Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What is 3G Technology ?

International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000), better known as 3G or 3rd Generation, is a family of standards for mobile telecommunications fulfilling specifications by the International Telecommunication Union,[1] which includes UMTS, and CDMA2000 as well as the non-mobile wireless standards DECT[citation needed] and WiMAX[citation needed]. While the GSM EDGE standard also fulfils the IMT-2000 specification, EDGE phones are typically not branded 3G. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, video calls, and wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Compared to 2G and 2.5G services, 3G allows simultaneous use of speech and data services and higher data rates (at least 200 kbit/s peak bit rate to fulfill to IMT-2000 specification).
Today's 3G systems can offer practice of up to 14.0 Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s on the uplink.

Features

Data rates
ITU has not provided a clear definition of the data rate users can expect from 3G equipment or providers. Thus users sold 3G service may not be able to point to a standard and say that the rates it specifies are not being met. While stating in commentary that "it is expected that IMT-2000 will provide higher transmission rates: a minimum data rate of 2 Mbit/s for stationary or walking users, and 384 kbit/s in a moving vehicle,"[15] the ITU does not actually clearly specify minimum or average rates or what modes of the interfaces qualify as 3G, so various rates are sold as 3G intended to meet customers expectations of broadband data.


Security
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 crypto instead of the older A5/1 stream cipher. However, a number of serious weaknesses in the KASUMI cipher have been identified [16].


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.

Applications
The bandwidth and location information available to 3G devices gives rise to applications not previously available to mobile phone users. Some of the applications are:
  1. Mobile TV – a provider redirects a TV channel directly to the subscriber's phone where it can be watched.
  2. Video on demand – a provider sends a movie to the subscriber's phone.
  3. Video conferencing – subscribers can see as well as talk to each other.
  4. Tele-medicine – a medical provider monitors or provides advice to the potentially isolated subscriber.
  5. Location-based services – a provider sends localized weather or traffic conditions to the phone, or the phone allows the subscriber to find nearby businesses or friends.  

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