Technological developments in recent years is getting faster in every way when it comes to internet connections. But if there is one area where progress has brought, more than anywhere else, such a revolution is that of the smartphones, where substantial improvements have occurred not only in hardware, despite our phones today are hundreds of times more powerful than the same of the new millennium, but especially at the network level.
At the end of 90s the boom of the first cell phones coincided with the broadcast of the first 2G, or second generation networks, also known as GSM. These differed from previous fully digital operation, which dramatically increased the quality of calls and allowed much greater flow management of bandwidth available to users, a bit like what happened even more recently with the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television. The first real revolution brought by the GSM standard – 2G was the introduction of SMS, text messages were born following the observation of a group of engineers who noted the handshake (which is the constant exchange of data between cell and cell to ensure the signal on your phone) occupies a portion of the total available memory less than that, leaving space in bytes for the equivalent of 160 characters of text.
2G standard allowed before any other mobile access technology due to its partial evolution, 2.5G or also called General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). Even today connect under GPRS means surf at a speed lower than the maximum potential of an old dial-up connection, we speak of about 33 kbps, a figure sufficient to permit to use smartphones running these networks if you just want to send and receive messages via software like Whatsapp, and at the same time conserve battery. To allow you to take advantage of these networks at the end of 90s you think to WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), a kind of black and white for mobile internet.
This was followed by other developments, like the Edge, but they were soon set aside in favor of a new standard for third-generation, or 3G WCDMA networks, the first to allow speeds comparable to those of an adsl line a few years ago. The 3 generation technology standard which uses WCDMA technology interface is known in Europe and America as UMTS. UMTS connections allow you to surf at a speed approximately ten times greater than the previous standard, arriving at around 384 kbps, allowing for first introducing Internet on mobile phones, as well as functions such as the MMS and video calls.
The evolution of this standard, known as 3.5G HSDPA system, followed by the strengthening HSUPA, which in theory are within the 14 Mbps in download and 7 Mbps upload speed. It is currently the most widely used network and widespread in the world to connect on the move when the frequency spectrum which is sufficiently powerful to spread without problems in the cities, and still allows a speed quite good.
4G standard was created as the result of a technological struggle lasted years, which saw in the end win the LTE technology to standard Wimax. LTE is the large telecommunications revolution today because for the first time are mobile networks to outrun fixed networks, reaching theoretical speeds of nearly 150 Mbps with the standard LTE + spread recently. The speed is such to allow streaming of high-definition content and fast downloading from your smartphone.
Of course it doesn’t stop there the development of telecommunications, and the next step planned for next 2020 are networks of generation 5G networks. Still in development, thanks to an alliance of multinational companies, these networks are designed to make possible the Internet of Things (the widespread dissemination of the internet on all devices) and allow speed ten times higher than current ones, running over the roof of gigabits per second, aiming to achieve real 10 Gbps — allow downloading a high-definition movie in seconds. We are still under development, but given the recent past there have little doubt that technology will evolve to allow in a few years all of us to take advantage of a new generation of mobile networks.