4G is a packet-switched technology that uses bandwidth much more efficiently, allowing each user’s packets to complete for available bandwidth, and billing users for the amount of data transmitted. It also solves the non-standardization problems associated with 3G networks for voice, video, and data transmission.
The data transfer rates are expected to be in the range of 20 to 100 Mbps in 4G networks. Which will be 10 to 50 times those offered by 3G links. The operating frequency range will be between 3 GHz to 10 GHz and the internet protocol used will be IPV6 (Internet Protocol Version Six). 4G will enable wireless subscribers to view high definition television programming through wireless broadband connections.
Internet based multi-channel video on demand will become a reality. In traditional cellular networks, about 80 percent of the cost of the infrastructure is for site acquisition and installation and just 20 per cent is for the technology. With wireless peer to peer networking, however about 80 percent of the cost is for technology and only 20 percent is for installation. Technology costs to tends to decline over time and the devices will get cheaper.
In this dream network, the user devices act as routers, which are actually part of network infrastructure. So instead of carriers subsidizing the cost of user devices like handsets, PDA and Lap-tops. Consumers actually subsidise and help deploy the network for the carrier. In the cellular infrastructure users contribute nothing to the networks. They are just consumers competing for resources. But in wireless ad-hoc peer to peer networks, users co-operate rather than just complete for network resources.
Thus, as the service gains popularity and the number of users increases, the service improves for all users and simultaneously cost reduces. Cellular phone companies, Alcatel, Nortel, Motorola, and IT companies, HP, Hughes, LG are getting involved in developing 4G networks. Much of the work and R&D is taking place in the Asia Pacific region.