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Abstract

Fourth generation wireless systems (4G) are likely to reach the consumer market in another 4-5 years. 4G comes with the promise of increased bandwidth, higher speeds, greater interoperability across communication protocols, and user friendly, innovative, and secure applications. In this article, I list the requirements of the 4G systems by considering the needs of the users in the future. These requirements can be met if technical and business challenges can be overcome. Technical challenges include mobility management, quality of service, interoperability, high data rate, security, survivability, spectrum, intelligent mobile devices, middleware, and network access. I discuss the most plausible solutions to these technical challenges in this paper. Business-related challenges include billing, payment methods, pricing, size of investments, content provision and mediation, and the trade-off between richness and reach. If these technical and business challenges can be met, then 4G will become the next frontier in data and voice communication infrastructure.

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