Introduction to Mobile Network Generations and Current Status in Nepal
Today in this article we will look at the mobile network generations and know the current status in Nepal. First of all, let us have a general introduction about mobile generations. You may have heard that mobile network has 2G, 3G, 4G etc. These are the mobile network generations. The mobile wireless Generation (G) generally refers to a change in the nature of the system, speed, technology, frequency, data capacity, latency etc. Each generation is the improvement of the previous generations which brings new features, technology and standards. The first generation (1G) mobile wireless communication network was analog used for voice calls only. similarly, the second generation (2G) is digital technology and supports text messaging. Third Generation (3G) mobile technology is more advanced than 2G, which provides higher data transmission rate, increased capacity and provide multimedia support. Similarly, the Fourth Generation (4G) combines 3G with fixed internet to support wireless mobile internet. 4G also increases the bandwidth and reduces the cost of resources. The latest upcoming technology is 5G which is going to be a new revolution in the mobile market and provides very high bandwidth.
Now, let us have a general look at the generation of mobile networks and how they evolve.
First Generation(1G): The first-generation mobile network or simply 1G, was first introduced in Japan. It was introduced in 1982 and then completed in early 1990. For 1G to work cell towers were built across the country so that the signal could be available at greater distance. It was based on the technology called Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS). AMPS used frequency division multiple access (FDMA) with channel capacity of 30KHZ and frequency band of 824-894 MHZ. However, it has several demerits like poor voice quality, poor battery life, limited capacity, poor security and so on.
Second Generation(2G): The second-generation mobile network (2G) was an advancement of 1G. It was based on GSM standard. The main benefits of 2G over 1G are: phone conversations are digitally encrypted, more efficient in the spectrum allowing greater mobile phone penetration levels, starting with SMS (Short Message Service) plain text-based messages. It was launched in Finland by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa Oyj) in 1991. 2G provides ability for text messages, picture messages and MMS (Multimedia Message Service). And after the introduction of GPRS in 1997, users could also receive and send emails. Between 2G and 3G various improvement were made and named 2.5G and 2.75G respectively where speed was increased and also users now had Camera Phones.
Third Generation(3G): The third-generation mobile network(3G) is much faster and transmit greater amount of data as compared to the second generation(2G), which means users can now make a video call, perform internet surf, watch online TV, watch Online Games, Global Roaming and so on. 3G is based on the GSM that was launched in 2000 A.D. It operates at a range of 2100 MHz and has a bandwidth of 15-20 MHz used for high speed internet service. In 3G network to download 3 minutes mp3 songs it only takes 11sec-1.5min. However, the infrastructure of 3G network was not easy to build, and also it requires high bandwidth with expensive and large phones. In transition from 3G to 4G various other technologies evolves which gave rise to 3.5G, 3.75G, 3.95G where all these changes brought certain improvement in the previous generation.
Fourth Generation(4G): The fourth-generation mobile network(4G) is much faster and provide much more features than the 3G, like: multimedia newspaper, to watch T.V programs with much clarity and send data much faster than the 3G. It has the capacity of providing 10Mbps to 1Gbps of speed. Which means users can now download files faster, higher voice quality, high security, Low cost per bit and so on. However, 4G Network needs complicated hardware and is hard to implement. In transition between 4G and 5G, 4.5G was introduced which provides better performance than the 4G system.
Fifth Generation(5G): The fifth-generation mobile network (5G) is a next phase of mobile technology which is currently under development. It was started from 2010 onwards. The 5G network will include larger coverage and connectivity. It is a complete wireless communication with no limitations. The main focus of 5G is in world-Wireless World Wide Web (WWWW). It provides high speed and capacity with large bandwidth. Many experts believe that the 5G will give rise to IoT (Internet of things) trends like connected cars, smart cities and IoT in the home and offices.
Current Status of Mobile Network Generations in Nepal
As per the context of Nepal the GSM Mobile Service was launched in 1999 A.D , and then the internet services was launched in 2000 A.D. Similarly, in 2007 GPRS, 3G and CRBT Services was introduced in GSM Mobile. In 2009, SMS Service from GSM to CDMA mobile was started. In 2011 GSM 3G Data only service was launched. Next, in 2017 Cellular 4G LTE was started in Nepal. Currenly all 3 Telecom Networks NTC, NCELL, Smart are operating 4G Network Services in various cities and areas of the country and are actively involved in upgrading the service in every corner of Nepal. Similarly, CG Telecom(which is going to start its service in Nepal) has recently signed an agreement with Turk Cell to operate 5G Service in Nepal. As per the kantipur news, the agreement between CG and Turkcell is worth 25 billion.