3g Wireless Research Paper

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3G Wireless

Comparative Analysis of 3G and 4G Wireless Networks

The exponential increases in wireless network performance attained by the progression of 3G to 4G wireless network technologies is leading to an entirely new series of applications and uses of these technologies. While the 3G infrastructure is more pervasive, its limitations impact overall network performance and the proliferation of more advanced applications for wireless network systems and networks. The intent of this analysis is to compare and contrast 3G versus 4G networks in terms of services and applications, network architecture, data throughput and user perceptions of these two wireless network technologies. A comparative analysis of the differences between 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and 4G WiBro network highlights the differences in upload and download speeds, user perceptions, backward compatibility and service availability. The competitive dynamics between 4G LTE carriers is also prevalent in the industry and growing as every services provider wants to gain a significant share of the growing applications and add-on services business. One aspect of these competitive dynamics is the seen in how Verizon and at&T continually battle each other over coverage areas, with Verizon often having broader, more reliable service than at&T due to its high level of capital investment in its nationally-based LTE network (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013).

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TOPIC: Research Paper on 3g Wireless Assignment

One of the most disruptive technologies of the last decade is the proliferation and continual advances in 3G and 4G wireless networks. As 3G networks have become pervasively available on low-cost smartphones and tablets, the creativity and ingenuity of entrepreneurs and larger serve companies alike is leading to new applications unforeseen just a few short years ago. The following is a comparative analysis of 3G and 4G wireless networks, and it is critically important to see these disruptive technologies each from the customers' perspective first, inclusive of service and application differences that the underlying technologies enable. 3G networks are based on the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) standard, in addition to supporting the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) (Suryanegara, Miyazaki, 2010). This broad base of standards is integrated into the network architecture of 3G networks, which is comprised of fiber-optic networks and reliance on a large-scale satellite system that is integrated to a series of telecommunications receiving stations and towers (Carlos, Burgelman, Bohlin, 2004). The combination of the network architecture and the services and applications that 3G networks are based on constrain their data throughput to up to 3.1Mbps, with an average speed between .5 and 1.5 Mbps (Carlos, Burgelman, Bohlin, 2004). The services and architecture that 4G networks are based on are the basis of entirely new applications that customers have been asking for from telecommunication services providers for years. These include support for real-time video streamlining and video conferencing without performance degradation of dropped video chat sessions, enhanced and immersive 3D gaming platforms and entire environments and support for mobile and high resolution television viewing (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011). 4G networks are based on Wimax2 and LTE-Advance technologies (Carlos, Burgelman, Bohlin, 2004) with Verizon owning the majority of patents in the latter technology area of LTE network configuration and optimization (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). The 4G network architecture is specifically designed to operate as a wide-area network (WAN) does, relying on packet and messaging switching technologies that are optimized for network traffic loads and requirements (Suryanegara, Miyazaki, 2010). Where 3G networks are designed based on wide cell-based networks, 4G networks are based on integration of WAN-based networks and in the case of Verizon, on 4G LTE-based systems and networks (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013).

User perceptions of 3G versus 4G are predicated on the actual data throughput variations of each, with 3G providing 3.1Mbps with an average speed range of .5 to 1.5 Mbps and 4G providing 2 to 12 Mbps in performance. Impartial, empirically based analysis shows that the majority of consumers using 3G networks expect a specific baseline level of performance both from a signal and clarity standpoint, with fidelity of data transfer and streaming being the most critical (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011). Demographic and psychographic analysis completed by Verizon indicates that 3G customers have higher expectations of reliability at a lower price, which leads the service provider to claim price commoditization and downward price pressure is adversely affecting their profitability (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). Customer or user perception of 4G is that it is faster than it actually is (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011) and less reliable than it is capable of performing (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). 4G networks and the Verizon 4G LTE network specifically are being marketed as the ideal network for active social networking due to their increased bandwidth as well (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). In reality only a small percentage of both global and U.S.-based smartphone users are actually using 4G, with the impediment's being cost, lack of applications they often use, and lack of coverage in their areas (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011).

Comparative Analysis of 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and 4G WiBro Networks

The proliferation of high speed wireless networks is also seen in the myriad of emerging standards and corresponding networks. 4G LTE, 4G WiMax and 4G WiBro are three of the most rapidly emerging standards of high performance wireless networks (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011). 4G LTE networks support data rates up to 50 Mbps for uploads and 100 Mbps for downloads. Signal strength for 4G LTE-based networks is heavily dependent on the relative location of towers and signal repeater stations (Dekleva, Shim, Varshney, Knoerzer, 2007). Verizon's intensive levels of capital investment have prioritized the development and launch of new 4G, 4G LTE and Enhanced Voice-Data Optimized (EV-DO) networks as the service provider strives to establish greater differentiation on performance and breadth of coverage relative to at&T and other rivals (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). In terms of backward compatibility and user perception, an LTE-Advanced network can support legacy LTE traffic, as this protocol and its supporting networks include GSM and HSPA protocol support (Suryanegara, Miyazaki, 2010).

The most commonly used type of network in this comparison is the 4G WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and is a different standard (802.16)). 4G WiMax networks typically operate at a speed of 75 Mbps in Fixed WiMax configurations and 30 Mbps in Mobile WiMax configurations (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011). Of the three networks in the comparison, this one has the most affordable infrastructure and support from a service carrier's perspective as it relies on primarily an Internet architecture-based network

(Kuran, Tugcu, 2007). Both Fixed and Mobile 4G WiMax are backward compatible to 3G networks, which is another factor Verizon continually considers in its mix of long-term technology and network investment strategies (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). Another factor that carriers are taking pinto account in investing in 4G WiMax networks is their support for voice and data services at a fraction of the cost of DSL connections, without having the limitation of that technology. User perception has been positive, specifically in the area of 3G backward compatibility and pervasive availability in coverage areas where carriers offer the service. Customers using 4G WiMax networks report less reliability issues with the caveat of their location being in the middle of a coverage area (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011). Overall, the satisfaction level of users who have standardized on 4G WiMax is better than 3G, when application use and context of location are taken into account.

The third networking technology in the comparison is WiBro 4G. Often offered as a replacement or substitute for WiMax, the basis of this technology's network relies on radio technology and services for ensuring connectivity at broadband speeds (Kuran, Tugcu, 2007). WiBro has the same speeds of 4G LTE WiMax and most often sustains data rates at between 30 to 50 Mbps (Zahariadis, Gruneberg, Celetto, 2011). WiBro 4G is based on the Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) standard and includes support for orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) digital modulation scheme connective as well (Suryanegara, Miyazaki, 2010). This aspect of orthogonal support ensures that all users of a network continually stay connected and can use the network, regardless of the specific bandwidth constraints impacting performance at a given point in time. Empirical studies of users' experiences using a WiBro 4G network indicate baseline overall levels of satisfaction, with fundamental tasks including e-mail, web browsing and short video reviews performing to user's expectations (Suryanegara, Miyazaki, 2010).

Why Competition Between 4G LTE Carriers Continues to Escalate

The strongest catalyst of competition between 4G LTE carriers are the potential long-term profitability levels of having loyal customers using high-end, high margins ervices over time. Verizon is creating an entire services-based new product launch strategy specifically to take advantage of the performance gains from 4G and 4G LTE networks (Verizon Investor Relations, 2013). In addition, the enterprise customers that each 4G LTE carrier has today can easily switch to another provider, which lowers switching costs and drives up service levels in an attempt to keep profitable customers online. The competitive forces impacting… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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