3G and 4G Wireless Networks


3Gand 4G Wireless Networks

3GNetwork vs. 4G Network

Thethird generation networks and fourth generation networks aredifferent in terms of different parameters depending on thefunctionality and application. In terms of services and applications,the 4G network has faster speed compared to the 3G. Through the 3Gnetwork, several services like the Global roaming can be accessed,which is the same as the 4G networks (Chen et al, 2012). While the 3Gnetwork allows internet browsing over wireless networks, the 4G isdesigned to be faster and efficient as it optimizes data overwireless networks.

Basedon the network architecture, the 3G is based on the wide area cell.On the other hand, the 4G network allows the integration of thewireless area and the LAN. This makes the 4G to have clarity comparedto the 3G networks. While 3G allows the use of the Wide Band VoiceChannel, the 4G networks provides all internet protocols and supportsmobility (Chen et al, 2012). Unlike the 4G, the 3G network has abandwidth of the range of 15-20MHZ and operates at 2100MHz.

Interms of data throughput, the 3G uses 3.1Mbps but has an averagerange of about 0.5 to 1.15Mbps in terms of speed. On the other hand,the average speed of the 4G is between 2Mbps to 12Mbps (Kumar &ampSuman, 2013). However, the high speeds of the 3G can go up to 21Mbpswhile that of the 4G networks can go up to the speed of 100Mbps. Thepeak upload rate of the 3G is 5Mbps while the 4G network is about500Mbps (Chen et al, 2012). Similarly, the download rate of the 3G is100Mbps maximum but the 4G can go up to 1GBps.

Consideringuser perceptions, the 4G is highly rated and preferred to the 3Gnetworks. This is because many users appreciate the high speeds ofthe 4G and the increased application compared to the 3G (Kumar &ampSuman, 2013). In addition, users embrace the convenience of fasterinternet browsing as provided by the 4G, even if their needs aresatisfied by the 3G (3GPP Specification Detail, n.d.). Even thoughits speed is not as high as 4G, 3G network provides good internetconnectivity with video chatting.

4GLTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro

Asper the exchange rate speeds, the 4G Long Term Evolution, 4LTEsupports the upload speed of 50Mbps and 100Mbps download speed.However, the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access or the4G WiMax allows up to 70Mbps in both exchange rate speeds (WiMaxForum, 2012). On the other hand, the 4G Wireless Broadband, WiBroupload and download exchange speed are between 30-50Mbps.

User`sperceptions for the three network choices is based on the efficiencythat each of the choices provides. Users prefer the 4G LTE because ofits advancement in connection and speed (Kumar &amp Suman, 2013).However, those who prefer the 4G, WiMax and the WiBro complain ofpoor connectivity when using the 4G LTE (WiMax Forum, 2012). However,users also prefer 4G LTE due to perception that it is more securecompared to the 4G WiMax and the 4G WiBro.

Inregard to backward compatibility the three choices have similarities,but with slight differences. The 4GLTE has efficient backwardcompatibility between the LTE-Advanced and the LTE. This is becauseit was designed to be backward compatible HSPA and the GSM.Similarly, the 4G 4G WiMax is also backward compatible with the 3Gnetworks (WiMax Forum, 2012). However, the 4G WiBro does not havecomplete backward compatibility with the previous versions of thenetwork.

Consideringthe service availability, the 4G LTE has a larger coverage comparedto the other two. For instance, the network covers over 60% of theU.S population. While the 4G WiMax is not widespread, it can offerboth the voice and data services with no much cable expenses orlimitations of distance through the Metropolitan Area Network.

Reasonsfor the Fierce Competition

Oneof the reasons for the increased competition is the availability ofdiverse choices of the networks to the customers. This means that thecustomer has the upper hand in the selection of the service that heor she wants to satisfy his or her data and connectivity needs. As aresult, the providers of the networks have to increase theircompetition in the market so as to gain the preference of thecustomers (Kumar &amp Suman, 2013). Another reason is the emergenceof businesses with remote branches, thereby creating a need for themto use cellular-enabled gateways. This is because they need thecellular gateways as the primary connectivity or as a back up to theWAN connections.

Thisfierce competition however, presents benefits to the users. One ofthe benefits is wide connectivity and coverage of larger areas. Thisbenefit is more significant in underdeveloped countries where thegovernments do not provide connectivity infrastructure. To gain moremarkets, the network providers spread their services to these remoteareas, which benefit the users there. Another benefit is reduced,prices for the services offered by the network providers. To gain acompetitive edge over competitors, the providers use friendly pricingfor their services to get customers and to retain them (Kumar &ampSuman, 2013). Consequently, this has reduced the cost of connectivityfor the users. Moreover, the competition has promoted efficiency ofthe connectivity provided by the network providers. This is becausethey need to retain the customers they gain from the highlycompetitive market.

VerizonCovering More Markets than AT&ampT

Theannouncement in January 2012 indicated its market coverage was morethan the AT&ampT. This is because of its long presence in the marketsince the company was the first to venture into the American 4G LTEnetwork market (Verizon Wireless,2011). The company had afull year of gaining a competitive advantage since it started thebusiness a year earlier than AT&ampT. In the competition, AT&ampTis playing a catch-up market competition while Verizon is playing amarket leadership role. In addition, Verizon achieved this level ofcoverage by offering popular data-equipped handsets and unlimitedservice plans (Verizon Wireless,2011). This gave it acompetitive advantage that AT&ampT could not have as a marketentrant. Moreover, Verizon delivered wholesale access by using thirdparty resellers, which enabled the firm to increase its customer baseby 17 million people.


Theuse of wireless networks has increased over time and the players inthe industry have increased. With the technological advancement fromthe 3G to the 4G networks, the services provided have become evenmore varied and advanced, leading to more competition among theproviders. Among the differences and similarities between these twonetworks is based on Servicesand application, the network architecture, the data throughput andthe user perceptions.While there are similarities and differences between the 3G and the4G, the efficiency of the services provided is also determined by theproviders. Therefore, the competition between them has improved theefficiency and speed of the services provided.


Chen,Y.C. et al, (2012). Characterizing4G and 3G Networks: SupportingMobilitywith Multi-Path TCP. RetrievedFrom,&lthttp://people.cs.umass.edu/~yungchih/publication/12_mtcp_4g_tech_report.pdf&gtNovember 1, 2014

Kumar,A., &amp Suman, R. (2013). Comparision of 3G Wireless Networks and4G Wireless Networks. InternationalJournal of Electronics and Communication Engineering,Volume 6, No 1(2013), pp.1-8

VerizonWireless (2011). NewsCenter LTE Information Center.Retrieved From, &lthttp://news.verizonwireless.com/LTE/Overview.html&gtNovember 1, 2014

WiMaxForum. (2012). WiMaxForum.Retrieved From, &lthttp://www.wimaxforum.org&gt November 1, 2014

3GPPSpecification Detail. (n.d.). 3GPPSpecification.Retrieved From, &lthttp://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/23002.htm&gtNovember 1, 2014