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Evolution of Generations of The Internet

(US Navy Blue Angels, San Francisco Fleet Week - Jeff M. Wang)


- Generations of The Global Internet

The Internet can be defined as a network of computers networks, distributed on all the globe, that rely on a shared set of communication protocols collectively known as TCP/IP, that allows communication, exchange, storage of information for it’s connected users. The figure above illustrates the worldwide distribution of the Internet network and the fact that several, often redundant communication paths are available to connect two nodes of the network.

The Internet has reached the corners of the Earth. The Internet can be classified into three generations on the basis of the technology it uses and the applications it supports. Most of the
Internet users use the first generation Internet. But the inefficiency and congestion on this Internet has become unacceptable to perform any research activities. 


- The Web Evolution

The Web has evolved through three generations:

  • Web 1.0: A static information portal
  • Web 2.0: Introduced user-generated content
  • Web 3.0: Focused on semantic web


- First Generation of The Internet

First Generation Internet was conceived in the era of time sharing in 1965. In 1969, the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) developed an experimental network called ARPAnet to link together four supercomputing centres for military research. 

This network had the many and difficult design requirements that it had to be fast, reliable, and capable of withstanding a nuclear bomb destroying any one computer centre on the network. From those original four computers, this network evolved into the sprawling network of millions of computers we know today as the Internet.

The first generation Internet has the following features :

  • Unreliable
  • Uses IPv4
  • No Quality of Service
  • No assured Bandwidth
  • Very low speeds


- Second Generation of The Internet

The second generation is a major step towards developing the Internet. This development which has so far been only in the research arena is moving to the implementation arena. The Second generation Internet adds quality of service, multimedia and other advanced services to the current Internet. The second generation Internet initiatives are I2, NGI, CAnet2 and other Asian networks. The chief characteristics of the second generation Internet initiatives are:

  • Uses IPv6
  • Multicast is provided
  • QoS is provided

Second Generation Internet is a collaborative effort to develop advanced Internet technology and applications vital to the research and education missions of higher education. Over 140 U.S universities working together with partners industry and government are leading the Second Generation Internet projects. 

Second Generation Internet is working to enable applications, such as telemedicine, digital libraries and virtual laboratories that are not possible with the technology underlying Today’s Internet.


- Third Generation of The Internet

The third generation Internet provides all the advanced features at a very fast speed. The third generation Internet is mainly in the research stage. It involves many ambitious projects that are being done in the level of a local area network and are expected to be implemented in a global way. The third generation internet initiatives are  the CAnet3, SUPERNet. The chief characteristics of the third generation Internet are : 

  • Use of DWDM and other optical technologies
  • Usage of optical layer routing and switching

The era of Third Generation Internet started in 1995, it lies with the U. S. government and academics. In this generation Internet is being commercialized, privatized and has broader access capacity. 

The Third Generation Internet created an avenue where people can be connected, share information, data transmission becomes easier. Services like online adverts, ecommerce and Internet banking are easily rendered.


- Fourth Generation of The Internet

The era of Fourth Generation Internet should be from year 2020. The Fourth Generation Internet seeks to provide better services, more intelligence, greater involvement and participation. It should be looking at worlds social and ethical values, interoperable and open. 

Internet today is key to almost any socio-economic activity. It has reshaped economic and societal behaviors. 10 years from now the Internet will be even more indispensable motor for socio-economic activity worldwide. It creates unlimited opportunities to access information and entertainment, to interact and enhance day to day transactions. 

The Fourth Generation Internet should offer more to our society and to the world in general. Its services provided should be more efficient. It is important that the future generation Internet is designed for humans so it can meet its full potential for the society and economy at large. It should be powerful, open data-driven, user-centric, interoperable platform ecosystem.  

[Princeton University]

- Generations of Cellular Internet: 1G To 5G

Ever wondered what the letter ‘G’ stands for in 3G, 4G or 5G? Well, it stands for ‘generation’ of wireless technology. Technology, in this context, has been fast evolving; one every decade roughly, taking the total number to 4 (1G, 2G, 3G, 4G). 5G has started to be launched in 2020. 

Most of us have must have witnessed the transition; from the time when mobile phones were heavy and brick like structures to the current smart phone era. Besides the structure, look and feel of the wireless device, much more has evolved. We are referring to the advancement of technology which brought with itself bigger facilities and better Internet speed.

It has been about a 50 year-journey to the 5G wireless communication network. 

  • The first generation (1G) grew in the 1980s and involved large brick-like phones that could only make calls. 
  • The second generation (2G) of networks launched in the 1990s, and gave users the first opportunity to send texts. 
  • The third generation (3G) gave devices access to broadcasting technology, making it a possible to browse the web, shop, and enjoy entertainment. 
  • The fourth generation (4G) finally gave users the ability to stream videos without having to wait to buffer. This opened up devices significantly to what's called the "sharing economy". However, the biggest, most advanced wireless network breakthrough is on the verge of exploding onto the scene. We're just talking faster phones. This revolution will involve self-driving vehicles, smart homes, smart cities, VR, robots, quantum computing - the possibilities are truly endless.  


- Emerging Innovations in Carrier Ethernet

As IP technology is gradually replacing traditional technologies, the trend of a full IP network is irresistible. 

Enjoying the innate advantage of convergence with IP, Ethernet gradually goes beyond the applications within Local Area Networks (LAN) by virtue of its advantages such as better price-performance ratio per Mb bandwidth, simple management, flexible service loading, and low cost, and has become one of the leading networking technologies for Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). 

On the one hand, the development of Ethernet technologies is reflected by the rate improvement from 10 Mb/s to 100 Gb/s; on the other hand, it is reflected by enhanced performance. New technologies for Quality of Service (QoS) guarantee, reliability and manageability are constantly emerging.

A number of business trends have emerged that are changing the traditional nature of telecom products and services and driving new demand curves. For example, the maturation of virtualisation and cloud-based applications is driving significant changes in user behaviour and network resource utilisation. 

Since virtualisation is a demand trend that is shifting IT resources from the Local Area Network (LAN) into an operator or application service provider’s network, it stresses the network to adapt and scale quickly while ensuring quality and performance, particularly for those mission critical applications for which the enterprise user is now trusting someone else to support. 

Service providers are left with no choice but to evolve their business model to one that more effectively manages the demand for new services and network traffic distribution as well as bandwidth growth requirements, all of which can be addressed with Carrier Ethernet technology. 


- Metro Ethernet Technology

When applied into operators’ networks, metro Ethernet technology has to meet the carrier-grade requirements. Currently, common Ethernet aggregation networks adopted by operators in broadband access networks of MANs cannot satisfy the requirements of NGN, IPTV and other high-quality services. 

Specifically, it cannot meet the requirements for reliability protection, and cannot provide good service management and network operation and maintenance owing to its poor Operation, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) capabilities; moreover, it is difficult to establish an end-to-end secured channel. 

In order to distinguish from traditional Ethernet applications and reflect the carrier-grade features, the telecom industry has proposed the concept of Carrier Ethernet (CE), which refers to metro Ethernet with scalability, QoS, reliability, security and manageability that can be used in operators’ networks. 

Today, it has become one important task for operators to adopt CE networking technology to optimize their IP MANs for implementing their multi-service bearing capabilities.



[More to come ...]




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