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Difference between 2G and 3G Technology

Second Generation (2G) technology was launched in the year 1991 in Finland. It is based on the technology known as global system for mobile communication or in short we can say GSM. This technology enabled various networks to provide services like text messages, picture messages and MMS. In this technology all text messages are digitally encrypted due to which only the intended receiver receives message. These digital signals consume less battery power, so it helps in saving the battery of mobiles.

The technologies used in 2G are either TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) which divides signal into different time slots or CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) which allocates a special code to each user so as to communicate over a multiplex physical channel.
3G technology generally refers to the standard of accessibility and speed of mobile devices. It was first used in Japan in the year 2001. The standards of the technology were set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This technology enables use of various services like GPS (Global Positioning System), mobile television and video conferencing. It not only enables them to be used worldwide, but also provides with better bandwidth and increased speed.
This technology is much more flexible as it can support 5 major radio technologies that operate under CDMA, TDMA and FDMA. CDMA accounts for IMT-DS (direct speed), IMT-MC (multi carrier). TDMA holds for IMT-TC (time code), IMT-SC (single carrier). This technology is also comfortable to work with 2G technologies. The main aim of this technology is to allow much better coverage and growth with minimum investment.

2G vs 3G Technology

Figure: Evolution of Mobile system from 2G to 3G
Difference between 2G and 3G Technology
·         Cost: The license fee to be paid for 3G network is much higher as compared to 2G networks. The network construction and maintenance of 3G is much costlier than 2G networks. Also from the customers point of view the expenditure for 3G network will be excessively high if they make use of the various applications of 3G. 
·         Data Transmission:  The main difference between 2G and 3G networks is seen by the mobile users who download data and browse the Internet on the mobile phones. They find much faster download speeds, faster access to the data and applications in 3G networks as compared to 2G networks. 2G networks are less compatible with the functions of smart phone. The speed of data transmission in 2G network is less than 50,000 bits per sec while in 3G it can be more than 4 million bits per sec.
·         Function: The main function of 2G technology is the transmission of information via voice signals while that of 3G technologies is data transfer via video conferencing, MMS etc.
·         Features: The features like mobile TV, video transfers and GPS systems are the additional features of 3G technology that are not available with 2G technologies.
·         Frequencies: 2G technology uses a broad range of frequencies in both upper and lower bands, under which the transmission depends on conditions such as weather. A drawback of 3G is that it is simply not available in certain regions.
·         Implication: 3G technology offers a high level of security as compared to 2G technology because 3G networks permit validation measures when communicating with other devices. 
·         Making Calls: Calls can be made easily on both 2G and 3G networks with no real noticeable differences except that in 3G network video calls can also be made. The transmission of text messages and photos is available in both the networks but 2G networks have data limit and the speed of the data transmission is also very slow as compared to 3G.
·         Speed:  The downloading and uploading speeds available in 2G technologies are up to 236 Kbps. While in 3G technology the downloading and uploading speeds are up to 21 Mbps and 5.7 Mbps respectively.




It is very good for all

good information.

good information


valuable info

thats awesomeyes

3g is better then 2g
Good information . We should be aware to know the technical changes.
A good article,very precise

its useful and the contents are in nut shell

Useful Information budyy


Very informative..... :) Thank u....

really good  thanks 

very nice..

Its very informative.. Thanku..

thank u



Useful info... :-)

Good information. I will use for saving battery. Now I'll use 2G instead of 3G whereas possible. Thanks!

Great stuff mate. Good to see a simple comparison of 2G vs 3G (was reluctant to disable 3G on my phone cause thought MMS and data wouldn't work, but it obviously does, just a little slower. So have 2G only to save battery life, then toggle 3G on when I need better data performance).

very nice...

thanks for providing useful information.............


easily understood by computer no so good layman

nice man...Thanks for that.


oye balle balle........

good inputs.. Thanks for clarification

Thank you so much for the info

Very use full info abt  the difference between 2G and 3G


Nice & Precise stuff...


what about Power consumtion, please?

Vielen Dank für Ihren nützlichen Artikel.

Ich bin schon seit Längerem ein ruhiger Mitleser. Und jetzt musste mich mal einen schnellen Kommentar

da lassen und "Danke" sagen.

Machen Sie genauso weiter, freue mich bereits jetzt schon auf die nächsten Beiträge

my dear brother sisodiya thankq very much to u .,i am sai gopal from visakhapatnam., 

useful info :)

nice discription......!

good. information......

useful & very nicely discription....

My Heatist thanks to you for helping us all to give some useful information

Very confusing. You have given two different info in two places:


Data Transmission: The speed of data transmission in 2G network is less than 50,000 bits per sec


Speed: The downloading and uploading speeds available in 2G technologies are up to 236 Kbps


Which one is correct ? AFAIK, the first one. Then what does the second sentence one mean ? You have done the same thing in case of 3G.

Please clarify.

Thanks for information...

It's awesome...yes

Very nice information for networking students thanks

Thanks for the information!

Please, how can i make the 3G network stable?


use ful information

I have a question actually. Why we use 3G spectrum additionally to increase the data speed. Why don't we increase the b/w of 2G spectrum to anhance data speed in same spectrum

but  which costs more 2g or 3g

One Question please?

If we use same amount of data seperatly 2g and 3g. So whose data will be over much soon. 

what is difference between GPRS AND E GPRS How many time slot can be applicble in egprs

PReety gooood info tho i already known all of it i am unbeleivable smart unlike most of you readers

Good information.
Thank you.

what is packet size ,packet format frequency brand of 2G,3G and 4G


handy for an interview, i actually messed this answer up one time in an interview after working in telecom for 7 years, this will come in very handy