mobile devices and mobile telecommunications use services and networks that comply with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union. 3G finds application in wireless voice telephony, mobile Internet access, fixed wireless Internet access, video calls and mobile TV.

3G telecommunication networks support services that provide an information transfer rate of at least 0.2 Mbit/s. Later 3G releases, often denoted 3.5G and 3.75G, also provide mobile broadband access of several Mbit/s to smartphones and mobile modems in laptop computers. This ensures it can be applied to wireless voice telephony, mobile Internet access, fixed wireless Internet access, video calls and mobile TV technologies.

A new generation of cellular standards has appeared approximately every tenth year since 1G systems were introduced in 1979 and the early to mid-1980s. Each generation is characterized by new frequency bands, higher data rates and non–backward-compatible transmission technology. The first 3G networks were introduced in 1998 and 4G networks in 2008.


5G (from "5th Generation") is the latest generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE-A, WiMax), 3G (UMTS, LTE) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance targets high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity. The first phase of 5G specifications in Release-15 will be completed by April 2019 to accommodate the early commercial deployment. The second phase in Release-16 is due to be completed by April 2020 for submission to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a candidate of IMT-2020 technology.The ITU IMT-2020 specification demands speeds of up to 20 Gbit/s, achievable with wide channel bandwidths and massive MIMO. 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is going to submit 5G NR (New Radio) as its 5G communication standard proposal. 5G NR can include lower frequencies (FR1), below 6 GHz, and higher frequencies (FR2), above 24 GHz and into the millimeter waves range. However, the speed and latency in early deployments, using 5G NR software on 4G hardware (non-standalone), are only slightly better than new 4G systems, estimated at 15% to 50% better. Simulation of standalone eMBB deployments showed improved throughput between 2.5×, in the FR1 range, and nearly 20×, in the FR2 range.

Droid Razr M

The Droid Razr M (Motorola XT905/XT906/XT907) is an Android-based, 4G LTE-capable smartphone designed by Motorola as a smaller successor to the Droid Razr. It was advertised as "The full screen phone" with thin edges, though it lacked a robust resolution. It came with a light skin of Android (operating system) for Verizon Wireless (XT907), SoftBank Mobile (XT902), and Telstra as well as an unbranded retail version for the Australian market (both XT905). The Electrify M (XT901) for U.S. Cellular is a CDMA handheld with a different housing, but otherwise same specification as the Razr M.

EE Limited

EE (formerly Everything Everywhere) is a British mobile network operator, internet service provider and a division of BT Group. It was established in 2010 as a 50:50 joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom (now Orange S.A.) through the merger of their respective T-Mobile and Orange businesses in the UK. It is the largest mobile network operator in the UK, with 29.6 million customers and the largest operator of 4G services in Europe.It was acquired by BT in January 2016 and subsequently became a second consumer division, operating alongside BT Consumer following BT's new organisational structure that took effect in April 2016. It retained its brand, network and retail stores while its business operations became part of newly formed BT Business and Public Sector division, and its MVNO operations became part of newly formed BT Wholesale and Ventures division. On 28 July 2017, BT announced organisational changes to "simplify its operating model, strengthen accountabilities and accelerate its transformation" and involves bringing together its BT Consumer and EE divisions into a new unified BT Consumer division that will operate across three brands – BT, EE and Plusnet. It will take effect from 1 April 2018.EE has its headquarters in Hatfield in the UK and also has main offices in BT Centre in London, Bristol, Darlington, Doxford, Greenock, Merthyr Tydfil, North Tyneside, Plymouth and Leeds. As of 23 November 2016, EE's 4G & 2G networks' combined coverage reaches more than 99% of the UK population, with double speed 4G reaching 80% while EE’s 3G network reaches 98% of the population.

HTC Amaze 4G

Not to be confused with the T-Mobile myTouch 4G.The HTC Ruby (known as the HTC Amaze 4G in United States and Canada) is a smartphone developed by the HTC Corporation. It was released by T-Mobile in the United States on 10 October 2011. It was first released in Canada by Telus on 4 November 2011. Subsequently, other Canadian carriers such as Mobilicity and Wind Mobile have released this phone on 1 December 2011 and 2 December 2011, respectively. Marketed as being equipped “with the most advanced camera of any smartphone”, the device is armed with an 8-megapixel camera, a 1080p HD video recorder, a backside illuminated sensor for improved low light performance, and a dual LED flash. In addition to having a great camera, the Amaze 4G features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 1.5 GHz dual core processor, a 4.3-inch qHD super LCD multi-touch display, and 1 GB of RAM. The HTC Amaze 4G was released with version 2.3.4 of the Android operating system. Starting from May 21, 2012, some HTC Amaze devices were upgradeable to Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. The HTC Amaze 4G also features a huge resource of aftermarket ROM's.

HTC Evo 4G

The HTC Evo 4G (trademarked in capitals as EVO 4G, also marketed as HTC EVO WiMAX ISW11HT in Japan) is a smartphone developed by HTC Corporation and marketed as Sprint's flagship Android smartphone, running on its WiMAX network. The smartphone launched on June 4, 2010 and was the first 4G enabled smartphone released in the United States.


The HTC Evo 4G LTE is an Android smartphone developed by HTC Corporation to be released exclusively by Sprint. A successor to the previous HTC Evo 4G and 3D models, the Evo 4G LTE supports Sprint's LTE cellular network and its current-generation EV-DO network. The Evo 4G LTE shares features with its GSM counterpart, the HTC One X—such as the same dual-core 1.5 GHz processor used by the One X's LTE variant, a 4.7-inch screen, and Android 4.1 with HTC's Sense 4.0 interface. The Evo 4G LTE was also the first phone built with an all aluminum frame, leaving only a small plastic piece to allow the Sim and micro sd cards to be installed.

After a slight delay imposed by a patent infringement lawsuit, the Evo 4G LTE began shipping on May 24, 2012 to customers who pre-ordered the phone on Sprint's website. It was then released on a nationwide basis on June 2, 2012.

HTC Evo Design 4G

The HTC EVO Design 4G (also known as the HTC Hero S on US Cellular and CSpire) is an Android powered smartphone released by Sprint Nextel on October 23, 2011 and by Boost Mobile on May 30, 2012. It is the fourth HTC phone in their EVO line. Notable features include a qHD display, an aluminum semi-monocoque form, world phone connectivity (multi-band), and a smaller overall size compared to most Android phones. The single-core processor and questionable battery life have left the phone with a mixed reception. The EVO Design 4G is also Sprint's last 4G phone utilizing its WiMAX network.On May 30, 2012, Boost Mobile released the EVO Design 4G as a pre-paid phone, shipping with Android 4.0 and Sense 3.6 pre-installed, an update that later became available for the Sprint version.

HTC Evo Shift 4G

The HTC Evo Shift 4G (trademarked in capitals as EVO Shift 4G or The Evo Has an Alter Evo) is a smartphone developed by HTC Corporation and marketed as the concurrent/sequel to Sprint's flagship Android smartphone, running on its 4G WiMAX network. The smartphone launched on January 9, 2011.

HTC Raider 4G

The HTC Raider 4G (codenamed HTC Holiday, also known as the HTC Vivid and HTC Velocity 4G) is a smartphone which was released on September 21, 2011, in South Korea. The phone is manufactured by HTC Corporation and runs Android 2.3 with included HTC Sense 3.0. It has since been upgradable to Android 4.0.3 with HTC Sense 3.6 in certain markets.

On October 27, 2011, the phone was announced in Canada, with an underclocked 1.2 GHz dual-core processor for Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility.

The phone was released in the United States as the HTC Vivid on November 6, 2011, by AT&T as their first LTE-enabled device. It also shipped with the 1.2 GHz underclocked processor as the Canadian variants.

As the HTC Velocity 4G, the phone was released in Australia by Telstra on January 24, 2012, as their first LTE-enabled device. It was announced in Hong Kong on February 1, 2012, by Hong Kong CSL as their first LTE-enabled device which only supports the 2600 MHz LTE band. Vodafone Germany announced it on February 8, 2012, as their first LTE-enabled device.

As of February 11, 2013, the HTC Vivid is still available online at AT&T for $.01 with a new or existing contract and a Required data plan.


Not to be confused with Reliance Communications

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, d/b/a Jio, is an Indian mobile network operator. Owned by Reliance Industries and headquartered in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, it operates a national LTE network with coverage across all 22 telecom circles. Jio does not offer 2G or 3G service, and instead uses voice over LTE to provide voice service on its network.Jio soft launched on 27 December 2015 (the eve of what would have been the 83rd birthday of Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani), with a beta for partners and employees, and became publicly available on 5 September 2016. As of 31 December 2018, it is the third largest mobile network operator in India and the nineth largest mobile network operator in the world with over 280.117 million subscribers.On 5 July 2018, fixed line broadband service named Gigafiber, was launched by the Reliance Industries Limited's chairman Mukesh Ambani, during the company's Annual General Meeting.

LTE (telecommunication)

In telecommunication, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals, based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. It increases the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. The standard is developed by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and is specified in its Release 8 document series, with minor enhancements described in Release 9. LTE is the upgrade path for carriers with both GSM/UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks. The different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries mean that only multi-band phones are able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.

LTE is commonly marketed as 4G LTE & Advance 4G, but it does not meet the technical criteria of a 4G wireless service, as specified in the 3GPP Release 8 and 9 document series for LTE Advanced. LTE is also commonly known as 3.95G. The requirements were originally set forth by the ITU-R organization in the IMT Advanced specification. However, due to marketing pressures and the significant advancements that WiMAX, Evolved High Speed Packet Access and LTE bring to the original 3G technologies, ITU later decided that LTE together with the aforementioned technologies can be called 4G technologies. The LTE Advanced standard formally satisfies the ITU-R requirements to be considered IMT-Advanced. To differentiate LTE Advanced and WiMAX-Advanced from current 4G technologies, ITU has defined them as "True 4G".

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their air arms.The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record, and an absolute altitude record.The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War. It served as the principal air superiority fighter for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war. During the Vietnam War, one U.S. Air Force pilot, two weapon systems officers (WSOs), one U.S. Navy pilot and one radar intercept officer (RIO) became aces by achieving five aerial kills against enemy fighter aircraft. The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force, the F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. It was also the only aircraft used by both U.S. flight demonstration teams: the USAF Thunderbirds (F-4E) and the US Navy Blue Angels (F-4J). The F-4 was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms, acquired before the fall of the Shah, in the Iran–Iraq War. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built, making it the most produced American supersonic military aircraft. As of 2018, 60 years after its first flight, the F-4 remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey. The aircraft has most recently been in service against the Islamic State group in the Middle East.

Motorola Atrix 4G

The Motorola Atrix 4G (also known as MB860, ME860 in Asia market, MB861 in Korean market) is an Android-based smartphone by Motorola, introduced in CES 2011 on January 5, 2011. It was made available in the first quarter of 2011. It was introduced along with three other products, Motorola Xoom, Motorola Droid Bionic, and Motorola Cliq 2. It uses an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor. It is the first phone to use the PenTile qHD display with 24-bit graphics. The Motorola Atrix 4G is carried by the following wireless providers: AT&T Wireless US, Orange UK, Bell Canada CAN, Telstra AU. AT&T released Atrix on March 6. It won CNET Best of CES 2011 Award in the Smartphone category, and won nine awards at CES 2011. With the launch of the Motorola Atrix 4G at CES 2011, Motorola and Google had been working together to integrate the software with the hardware.

Nokia 8110 4G

Nokia 8110 4G is a Nokia-branded mobile phone developed by HMD Global. It was announced on 25 February 2018 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, as a revival of the original Nokia 8110, which was popularly known as the "Matrix phone" or "banana phone". It runs on an operating system based on KaiOS, and through the company's partnership with Google also features Google services like Maps and Assistant.

Samsung Galaxy S

The Samsung Galaxy S is a touchscreen-enabled, slate-format Android smartphone designed, developed, and marketed by Samsung Electronics. It is the first device of the third Android smartphone series produced by Samsung. It was announced to the press in March 2010 and released for sale in June 2010.

The Galaxy S is produced in over two dozen variations. The international 'GT-I9000' reference version features a 1 GHz ARM "Hummingbird" processor, a PowerVR graphics processor, 2 or 4 GB of internal flash memory, a 4 in (10 cm) 480×800 pixel Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi connectivity, a 5-megapixel primary camera and a 0.3-megapixel secondary front-facing camera. Derivative models may include localized cellular radios or changes to button layouts, keyboards, screens, cameras or the Android OS.

At the time of its release, the Galaxy S included the fastest graphical processing of any smartphone, was the thinnest smartphone at 9.9 mm and was the first Android phone to be certified for DivX HD.As of 2013, over 25 million Galaxy S units have been sold. The Galaxy S name continued on with the semi-related Snapdragon-based Galaxy S Plus and NovaThor-based Galaxy S Advance smartphones. The next major release of the series was the Samsung Galaxy S II.

In 2012, Samsung introduced the dual SIM version of the Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S Duos.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G LTE

The Samsung Galaxy S 4G LTE also known as the Droid Charge (Verizon), Galaxy S Aviator (U.S. Cellular) and Galaxy S Lightray 4G (MetroPCS, includes DyleTV), is an Android smartphone manufactured by Samsung. It has a 1 GHz "Hummingbird" processor, front and rear cameras, and CDMA and 4G LTE radios. It was announced at CES 2011 under the name Samsung Galaxy S 4G LTE device. It is available from Verizon Wireless.

Samsung Infuse 4G

The Samsung Infuse 4G is an Android smartphone that was released by Samsung in May 2011. It has a 1.2 GHz "Hummingbird" processor with 8–16 GB internal Flash memory, a 4.5 inch 480×800 pixel Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen display, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.This is the third phone released in AT&T's HSDPA+ range. In 2011, the Samsung Infuse 4G passed FCC certification. On 5 May, Samsung, at their conference in New York, announced that the phone would be available to market on 15 May.

T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide

The T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide is a touchscreen slider smartphone designed and manufactured by HTC Corporation for T-Mobile USA's "myTouch" series of phones. It is the fourth of the myTouch family. The myTouch 4G Slide is the first myTouch to feature HTC Espresso 3.0, a graphical user interface similar to HTC Sense 3.0. Highlights include an 8-megapixel camera, the Genius Button, and a hardware keyboard.The myTouch 4G Slide was unveiled on the T-Mobile website on July 11, 2011. Pre-orders began on July 14, 2011, and the phone was launched on July 26.

and health
0G radio telephones (1946)
1G (1979)
2G (1991)
2G transitional
(2.5G, 2.75G)
3G (2001)
3G transitional
(3.5G, 3.75G, 3.9G)
4G (2009)
IMT Advanced (2013)
5G (IMT-2020)
(under development)
Related articles

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