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What are Mobile Telecommunications?

By Jason C. Chavis
Updated May 16, 2024
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Mobile telecommunications is the process of sending, transmitting and receiving information over a distance with the purpose of communicating. This form of signal transmission takes place with assistance of some sort of mobile device, such as a cellular phone, computer, or other wired or wireless device. The main benefit of mobile telecommunications is the ability to perform point-to-point or point-to-multipoint transmissions using either a digital or digitized analog signal. Basic transmission uses a series of protocols to send blocks or packets of information.

The various protocols utilized in mobile telecommunications require specific actions taken at certain times in order for two devices to connect and receive information. Each of these protocols take the form of physical layering, which is transmitted in a specific manner and ultimately deciphered by the receiving device. This includes time-varying schemes and spatial-varying quantities. Depending on the generation of technology used, these protocols take different forms, with each successive generation being able to decipher the protocols of previous generations.

Cellular technology makes the most notable use of the mobile telecommunications technology. The concept utilizes a series of base stations, a land-based facility or tower designed to propagate the signal from one location to another, and satellite technology. This allows the technology to spread to further locations, providing service to those across a country. Mobile cellular telecommunications began in the late 1970s, evolving in public access, cost and quality over the years.

First generation technology primarily utilizes analog telecommunications standards, allowing point-to-point telephony communication. The second generation, launched during the 1980s in Europe, is capable of transmitting higher quality digital signals including voice, basic messaging and low-speed data connections. Adaptations to the technology in the 1990s, allowed for higher rates of data transmission. The major advancement of the third generation in the late 1990s is the ability for individual users to stay connected at all times with the mobile technology, even when on the move. This advancement enable users to make use of telephony, video and broadband in a fully mobile environment at higher data stream rates.

One of the great advantages of mobile telecommunications is the ability for developing countries to leapfrog technology levels already present in developed nations. For example, while the United States, Europe and Asia have well-established networks of analog telephone technology using wires, much of the Middle East and Africa do not. This means, that instead of these areas installing the antiquated technology of wires across the country, they can simply install new mobile telecommunications devices and begin to utilize better communications immediately.

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