The future fourth generation (4G) of the satellite-based wireless and mobile communications is particularly important for global providing of the mobile broadband global information technologies (IT) multi-services and mobile e-applications (m-applications) for geographically dispersed mass users in support of anytime, anywhere, and any required quality of service (QoS) capabilities in a low-cost way. The recent broadband satellite systems described in Ivancic et al. (1999), Evans et al. (2005), Skinnemoen, Vermesan, Iuoras, Adams, and Lobao (2005) are based mainly on centralized low-meshed architecture with very high traffic concentration. Such structure is not adequate in context of the traffic topology for rural, remote, and difficult for access (RRD) regions. Markhasin (2001) noted that the cost of centralized systems is unacceptably large for deployment of future mass broadband communications in RRD regions (North Siberia, Scandinavia, Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Central and South East Asia, South America, Australia, etc.). As it was shown in Markhasin (2001, 2004), the future low-cost IT multi-service platforms for RRD regions can be built optimal on a mix of the terrestrial and satellite-based mobile and wireless communications with radically distributed (neural-like) all-IP/ATM architecture that requires breakthrough steps for search advanced satellite, mobile, and wireless 4G technologies. Markhasin (1996) and Frigon, Chan, and Leung (2001) noted that the improvement of medium access control (MAC) protocols has a dominant effect on ensuring the breakthrough features of future QoS-aware mobile and wireless technologies. The survey and analytical comparison of the fundamental principles of QoS-oriented MAC protocols were described in Markhasin, Olariu, and Todorova (2004, 2005). The radically novel multi-functional MAC technology (MFMAC) for long-delay space mediums with fully distributed dynamic control of QoS, traffic parameters, and bandwidth resources was proposed in Markhasin (2001, 2004). This article will be focused on future QoS-aware, satellite-based, fully distributed, mesh, and scalable mobile IT multi-service and m-Applications platform’s networking technology 4G for RRD regions.
The fundamental challenges of the future 4G technologies provide answers to the following questions:
Can it be true everywhere the 4G declaration “Mobile broadband for all anytime, anywhere, any QoS, any bandwidth?”
Evolutionary or revolutionary way?
Multimodal (heterogeneity, the “Babel” of MAC protocols) or multi-functional (homogeneity, universal, scalable, adaptable, the “Esperanto” of MAC protocols)?
IP or ATM?
Centralized, hierarchic or decentralized, distributed, peer-to-peer?
Ultrahigh bit rates and local areas (wireless technology, WiMAX) or middle bit rates and global areas (mobile technology, 4G)?
The characteristics of the traditional known broadband MAC protocols depend strongly on wireless area distances, and degrade quickly, if this area is increasing (Markhasin, 2001; Markhasin et al., 2004).
This article will be focused on these 4G fundamental challenges.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Multiple Access (MA): Procedures regulating the simultaneous use of a common transmission medium by multiple users.
Multi-Functional MAC (MFMAC): Universal multi-functional MAC technology which guarantees QoS-oriented, fully distributed, and dynamical control of the MA to long-delay mediums by any networks function—access, core, transport backbone, and so forth.
Mobile Multi-Service: An integrate provisioning of the several kinds of mobile services (voice, video, data, mobile Internet, etc.).
Quality of Service (QoS): Collection of performance parameters for network service including bandwidth, average delay, jitter, packet loss probability, among many others.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM): A QoS-aware, broadband communications technology that supports multi-streams transfer of traffic of any kind (multimedia, video, voice, date, etc.) into so named cells with fixed length of 53 bytes.
All-IP Architecture: A networks interworking’s architecture based on the set of Internet protocols (IP) end-to-end.
Medium Access Control (MAC): According to the Open System Interconnection (OSI) terminology, an interface between the Physical Layer (PhL) and Logical Link Control (LLC) layers.