What’s the ‘G’ in tele G?

Every other day, we come across the terms 2G, 3G and 4G. Do any of us pause to understand what they actually mean? For starters, most of us, know that if the number in front of a ‘G’ is higher, then it is much faster. But there is so much more to the various telecom generations. In this article, News Today explains how telecom generations are spurred up and what makes each one unique.


The most distinguishing factor between various telecom generations is the spectrum that is used. In India, 2G employs 800 to 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz spectrum while 3G uses 900 Mhz and 2100 Mhz spectrum. Also, 4G uses 850 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2300 Mhz and 2500 Mhz spectrum. The specifications for 5G has already been developed by International Telecommunications Union (ITU).


In India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) earmarked the 3.3 Ghz to 3.5 Ghz spectrum for 5G network. Smart phones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 are already capable of using 5G tech. During the 4G auctions, Reliance Jio was the largest bidder. The telecommunication giant is expected to be the largest bidder in the 5G auctions as well.


To understand how mobile networks function, it is essential that we know the two basic structures of mobile networks. One is that satellite facilitates communications between mobile devices. The other means of communications between mobiles phones is via cells / mobile towers. This is also known as a cellular network. Satellite mobile networks are notably used in ships and other deserted areas whereas the cellular network is widely used on land.


The cellular network has evolved over the years. Every new evolution is termed as a new generation such as 2G which stands for second generation, 3G, 4G and so on. Behind every new generation, there is Standard Setting Organisation (SSO). Here SSO are several private companies such as Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, to name a few. There firms work together to develop the specifications for a new telecom generation by contributing their own technology. Once the specifications of a new telecom generation is finalised, anyone can use these specifications to develop their own telecom equipment. In the end, companies who contributed more to develop the latest specifications can derive royalty from firms who use this new specification.

Article by Viranch Damani

NT Bureau