The whole of telecom industry is in a celebration mood on two counts — first on the feat of India achieving 500 million telephones well ahead of the target in November 2009, second on the timely introduction of 3G mobile service in the country. Consumers will have another benefit soon when the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is introduced to enable them to switch over to any service provider without the change of their number at a very nominal charge.

3G is a term coined by global cellular community to indicate the next generation of mobile service capabilities (higher capacity and enhanced network functionalities) that allow advanced services and applications including Multimedia.3G in the mobile network. It is a basket of good services and facilities for the customers.

Dominant facilities

Dominant among them are improved system capacity, backward compatibility with 2G systems, multimedia support and high speed packet data services to the extend of 2 Mbps in stationary environments.

Packet switched data service; harmonized standards and integrated network operation are new features which differentiate the 3G service from 2G.

The new facilities likely to be enjoyed by 3G mobile users include video call, call ring back video, yellow pages, video SMS, real time video communication, mobile video conferencing and video monitoring in health and safety applications.

3 GPP is a technical group called 3G Partnership Project analyzing and releasing specifications for future wireless networks. The radio standard prescribed by 3GPP is based on WCDMA, using a bandwidth of 5 MHz with 3.84 Mcps on asynchronous mode and CDMA2000 using the bandwidth of 1.25 MHz with 1.2288 Mcps on Synchronous mode.

As per ITU (International Telecommunication Union) standard India is allotting 2x5 MHz of spectrum in 2.1 GHz frequency band to the would be successful bidders in the auction to be held shortly.

3G is not the ultimate to meet the increased demand for mobile broadband users, as there are some hidden barriers of poor propagation characteristics like unreduced latency and difficulty encountered in deep penetration of manmade structures and poor spectral efficiency.

Circuit switching

Moreover the data speed in moving vehicles could not be improved beyond 144/384 kbps. The operators have still to maintain equipment to cater for circuit switching for voice calls. 3GPP’s next release has gone to address the above deficiencies in a better method.

Data usage with multimedia capability in the mobile broadband access is the demand the operators are facing now.

By 2010 we expect there to be over 600 million mobile broadband subscribers, rising to 900 million by 2012 and the vast majority, will be served by advanced networks such as HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and LTE (Long Time Evolution).

A good mobile broadband system must fulfil certain criteria, including high data rate, high capacity, low cost per bit, low latency, good quality of service (QoS), and good coverage. Several techniques can be used to meet these criteria in a wireless system. 3GPP Release 7 introduced HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) evolution which supports MIMO (Multiple Input and Multiple Output) antenna system, to further boost the peak data rate and capacity. HSPA evolution supports data rates of up to 42Mbps in the downlink and 11.5Mbps in the uplink.

LTE (long-term evolution), currently being specified by 3GPP for Release 8, introduces OFDM/OFDMA(Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) in the downlink and single-carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA) in the uplink.

Goal of LTE is to provide 300Mbps Data rate in Down Link, provide greater than 75 Mb Data rate in Uplink, to minimize latency to less than 5 ms and to reduce cost in network deployment by using channel bandwidths of approximately 1.25MHz up to at least 20MHz

The HSPA, LTE and Mobile WiMAX technologies have been designed for high-speed packet data services. They feature similar technology enablers, including dynamic scheduling, link adaptation, H-ARQ with soft combining, multiple-level QoS, and advanced antenna systems.

These can be built using existing GSM radio network sites and is a software upgrade of installed WCDMA networks. When used together with dual-mode terminals, these factors ensure nationwide coverage for voice (GSM/WCDMA) and data (HSPA/EDGE).

Thanks to its heritage, they give operators a single network for multiple services with a sound business case built on revenues from various features as well as unmatched economies of scale that benefit all players in the ecosystem.

(Author: Former Dy. General Manager BSNL,Chennai)

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