The history of connectivity: 4G and beyond
You are stranded in an unknown place and you have little to no idea about that place, what do you do? You have an important exam and at the last moment you are informed about a topic you can’t seem to find in your book, what do you do? You are sitting in a group and someone starts a discussion on a current issue in the news about which you have no idea, what do you do? In all these scenarios you will resort to the information present on the internet. And for you to find the relevant data you will need a good internet connection.
The First Generation
When networks first came out around the 1980s, called as the old-school (first generation) networks, they were analog and they carried only voice calls. And then entered the 2G network in the early 1990s which allowed the basic data services such as text messaging and email. Around the early 2000s, 3G networks started making their mark and so started the concept of the mobile internet. Panasonic India was the world’s first brand to unveil 3G phones with NTT DoCoMo and also the world’s slimmest 3G phones were launched by Panasonic in the year 2013.
With a fast connection like such, you could surf the web and play any streaming audio. Internet started to provide web-centric mobile capabilities and that’s when people began to become more aware of what a wondrous thing internet was. With the increasing demand for data, network infrastructure had to be improved. Time had finally come for wireless networks to evolve into something better than 3G. That’s when 4G (fourth generation) came into existence which is a more reliable connection and delivers much higher speed. You can turn your phone into Wi-Fi for up to 8 devices, play games with multiple players, browse internet and download data. There is less buffering time for the user, often none at all, making it extremely easy for the user to access data of all types. And so brands like Panasonic Smartphones, Redmi, Lava have also switched to producing phones running on the 4G spectrum as well.
What does 4G means?
Under 4G comes various types of technologies like 4G LTE and 4G VoLTE. Starting with 4G LTE, a combination of two words, 4G and LTE. We already know what 4G network is, LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. When we combine both the words we get the fastest 4G service available right now. This would mean that the download speed is four to five times faster than 3G networks. The experience is so fast that the internet experience is as good as it is on your computer connected to a modern wireless broadband network. While LTE is focused more on providing higher data transfer rates, VoLTE is specifically targeted at improving calling quality. Major benefits of having the facility of 4G VoLTE is that it enables faster voice call set-up, enhances video call quality and also enables instant switching between voice and video calls.
4G and beyond
Can you stream content on Netflix while camping or trekking to a remote area? If someone would have asked you this question 10 years ago you would have laughed it off as a joke. But with time this became a reality because of 4G networks. And with the possibility of the introduction of 5G networks in the near future the internet speed is going to become even faster. It is the fifth generation of mobile wireless systems, a way for both mobile and stationary devices to send and receive data without being plugged into a wall in your home or at the office. A leap of generation takes place only when the new generation has a significant amount of increase in providing better services. 5G is expected to enable driverless cars, delivery drones and may even replace the WiFi used in your homes and offices. But as of now, the 5G network has a long way to go.
In the current scenario, mobile phones have been making full use of 4G VoLTE and 4G LTE. As discussed above, smartphones like Panasonic India’s (Panasonic Eluga 700), Redmi Note 4 adjust to new technologies like these making it easier for the user to access data wherever they want and that too at a faster speed.