What is 3G and mobile 3G network? Find out many interesting facts about the 3G, 3G speed and the best 3G network.

What is 3G – Introduction


3G is the third generation of mobile networks. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has introduced the set of standards for mobile devices called International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 or IMT-2000. IMT-2000 defines the peak data rates for the 3G network of at least 200 kbps or 0.2 Mbps.

A few different kinds of mobile networks are branded as 3G networks.  Thanks to them and WiFi technology, the wireless mobile broadband technology has changed the world we are living. They enabled relatively fast mobile broadband internet access anytime and anywhere.

What is 3G – Different 3G Networks

Lots of different standards and mobile technologies use the name 3G and they all comply with the IMT-2000:

  • EDGE – Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
  • UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

EDGE – Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution

EDGE uses the same old 2G GSM infrastructure, but better and more efficient modulation technique – 8PSK modulation. EDGE is still used quite frequently, because it is very simple to upgrade it from the 2G Radio Access Network and cell phones. EDGE enables the speeds up to 384 kbps.

UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

An UMTS has been created and updated from the 3GPP organization or 3rd Generation Partnership Project. The UMTS offers downlink speeds up to 1.92 Mbps.

There are two different revisions of the UMTS networks:

  • W-CDMA
  • CDMA2000

W-CDMA- Wideband Code Division Multiple Access

W-CDMA is upgraded from the old 2G GSM networks and it is using the same network infrastructure like 2G networks.

It works on four different frequency spectrums:

  • 850 MHz
  • 900 MHz
  • 1900 MHz
  • 2100 MHz

The most common deployment of the W-CDMA UMTS networks in on the frequency of 2100 MHz.

W-CDMA UMTS technology has two upgrades:

  • HSPA
  • HSPA+

HSPA offers the peak speed of 14.4 Mbps in the downlink and 5.76 Mbps in the uplink. HSPA+ is the next final step from 3G to the 4G technology. It enables the up to 168 Mbps in the downlink and 22 Mbps in the uplink.

CDMA2000 (IS2000)

CDMA2000 or IS2000 is a 3G system standardized by the 3GPP2. It is used in the North and South Americas and Asia. There are four versions of the CDMA2000:

  • CDMA2000 1xRTT – speeds up to 144 kbps
  • EV-DO Release 0 – supports downlink speeds up to 2.4 Mbps
  • EV-DO Revision A – with the downlink speed up to 3.1 Mbps
  • EV-DO Revision B – with the downlink speed up to 4.9 Mbps
  • Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) – supports the peak downlink speed up to 288 Mbps

Enhanced Voice-Data Optimized or Enhanced Voice-Data Only or EV-DO is the upgrade of CDMA2000.

What is 3G – Mobile Broadband and 3G Devices

After finding out what is 3G, let’s check the term mobile broadband. Mobile 3G networks and 3G technology have enabled the mobile broadband service. The mobile broadband service enables you to browse the web, check emails, download files and even listen music and stream videos. With the 3G cell phones you can do this anytime and anywhere, as long as you have the 3G internet connectivity.

3G mobile broadband has also brought the following devices to the market:

  • 3G cell phones and smartphones
  • 3G tablets
  • 3G dongles
  • 3G modules
  • 3G MiFi devices
  • 3G M2M devices

What is 3G Conclusion

You have found out in this post what is 3G, different kinds of 3G networks and their peak speeds. Also, we discussed about the mobile broadband and how 3G technology has big influence on the latest changes, not only in telecom industry but in other kinds of technologies. 3G mobile broadband technology has changed human behavior and relationships, especially with the social networks. Maybe the reason of so huge popularity of the social networks is the 3G technology together with the WiFi.

Next step after 3G is 4G. Read more about the 4G in the following posts:

I recommend that you check the article – 3G.

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