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What is 3G?

india Updated: Apr 09, 2010 11:31 IST

3G refers to the third generation of mobile telephony technology. The third generation, as the name suggests, follows two earlier generations 1G and 2G. It comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming combining a mobile phone, laptop PC and TV. 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.
* Phone calls/fax
* Global roaming
* Send/receive large email messages
* Navigation/maps
* Electronic agenda meeting reminder.

Speed: 144kb/sec-2mb/sec

Time to download a 3min MP3 song: 11sec-1.5min

3G networks offer greater security than their predecessors the 2G. By allowing the User Equipment to authenticate the network it is attaching to, the user can be sure the network is the intended one and not an impersonator.

The bandwidth and location information available to 3G devices gives rise to applications not previously available to mobile phone users. Some of the applications are:

Mobile TV – a provider redirects a TV channel directly to the subscriber's phone where it can be watched.

Video on demand – a provider sends a movie to the subscriber's phone.

Video conferencing – subscribers can see as well as talk to each other.

Tele-medicine – a medical provider monitors or provides advice to the potentially isolated subscriber.

Location-based services – a provider sends localized weather or traffic conditions to the phone, or the phone allows the subscriber to find nearby businesses or friends.