3G stands for the third generation of wireless communication technology, which allows for a greater transfer of data and improved multimedia access.

Ever since the advent of mobile phones in the 20th century, there has been an increasing need for greater and efficient communication systems. 3G is nothing but one such solution aimed at allowing people to communicate in a fast and simple manner.

The G’s Pattern

Before we get to 3G, it is imperative to understand the evolution of mobile phone technology. In the beginning stages of mobile phone technology, communication was enabled through analogue signals. The G’s pattern hadn’t started till the 1990’s, when it was called as IMT-2000 (International Mobile Communications 2000). After this came the 2G technology, which was closely followed by the 2.5G technology. The 2G technology includes the famed GSM (Global System for Mobile) technology that we use even today. The 2.5G came along as a bridge between the 2G and the 3G technologies. Some of the 2.5G services include: General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) etc.

3G Technicalities

3G is basically a combination of communications and technologies such as W-CDMA, WLAN, cellular radio etc. As for its specifications, 3G provides a data transfer rate between 128 and 144 kbps (kilobytes per second) for devices that are moving fast and 384 kbps for slow ones (like for pedestrians). For fixed wireless transfer such as LAN transfer, 3G can reach up to the speeds of 2 Mbps (Megabytes per second) and beyond.

Why 3G?

Apart from the reason that almost networks and devices would be 3G enabled in the near future, following are the reasons for why one should choose 3G, while the option of doing so is available:

  • Several times higher data speed;
  • Enhanced audio and video streaming;
  • Video-conferencing support;
  • Web and WAP browsing at higher speeds;
  • IPTV (TV through the Internet) support.

Requisites for 3G

One of the prime requirements for using 3G is to have a 3G enabled device. Most smartphones and tablets of today have an inbuilt 3G communication system, but ensuring that your device is 3G enabled is a must. Next up, it is necessary to have a data plan or a network plan which supports 3G communication. Local service providers cater to a wide range of customer requirements, so one has to also check with these providers to enable the pertinent data plan on their devices.

Apart from the device itself, there can also be some external modes of providing 3G communication. Sim cards and 3G dongles are two such good examples of the same. While a Sim card provides the basic connectivity functions, a dongle may or may not provide a data storage option as well. Another aspect of 3G communications is video calling, that is, two persons can see each other on their respective device screens and talk to each other thereby. However, this 3G service requires the users to have a camera on the front side of their devices.


Normally, 3G services have their prices slightly on the higher side. However, the service providing companies do enable the users to opt for packet-based plans. Packet-based plans are those which have a fixed price up to the use of a certain amount of data. After this specific data limit is reached by the user, the additional data would be charged on per minute or per unit basis. For instance, in a plan where 2 gigabytes of data are available to a user at a fixed price, each additional megabyte or a kilobyte after those two gigabytes would be charged for individually by the service provider.

Therefore, 3G is already widely applicable as a medium of fast and effective communication in developed countries. It is being made available slowly but surely in the developing countries as well.

What is 3G?

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