3G era for telecom industry

By Mustafa Mahmud Hossain
Original Article Published in "The Daily Sun"

3G or 3rd Generation technology is a current standard for mobile communication and mobile devices throughout the world. The very first pre-commercial 3G technology was launched by NTT Docomo in Japan, in the year 2001 on pre-release of WCDMA technology.

3G technology includes:

- High-speed mobile internet access

- Video calling (video conferencing)

- Video on demand

- Mobile TV

- Location based services

- Support for new and advanced mobile applications

With 3G technology, you can make use of both speech and data services simultaneously, without much compromise on data transmission rate. Also, the above mentioned features are apart from normal voice calling, SMS and MMS services found in a typical mobile handset!

3G mobile broadband typically refers to the delivery of end-user downlink data rates of 500 kbps or more while providing full mobility. High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology is already enabling the delivery of commercial 3G mobile broadband services in excess of such speeds, and is proving itself as the logical choice for operators wanting to offer mobile broadband services to both urban and rural consumer and enterprise users.

3G Mobile broadband usage is expected to grow exponentially over the next four years, bringing the internet to 1 billion people globally by 2012. Limited fixed-line infrastructure in many developing countries means limited fixed broadband growth capacity. 3G HSPA is the government’s best bet to improve broadband internet access. Developing country examples like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia show that mobile broadband penetration can overtake fixed broadband penetration in a matter of months.

Currently in Bangladesh, for accessing the internet users make use of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) or EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) and the data transfer rate is terribly slow over these networks, even if you are using a high-end handset like iPhone 4 or Nokia N8!

Both GPRS and EDGE comes under 2G (2nd Generation) technology, which is discontinued in major countries of the world like USA, UK etc. These countries are now using 3G technology, which facilitate high speed data transmission over a mobile network. Now with respect to features of 3G technology mentioned above, Bangladeshi people will experience following advantages over a 3G Network:

High-speed mobile internet access: A typical 3G network supports data transmission rate up to 2 Mbps (can be higher in case the Network is using 3.5G or 3.75G technology). With such a high-speed data transmission rate on a mobile device, communication as well as connectivity will definitely reach a new level, which has never been experienced in Bangladesh till now. 3G Technology in Bangladesh is going to redefine almost every aspect of communication. Access to popular sites like YouTube, Gmail, Facebook, Orkut etc. will be blazingly fast. You don’t have to wait for a video to get fully buffered on your mobile device or wait for a site to get fully loaded. With high-speed data transmission, all of us can enjoy full version of a particular given site, instead of mobile version which lacks many onscreen features

Video calling (video conferencing): Staying in touch with colleagues, friends and family members in real time will be easy. Now we can chat with their near and dear ones by means of a video call. Normal voice calling may be a history for many people. Family member/friend/spouse traveling via train or bus? With 3G technology and a front facing mobile phone camera, you can get in touch with them using video calling in real time. Companies/organisations can make use of video conferencing facility on 3G enabled handsets to facilitate meetings/important discussions. No matter what’s the present location of an employee/company member is? With video conferencing they can all stay in touch with each other!

Video on demand: With Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) System, Bangladeshis can now watch internet television and listen to their favorite audio tracks on their mobile devices.

Mobile TV: Once mobile TV is fully operational in Bangladesh, people can enjoy their favorite TV Shows on a mobile device. TV shows are distributed using 3G technology by the service provider or by some other proprietary network.

Location based services: No matter in which city you are living in Bangladesh, with 3G technology, you will remain updated with local weather, news in regional languages, health and lifestyle tips, location based games etc. Location based Services will also give rise to mobile commerce (marketing and advertising through mobile network), which can be useful to many people in getting latest offers/coupons for various shops/companies in their locality.

Support for new and advanced mobile applications: With the launch of 3G technology, Bangladeshis can now make use of new & advanced mobile applications. These applications includes HD (high definition) mobile games, applications which remotely controls in-house appliances and machines etc.

The 3G can give Bangladeshis a new experience. With more than 70 million active mobile subscribers, Bangladesh has become one of the fastest growing markets in the world. These 70 million customers are ready to join to next stage of mobile technology.

Writer completed his MSc in telecommunication from King’s College London and currently working as an assistant professor, ECE dept. at East West University.


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