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UMTS(3G) vs WLAN | difference between UMTS(3G) and WLAN

This page on UMTS(3G) vs WLAN describes difference between UMTS(3G) and WLAN. The useful links to difference between various terms are provided here.

UMTS-3G-Universal Mobile Telecommunication System

The first deployment of UMTS was as per R99 architecture. Broadly UMTS architecture consists of UE, UTRAN(consists of Node B and RNC) and CN(core network). There are various UMTS releases standardized and published by 3GPP with various feature upgrades. The UMTS was designed to support both voice as well as high speed data internet. RNC takes care of usage and reliability of radio resources. RNC is similar to BSC of GSM system and Node B is similar to BTS of GSM. Refer UMTS tutorial for more information.

WLAN-Wireless Local Area Network

Originally WLAN was developed to support wireless connectivity with LAN. The traditional LAN with wireless support is known as WLAN. WLAN has become very popular in homes, offices, public places and college campuses as it supports wireless communication.

WLAN allows little mobility while connected with the internet. WLAN uses unlicensed ISM band. IEEE 802.11 family of standards have been retified to support the development of WLAN products. Refer WLAN tutorial for more information.

Specifications UMTS WLAN
Standard 3GPP R99 IEEE 802.11 series
Network elements UE, NodeB(base station) AP(i.e. Access Point), STA(i.e. Station or client)
Signaling type Out of band signaling In band signaling
Coverage distance About 16Km(max) About 30meters(max)
Data rate 2 Mbps(static uses), 144Kbps(Mobile) 54 Mbps (as per IEEE 802.11a,
11 Mbps as per 11b
Connection to core network Mobile node or terminal is connected to core network(CN) via BSS using CS and VCS methods Mobile Node is connected to CN via Access Point
Protocol layers control as well as user protocol stacks are different control packets and user data packets are processed through same protocol stacks.
Downlink Flow control Supported Not supported
QoS Supported Not supported, Discussion under upcoming standard versions
Frequency of operation Various bands country wide 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
Topology Supports TDD and FDD Supports only TDD

UMTS WLAN related links

UMTS Tutorial  UMTS architecture  UMTS Stack  UMTS channels  WiFi router Vendors  what is WLAN   what is wifi and mifi   WLAN tutorial  

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