The First Generation (1G) of wireless communication is an analog type of technology wherein the signals are modulated to higher frequency to transmit signal from a mobile device to another via base station. Different standards were developed in different regions, to name a few - AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) in US, NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephone) in Eastern Europe, TACS (Total Access Communications System) in United Kingdom.
But the golden era of wireless mobile application development started in the year 1980's, from which the technology GSM (General System for Mobile Communications), a European standard, first launched and invaded the marketplace. This 2nd Generation (2G) digital communication system has brought about the significant milestone in advanced technology, making longer distance communication possible and easier to use. Both cellular equipment vendors and telecommunications operators benefitted with the increasing demands from mobile users.
In GSM, the exchange of voice calls and SMS (Short Messaging System) through a portable or mobile device became widely used internationally. Its real-time and reliable transfer of information captured the attention of many users, that even the cost of services, where voice calls were charged per minute and SMS per message sent, and the hardware requirements, such as SIM card and mobile phone, are negligible for the consumers longing for efficient and reliable communication technology. As a result of further study, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) came known in 1990's. This is the beginning of data or internet connectivity via wireless communication. As consumers became enticed to accessing their emails, browsing websites and chatting using their phone, a greater challenge was formed amongst the service providers – the increase in bit rates and throughput for faster transfer of data. From this EDGE, or known as Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution, is introduced. With this development, the cellular vendors were also required to cope up with the demands and have to parallel the efforts of creating mobile phones compatible with these technologies. The handheld devices are designed to adapt the services from voice call, to sending text, to downloading data and surfing the internet with user-friendly interfaces.
It is in summer of the year 2000 where the specification work on wireless technology was assigned to the international group 3GPP (3G Partnership Program), which will be responsible in research and application of the evolving 3rd Generation (3G) wireless technology – UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System). This offers a new circuit-switched service called video calling and improved data rate up to 384kbps. Not far from the launch of 3G, HSDPA (High Speed Download Packet Access) came into the scene, offering up to 14.4Mbps data rate for mobile subscribers.
Within these last two decades, the growth of mobile application development continuously changes and became so widespread that it affects the lifestyle of most people, in any country regardless of age and social group. The services of wireless technologies paved unlimited demands from the mobile users. Because of this, another telecommunication technique called WiMax or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is being rolled out by operators in some countries in Asia and US. Not as simple as it sounds, this technology offers that in a few years, the delivery of Internet access throughout the globe without any wires is possible, not only to mobile phones but also to portable computers, any handheld devices and every living room.