Background to the Study
The internet was first introduced in the early 1990s, and usage grew more popular following an internet workshop organized by the Yaba College of Technology in 1995. The introduction of internet access via mobile phone service in 2004 has spurred further increases in internet use after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) licensed 38 internet service providers to sell internet services in Nigeria and ever since that time communications have developed rapidly with the different generations of the mobile networks.
In this path of technological advancement, we went from having the zeroth generation or pre cellular network technology which was an analog system with a limited range to the evolution of first generation network technology with the size of the transmitter and receiver reduced and the concept of cell introduced. Then comes 2G network which introduced GSM architecture that eliminated the roaming drawback of 1G with extra utility of SMS by using digital systems. After 2G, quite modifications were done to the original GSM architecture to improve and make it more efficient. 2.5G system includes HSCSD and GPRS. 2.75G known as EDGE was introduced which required only software upgrade to existing BS. After such modifications in architectures and transmission techniques 3G came to existence, which deploys CS and PS both based on the kind of traffic available. 3.5G –HSPA is the combination of HSDPA and HSUPA. 3.75G introduced HPA+ known as HSPA evolution which was 3GPP initiative to enhance performance and capabilities of HSPA. Then came 4G network which provided much higher data rates than recent 3G networks.
Generations of mobile networks in Nigeria
(0G) Zeroth Generation generation mobile network
This was the first mobile communication technology also known as pre-cellular system. Here a central antenna was mounted per region and strong transmitters and receivers were used to send and receive the data such as push to talk. This generation used half duplex and analog mode of communication.
(1G) First Generation mobile network
1G was basically an analog cellular system with circuit switched network architecture deployed in 1981. The data traffic was mainly in voice. It used FDMA as a multiplexing technique with peak speed of 1.9kbps. The most successful standards were Total Access Communication System (TACS), Advance Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) and Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT). The major problems associated were limited services, low data rates, inadequate fraud protection and poor security with no roaming.
(2G) Second Generation mobile network
The main difference between 1G and 2G is analog/digital split. With the introduction of GSM architecture in 1991, 2G was now capable of handling roaming with Short Message Service (SMS) facility. The main traffic in this circuit switched architecture was voice and data with FDMA and TDMA as their multiplexing techniques. In this generation the data rates were 9.6kbps – 14.4 kbps.
2.75 Generation – EDGE
With the introduction of 2.75G in 1999 with the data rates of 384kbps, originally known as Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution was changed to Enhanced
Data rates for Global Evolution. The idea behind EDGE was eight-phase shift keying (8PSK) as a modulation scheme. It requires only software upgrade to existing base station and increases the data rates by threefold of standard GSM. Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS) is the combination of EDGE and GPRS techniques. If EDGE and HSCSD is combined then it is called as Enhanced Circuit Switched Data (ECSD) provides data rates three times higher than HSCSD.
(3G) Third Generation mobile network
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) started the work for the next generation mobile networks in the same year when GSM was launched commercially. This new system was called Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS). In the 1997 ETSI selected WCDMA as their 3G radio interface. 3G development work was carried out by Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) organization. The core network is divided into two parts: circuit switched
and packet-switched. Multiple technologies associated with 3G are explained with their units, evenly and uniformly in all directions but user is present at only one direction at a time, thus most of the BS energy is wasted.
Generation – HSPA
High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is the combination of High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA). To improve the data rates of WCDMA, it is upgraded to HSPA. It is based on shared channel transmission. It uses multi-code transmission with higher order modulation, short transmission time interval, fast scheduling along with fast link adaptation and fast Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request (HARQ). It requires only software upgrade to existing WCDMA standards.
Generation – HSPA+
Known as HSPA Evolution, it is a 3GPP initiative to enhance the performance and capabilities of the HSPA. It provides better HSPA spectrum efficiency with shorter HSPA latency and higher data transmission.
(4G) Fourth Generation mobile network
Speed and reliability matters when it comes to 4G wireless networks deployed in 2010. The key feature of 4G infrastructures are accessing information anytime,
anywhere with a seamless connectivity in heterogeneous environments. It is suppose to give data rates of 150Mbps to 1Gbps while moving and stationary positions. Also it should able to integrate and identify the current available technology and make use of it. 4G provides a reliable network, improved capability, increased security and global mobility. The contributing technologies to the 4G are as follows.
(5G) Fifth Generation mobile network
Patrick Waldemar asserts that tomorrow’s technology will bring amazing new features in terms of connectivity, capacity, and speed, but that won’t happen in a vacuum. The automotive industry recognizes the importance of innovation in every aspect of its business, including production, driving experience and safety. Therefore, all major brands are aiming to develop smarter and more connected vehicles. To achieve this, it would be much more expensive and counterproductive for all car brands to develop their own next-generation wireless communication systems. By supporting the development of 5G and defining the specifications required for smart cars, smart cars will accelerate the progress of 5G and leave the test lab to enter the real world.
(6G) Sixth Generation mobile network
The 6th generation (6G) wireless mobile communication networks shall integrate satellites to get global coverage. The global coverage systems have been developed by four courtiers. The global position system (GPS) is developed by USA. The COMPASS system is developed by China. The Galileo System is developed by EU, and the GLONASS system is developed by Russia. These in depended systems are difficulty for space roaming.
Statement of the Problem
After careful study of mobile networks and its usage in Nigeria, it was observed that there is need for a study of its history, advantages, limitations and challenges of adoption in the country. Therefore to contribute in current technology one must know the previous history of technology and its pros and cons. This research work helps reader to understand the different mobile generations, advantages, limitation and challenges of adoption in Nigeria and its step by step evolution up till the (6G) 6th Generation.
Aim of the Study
The specific purpose of the study is to carry out a research on the generations of mobile networks and their challenges of adoption in Nigeria.
Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study is to explore the;
- History of mobile networks
- Advantages of mobile networks
- Limitations of mobile networks
- Challenges of mobile networks usage
The study attempts to analyze the underlying factors affecting the adoption of the various mobile networks in Nigeria and explore the existence of relationship among them.
Research Questions of the Study
This study was guided by the following research questions
- What are the generations of the various mobile networks.
- What are the advantages of the mobile networks usage in Nigeria.
- What are the disadvantages/limitations of the various mobile networks usage in Nigeria.
- What are the challenges of adoption of each of the various mobile networks in Nigeria.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study in particular is to explore the history of the generations of mobile networks considering their advantages, limitations and challenges of adoption in Nigeria. The study was carried out in Ovia North East local government area, Edo state, Nigeria. Also due to the nature of the present research, the study used secondary schools students, university students and some civil servants who were to give relevant information on the advantages, disadvantages and challenges facing mobile network usage in the country.
Significance of the Study
This study is relevant to both the educational sector which include primary and secondary school students, teachers, ministries of education, educational researchers. It is also useful to policy makers, the government, mobile network providers and to the society at large.
To students by seeing they come to terms with the mobile networks development in their country putting them in abreast with generations of technology around them that keeps them informed.
Teachers may find this study a rich resource as it offers information on various mobile networks and their limitations that will improve their teaching aid.
To ministries of education and educational researchers it would help in building up resources for curriculum for the educational sector.
The knowledge gained from this study will assist government, policy makers and mobile network providers to design policies, program, and modify networks which will help reduce the limitations and enhance better usage of mobile network in the country.
Limitations of the Study
Limitations of the study are conditions beyond the researcher’s control that are perceived to place boundaries on the conclusion and application of the study findings to other circumstances, Best and Khan (2009).
The study did not use the entire target population, however, the study used few secondary schools, tertiary institutions, and government establishments across Nigeria. This posed a challenge in the generalization of the findings to the entire population in the country. However the researcher mainly employed probability sampling procedure which ensured that the study used a good sample size which was a good representative of the study characteristics.
Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined in the context of this study:
Mobile networks: Also referred to as cellular network, is a communication network where the link to and from end nodes is wireless.
Advantages: According to the online oxford dictionary, “it is a condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position.
Limitations: This is a restriction or limiting circumstances.
(HSPA): This refers to High Speed Packet Access
EDGE: Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution[email protected].[email protected].