Beyond 3G Network Architectures
As discussed in Chapter 1, the general trend in telecommunications is to move all applications to a common transmission protocol, the Internet Protocol. The tremendous advantage of this approach is that applications no longer require a specific network technology but can be used over different kinds of networks. This is important since, depending on the situation, an application might be used best over a cellular network while at other times it is more convenient and cheaper to use a wireless home or office networking technology such as Wi-Fi. The increasing number of multiradio devices supports this trend. Today and even more so in the future, a number of wireless technologies are deployed in parallel. This is necessary as the deployment of a new network requires a considerable amount of time and there are usually only a small number of devices supporting a new network technology at first. It is therefore important that different network technologies are deployed not only in parallel but also at the same location. As well as the introduction of new technologies, existing network technologies continue to evolve to offer improved performance while the new technology is not yet deployed or is just in the process of being rolled out. For these reasons, this chapter looks at a number of different Beyond 3G network technologies with an emphasis on those with the highest market share. In this context, the term ‘Beyond 3G networks’ is used ...