Who sets the global “G” family standards?

Over the last weeks I have been involved in a company´s marketing initiative regarding mobile technology and

Over the last weeks I have been involved in a company´s marketing initiative regarding mobile technology and I started learning about 4G technology, how it was developed and adopted around the globe.
It was fascinating to find out the history of the “G” family and its beginnings, starting from the 1G system introduced by NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephone) in 1981. Then how it was upgraded by its predecessor in the 90s, the 2G or “second generation” primarily using the GSM standard and later on by the 3G (W-CDMA/FOMA), which appeared in 2001 and the more recent breakthrough of 4G.

Also, the 5G (5th generation mobile networks) has la long way to go as it is estimated to be finalized by 2020.  It is expected that this generation will have an increase in maximum throughput. Also, it will lower battery consumption and outage probability. It will higher bit rates in larger portions of the coverage area. It will be cheaper or no traffic fees due to low infrastructure deployment costs and it will have a higher aggregate capacity for many simultaneous users.
It seems that it takes over 10 years to develop each generation and launch the new version into the market.
When I got into more detail, I found out that the standards for mobile networks are set by the ITU, an UN agency for information and communication technologies. The ITU allocates the global radio spectrum and satellite orbits. Also, this UN agency develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnectivity, and strive to improve the access of ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
“These ITU standards, called recommendations, are fundamental to the operation of today’s ICT networks. Without ITU standards you couldn’t make a telephone call or surf the Internet. For Internet access, transport protocols, voice and video compression, home networking, and myriad other aspects of ICTs, hundreds of ITU standards allow systems to work – locally and globally.” According to the ITU website http://www.itu.int/en/about/Pages/whatwedo.aspx

More about ITU
ITU was founded in Paris in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union. It took its present name in 1934, and in 1947 became a specialized agency of the United Nations. Although its first area of expertise was the telegraph, the work of ITU now covers the whole ICT sector, from digital broadcasting to the Internet, and from mobile technologies to 3D TV. An organization of public-private partnership since its inception, ITU currently has a membership of 192 countries and some 700 private-sector entities. ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has twelve regional and area offices around the world.

By Ricardo Farias

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