Mobile 101-Evolution of Mobile Networks

The evolution of mobiles has been drastic in the last ten years. We’ve seen bar phones, flip-phones, phones with keypad and full touchscreen phones. Mobile companies have been laughing their way to the banks as a majority of the population is now connected through phones. The same goes with mobile networks, obviously mobiles and mobile networks go hand-in-hand, otherwise phones would have just been a brick with some buttons on it, imagine that. Well, that’s not the case and mobile network providers have constantly upgraded their services to provide the customers with a happy experience.

If we talk about the evolution in mobile network technology, we can start with the age old 1G. Most people won’t recognize this, but when mobile phones were first launched in the market, they used to run on 1G. The ‘G’ stands for generation, so you can understand why it’s called 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.


1G belonged to the dinosaur era. It was an analogue network and worked similar to radio transmission. Calls on this network were susceptible to static and noise and anyone with a radio scanner could listen in to your calls. Scary isn’t it? However, it was an initial approach to cordless communication and could connect callers more than 40kms away. This was pretty impressive for those days.


It marked the arrival of the digital network and a solution to the analogue network; it also meant the congestion of mobile towers throughout the vicinity. Digital cellular networks meant almost every other person had a phone and thus the era of ‘permanent connection’ began. Due to network towers, static and noise decreased drastically. But, the Global System Communication (GSM) system was limited when it came to coverage.


It marked the arrival of mobile broadband. 3G was created to meet the growing demands of consumers feeding on large amounts of data. The innovation was Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems (UMTS); this became the basic architecture for the core network. 3Gnetworks divided the data sent into small packages that were reassembled in the correct order on the other end upon arrival.



It marked the arrival of super-speed data and is based on the International Mobile Telecommunications-Advanced (IMT-Advanced) standard. 4G networks can deliver speeds up to 100mbps and also 4G smartphones have seamless connectivity. So transferring from Wi-Fi to 4G or back can be done without any interruptions. Certain 4G enabled smartphones also have extra features like VoLTE; it’s an acronym for Voice over LTE. It’s based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network and VoLTE phones are said to have three times more voice and data capacity than 3G and six times more than 2G GSM.