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Mobile telecommunications is the assisted transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication to or from a mobile device or user.[1] Mobile telecommunication is a technology that allows the user to be connected while on the move, from home, office, car or even from the sea.

In 2008 there were 4.1 billion mobile cellular subscriptions in the world.[2]



Cellular communications mobile communication is based on distributing many base stations in the country to assure proper coverage of the mobile communications service area and offer needed services to available subscribers. This kind of mobile service was started in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From that era until now, many evolutions have occurred that changed the face of this service from usability, cost and quality, and quantity of services it offers. Below we will see a snap shot of different generations of mobile telecommunications through the history of this service.


First generation

At the beginning, analogue systems were offered to support basic voice services to the users like AMPS in north America, NMT in parts of Europe and TACS in Europe, Middle east and Asia. 1G (or 1-G) refers to the first-generation of wireless telephone technology, mobile telecommunications. These are the analog telecommunications standards that were introduced in the 1980s and continued until being replaced by 2G digital telecommunications. The main difference between two succeeding mobile telephone systems, 1G and 2G, is that the radio signals that 1G networks use are analog, while 2G networks are digital.

Second generation

At the beginning of the 1980s, the first second generation network started operation in Europe. This network was based on the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) technology. It had the capability to carry higher quality of voice calls, basic messaging service (SMS) and very low speed data connectivity. This was accomplished with noticeable reduction on per subscriber cost. Later on, this technology evolved to accommodate higher speeds of data reaching up to 384 kbit/s with the introduction of EDGE technology by the late 90s of the last century. this development was also achieved by other technologies in other parts of the world (CDMA, DAMPS).

Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja[3] (now part of Elisa Oyj) in 1991. Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted, 2G systems were significantly more efficient on the spectrum allowing for far greater mobile phone penetration levels; and 2G introduced data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages.

After 2G was launched, the previous mobile telephone systems were retrospectively dubbed 1G. While radio signals on 1G networks are analog, and on 2G networks are digital, both systems use digital signaling to connect the radio towers (which listen to the handsets) to the rest of the telephone system. Very good performance

Third generation

In the 1990s of the last century studies have started to develop a faster and higher quality network to support better services like video calling, video streaming, mobile gaming and fast internet browsing. This has resulted in the introduction of the 3rd generation mobile telecommunication standard (UMTS) using this service internet connection speed can reach up to 14.4 Mbit/s by implementing HSPA improvement. This can offer broadband services for mobile users allowing them to be always connected while on the move.

3G is the third generation of telecommunication hardware standards and general technology for mobile networking, superseding 2.5G. It is based on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) family of standards under the IMT-2000.3G networks enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Additional features also include HSPA data transmission capabilities able to deliver data rates up to 14.4 Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s on the uplink.

Unlike IEEE 802.11 networks, which are commonly called Wi-Fi or WLAN networks, 3G networks are wide-area cellular telephone networks that evolved to incorporate high-speed Internet access and video telephony. IEEE 802.11 networks are short range, high-bandwidth networks primarily developed for data.

Fourth generation

The next evolution that is expected to be released soon is the 4th generation which is based on LTE (Long Term Evolution) and Wi Max technologies that are promising an internet speed that reaches 233 Mbit/s for mobile users.

4G, an abbreviation for Fourth-Generation, is a term used to describe the next complete evolution in wireless communications. A 4G system will be a complete replacement for current networks and be able to provide a comprehensive and secure IP solution where voice, data, and streamed multimedia can be given to users on an "Anytime, Anywhere" basis, and at much higher data rates than previous generations.[4]


Mobile telecommunication over satellite: this technology started with services offered for airplanes and vessels that are not covered by normal cellular networks. this technology is still very limited as commercial services (Thuraya is a good example for mobile operators offering satellite mobile service for end users)


Mobile telecommunications have the potential to significantly contribute to socioeconomic development particularly in developing countries due to the ability to bridge non-existing wired telecommunications and transportation infrastructure and delivering various services directly to the end-user.


In developing regions like Africa, mobile telecommunications help to fight political corruption.[5]

Further reading


  1. ^ Ishii et al. (1991-10-15). "US Patent 5,058,201". Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  2. ^ Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index. International Telecommunication Union. 2009. pp. 108. ISBN 9261128319. 
  3. ^ "Radiolinja's History". 2004-04-20. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  4. ^ Young Kyun, Kim; Prasad, Ramjee (2006). 4G Roadmap and Emerging Communication Technologies. Artech House 2006. pp. 12–13. ISBN 1-58053-931-9. 
  5. ^

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