In this chapter, we presented fundamental concepts and technologies for wireless communications, and introduced various architectures and three generations of wireless systems. We are currently at the transition between 2G and 3G systems (2.5G systems). The 3G systems will soon offer higher data rates suitable for a variety of applications dealing with multimedia. Services and applications are driving 3G systems. With 3G systems, users will be able to send graphics, play games, locate a restaurant, book a ticket, read news updates, check a bank statement, watch their favorite soap operas, and many other exciting applications.
In July 2002, Ericsson delivered 15 real-life 3G applications, including real-time sport applications, face-to-face video calling, and exciting team games, to 40 operators so they can demonstrate to their customers what the wireless Internet is all about.
In the meantime, researchers are already working on 4G systems that will provide even higher data rates, will be entirely IP-based, and will include many other new features.