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Mobile internet

Mobile internet enables internet surfing every time and everywhere.

Mobile internet is getting more and more attractive through the rising number of web compatible mobile terminals such as mobile phone, smart phone, PDA, notebook or netbook and ever more favorable tariffs. Anyway, a decision on mobile internet access does not only depend on the terminal and the tariff, but also on the used network. Here, users are spoilt for choice. There are numerous possibilities how to set a mobile internet access, because there are many different networks such as GPRS, UMTS, HSDPA, WLAN or WiMAX. The networks mainly differ in availability and speed. Today, there are even mobile transfer speeds reached, which are competitors for the fixed network-based internet connection via DSL or TV cable. We are going to show you technologies for mobile internet-surfing.

Mobile wireless networks for data transmission

Those who wanted to go online some years ago, had to be very patient with the first wireless network standard GSM. The data transmission with 14,4 kbit/s on maximum was only sufficient for the transmission of emails. However, since the introduction of UMTS the development goes on rapidly. But even UMTS can be made faster. The extensions are called HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) and HSPA+. Currently it is being talked about a fourth radio communication standard LTE that is supposed to reach speed rates of 100.000 kbit/s on maximum in only a few years. In the following overview you’ll find a listing of all wireless network standards.

Transmission rates wireless network standard:

Network Abbreviation Maximum kbit/s
Global System for Mobile Communications GSM 14,4 kbit/s
General Packet Radio Service GPRS 53,6 kbit/s
Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution EDGE 220,0 kbit/s
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System UMTS 384,0 kbit/s
High Speed Downlink Packet Access HSDPA 7.200 kbit/s
High Speed Packet Access HSPA+ 28.800 kbit/s
Long Term Evolution LTE (in Planung) 100.000 kbit/s
As at: 01.01.2011

Still, the availability of wireless networks via UMTS or HSDPA, as with DSL, is only restricted on larger towns and urban centres. In rural areas the network extension will (if at all) still last for years. With its high costs and comparably few users this is not very lucrative for providers.

Local wireless networks such as WLAN or WiMAX

Wireless internet via WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) is a popular internet access not only at home but also en route. There are numerous WLAN-hotspots to go online in cafes, on airports or train stations, at universities and in hotels. However, the range of WLAN is very limited and therefore no competitor for mobile internet accesses via mobile network. A rather nation-wide solution would be WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access). In December 2006 the Federal Network Agency auctioned suitable frequencies for WiMAX-accesses and therewith laid first foundations for the availability. Generally, the WiMAX-technology is able to transmit more than 50 Mbit/s over several kilometers up to stationary and mobile terminals. Admittedly, there are only few providers building up those cost-intensive radio networks. Against the background of the fact, that soon fast transfer rates will be possible via already existing mobile networks with HSPA+ and the planned LTE-technology.

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