An Update on 4G Wireless: Identifying the Capabilities Required in a 4G Handset

Fourth Generation wireless (4G) has been touted as either the full emergence of mobile broad-band services, the first major step toward con-vergence, or both. As 2008 unfolds, we should get a good idea whether the first statement is correct, but convergence does not appear to have an imminent arrival. The only place where functions are converging is inside the handset, where a growing variety of func-tions are being combined—some might say forced to coexist—in very small space! If personal wireless telecommunications evolves into 4G as industry analysts are currently saying, the handsets will be very impressive engineering accom-plishments. To illustrate what level of performance and complexity is expected in a 4G handset, let’s look at the range of functionality that is now being, or soon will be, implemented in the wireless arena.