3G Broadband Technology

3G refers to the ‘third generation’ of wireless communication technology. This technology gives you mobile access to the internet, without the need of wires or WiFi hotspots. You can surf the net, browse through web pages, download and upload content, irrespective of your location, by just plugging in the compatible dongle with a suitable SIM card, into your laptop.

Based on the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) standards, 3G technology offers greater network capacity when compared to the previous generations of broadband technology (1G and 2G). A wide range of advanced services like high speed data transmission during downloading (about 14.4MBps) and uploading (about 5.8MBps), wide-area wireless voice telephony, wireless broadband data and video telephony are offered too.

A Brief History

The sun is not the only one to rise first in Japan. 3 Mobile broadband was also first used in this country. Today 2G network is almost totally obsolete here. A migration from 2G network to 3G network is not just simple upgradation. It involves a complete change of the network and the allotment of a different spectrum of frequencies for operation. The latter technology is more advanced, allowing both voice and non-voice data to be transferred at higher speeds.

1G technology involved analog radio signals. The voice signals were modulated using FDMA (Frequency-Division Multiple Access) to a higher frequency, to enable transmission through long distances. However, this technology suffered from poor voice links, degradation in reproduction of voice with distance, low capacity and unreliability. There was no security too, as the voice would be played back in the transmission towers.

2G technology saw an improvement in the quality of the signals. Digital signals were involved here. GSM, CDMA, TDMA are some examples. 2G was more secure and had a larger capacity compared to 1G. However, it had a downside too. If a 2G hand-set was far away from the cell tower, it would not be able to pick up the signal. In the case of 1G, the signal would have reached the hand-set, although with degradation in quality.

2G vs 3G

2G broadband offers speeds of about 10kbps, while 3G offers speeds of atleast 2Mbps and more. 3G also enables seamless global roaming capability. 2G is currently the most widely used technology in most of the digital mobile phones. This technology allows phone calls and transmission of voice and text messages. On the other hand, 3G can work on advanced mobile phones, laptops and the TV too. It allows phone calls, fax, large email message transmission, high-speed internet access, video conferencing, TV streaming and even navigation using maps.

Disadvantages. Scope for Improvement

Though this technology is promising, the network still has a long way to go before it becomes completely universal. There are rural areas where the signal strength is not sufficiently strong, to help retain the connection. Hence you can expect 3G to work wonders for you only in well connected places. Rapid expansion of this technology is taking place and will definitely rule the world soon.


4G technology, which is more advanced and efficient compared to 3G is in its pupa phase right now. Technology is moving at lightning speed, that before a new technology becomes universal, a newer one props up. For now, 3G surely seems to be a technology that is here to stay for a while.

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