3G Networks

February 15, 2009 at 11:57 AM (Technical Articles)

3G refers to the third generation of mobile telephony( that is, cellular) technology. The name itself suggest that it follows two earlier generations.

The first generation (1G) began early in 1980’s with commercial deployment of Advanced Mobile Phone Service( AMPS ) networks. AMPS network used Frequency Division Multiple Access( FDMA ), they carry analog voice over channels in the 800MHz frequency band.

The second generation emerged in the 1990’s when mobile operators deployed to competing digital voice standards. This were using Code Division Multiple Access ( CDMA ). But accross the world many operators adopted Global System for Mobile Communications ( GSM) standard that was using Time Division Multiple Access ( TDMA ).

Now Come to the point of 3G networks. First pre-commercial 3G network was launched by NTTDoCoMo in Japan in May 2001 on W-CDMA technology. Then why 3G network become more popular now a days? What are the 3G network standards? What are the benefits of 3G networks? Then keep on reading i am trying to clear most of the stuff here…

The main advantage of 3G networks is its speed. 3G provides very fast access to internet for mobile networks. It promises strong signal and faster download of web pages, quick E-mail delivery and smoother video streaming and hence it become more popular. The speed of 3G networks vary. Minimum data download speed are not clearly defined but are often pegged at between 2Mbps to 14Mbps for stationary users. It provides 128Kbps to 384Kbps for moving users. It is still slow compared to house hold 802.11 WiFi networks but it is a great development in mobile networks.

Every one knows that iphone 3G made a revolution in market which used 3G technology. It is observed by the one who used iphone 3G, that is the web pages loades twice as fast compared to original phones with 2G EDGE ( 2G is usually called as EDGE ). The main difference between 2G and 3G is speed. Faster connection for loading web pages, better call quality, streaming video and audio services, and an ‘always on’ connection. 2G mobile phones are 40% slow than 3G mobile phones. Existing 3G network utilizing 3GSM standard on 2100MHz frequency band.

Telstra one of the Australian Company provides the following services to its customers.
1> Video Calling.
2> Picture and Video messaging at high speed.
3> Average data speed upto 200Kbps.

This is all possible because of 3G networks, think Video calling and Video messaging is not easy to achieve. As you all aware of that now a days we are not getting cleare voice due to bandwidth unavailability then think of video calling!!!

Why 3G?
Almost we found difference between 2G and 3G but still we don’t have cleare idea of the services provided by 3G, so one question still eating my head that is why 3G? here is the answer…

The technology ever changing rapidly, everything that we can do in computers can also be done in with our cute small mobile phones right??. Then what we can do with our mobile phones?
1> E-mail — Mobile E-mail
2> E-commerce — Mobile E-commerce
3> Internet Service Provider — Mobile Internet Service Provider
4> Internet Access — Mobile Internet Access
5> Entertainmet — Mobile Entertainment.

Now got the difference? Now a days people don’t want to carry the laptops because they are larger in size, height weight right? so ultimately mobile phones are the one which are small and easy to carry.

Then let me explain bit more about the standards followed by 3G.
1> It is defined by International Telecommunication Union ( ITU ) with IMT-2000 standards.
2> IMT 2000 standards.
i) Can use W-CDMA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W-CDMA)
ii) CDMA-2000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDMA2000)
iii) TD/CDMA and TD/SCDMA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TD-SCDMA)
iv) Mobile WiMax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX)

3G provides greater degree of security than 2G. 3G uses KASUM1 block crypto. 3G has few other characteristics.
1> Flexibility – before 3G mobile operators are avoiding to have wide randge of different interfaces and technology for world wide growth. This is because 2G is not flexible but 3G is very flexible it is capable of supporting a wide range of services and applications.
2> Affordability- Not much to discuss.
3> Compatibility with existing system- 3G is compatible with existing 2G network.

We all read 3G is faster, it provides great services , it gives this, that and that. But again why 3G is faster? Ya I tried to understand this, and finally got some points.

High Speed Download Link Packet Access (HSDPA) – HSDPA is a 3G mobile telephony protocol which allows networks to have high data link transfer speed and capacity. Currently HSDPA download link speed are 1.8, 3.6, 7.2, and 14.4Mbps. Further HSDPA+ provides 42Mbps download link speed. Just imagine mobile phones started with just a simple call, then messages, MMS, now Internet access with 14.4 and 42Mbps. wow what a technology…

HSDPA improved performance by Adoptive Modulation and Coding( AMC ), Fast Packet Scheduling at base station, and Hybrid automatic repeat-request (HARQ) these are all the key factors that made 3G faster.

Finally I would like to suggest my juniors who are reading this article, that is try to do your final year project in such a new and innovative topics, it would be great fun right.

Dear friends I am not yet in depth in this subject because networking is a very vast subject, I tried my level best to explain all the terms. If you find any mistakes please inform me.



  1. chandan said,

    Helped me know about basic of 3G technology…

  2. chandan said,

    I like to add an point about mobile and stationary users…
    Stationary users stay with a single access point almost all the time so they can get speed 2-14Mbps. While for mobile users using 3G technology can get only 128Kbps to 384Kbps.
    But there is an another new technology called as Mobile WiMax which offer more than 50Mbps speed for mobile users!!!.

  3. Santhosh said,

    Flash back of ‘Mobile Communication’…
    Nice post.

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