• New Developments In 2G Technologies

    Second Generation Wireless Technologies or 2G Technology covers the majority of present technologies, providing support for future communications systems. In this article, we will talk about the new developments in 2g technology. Read on.

    2G technology and networks were put up mainly for voice services and slow data transmission. You will come across some protocols like EDGE for GSM and 1x-RTT for CDMA2000, which are defined as "3G" services”. This is because they are defined as in the IMT-2000 specification documents. But to the general public, they are considered as 2.5G services or 2.75G. These may sound even more sophisticated due to the developments in 2g technologies, but they are a number of times slower than the present-day 3G services. Let us go through the evolution in 2g technology.

    2.5G (GPRS)
    2.5G is considered to be an intermediary between 2G and 3G cellular wireless technologies. With the progress in 2g technology, the term "second and a half generation" is used to explain 2G-systems that have applied a packet switched domain in addition to the circuit switched domain. But it does not essentially offer quicker services.

    The first main step in the 2g technology development was the progress of GSM networks to 3G. This happened with the introduction of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). Similarly, with the introduction of 1xRTT, the CDMA2000 networks too evolved. These cellular services along with the potential of improved data transmission became known as '2.5G’, as the evolution in 2g technology. Providing data rates from 56 kbit/s to 115 kbit/s, GPRS is used for services such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). It is also used for Internet communication like email and World Wide Web access.

    Moving on with the new developments in 2g technologies, GPRS networks soon evolved to 2.75G or EDGE networks. This was possible due to the introduction of 8PSK encoding, which is a backward-compatible digital mobile phone technology. Allowing improved data transmission rates, some examples of extension on top of standard GSM are Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), or IMT Single Carrier (IMT-SC).

    In 2003, EDGE was organized on GSM networks, initially by Cingular or AT&T now, in the United States. As part of the GSM family, 2.75G is standardized by 3GPP as part of the GSM family. It is a progress in 2g technology, for it is able to offer a potential three-fold increase in capacity of GSM/GPRS networks. The specification is also able to achieve higher data-rates by switching to more complicated methods of coding like 8PSK, within existing GSM timeslots.

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