– By Abdul Hanan Mughal, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
3G technology simply means 3rd generation technology. It is referred to cell phones generally. Actually there is 4th generation in telecommunication world. 1G was the first one. 2G, 3G, and 4G are now in practice throughout the world because they all meet up to the IMT standards. What 3G actually is, is an important question. And it is also important to know about 2G, to know how networking has evolved with time.
3G can easily be understood by comparing “dial up” and “DSL” in home internet system. So 3G is advance mobile service that provides data calls, video call, mobile TV, internet browsing in packets at very high speed. It’s like changing your cell phones into minicomputers. 3G receivers have higher bandwidth and are capable of providing video call and internet browsing at the same time.
3G network was 1st launched by Japan in 2001. It was called W-CDMA. In USA, it was launched as CDMA2000 with EVDO technology. These all technologies are based on some compilation standard and are basically same for the end user with little difference in speeds and features. However, 3G is completely different from 2G networking, which is commonly known as GSM.
So, there are simply 2 commons types: GSM and UMTS. GSM or GPRS both are part of the edge technology and are very slower than 3G in data carrying bandwidth; whereas Universal Mobile Telecommunications System , your 3G network, includes WCDMA, TDCDMA and TDSCDMA (with difference in bandwidths). There are also 3.5G and 3.75G, which have even faster speed.
You people might think that 3G networking should be better (read: “duh!”), but 2G or GSM has its own set of advantages over it: it’s worldwide and established, more rapidly used and largest networking of mobile telecommunication. Also, GSM uses SIM cards that can store all the data and media in and make it easy to transfer it from one mobile to another. 3G network fails to give such ease.
But 3G systems have improved speed and data carrying option. If you want to open up an email through GSM, it will take, like, forever, however 3G makes it in a couple of seconds. We can talk to our friends… and watch them also, via the video call. Mobile TV helps you to get entertained everywhere. It even tracks your location and tells you about traffic once your location is sorted out. Internet browsing is just like you do at your homes. Don’t have the signals of Wi-Fi? No worries: Connect a laptop with the cell phone. And if your cell phone is stolen, you can easily lock the cell phone. (Locking is also done in GSM if GPS is available but it’s a longer process).
Now there are even better options called 3.9G or 4G, which is called Wi-Max. This is the latest in mobile technology and gives very high speed broadband signals to smart phones. It converts your cell phone into a pocket PC, and downloading (the biggest concern of university students) feels just like at home.
GSM suits the user who travels worldwide too much or for those who change their handsets rapidly and need to transfer data and contacts quickly. But the “cool” user, who is addicted to internet too much, must use 3G network to save his time and money, and, of course, for enhanced efficiency.
Well, we have had 3G, and now we have 4G. Soon we’ll have another advance… They are not going to leave us all by ourselves, because they can make us feel like we are dining with the person we are talking to on the phone – and they will.