In this article we will talk about the difference between 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE And VOLTE networks. Here “G” stands for generation. The increase in number shows us the evolution of network over the time. The network has evolved from analog to digital. Every time network evolved to meet the new requirements. Earlier voice was only the priority but now the data is priority. Let’s try to understand each generation in detail here.
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1G means First Generation of Wireless Technology. It used analog radio signals. Although the voice signal was converted to digital signal for communicating with the other telephone towers. But, actually 1G used to modulate the voice over higher frequencies. But, soon 2G overtook 1G.
2G means Second Generation of Wireless Technology. It is totally digital network. Voice is the priority in 2G network. Data was a after thought in 2G. 2G does have data support, but at very slow speed. 2G supports GPRS and Edge. It has extremely good voice calling quality as it was made for voice. 2G started supporting SMS, picture messages and MMS. All the data transferred over 2G is digitally encrypted. 2G is still widely used network in the world.
3G stands for Third Generation of Wireless Technology. 3G was developed to overcome the drawbacks of 2G. 3G has better data/internet speed. But, still voice is the priority on 3G network. The data speed on 3G differs widely. You can get download speed between 2 mbps to 21 mbps. Each network provider implemented their own infrastructure over the out of the box 3G network. 3G enabled video calling, mobile TV and fixed internet access. 3G offered data at high speed.
In the later versions of 3G which are often called as HSPA(High Speed Packet Access) or HSPA+, the data speed was higher and new features were also added. In HSPA you can simultaneously use voice and data. That means, you can access the data even if you are on voice call.
4G stands for Fourth Generation of Wireless Technology. It is purely Data Network. Means, data is the priority in 4G network. You get extremely high speed data speed on 4G. Due to increase in speed you can experience good quality of video calling and video streaming services. 4G supports end to end Internet Protocol Conection.
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. LTE is revision of 4G. LTE is developed over GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. It is even called as 4G LTE. LTE is not all together the new technology but the enhancement of 4G. Here you can get very high data speed. The data is end to end digitally encrypted. LTE even supports VoIP i.e. Voice over Internet Protocol. Which means the voice is also digitally encrypted and transmitted over network. This has lot of benefits over all the previous technologies but the infrastructure cost is high.
VOLTE is voice over LTE (Voice Over Long Term Evolution). This supports VoIP. There is no need for separate infrastructure for voice transmission. The voice is converted from analog to digital and is transferred. The great example of VoIP or VOLTE is Whatsapp calling. VOLTE uses your data for voice calling. Reliance JIO is the example of VOLTE network. But all the devices does not support VOLTE, to use VOLTE you have to scrap your existing devices and buy new one.
Here we tried to cover the topic in brief. But in future we will try to cover each topic in detail.
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