A look into 4G networks

Hi fellow geeks,

As stated in a previous post I’m looking forward to provide a simple way of connecting N770/N800 devices among themselves, much like “in mesh networks”.

Well this idea is not totally right, I mean, the concept of connecting devices without relying on an infrastructure is not actually mesh-networking, but simply an wireless ad-hoc network capability which per se is only part of what wireless mesh networking represents.

Network, Wireless, Mesh, Ad-Hoc, connecting, concept… all these words remind me of 4G! What is 4G? Citing Wikipedia:

The 4G will be a fully IP-based integrated system of systems and network of networks achieved after the convergence of wired and wireless networks as well as computer, consumer electronics, communication technology, and several other convergences that will be capable of providing 100 Mbps and 1Gbps, respectively, in outdoor and indoor environments with end-to-end QoS and high security, offering any kind of services anytime, anywhere, at affordable cost and one billing.

4G is the future! Imagine yourself hanging around university with your Nokia N800 or a small laptop engaged in a VoIP call with a classmate, through Google Talk, let’s say. Now imagine that you are on the move. You must go to the library and get a book on the subject you’re both studying. Usually you would get disconnected cause you’d get out of range to your wireless router, but with 4G you would transparently be handed-over, router-by-router, withouth ever losing your connection. Neat, hun?!

But that’s just a small part of the possibilities that 4G networks bring. Imagine now that you didn’t find the book you were looking for in the university library, then you must go the city public library. But the campus wireless network doesn’t have routers all the way! Fear no more, 4G will enable you to migrate from a wireless lan connection (802.11) to a WiMax connection (802.16) and then to a LAN connection (Ethernet) or whatever kind of network you have available and still have your link up! Could you be more happier?

Well, now you’re introduced to the concept of 4G networking and I bet you loved it! Unfortunately it will still take some time until this type of technology is available to the public, but if you are curious to know more here follow some useful resources:

IPv6 – the newest version of IP Protocol, the protocol Internet relays on (IPv4). It’s intended to provide more security, reachability and more addressing space;

WiMAX – a stamp for hardware compliant with 802.16 standards, much like WiFi for 802.11 family; WiMAX applications might be WMAN (Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks) by connecting Wifi hotspots or to replace broadband access in dense-populated areas;

Mobile-Fi aka 802.20 – IP roaming and handoff mechanisms for trully mobile IP networking;

Mesh Networking – Self-healing Mobile Ad-Hoc networks which rely on their nodes to establish a virtual support infrastructure;

Some projects of interest are IST-Daidalos, IST-Mobydick.

6 thoughts on “A look into 4G networks

  1. Actually what was done in Mobydick and Daidalos (and I known because I worked in both) is now known as NGN (Next Generation Networks)

    4G is expected to be a simple upgrade of the PSTN to the level of Release 7/8 of 3G networks which deploys a fully IP network. Such process is being conducted in the TISPAN consortium.

  2. I think that you need to investigate a bit more that “4G” thing (I personally think the term is severely overused and woefully under-defined) and separate radio access from transport and signalling protocols. For instance, IMS/NGN/TISPAN is doable _now_ (it’s all SIP, in one form or another, plus the required QoS enforcement), and it’s completely independent of access method.

    Sure, you can buy into the WiMax hype (which is reaching hysterical proportions in the US because they basically missed out on 3G deployments), but 3GPP isn’t standing still. LTE is on the horizon, with vendors starting to do trials. Just because it isn’t hyped doesn’t mean it won’t get here a lot faster than expected, and without forklift upgrades to networks (and, by the way, _any_ form of wide are network, regardless of technology, doesn’t come cheap – those things aren’t built on thin air, you know..).

  3. Hi Rui. I didn’t want to get on editorial correctness on this, but instead just give a basic idea of what it can be in a conceptual way. You are so very correct, as is Diogo Gomes in an upper comment, but that was not the point of my post.
    Anyway, tks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


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