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Cell Phone Generations - Advantage of 3G network over 1G and 2G

Updated on April 10, 2010

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In this world of latest technology, every new generation comes up with something new, different, and unique than the older generation and same is the case with 3G network that is also commonly called as third generation cell phones. In the field of communications, 3G has come up has the hottest thing not only because of its advancement from its earlier versions but also due to its benefits and advantages over 1G and 2G generations of cellular communications. The third generation is characterized by convergence of data and voice with the wireless Internet. In simple words, it can be said that 3G is a system that is suitable for high data transmissions and advanced multimedia applications. 3G networks have helped network operators in offering its users a vast range of advanced services. 3G systems use protocols that support high data rates and are targeted for applications beyond audio and voice. MP3, video conferencing, motion video, and lightening fast Internet access are some of the advantages of 3G network over 1G and 2G. NTT DoCoMo in Japan began operating 3G networks in 2001, in some parts of Asia and Europe in 2002, and in the U.S. and other countries after that. Through improved spectral efficiency, a 3G network is able to achieve greater network capacity. Also in the recent years, 3G networks are able to achieve speeds of more than 384 kbps which allows full mobility to 3G phone users traveling at a speed of 120 km/hour in outdoor settings. 3G systems are also able to achieve a maximum speed of 2 Mbps which allows 3G users with limited mobility walking less than 10 miles per hour in short-range indoors or stationary environments.

Nokia E75 packed with 3G technology for better media transmission and a lot of advanced features.
Nokia E75 packed with 3G technology for better media transmission and a lot of advanced features.

Also, 3G services consist of video calls, broadband wireless, and wide area voice telephony all in a mobile setting.

In relation to predictions about the number of users that 3G could accommodate, The Yankee Group anticipated in 2001, that in 2004, there will be more than 1,150 million worldwide compared with 700 million in 2000 but it is interesting to note that the users are much more than that were estimated.

T-Mobile myTouch with advanced 3G technology
T-Mobile myTouch with advanced 3G technology

Japan Next Generation Wireless Mobile Network 2008–2012 Forecast and First Half 2008 Analysis

First generation phones (1G network)

The 1G mobile telephony made its debut in 1979 and was characterized by analog and was used mainly for voice data transmission. Quality of 1G was very low and also it had low speed connections.

As 1G was based on Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) for transfer between cells, it was very vague and had a low capacity. Also, there was no security.

The predominant technology of first generation was Advanced Mobile Phone System or AMPS.

Do you remember 1G phones. We all have used them. They were so big and huge.
Do you remember 1G phones. We all have used them. They were so big and huge.
And do you remember these types of first generation phones. Really huge and heavy they were.
And do you remember these types of first generation phones. Really huge and heavy they were.

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Second generation phones (2G network)

The 2G or second generation phones arrived until 1990 and unlike the first were characterized by being digital. 2G networks began the use of sophisticated encryption protocols important for security aspects.

This protocol is also used in some current cellular systems. The predominant technologies of second generation were Global System for Mobile Communications or GSM, TIA/EIA136 or ANSI-136 (also known as IS-136) and Code Division Multiple Access or CDMA and Personal Digital Communications or PDC, the latter was used in Japan.

The protocols used in 2G networks supported higher data rates for voice but limited data communication. 2Gs were able to provide ancillary services like fax, data, and SMS or Short Message Service.

Most 2G protocols were offering different levels of encryption. In America and other western countries, 2G is commonly known as PCS or Personal Communication Services.

BlackBerry Bold 9000 Unlocked Phone with 2 MP
BlackBerry Bold 9000 Unlocked Phone with 2 MP

Hence it is proved that in the generations of cell phones, advantage of 3G network is much more over 1G and 2G and that is why a large number of capital has been invested in wireless technology and 3G is the reason why manufacturers of information technology companies are investing in this market. There are many telecommunications service providers around the globe who have invested their money in 3G. Another advantage of 3G is that it is capable of HSPA data transmission through which it is able to deliver speeds up to 5.8 Mbit/s on uplink and 14.4 Mbit/s on downlink so what are you waiting for, go ahead and buy your 3G phone.


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    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Go in settings and turn on cellular network instead of 3G, an E mark will appear in your phone right with the network providers name and you will be charged for 2g

    • profile image

      suriya 5 years ago

      i am using 3 G data card, but it costs too much. can i put 2G offers for my 3G data card.

    • RichPt profile image

      RichPt 7 years ago

      And there's 4G still to come (well it's here in some parts already)!

    • profile image

      adair_francesca 7 years ago

      wow! our technology is really fast changing and developing. I remember the times that I see those huge 1g phones and they are so bulky. And now, all phones are slim as well as packed with many features.

    • profile image

      dlarie 7 years ago

      give me some names of 1G and 2G phone

    • profile image

      Tech Updates>> 7 years ago

      The 3G technology in cellular phones can also benefit you while you are at your home with its different other applications.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I am happy that I helped you in buying a new phone. I will write more on cell phone generations and networks in my upcoming hubs.

    • profile image

      camille 8 years ago

      i want to thank you all for this informative article .. because it gives me so many tips for buying my new phone .. :)

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you so much for visiting and reading this hub in great detail. I am glad that you are able to learn the differences between cell phone generations.

    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 8 years ago

      hi soni, I have been wondering about the differences between generatin. You explained it very well Thanks for a very informative article.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Bernadette, Best of luck for your further study on cell phone generations.

    • profile image

      bernadette 8 years ago

      nice! this article helped me with my homework! thanks alot!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I think there is not a whole lot of difference but there is so i will write something on this great topic, "How wireless differs in New Delhi and U.S.

    • Phone Excitement profile image

      Phone Excitement 8 years ago

      Good hub.I would like to hear about how wireless differs in your home of New Delhi than the U.S.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for the update on launch of 4G. I will definitely visit your hub right now billy.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 8 years ago

      Yesterday we had the 4G launched - check my hub on the iPhone 4.0 I think you will like it Soni

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I took birth at time when 1G were launched in several parts of the world, so I do not remember how they looked at that time but when I was in school at that time I remember some of them. Yes 1 G were huge and big. Though I didn't have one but I saw them lying with at a friend's place or something for the first time. At that time, the most popular one was called banana or kela in Hindi. It was shaped like a banana and that's why was called motorola banana phone. It is interesting to note that motorola had launched the new version of its previously popular banana phone MOTORIZR Z8 on Thursday 15/02/2007 in the phone market.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      I used to work on the 1g phones, those tall Motorola black ones! Man, times have changed. Remember the circuit analyzers that allowed you to listen in on phones calls from cordless and cellular phones?!!!


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