Starting from the 1G analogue transmission method, now the networks have evolved to 4G standards which not only facilitate digital data and voice transmission, but they also do so at very fast speeds. However, in the evolution of telecom technologies like 2G, 3G, 4G, VoLTE etc. very few people understand the underlying implication of these technologies. It is vital that customers understand what technology they are paying for and what technologies are set to show up next in the market. Below we have demarcated different networks along with their specialities.
The Leap from 3G to 4G – Changes
In a short way, the best answer would be to simply say that the speeds have been significantly improved on the 4G network when compared to the 3G network. While the mobile devices are going through some serious technological breakthrough, it is obvious that they would need high-speed bandwidth to facilitate these functions, thus 4G came into existence. To give a clear picture to the readers, while the 3G network supports speeds up to 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps, the 4G network supports speeds of up to 150 Mbps, at least on paper.
The Technology Powering 4G
Although the actual technicalities of the working of the 4G network are quite complicated. It should suffice to tell you that 3G brought some internet speed changes over the 2G network, however, it did not bring significant improvements over calling or voice. That was not the case in the 4G network where voice calling saw a major improvement in both quality and reliability. 4G facilitates connecting calls over data. This is something which the 3G network wasn’t capable of doing.
Reliance Jio’s early entry into the market has given it an upper hand in terms of obtaining IP based technology for calling and it has also claimed its ownership on the LTE+ which is a more advanced and faster version of 4G. The LTE+ uses two bands to send data at the same time, resulting in lesser congestion and better throughput speeds. In other countries, LTE+ is also known as LTE-A, where A refers to ‘Advanced’.
Technology Outdated with Growing Networks
Many phones might not be compatible with the newer networks which show up on the market in the near future. The same thing happened when 4G came into India. Since most people in the country used 3G phones, the mobiles couldn’t make use of the 4G network. To support 4G, these phones required specific hardware. In India, the 4G is going to be offered in 3 bands initially (850 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2300 MHz) and 700 MHz to follow in future and out of all the telcos, only Jio has PAN India license for the 2300 MHz spectrum. It is quite possible that many phones might not support some select spectrum thus posing some compatibility issues for the users.
A lot of rumours surrounded VoLTE when it came to India. However, the technology is as simple as it can get. The word basically means Voice over LTE, implying that the voice calls which users make or receive happen over the data connection. This is similar to making a WhatsApp call over the data connection. This is unlike 3G where the internet services used to suffer whenever an incoming or outgoing call happened on the SIM. Also, since the VoLTE technology facilitates HD voice calling in order certify itself as ‘True 4G network’ this network has the edge over other when it comes to quality of the call. All the four major telcos- Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular introduced VoLTE services in the country, but only Jio has pan-India VoLTE coverage to date.
Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.