You’ve probably heard the term mobile network a number of times before, but do you actually know what it means? In this brief blog post, I will explain what it is and how it works.
What Is A Mobile Network?
A mobile network is a complex web of interconnected cells that work together to deliver text, data, and voice to its network subscribers.
A mobile network is also known as a cellular network. A mobile network is made up of cells which are hexagonal areas of land which consist of at least one transceiver cell tower within close proximity.
These cells use various radio frequencies. The cells connect to each other as well as telephone exchanges or switches.
How Does A Mobile Network Work?
When cell towers connect to one another they hand off packets of signals which consists of, text messages, data, and voice.
The signals are transmitted to mobile devices such as phones and tablets which act as receivers.
Service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc use each others’ towers in many places.
Thus creating a complex web which offers the best possible network coverage to their subscribers.
Mobile networks have become the pillar of the telecommunications industry due to the popularity of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Mobile Network Frequencies:
The networks have been built in a way that allows many network subscribers to use mobile network frequencies simultaneously.
The frequencies are manipulated by mobile devices and cell tower sites to use low-power transmitters to supply their services to ensure the least possible interference.
Mobile Networks Continue To Evolve:
Over the years, our mobile networks have evolved immensely through a number of generations.
Every generation had lots of technological improvements over its predecessor. When 1G was introduced it gave us analog voice.
Then we had 2G which gave us digital voice, shortly thereafter, 3G was introduced which gave us data connections and allowed us to connect to the internet.
This led to the emergence of the smartphone, then 4G was introduced, this improved data connections, these data connections were faster and they provided us with better bandwidth.
At the moment 5G is in its infancy, with 5G we’re expected to get faster connection speeds and greater bandwidth in comparison to 4G. There will also be less interference with other wireless devices nearby.
Frequencies used by 4G are below 6 GHz, while the 5G networks will rely on shorter wavelength signals with significantly higher frequencies.
These frequencies are between 30 GHz to 300 GHz and they make it possible for the signals to be more directional while providing higher bandwidth which reduces interference.
The extremely fast 5G wireless speeds will make it possible to replace traditional wired connections to a house with a wireless connection.
This will significantly increase the availability of high-speed internet.
Mobile Network Providers:
There are a number of different mobile network providers in the U.S. some of these companies are small and they’re exclusive to a particular region.
While other companies are large, most people are familiar with the large companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.
There Are Two Types Of Mobile Networks:
The mobile technology that is currently used by the large mobile service providers varies and the mobile devices that we have were made to be used by the technology of a particular carrier and region.
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), this is owned by Qualcomm. GSM phones cannot work on CDMA networks and vice versa.
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is based on the GSM network, it’s fast and it offers great network capacity.
Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular all use CDMA technology. While T-Mobile, AT&T, and the majority of the other service providers around the globe use GSM.
As a result of this, GSM is the most used mobile network technology in the world.
How Does GSM Differ From CDMA?
There are a number of factors that determine the connection speed, call quality, and reception.
The service provider, the person’s location, and the equipment are all factors. The quality of GSM and CDMA are similar, however, the way these technologies work are different.
For smartphone users, GSM is more user-friendly because a GSM phone has all the owner’s personal data stored on a removable SIM card.
If you would like to change your phone you can do so by removing the SIM card from your current phone and putting it into a new GSM phone and it will connect to the service provider’s GSM network.
All GSM networks must accept any GSM phone, this gives customers lots of choices to choose from.
If you wanted to change from one GSM carrier to another while keeping the same phone that will not be a problem.
However, if you have a CDMA phone, then the procedure is a bit different because these phones are not easily transferred from one carrier to the other.
CDMA subscribers are not identified by SIM cards, they are identified based on whitelists. Only approved smartphones will be allowed on their networks.
Nevertheless, there are some CDMA phones that use SIM cards, but these SIM cards are used for different purposes.
CDMA SIM cards are used to connect to LTE networks or to give you the ability to use your phone when you’re traveling outside of the U.S.
Some service providers switched from analog to digital in the 1990’s, however, GSM technology was not available at that time.
So these service providers opted for CDMA which was the most advanced mobile network at that time.