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Cellular (3G)

3G Standards have been developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). 3G is the third generation of mobile phone standards as set by International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 3G wireless standard motivated by mobility and Internet supports mobile applications; packet and circuit switched data transmission and can offer data rates of 144 kbps, 384 kbps and 2 Mbps under high mobility, low mobility and stationary environments respectively. The 400MHz to 3GHz frequency band is technically suitable for 3G. 3G is a collection of technologies including Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (GSM EDGE), Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS), High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Code Division multiple Access (CDMA) 2000.

Cellular Technology works on frequency reuse. A cellular network consists of clusters of cells with each cell having a base station communicating with a Mobile Switching Office (MSO) either through fixed lines or microwave links. MSO is connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Cellular Technology also allows hands off convenience for subscribers as they travel from cell to cell. The size of the cell depends on the density of subscribers in the area ranging from tens of meters to hundreds of meters.


National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) reports Cellular 3G technology can be used for low cost sub-station automation in order to control and monitor substation performance by using the Short Message Service (SMS) function of a digital cellular network; however, SMS of a digital cellular network will not be able to provide the quality of service that on-line substation control and monitoring may require. [1]


[1] National Energy Technology Laboratory, "Integrated Communication", Feb 2007. URL: http://www.netl.doe.gov/smartgrid/referenceshelf/whitepapers/Integrated%20Communications_Final_v2_0.pdf

Key Technology Area: 
Integrated Communications

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