Whats are mobile generations: compare 1G,2G,3G,3.5G &4G;
Saturday 30 November 2013

Whats are mobile generations: compare 1G,2G,3G,3.5G &4G;


1G (or 1-G) refers to the first-generation of wireless telephone technology, mobile telecommunications. These are the analog telecommunications standards that were introduced in the 1980s. The first commercially automated cellular network (the 1G generation) was launched in Japan by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) in 1979, initially in the metropolitan area of Tokyo. Within five years, the NTT network had been expanded to cover the whole population of Japan and became the first nationwide 1G network.


2G means 2Nd Generation wireless mobile telephone technology. The main difference to previous mobile telephone systems which are now known as 1G (First Generation) is that 2G networks uses digital radio signals while 1G phones operated on analogue radio signals. GSM is the standard 2G technology in the UK and one of its great advantages over 3G (Third Generation) phones is that 2G phones consume less battery power than 3G phones.

Before going to 3G there comes 2.5G.


2.5G is short for 2nd and a half generation mobile phone technology. 2.5G is a term which the telecommunications industry uses to describe the current status of mobile phone technology in Australia - the majority of mobile phones anyway. Polyphonic ringtones, colour pictures and Java games all work on 2.5G technology but can also work on 3G. GSM (or other 2G) phones will not be able to use all features, because of data speed, build in memory and applications, display technology etc. Application providers and operators are very unlikely to try to implement complex feature to GSM, money is going to UMTS services. GPRS phone users will be able to use most of the UMTS services; probably only location based and very high rate data services cannot be implemented. But all this it depends on if operators want to implement those.

Difference between 2G and 3G

2G SIM cards are different from 3G USIM cards. In order to use your new Golden Number on either networks, you will need to have the numbers mapped to the relevant cards. StarHub will prepare the card according to your chosen option so that you will have a hassle free registration when you sign up for the plan at our shop. To begin bidding, go to the registration page. Have your credit card ready and fill up the form accordingly.

Comparing 3G and 2.5G

The term 3G refers to the next generation of wireless communications technology, the "first generation" having been analogue cellular, and the "second generation" (2g and 2.5G) being today's existing GSM/GPRS networks. 3G aims to provide universal, high-speed, high bandwidth support to bandwidth hungry applications such as full motion videos, video calling and full Internet access.

4G- the 4th generation

A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Conceivable applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D television, and cloud computing. The bandwidth would be much wider (100 MHz). The cost of the data transfer would be comparatively very less and global mobility would be possible. The networks will be all IP networks based on IPv6.


Generation (1G,2G,3G,4G,5G)




Time period




14.4 Kbps (peak)


1970 – 1980

During 1G Wireless phones are used for voice only.


Digital Narrow band circuit data

9.6/14.4 Kbps


1990 to 2000

2G capabilities are achieved by allowing multiple users on a single channel via multiplexing.During 2G Cellular phones are used for data also along with voice.


Packet Data

171.2 Kbps(peak)
20-40 Kbps



In 2.5G the internet becomes popular and data becomes more relevant.2.5G Multimedia services and streaming starts to show growth.Phones start supporting web browsing though limited and very few phones have that.


Digital Broadband Packet Data

3.1 Mbps (peak)
500-700 Kbps

CDMA 2000


3G has Multimedia services support along with streaming are more popular.In 3G, Universal access and portability across different device types are made possible. (Telephones, PDA’s, etc.)


Packet Data

14.4 Mbps (peak)
1-3 Mbps


2006 – 2010

3.5G supports higher throughput and speeds to support higher data needs of the consumers.


Digital Broadband Packet
All IP
Very high throughput

100-300 Mbps (peak)
3-5 Mbps
100 Mbps (Wi-Fi)


Now (Read more on Transitioning to 4G)

Speeds for 4G are further increased to keep up with data access demand used by various services.High definition streaming is now supported in 4G. New phones with HD capabilities surface. It gets pretty cool.In 4G, Portability is increased further. World-wide roaming is not a distant dream.


Not Yet

Probably gigabits

Not Yet

Soon (probably 2020)
Update: Samsung conducts tests on 5G

Currently there is no 5G technology deployed. When this becomes available it will provide very high speeds to the consumers. It would also provide efficient use of available bandwidth as has been seen through development of each new