What is 3G TechnologyGuide to the 3G Network
It is crazy to think that no more than ten years ago the most impressive thing that you could boast about your phone was your top score on snake, nowadays due to what is called 3g technology cell phones can surf the net, send and receive videos and send pictures! But what does 3g mean and what is 3g technology?
If you find that you are looking for the answer to these questions, trust me you are not alone! This page is going to provide you with a simple explanation as to what 3g technology is as well as providing additional information on 3g speed, 3g network and 3g internet.
If you are also asking yourself ‘what is 4g technology?‘ or want some information on 3g vs 4g technology then please see our dedicated pages.
What does 3g mean?
First of all we are going to start off with answering the main question ‘what does 3g mean?’ What ‘3g’ actually means is ‘third generation’ and this is referring to the evolution of the data network used for mobile phone technology. Third generation phones come with 3g built into them and providing they are in an area where the 3g network is available they can surf the internet and upload and download data by joining it for a more efficient connection and service.
The difference between a phone that has 3g and one that doesn’t is basically the ability to join the 3g network (where it is available) and thus use the internet more quickly and efficiently. Of course it is still possible to browse the internet using a 3g phone or a non-3g phone, however it will be much slower. We will talk more about what the 3g network is further on down the page.
We hope that this section has been useful in answering the question ‘what does 3g mean?’.
What is 3g technology?
Now that we have answered the question ‘what does 3g mean?’ we are now going to provide you with some more information on what 3g technology is as well providing a brief explanation as to what it’s predecessors the 1g and 2g networks were, or are as they are still used in some areas.
Believe it or not the first service set up in the USA to connect mobile car phone users to a public fixed network dates back to the 1940’s. This was improved upon several times until the introduction of first generation technology in the 1970’s, a brief recap of what happened next is as follows:
First generation / 1g technology – In the 1970’s the first generation analog system for mobile communications was improved significantly due to the introduction of the microprocessor and also the digitisation of the control link between the mobile phone device and the cell site. The cell site being the area or ‘cell’ that the phone connects to by transmitting to low power transmitter and receiver. This system was branded ‘cellular’ because the coverage that it provided was divided into these smaller cells. The phone transmits to the cell site and visa versa.
Second generation / 2g technology – Towards the end of the 1980’s second generation digital cellular systems were created. These new and improved systems digitised both the control link and also the voice signal, it provided a much better quality of communication and gave a higher capacity for a cheaper cost to the customer.
Third generation / 3g technology – Here is where you will find the answer to your question ‘what is 3g technology?’. Following 2g technology came the introduction of third generations systems which provide a fast communications service for wireless devices such as mobile phones, fax machines and also the internet. This system can be used at any time and anywhere in the world. The first 3g network was set up in Japan in 2001 and has allowed the introduction of further applications and services on a mobile device such as multimedia entertainment, videos, pictures, games, map and directional services to name but a few popular examples.
As wonderful as 3g technology is it does not come without its issues. All of the big cell phone networks provide 3g coverage, however how good this coverage is all depends on where you live, or where you are when you are using your mobile device. If you live in a big city or a place where there are a large volume of people then you will get the most out of 3g technology as the networks set up their masts so that the signal is stronger in these areas, however if you live out in the countryside then 3g will be hard if not impossible to connect to. You may well still be able to connect to the internet just not using the 3g network and therefore at a painfully slow speed.
What is 3g technology in a nutshell?
In a nutshell, what 3g is is the current stage in the evolution of wireless technologies, it has brought vast improvements and enhancements to it’s predecessor the 2g network but will one day be replaced by the up and coming 4g network. 3g technology fundamentally provides a bigger, stronger and faster wireless network. It is primarily used with mobile phones as a means of connecting to the internet and to download and upload data. 3g technology also allows the user to connect to IP networks and make voice and also video calls.
What are the benefits of 3g technology?
So now that we have provided an explanation as to what 3g technology is, we are now going to list the benefits that using it brings:
- Enhanced streaming of audio and video
- High speed internet browsing both on the net and also WAP
- You can watch TV through the internet
- Higher data speed
- It supports multiple may audio and visual conversations
- Global roaming
- Advanced multimedia access
There are many benefits to 3g technology, however 4g technology is something that is already available in some countries in the far east such as Japan. In the future this will be introduced in America and Europe but how long it will be until it is widely available is a question that cannot be answered at present. For more information on 4g technology please see our dedicated page to the subject.
What is 3g network?
So we now know what 3g means and what the benefits of 3g are, but what is 3g network? In this next section we are going to provide some information on the actual network itself. In comparison to it’s predecessors the capacity of the 3g network is what is the fundamental difference. A higher capacity means for faster download and upload speeds, a better connection and higher bandwidth for mobile internet devices.
As we have said earlier on in the page, how effective the 3g network is for you depends on where you are when you are using it. The network requires a signal to be transmitted between masts/towers and the mobile device itself. The mobile phone networks have masts all over the place for their regular transmissions, however if they add a 3g element to the mast then this will boost the prospect of using 3g technology if you are within range of that mast. 3g networks are set up to be stronger in areas where there are more people such as large towns and cities.
You can get the best out of the 3g network if you live in one of these places, if you don’t then it may be very difficult or even impossible to connect to the network. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot access the internet from your mobile device, it does however mean you will be subjected to a slower and less reliable connection.
The 3g networks are still growing and improving in Europe and the USA, where as in the far east in places such as Japan they are much more widespread and efficient.
Almost all of the latest cell phones such as the apple iPhone and blackberry have the ability to use the 3g network.
If you are interested in what 3g technology is then you are bound to wonder what the 3g speed is in your area. The 3g service depends on the cell phone network that you are with and where in the country you are when you are trying to connect to the service. The following table provides some examples of the upload and download speeds of the 3g network in larger cities for the three biggest cell phone networks, it also tells you what the reliability of the network is there. For more information on the 3g speed and 3g network reliability in your area the best thing to do is call you provider and ask them as they will be able to give you a more detailed answer.
As you will have read when you are asking the question ‘what is 3g technology?’ the answer is all about the ability to use the internet from a mobile device. There are a whole range of benefits of being able to use 3g internet from your mobile device and these re increasing all of the time as mobile phone technology advances.
The 3g internet allows you as a user to:
- Surf the net
- Upload and download data
- Use cell phone applications
- Watch videos
- Watch television
- Download music
Mobile phones are so advanced now that using 3g internet is just like having a mini laptop! If you are stuck with a dated and slow analog phone then it really is time to launch yourself into the 21st century by investing in a smartphone that has 3g capability such as an apple iPhone or an Android phone.
We hope that is page has been able to help answer the question ‘what is 3g technology?’, and that our simple explanation as to what does 3g mean makes sense.