3G is the third generation of wireless technologies. It comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming. 3G is mostly used with mobile phones and handsets as a means to connect the phone to the Internet or other IP networks in order to make voice and video calls, to download and upload data and to surf the net.
3G has the following enhancements over 2.5G and previous networks:
• 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.
3G Technical Specifications:
The transfer rate for 3G networks is between 128 and 144 kbps (kilobits per second) for devices that are moving fast and 384 kbps for slow ones (like for pedestrians). For fixed wireless LANs, the speed goes beyond 2 Mbps.
3G is a set of technologies and standards that include W-CDMA, WLAN and cellular radio, among others.
3G follows a pattern of G’s that started in the early 1990’s by the ITU. The pattern is actually a wireless initiative called the IMT-2000 (International Mobile Communications 2000). 3G therefore comes just after 2G and 2.5G, the second generation technologies. 2G technologies include, among others, the Global System for Mobile (GSM) – the famous mobile phone technology we use today. 2.5G brings standards that are midway between 2G and 3G, including the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) etc.