User requirements are growing faster than ever and the limitations of the current mobile communication systems have forced the researchers to come up with more advanced and efficient technologies.The history and evolution of mobile service from the 1G (First generation) to third generation is discussed in this section.
A. 1G (First generation)
The process began with the designs in the 1970s that have become known as 1G. Almost all of the systems from this generation were analog systems where voice was considered to be the main traffic. The first generation wireless standards used plain TDMA and FDMA. These systems could often be listened to by third parties. Some of the standards are NMT, AMPS, Hicap, CDPD, Mobitex, DataTac, TACS and ETACS.
B. 2G (Second generation)
The 2G (second generation) systems designed in the 1980s were still used mainly for voice applications but were based on digital technology, including digital signal processing techniques. These 2G systems provided circuit-switched data communication services at a low speed. All the standards belonging to this generation were commercial centric and they were digital in form. The second generation of wireless mobile communication systems was a huge success story because of its revolutionary technology and the services that it brought to its users. Besides high-quality speech service, global mobility was a strong and convincing reason for users to buy 2G terminals. The second generation standards are GSM, iDEN, D-AMPS, IS-95, PDC, CSD, PHS, GPRS, HSCSD, and WiDEN.
2.5G is the intermediate generation between 2G and 3Gcellular wireless technologies. This term is used to describe 2G-systems that have implemented a packet switched domain in addition to the circuit switched domain. 2.5G is not an officially defined term rather it was invented for marketing purpose. 2.5G provides some of the benefits of 3G (e.g. it is packet-switched) and can use some of the existing 2G infrastructure in GSM and CDMA networks.
To meet the growing demands in network capacity, rates required for high speed data transfer and multimedia applications, 3G standards started evolving. The systems in this standard are essentially a linear enhancement of 2G systems. They are based on two parallel backbone-infrastructures, one consisting of circuit switched nodes, and one of packet oriented nodes. The third generation (3G) has been launched in several parts of the world, but the success story of 2G is hard to repeat.