3G | Third Generation | A Comprehensive Guide | Compairing 3g,4g and 5g


It’s so common to check work and personal emails, browse web pages and social media apps, keep up with news and events or watch videos on the go that we forget it’s a recent event. It is 3G technology that made it possible for us to stay connected through the latest smartphones and PCs we use today.

The capacity limitations of 2nd generation mobile networking and the higher rates of data demanded the 3rd generation. Before the third generation, analog cellular phones were the first while digital cellular phones were of the second generation. 3G technology provides a relatively fast and stable mobile network.

In this article, we are going to discuss the third generation of mobile networking in detail and compare the different generations.

Definition of 3G

Staying connected to mobile phones has become a crucial part of our life. It is a communication standard that allows cellular phones, tabs, laptops, and other electronic gadgets to access Internet service via wireless. The third generation follows the earlier generations that were used for mobile telephony. The International Telecommunication Union introduced the third generation of mobile networking to meet the networking potential, accelerate growth and increase connectivity.

With the introduction of the third generation of mobile telephony, the Global System of Mobile Technologies had been able to deliver cellular data at speeds of up to 14.4 KB per second. It enhanced wireless technology. For example, high-speed cellular data transmission, global roaming, newfangled multi-media access, etc.

Third-generation technology is mostly used in cell phones to connect the phone to the server to make voice and video calls, upload and download data, and browse different web pages and social media sites. The technology was introduced to the market in 2001.

How fast is third-generation technology?

Third-generation technology provides speed that is several times higher than earlier generations. This speed is fast enough for voice and video streaming. But the question is, what is the specific speed offered by this networking technology? Remember that the specific cellular data speed depends upon the individual capacity of the provider and tower network.

According to some experiments and data from service providers, 3G offers a real-life maximum speed of 2Mbps for uploads and 7.2 Mbps for downloads. Although this number may not seem impressive today, especially compared to 4G or 5G networks, sometimes 4G technology is not readily available. In these cases, 3rd generation is the default network.

Why is 3G important?

The third generation is relevant today even after the widespread use of the fourth generation and the emerging use of the fifth generation. Today, the third generation is the most extensively used Internet because it provides access to 87% of the population. Stability is more important than internet speed. People rely on the more stable third-generation network than the fast but relatively unstable fourth generation.

People also rely on third-generation networks in terms of performance and efficiency. It uses less energy as compared to the next generations especially when your phone is not constantly switching between 3G and 4G. It ensures the long battery life of your device. The third generation network is best for some emergency situations.

Advantages and disadvantages of 3G


Here are some advantages of the third-generation networking system.

  • New radio spectrum to eliminate overcrowding in existing systems.
  • More security and reliability
  • Variable and fixed data rates
  • Low data rates compared to previous generations
  • Rich multimedia devices
  • Customers can watch videos
  • Always online devices
  • Video calls and live streaming
  • All the networking facilities are available at the same time
  • Anywhere access to the internet
  • Faster and more reliable than previous networks
  • Customers can download and upload documents
  • Fast web and multimedia browsing availability
  • Best for data-intensive applications
  • Asymmetric data rates


Here are some disadvantages of the third-generation networking system.

  • The cost of base stations and basic infrastructure is high
  • More base stations are required
  • Needs different handsets
  • There is high power consumption
  • Third-generation phones are highly expensive than previous
  • High connection rate
  • Data/voice roaming together is not implemented yet
  • Spectrum license cost
  • More power requirements
  • Closer base stations

Areas of application


The third generation networking system is widely used and has an endless list of applications. The introduction of the third generation was a revolutionary step toward the modern age of technology. The world we live in has been hit hard by 3G.

Following are some applications of third-generation networking systems.

Mobile networks:

The basic use of third-generation technology is mobile networking. This is used in radio access technology platforms.

Mobile phones:

The most common third-generation gadgets are smartphones for basic voice and text connectivity. The third-generation mobile phones also provide data access and transfer. The third generation-based cell phones helped in the development of mobile internet sites.

Computer modems:

The third generation networking system enabled cellular connectivity to computers and other alike devices by computer modems. These devices hadn’t wireless connectivity before.


3G has been most prevalent in enabling telematics applications for the automobile industry, enabling vehicles to share information for transportation and flat management use matters.

Cellular backup:

A cellular backup option is available in various devices like fire alarm systems and wired routers. The third generation networking system provides a backup system to these devices as secondary connectivity.

Comparison of 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G


‘G’ stands for the generation of the internet or networking system. While your device is connected to the internet, the data rate depends upon the signal strength that is represented by the second, third, fourth, or fifth generation. Each generation can be defined as a quality set of telephone networks that describes the technical implementation of the system.

Here is a short comparison of different generations.

Second generation:

Following are some key features of the second generation of networking systems.

  • Data transfer speed of up to 63kbps.
  • The second generation started the use of digital signals instead of analog
  • Provided services of multimedia messaging
  • Better quality voice calls
  • The bandwidth of 30 to 200KHz


Third generation:

Following are some key features of the third generation of networking systems.

  • Data speed up to 2MB
  • Increased bandwidth
  • Higher data transfer rates
  • Enabled send and received large email messaging
  • High broadband capacities

Fourth generation:

Following are some key features of the fourth generation of networking systems.

  • Support interactive multimedia voice and video
  • High data speed up to 20Mbps
  • Global mobile networking
  • Multi-hop networks


Following are some key features of the fifth generation of networking systems.

  • The bandwidth of 30 GHz to 300 GHz
  • Extremely high speeds and low latency
  • High-resolution video streaming
  • Extra-high data speed up to 400Mbps


3G technology has revolutionized smartphone technology and international connectivity. It made it possible for us to make instant connections around the world. It changed the old business model. Now, we can do almost all the tasks on the internet.

I conclude that the third generation telephone has proved to be very useful to the world and has provided many employment opportunities. It has helped us in every sector including health, science, education, agriculture, business, media science, etc.