3G technology in Pakistan and why mobile users will use 3G? was a big discussion that is going to end now as 3G is going to launch in Pakistan shortly according to PTA announcement. Mostly mobile users are not aware about this technology and asking several questions like what is 3G? how it would be beneficial for us? What can we do with this technology?. Today i am interested to write about basics of 3G in non technical format which would be beneficial for non technical users to understand the essentials of this technology.
What is 3G?
3G is the third generation of wireless technologies coming up with enhancements over previous wireless technologies (2G, 2.5G); like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming. 3G is mostly used with mobile phones and handsets as a means to connect the phone to the Internet or other IP networks in order to make voice and video calls, to download and upload data and to surf the net.
According to The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the third generation (3G) of mobile telephony standards IMT-2000 to facilitate growth, increase bandwidth, and support more diverse applications. For example, GSM could deliver not only voice, but also circuit-switched data at speeds up to 14.4 Kbps. But to support mobile multimedia applications, 3G had to deliver packet-switched data with better spectral efficiency, at far greater speeds. However, to get from 2G to 3G, mobile operators had to make “evolutionary” upgrades to existing networks while simultaneously planning their “revolutionary” new mobile broadband networks. This lead to the establishment of two distinct 3G families: 3GPP and 3GPP2.
3G networks have been in operation globally since December 2005 and are continuing to spread with time. Some telecommunication companies in the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe use a flavor of 3G called W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access). Others use CDMA2000, a non-compatible, competing 3G standard that includes a small family of protocols. These are known as CDMA2000 1xRTT (1 times Radio Transmission Technology), CDA2000 EV-DO (Evolution Data Only), and CDMA EV-DV (Evolution Data/Voice). Two popular mobile carries that use CDMA technology are Sprint and Verizon.
What would be the cost of 3G in Pakistan?
Initially, 3G would be not very cheap, but it is worthwhile for users that need connectivity on the move. If we look around international 3G packages then we come to know that some providers offer it within a somewhat costly package, but most of them have plans where the user pays for the amount of data transferred. This is because the technology is packet-based. For example, there are service plans where there is a flat rate for the first Gigabyte of data transferred, and a per minute cost for each additional Megabyte. Let’s see how the services comes in Pakistan and how it will facilitate users in terms of tariff.
Existing 3G application in Pakistan
Pakistan’s biggest telecommunication company PTCL launched its 3G network, EVO, in mid-2008 and has since then established itself in this sector. It provides 3G services in 105 cities across Pakistan. Omantel’s WorldCall also provides 3G services in 50 cities Pakistan-wide.
On 14 August 2010. Pakistan became the first country in the world to experience EVDO’s RevB 3G technology that offers maximum speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s. At present the services of EVO Nitro (brand name (R)) are available in all over the Pakistan.
Benefits of 3G
Currently, we are using mobile phones using GPRS or EDGE technology for data transfer which is much slow in rate of transfer as compare to 3G data rate so the prime advantage of using 3G is the data transfer over the phone can take place at a much faster speed.
3G internet has not only made your mobile handset better equipped but your PC or laptop also. 3G Data Cards or 3G USB Modems have been launched by most of the leading Internet Service Providers. You just need to plug in your 3G modem into the USB slot, and access internet on your computer at lightening speed. If you are a fan of computer games then 3G is the perfect solution for you. By virtue of the 3G internet technology you can play multiplayer games with co-players across the globe, right on your cell phone.
3G phone technology allows you to enjoy faster speed. The speed of data transmission is up to 2 Mbps, and a 3G phone is resistant to noise, has an improved degree of connectivity, and higher networking capability. 3G technology has improved bit rate, which permits services providers to offer their customers high-speed Internet facilities, increased call volumes, and a multitude of multimedia applications. These services are available to customers based upon the quantity of the data being transmitted, not the time used for the service. As a result, customers get cheaper service. You can conduct video-conferencing, and also you can see the person to whom you are talking when you make calls, provided the other person also is using a 3g enabled device. This is in contrast to conventional voice calls where you are restricted to hearing only the voice of the person at the other end.
By using 3G enabled cell phone and networks you can do online shopping, online banking, and even watch the ups and downs in the share market. It enable the concept of mobile business in true sense. It allows:
- Enhanced audio and video streaming;
- Video-conferencing support;
- Web and WAP browsing at higher speeds;
- IPTV (TV through the Internet) support
Disadvantage of 3G
- The companies, who will not get license from the spectrum distribution authorities will suffer to use only 2G, which will badly affect their business. In this situation these companies will either disappear with time from this sector or will run with losses. Because of the customers will start to use the services of the companies having 3G technology.
- Due to use of the DTH & the 3G technology, everyone will use this multi-purpose services to avoid time loss and keeping records for different service providers. So, the traditional cable business will badly affected by implementing this new technology so they need to adaptive in implementing business strategies.
- The radiation of magnetic waves generated with the heavily use of the wireless system will affect our life also. More uses of the services will have more effect on us. The radiation of the magnetic waves are danger for our life. A long use can affect our brains.
Security concerns of 3G Networks
3G networks offer greater security than their 2G predecessors. By allowing the UE (User Equipment) to authenticate the network it is attaching to, the user can be sure the network is the intended one and not an impersonator. 3G networks use the KASUMI block cipher instead of the older A5/1stream cipher. However, a number of serious weaknesses in the KASUMI cipher have been identified.
In addition to the 3G network infrastructure security, end-to-end security is offered when application frameworks such as IMS are accessed, although this is not strictly a 3G property.
3G technology is obviously much better and faster than 2G and 2.5G. It is going to be the basic requirement in few days from now. It helps you do things much faster than its old brother. To use this new technology, the agencies related to the spectrum distribution are charging very huge amount as a entry fees from the telecom companies. The companies who bid more, have more chance to get the license from these spectrum distributor authorities. Without license the companies are not getting spectrum so, they can not use this new technology for their customers. Small telecom companies can not pay this huge money and thus are unable to bid or not getting license. So, they have forced to use their old technology.