Mobile Internet

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Internet stick ( Huawei ) with SIM card ( otelo )

Mobile Internet ( English mobile web ) refers to the provision of an Internet connection or parts thereof (e.g. World Wide Web ) on mobile devices such as, in particular, laptops , cell phones and tablets .


connection Apple iOS Android Windows Phone Download rate
GSM GPRS ○ / GPRS G G 53.6 kbit / s
GSM EDGE EDGE E. E. 256 kbit / s
UMTS 3G 3G 3G 384 kbit / s
UMTS HSPA 3G H H 7.2 Mbit / s
UMTS HSPA + 3G H + H + 42 Mbit / s
LTE LTE 4G / LTE LTE 300 Mbit / s
LTE-Advanced 4G LTE + / 4G + 4G 1 Gbit / s

The mobile Internet is closely related to advances in the development of cellular technology . Although uncommon because of the high costs, in the 1980s the analog cellular networks of the time in combination with the cellular computers of the time were the prerequisite for accessing Internet services such as IRC or e-mail while on the move. In 1988, Mobitex was also introduced in the USA and Sweden (now out of service), which enabled signals to be received and sent directly in digital form. In the 1990s it was finally possible to access the Internet with a mobile phone via the GSM network, albeit initially only as a CSD data connection at low speed . The introduction of the GSM extensions HSCSD , GPRS and EDGE brought a significant increase in speed.

In 1999, GPRS introduced packet switching in mobile communications worldwide and thus made the first major step towards mobile Internet. The global start took place in 2001. Bernhard Walke and Peter Decker are considered to be the inventors of GPRS .

Other important development steps were the introduction of UMTS in 2002 and, based on this, HSDPA and HSUPA in 2006. This allowed surfing the Internet with a maximum of 7.2 Mbit / s download and a maximum of 1.45 Mbit / s upload.

Since 2007, several mobile network providers have switched their mobile network to UMTS or, based on this, to HSDPA. For mobile phones, which were usually already technically equipped for this, this was not a real replacement for a stationary computer or a notebook because of the small size and quality of the screens and the still underdeveloped ergonomics. In addition, the area coverage in Germany was low, so that mobile use in planes, cars and trains was mostly limited to querying and sending e-mails. The latter also affected laptops.

In Austria, the (stationary) mobile Internet access via HSDPA developed more strongly; At the beginning of 2008, around 28 percent of all broadband connections there were mobile. However, according to a study by the Chamber of Labor in 2008, the possible transmission speeds most often stated in the product descriptions were "not even approximately achieved in any single measurement". In Switzerland there was legal tethering with Apple and swisscom in 2009 .

In 2008, according to a study by the consulting company Accenture, 62 percent of Germans had an Internet-enabled cell phone. Of these, however, only 13 percent said they went online via mobile. In a follow-up study in 2010, Accenture came to the conclusion that 69 percent of Germans had a mobile phone with Internet access , of which 18 percent also used the mobile Internet. That changed with the advent of smartphones . Such cell phones contained a web browser and were generally capable of GPRS and UMTS, but at least EDGE. WLAN was also integrated more and more frequently. According to the Accenture study, the proportion of users among iPhone owners is 91 percent. For other smartphones with a touchscreen , it was still 55 percent. According to the Federal Statistical Office , mobile Internet use in Germany rose from nine to 17 percent between the beginning of 2009 and 2010. In 2010, according to a survey by TNS-Infratest, eleven percent of Germans owned a smartphone. For 2011, the industry association BITKOM expects 10 million smartphones to be sold in Germany. According to a study by research2guidance, the base of app users is now growing fifteen times faster than stationary Internet users. In 2013, the mobile Internet was used by 1.91 billion mobile phone users worldwide.

The development of mobile Internet use in Germany 2012–2014 as a percentage of the population

Although the development of general Internet use in Germany is stagnating for 77 percent of the population, mobile use has shown a strong upward trend since 2012 (2012: 27 percent, 2013: 40 percent, 2014: 54 percent).

Access technologies

Comparison of the maximum achievable bit rates with different mobile radio standards ( logarithmic representation )

2nd generation (2G)

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

A packet-oriented transmission service that is used in the field of mobile communications. In practice, GPRS technology enables a data transmission rate of up to 55.6 kbit / s.

Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)

EDGE is a technique for increasing the data rate. EDGE extends GPRS to E-GPRS (Enhanced GPRS). In practice, this means an increase in the data rate up to 217 kBit / s.

3rd generation (3G)

UMTS and the HSPA extension

The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is another way of realizing the mobile Internet. With the addition of High Speed ​​Packet Access (HSPA), download rates of up to 7.2 Mbit / s (with HSDPA ) and upload rates of up to 1 , 45 Mbit / s (with HSUPA ) possible.

Since the beginning of 2010, various providers have been offering mobile Internet access via HSPA + . HSPA + is an extension of HSPA and is also known under the name HSPA Evolution. Data transmission rates of up to 28 Mbit / s in the downlink and 11 Mbit / s in the uplink are possible via HSPA +. However, the currently offered HSPA + standard is based on Release 6 with a maximum downlink of 14.4 Mbit / s and a maximum uplink of 5.76 Mbit / s. From HSPA + Release 7 up to 28 Mbit / s will theoretically be possible.

Long Term Evolution (LTE)

Compared to the alternative WiMAX technology, LTE is intended to enable mobile phone providers to use a cost-effective evolutionary migration path from UMTS via HSPA to LTE. In contrast to UMTS, LTE supports different bandwidths and can thus be used flexibly in different future spectra. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2008 , Ericsson demonstrated an end-to-end connection with LTE on compact mobile devices for the first time. Data rates of 25 Mbit / s in the uplink and downlink were demonstrated. The Global Mobile Suppliers Association assumed that by the end of 2010, up to 19 cellular networks converted to LTE would be in operation worldwide. In 2012, providers were already advertising download speeds of 100 Mbit / s, which were not yet achieved in practice at the time.


WiMAX is being discussed as a mobile alternative to DSL lines and UMTS connections. The coverage radius of a base station in an urban environment is usually between 2 and 3 kilometers. As with UMTS, all users involved have to share the available bandwidth.

4th generation (4G / LTE)


LTE-Advanced is an extension of LTE, which theoretically enables data rates of up to 3 GBit / s.

5th generation (5G)

The 5th generation of mobile communications should achieve data rates of up to 10 gigabits per second. That would be about 10 times as fast as the current LTE standard. In May 2013, Samsung announced that 5G data transmission had been successful under laboratory conditions. Ericsson started the first tests and measurements under outdoor conditions in 2015. According to EU plans, 5G technology should be ready for the market by 2020. According to RTR from February 2017, 10,000 new antennas and faster approval would be required in Austria. Frequency allocation by auction ended in February in Switzerland and in March in Austria. In Germany it began on March 19 and ended after 497 rounds on June 12, 2019. The auction brought in 6.55 billion euros, and Deutsche Telekom , Vodafone , Telefónica and Drillisch won the auction .


Another possibility of mobile internet is WLAN , often synonymous with Wi-Fi . Via so-called hotspots , you can dial into the Internet with a notebook or mobile phone while on the move. A WLAN community is e.g. B. FON with 300,000 hotspots worldwide and 30,000 of them in Germany . In many hotels, train stations, airfields, etc., paid or free hotspots are offered today. Since 2012, Deutsche Bahn has also been offering paid internet via hotspot, initially on some selected trains. Original sound of the advertisement: “Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom are jointly expanding Internet access in the ICE. By the end of 2014, a total of 255 ICE trains and 5,200 km of ICE (core) network should be equipped with broadband internet technology. ”The new ICE 4 has a public and free WiFi network. The older ICE generations have also been upgraded since the end of 2016.


Li-Fi refers to optical data transmission. In theory, Li-Fi offers a bandwidth that is 1000 times higher than current wireless technology.


A femtocell is a private UMTS radio cell. It is a small transmitting and receiving station for UMTS that expands the network of the respective mobile phone provider in private areas, such as in your own home. The femtocell is also integrated into public cellular networks so that connections between this and the private UMTS network are transferred without interruption. It can be used with any 3G or UMTS-capable mobile device.

Satellite access

Internet access via satellite is another way of realizing the mobile Internet. This possibility is z. B. used by journalists, scientists, aid organizations etc. in remote areas. The cost is high and the speed is relatively slow.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ About cellular data networks . In: Apple Support . ( [accessed May 8, 2017]).
  2. Retrieved May 7, 2017 .
  3. ^ Bernhard Walke: The roots of GPRS: the first system for mobile packet-based global Internet access . Ed .: IEEE Wireless Communications. May 2013, p. 12–23 ( [PDF; accessed February 8, 2019]).
  4. Peter Decker, Bernhard Walke: A general packet radio service proposed for GSM . In: ETSI SMG Workshop "GSM in a Future Competitive Environment" . Helsinki, Finland October 13, 1993, p. 1–20 ( [PDF; accessed February 8, 2019]).
  5. Mobile broadband is a top seller in Austria. Heise online from January 23, 2008.
  6. Berthold Thoma: Mobile Internet: "We are number one when it comes to private new connections" In: Der Standard , August 12, 2008.
  7. ↑ Practical test of mobile broadband ,, accessed on December 17, 2011 (PDF; 184 kB)
  8. Mobile Web Watch 2008
  9. Mobile Web Watch 2010
  10. Federal Statistical Office - press release of February 14, 2011.
  11. Go Smart - Study on smartphone use 2012
  12. Smartphone sales in 2011 over the 10 million mark
  13. App user base is growing 15 times faster than stationary internet user base , research2guidance from June 14, 2013.
  14. Numbers and facts on the subject of the Internet ( Memento of the original from May 23, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, accessed on May 23, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. ^ D21-Digital-Index - The development of the digital society. A study by Initiative D21, carried out by TNS Infratest, November 2014, p. 57.
  16. Mobile Internet use - yardstick for the digital society. A study by Initiative D21, carried out by TNS Infratest, December 2014, p. 6 (PDF; 2 MB)
  17. EDGE: fast internet even without UMTS
  18. HSPA + Downlink ,
  19. HSPA + Technologie ,
  20. Ericsson to make world-first demonstration of end-to-end LTE call on handheld devices at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona ( Memento of the original from September 9, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. GSA Confirms Almost 100% Increase in LTE. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on January 24, 2010 ; Retrieved January 22, 2010 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  22. Matthias Kremp: High-speed network with huge holes. Spiegel Online, October 9, 2012, accessed December 6, 2012.
  23. Samsung Announces World's First 5G mmWave Mobile Technology ,
  24. 5G: what will happen in the next five years? Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  25. From 1G to 5G Infographic. European Commission, February 21, 2014, accessed October 9, 2015 .
  26. Mobile communications: five questions and answers on 5G frequency allocation. European Commission, March 8, 2019, accessed April 7, 2019 .
  27. Frequency auction 2019 - frequencies for 5G. Federal Network Agency, 2019, accessed April 7, 2019 .
  28. 5G auction brings Germany almost 6.6 billion euros. Spiegel Online, June 12, 2019, accessed on the same day.
  30. ^ Deutsche Bahn AG, Passenger Transport Division, Marketing eCommerce: WLAN on trains. Retrieved February 7, 2017 .