3G

3G

Discussion
Ask a question about '3G'
Start a new discussion about '3G'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

s and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union
International Telecommunication Union
The International Telecommunication Union is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies...

. Application services include wide-area wireless voice telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

, mobile Internet access, video call
Videotelephony
Videotelephony comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio-video signals by users at different locations, for communication between people in real-time....

s and mobile TV
Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service
Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services is a point-to-multipoint interface specification for existing and upcoming 3GPP cellular networks, which is designed to provide efficient delivery of broadcast and multicast services, both within a cell as well as within the core network...

, all in a mobile environment.

Several telecommunications companies market wireless mobile Internet services as 3G, indicating that the advertised service is provided over a 3G wireless network. Services advertised as 3G are required to meet IMT-2000 technical standards, including standards for reliability and speed (data transfer rates). To meet the IMT-2000 standards, a system is required to provide peak data rates of at least 200 kbit/s (about 0.2 Mbit/s). However, many services advertised as 3G provide higher speed than the minimum technical requirements for a 3G service. Recent 3G releases, often denoted 3.5G and 3.75G, also provide mobile broadband
Mobile Broadband
Mobile broadband is the marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, mobile phone or other mobile device.-Description:...

 access of several Mbit/s to smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

s and mobile modems in laptop computers.

The following standards are typically branded 3G:
  • the UMTS system, first offered in 2001, standardized by 3GPP
    3GPP
    The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations, known as the Organizational Partners...

    , used primarily in Europe, Japan, China (however with a different radio interface) and other regions predominated by GSM 2G
    2G
    2G is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991...

     system infrastructure. The cell phones are typically UMTS and GSM hybrids. Several radio interfaces are offered, sharing the same infrastructure:
    • The original and most widespread radio interface is called W-CDMA
      W-CDMA
      W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

      .
    • The TD-SCDMA
      TD-SCDMA
      Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access or UTRA/UMTS-TDD 1.28 Mcps Low Chip Rate , is an air interface found in UMTS mobile telecommunications networks in China as an alternative to W-CDMA. Together with TD-CDMA, it is also known as UMTS-TDD or IMT 2000 Time-Division .The term...

       radio interface was commercialised in 2009 and is only offered in China.
    • The latest UMTS release, HSPA+, can provide peak data rates up to 56 Mbit/s in the downlink in theory (28 Mbit/s in existing services) and 22 Mbit/s in the uplink.

  • the CDMA2000
    CDMA2000
    CDMA2000 is a family of 3G mobile technology standards, which use CDMA channel access, to send voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites. The set of standards includes: CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. 0, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B...

     system, first offered in 2002, standardized by 3GPP2, used especially in North America and South Korea, sharing infrastructure with the IS-95
    IS-95
    Interim Standard 95 is the first CDMA-based digital cellular standard by Qualcomm. The brand name for IS-95 is cdmaOne. IS-95 is also known as TIA-EIA-95....

     2G standard. The cell phones are typically CDMA2000 and IS-95 hybrids. The latest release EVDO Rev B offers peak rates of 14.7 Mbit/s downstream.


The above systems and radio interfaces are based on kindred spread spectrum
Spread spectrum
Spread-spectrum techniques are methods by which a signal generated in a particular bandwidth is deliberately spread in the frequency domain, resulting in a signal with a wider bandwidth...

 radio transmission technology. While the GSM EDGE
Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution is a digital mobile phone technology that allows improved data transmission rates as a backward-compatible extension of GSM...

 standard ("2.9G"), DECT cordless phones and Mobile WiMAX standards formally also fulfill the IMT-2000 requirements and are approved as 3G standards by ITU, these are typically not branded 3G, and are based on completely different technologies.

A new generation of cellular standards has appeared approximately every tenth year since 1G
1G
1G refers to the first-generation of wireless telephone technology, mobile telecommunications. These are the analog telecommunications standards that were introduced in the 1980s and continued until being replaced by 2G digital telecommunications...

 systems were introduced in 1981/1982. Each generation is characterized by new frequency bands, higher data rates and non backwards compatible transmission technology. The first release of the 3GPP Long Term Evolution
3GPP Long Term Evolution
3GPP Long Term Evolution, usually referred to as LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, increasing the capacity and speed using new modulation techniques...

 (LTE) standard does not completely fulfill the ITU 4G requirements called IMT-Advanced. First release LTE is not backwards compatible with 3G, but is a pre-4G or 3.9G technology, however sometimes branded "4G" by the service providers. Its evolution LTE Advanced
LTE Advanced
LTE Advanced is a preliminary mobile communication standard, formally submitted as a candidate 4G system to ITU-T in late 2009, was approved into ITU, International Telecommunications Union, IMT-Advanced and expected to be finalized by 3GPP in early 2011...

 is a 4G
4G
In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s...

 technology. WiMAX
WiMAX
WiMAX is a communication technology for wirelessly delivering high-speed Internet service to large geographical areas. The 2005 WiMAX revision provided bit rates up to 40 Mbit/s with the 2011 update up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations...

 is another technology verging on or marketed as 4G
4G
In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s...

.

Overview



The following common standards comply with the IMT2000/3G standard:
  • EDGE
    Edge
    - Aviation :* Leading edge, a line connecting the forward-most points of a wing's profile* Trailing edge, the rear edge of the wing* Zivko Edge 540, an aerobatic aircraft- Mathematics, science and technology :...

    , a revision by the 3GPP
    3GPP
    The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations, known as the Organizational Partners...

     organization to the older 2G
    2G
    2G is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991...

     GSM based transmission methods, utilizing the same switching nodes, basestation sites and frequencies as GPRS, but new basestation and cellphone RF circuits. It is based on the three times as efficient 8PSK modulation scheme as supplement to the original GMSK modulation scheme. EDGE is still used extensively due to its ease of upgrade from existing 2G GSM infrastructure and cell-phones.
    • EDGE combined with the GPRS 2.5G technology is called EGPRS, and allows peak data rates in the order of 200 kbit/s, just as the original UMTS WCDMA versions, and thus formally fulfills the IMT2000 requirements on 3G systems. However, in practice EDGE is seldom marketed as a 3G system, but a 2.9G system. EDGE shows slightly better system spectral efficiency than the original UMTS and CDMA2000
      CDMA2000
      CDMA2000 is a family of 3G mobile technology standards, which use CDMA channel access, to send voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites. The set of standards includes: CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. 0, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B...

       systems, but it is difficult to reach much higher peak data rates due to the limited GSM spectral bandwidth of 200 kHz, and it is thus a dead end.
    • EDGE
      Edge
      - Aviation :* Leading edge, a line connecting the forward-most points of a wing's profile* Trailing edge, the rear edge of the wing* Zivko Edge 540, an aerobatic aircraft- Mathematics, science and technology :...

       was also a mode in the IS-135 TDMA system, today ceased.
    • Evolved EDGE
      Evolved EDGE
      Evolved EDGE is a bolt-on extension to the GSM mobile telephony standard, which extends the previous EDGE upgrade to achieve theoretical speeds of up to 1 Mbit/s with relatively low cost and ease...

      , the latest revision, has peaks of 1 Mbit/s downstream and 400kbit/s upstream, but is not commercially used.
  • The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
    Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
    Universal Mobile Telecommunications System is a third generation mobile cellular technology for networks based on the GSM standard. Developed by the 3GPP , UMTS is a component of the International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard set and compares with the CDMA2000 standard set for...

    , created and revised by the 3GPP
    3GPP
    The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations, known as the Organizational Partners...

    . The family is a full revision from GSM in terms of encoding methods and hardware, although some GSM sites can be retrofitted to broadcast in the UMTS/W-CDMA
    W-CDMA
    W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

     format.
    • W-CDMA
      W-CDMA
      W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

       is the most common deployment, commonly operated on the 2100 MHz band. A few others use the 900 and 1850 MHz bands.
    • HSPA
      High Speed Packet Access
      High Speed Packet Access is an amalgamation of two mobile telephony protocols, High Speed Downlink Packet Access and High Speed Uplink Packet Access , that extends and improves the performance of existing WCDMA protocols...

       is a revision and upgrade to W-CDMA UMTS, used by AT&T Wireless
      AT&T Wireless
      AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., founded in 1987 as McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc., and now legally known as New Cingular Wireless Services, Inc., formerly part of AT&T Corp., is a wireless telephone carrier in the United States, based in Redmond, Washington, and later traded on the New York...

      , Telstra
      Telstra
      Telstra Corporation Limited is an Australian telecommunications and media company, building and operating telecommunications networks and marketing voice, mobile, internet access and pay television products and services....

       and Telecom NZ, typically broadcasting on the 850 MHz band. HSPA requires updates to the
      • HSPA+ a revision and upgrade of HSPA, can provide peak data rates up to 56 Mbit/s in the downlink in theory (28 Mbit/s in existing services) and 22 Mbit/s in the uplink. It utilises multiple base stations to potentially double the channels available utilising MIMO
        MIMO
        In radio, multiple-input and multiple-output, or MIMO , is the use of multiple antennas at both the transmitter and receiver to improve communication performance. It is one of several forms of smart antenna technology...

         principles.
  • The CDMA2000
    CDMA2000
    CDMA2000 is a family of 3G mobile technology standards, which use CDMA channel access, to send voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites. The set of standards includes: CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. 0, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B...

     system, or IS-2000, including CDMA2000 1x and CDMA2000 High Rate Packet Data (or EVDO), standardized by 3GPP2 (differing from the 3GPP
    3GPP
    The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations, known as the Organizational Partners...

    ), evolving from the original IS-95 CDMA system, is used especially in North America, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa.
    • CDMA2000 1x Rev. E more than triples the voice capacity from the widely deployed Rev. 0 and is in the process of being deployed in the U.S. EVDO Rev. B offers downstream peak rates of 14.7 Mbit/s while Rev. C enhanced existing and new terminal user experience.


While DECT cordless phones and Mobile WiMAX standards formally also fulfill the IMT-2000 requirements, they are not usually considered due to their rarity and unsuitability for usage with mobile phones.

Detailed breakdown of 3G systems


The 3G (UMTS and CDMA2000) research and development projects started in 1992. In 1999, ITU approved five radio interfaces for IMT-2000 as a part of the ITU-R M.1457 Recommendation; WiMAX
WiMAX
WiMAX is a communication technology for wirelessly delivering high-speed Internet service to large geographical areas. The 2005 WiMAX revision provided bit rates up to 40 Mbit/s with the 2011 update up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations...

 was added in 2007.

There are evolutionary standards (EDGE and CDMA) that are backwards-compatible extensions to pre-existing 2G
2G
2G is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991...

 networks as well as revolutionary standards that require all-new network hardware and frequency allocations. The cell phones used utilise UMTS in combination with 2G GSM standards and bandwidths, but do not support EDGE. The latter group is the UMTS
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System is a third generation mobile cellular technology for networks based on the GSM standard. Developed by the 3GPP , UMTS is a component of the International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard set and compares with the CDMA2000 standard set for...

 family, which consists of standards developed for IMT-2000, as well as the independently developed standards DECT and WiMAX
WiMAX
WiMAX is a communication technology for wirelessly delivering high-speed Internet service to large geographical areas. The 2005 WiMAX revision provided bit rates up to 40 Mbit/s with the 2011 update up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations...

, which were included because they fit the IMT-2000 definition.
Overview of 3G/IMT-2000 standards
ITU IMT-2000 compliant standards common name(s) bandwidth of data pre-4G
4G
In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s...

 upgrade
duplex
Duplex (telecommunications)
A duplex communication system is a system composed of two connected parties or devices that can communicate with one another in both directions. The term multiplexing is used when describing communication between more than two parties or devices....

channel
Channel access method
In telecommunications and computer networks, a channel access method or multiple access method allows several terminals connected to the same multi-point transmission medium to transmit over it and to share its capacity...

description geographical areas
TDMA Single‑Carrier (IMT‑SC) EDGE
Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution is a digital mobile phone technology that allows improved data transmission rates as a backward-compatible extension of GSM...

 (UWC-136)
EDGE Evolution
Evolved EDGE
Evolved EDGE is a bolt-on extension to the GSM mobile telephony standard, which extends the previous EDGE upgrade to achieve theoretical speeds of up to 1 Mbit/s with relatively low cost and ease...

likely discontinued FDD TDMA
Time division multiple access
Time division multiple access is a channel access method for shared medium networks. It allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The users transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot. This...

evolutionary upgrade to GSM/GPRSCan also be used as an upgrade to PDC
Personal Digital Cellular
Personal Digital Cellular is a 2G mobile telecommunications standard developed and used exclusively in Japan.After a peak of nearly 80 million subscribers to PDC, it had 46 million subscribers in December 2005, and is slowly being phased out in favor of 3G technologies like W-CDMA and CDMA2000...

 or D-AMPS.
worldwide, except Japan and South Korea
CDMA Multi‑Carrier (IMT‑MC) CDMA2000
CDMA2000
CDMA2000 is a family of 3G mobile technology standards, which use CDMA channel access, to send voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites. The set of standards includes: CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. 0, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B...

EV-DO UMB
Ultra Mobile Broadband
UMB was the brand name for a project within 3GPP2 to improve the CDMA2000 mobile phone standard for next generation applications and requirements...

CDMA
Code division multiple access
Code division multiple access is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. It should not be confused with the mobile phone standards called cdmaOne, CDMA2000 and WCDMA , which are often referred to as simply CDMA, and use CDMA as an underlying channel access...

evolutionary upgrade to cdmaOne (IS-95) Americas, Asia, some others
CDMA Direct Spread (IMT‑DS) UMTS
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System is a third generation mobile cellular technology for networks based on the GSM standard. Developed by the 3GPP , UMTS is a component of the International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard set and compares with the CDMA2000 standard set for...

W-CDMA
W-CDMA (UMTS)
W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

HSPA
High Speed Packet Access
High Speed Packet Access is an amalgamation of two mobile telephony protocols, High Speed Downlink Packet Access and High Speed Uplink Packet Access , that extends and improves the performance of existing WCDMA protocols...

LTE
3GPP Long Term Evolution
3GPP Long Term Evolution, usually referred to as LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, increasing the capacity and speed using new modulation techniques...

family of revolutionary upgrades to earlier GSM family. worldwide
CDMA TDD (IMT‑TC) TD‑CDMA
TD-CDMA
TD-CDMA, an acronym for Time-division - CDMA, is a channel access method based on using spread spectrum across multiple time slots. It is shown that a mixture of TDMA and CDMA provides better quality of service for multimedia communications in terms of data throughput and voice/video...

also known as UTRA-TDD 3.84 Mcps high chip rate (HCR)
TDD Europe
TD‑SCDMA
TD-SCDMA
Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access or UTRA/UMTS-TDD 1.28 Mcps Low Chip Rate , is an air interface found in UMTS mobile telecommunications networks in China as an alternative to W-CDMA. Together with TD-CDMA, it is also known as UMTS-TDD or IMT 2000 Time-Division .The term...

also known as UTRA-TDD 1.28 Mcps low chip rate (LCR)
China
FDMA/TDMA (IMT‑FT) DECT
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications , usually known by the acronym DECT, is a digital communication standard, which is primarily used for creating cordless phone systems...

none FDMA
Frequency-division multiple access
Frequency Division Multiple Access or FDMA is a channel access method used in multiple-access protocols as a channelization protocol. FDMA gives users an individual allocation of one or several frequency bands, or channels. It is particularly commonplace in satellite communication. FDMA, like...

/TDMA
Time division multiple access
Time division multiple access is a channel access method for shared medium networks. It allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The users transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot. This...

short-range; standard for cordless phones Europe, US
IP‑OFDMA WiMAX
WiMAX
WiMAX is a communication technology for wirelessly delivering high-speed Internet service to large geographical areas. The 2005 WiMAX revision provided bit rates up to 40 Mbit/s with the 2011 update up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations...

 (IEEE 802.16
IEEE 802.16
IEEE 802.16 is a series of Wireless Broadband standards authored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers . The IEEE Standards Board in established a working group in 1999 to develop standards for broadband Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks...

)
OFDMA worldwide



While EDGE
Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution is a digital mobile phone technology that allows improved data transmission rates as a backward-compatible extension of GSM...

 fulfills the 3G specifications, most GSM/UMTS phones report EDGE ("2.75G") and UMTS ("3G") functionality.

History


The first pre-commercial 3G network was launched by NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo
is the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan. The name is officially an abbreviation of the phrase, "do communications over the mobile network", and is also from a compound word dokomo, meaning "everywhere" in Japanese. Docomo provides phone, video phone , i-mode , and mail services...

 in Japan, branded as FOMA
Foma
Foma may refer to:* FOMA , a Japanese mobile telecommunications service* Sergei Fomenko, nicknamed "Foma", Ukrainian musician...

. It was first available in May 2001 as a pre-release (test) of W-CDMA
W-CDMA
W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

 technology. The first commercial launch of 3G was also by NTT DoCoMo in Japan on 1 October 2001, although it was initially somewhat limited in scope; broader availability of the system was delayed by apparent concerns over its reliability.

The first European pre-commercial network was an UMTS network on the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

 by Manx Telecom
Manx Telecom
Manx Telecom is the primary provider of broadband and telecommunications on the Isle of Man. It was acquired by Telefónica in , but was sold to two private equity groups in 2010.- History :...

, the operator then owned by British Telecom, and the first commercial network (also UMTS based W-CDMA
W-CDMA
W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

) in Europe was opened for business by Telenor
Telenor
Telenor Group is the incumbent telecommunications company in Norway, with headquarters located at Fornebu, close to Oslo. Today, Telenor Group is mostly an international wireless carrier with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia, working predominantly under the Telenor brand...

 in December 2001 with no commercial handsets and thus no paying customers.

The first network to go commercially live was by SK Telecom
SK Telecom
SK Telecom Co., Ltd. or Sunkyoung Telecom is a South Korean wireless telecommunications operator, controlled by the SK Group, one of the country's largest chaebol. As a part of SK Group, SK stands for Sun Kyung.SK Telecom is a provider of mobile service in Korea, with 50.5% of the market share as...

 in South Korea on the CDMA-based 1xEV-DO technology in January 2002. By May 2002 the second South Korean 3G network was by KT
KT
-Science:* kT in Physics* Knot , a unit of velocity * Kardashev scale, method of measuring an advanced civilization's level of technological advancement...

 on EV-DO and thus the Koreans were the first to see competition among 3G operators.

The first commercial United States 3G network was by Monet Mobile Networks, on CDMA2000
CDMA2000
CDMA2000 is a family of 3G mobile technology standards, which use CDMA channel access, to send voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites. The set of standards includes: CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. 0, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B...

 1x EV-DO technology, but this network provider later shut down operations. The second 3G network operator in the USA was Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless
Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, is one of the largest mobile network operators in the United States. The network has 107.7 million subscribers as of 2011, making it the largest wireless service provider in America....

 in July 2002 also on CDMA2000 1x EV-DO. AT&T Mobility is also a true 3G UMTS network, having completed its upgrade of the 3G network to HSUPA.

The first pre-commercial demonstration network in the southern hemisphere was built in Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

, South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

 by m.Net Corporation in February 2002 using UMTS on 2100 MHz. This was a demonstration network for the 2002 IT World Congress. The first commercial 3G network was launched by Hutchison Telecommunications branded as Three or "3" in J June 2003.

Emtel Launched the first 3G network in Africa.

By June 2007, the 200 millionth 3G subscriber had been connected. Out of 3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide this is only 6.7%. In the countries where 3G was launched first – Japan and South Korea – 3G penetration is over 70%. In Europe the leading country is Italy with a third of its subscribers migrated to 3G. Other leading countries by 3G migration include UK, Austria, Australia and Singapore at the 20% migration level. A confusing statistic is counting CDMA2000 1x RTT customers as if they were 3G customers. If using this definition, then the total 3G subscriber base would be 475 million at June 2007 and 15.8% of all subscribers worldwide.

Adoption


3G was relatively slow to be adopted globally. In some instances, 3G networks do not use the same radio frequencies as 2G
2G
2G is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991...

 so mobile operators must build entirely new networks and license entirely new frequencies, especially so to achieve high-end data transmission rates. Other delays were due to the expenses of upgrading transmission hardware, especially for UMTS, whose deployment required the replacement of most broadcast towers. Due to these issues and difficulties with deployment, many carriers were not able to or delayed acquisition of these updated capabilities.

In December 2007, 190 3G networks were operating in 40 countries and 154 HSDPA networks were operating in 71 countries, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). In Asia, Europe, Canada and the USA, telecommunication companies use W-CDMA
W-CDMA
W-CDMA , UMTS-FDD, UTRA-FDD, or IMT-2000 CDMA Direct Spread is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. It is the basis of Japan's NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service and the most-commonly used member of the UMTS family and sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS...

 technology with the support of around 100 terminal designs to operate 3G mobile networks.

Roll-out of 3G networks was delayed in some countries by the enormous costs of additional spectrum licensing fees. (See Telecoms crash
Telecoms crash
The 2001 Telecoms crash is often confused with the Dot Com crash which happened at around the same time. Unlike the dot com crash however, the telecoms sector relied on long engineering research and development cycles, and the development companies on the telecom operators buying software...

.) The license fees in some European countries were particularly high
Telecoms crash
The 2001 Telecoms crash is often confused with the Dot Com crash which happened at around the same time. Unlike the dot com crash however, the telecoms sector relied on long engineering research and development cycles, and the development companies on the telecom operators buying software...

, bolstered by government auctions of a limited number of licenses and sealed bid auctions, and initial excitement over 3G's potential.

The 3G standard is perhaps well known because of a massive expansion of the mobile communications market post-2G and advances of the consumer mophone. An especially notable development during this time is the smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

 (for example, the iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

, and the Android family), combining the abilities of a PDA
PDA
A PDA is most commonly a Personal digital assistant, also known as a Personal data assistant, a mobile electronic device.PDA may also refer to:In science, medicine and technology:...

 with a mobile phone, leading to widespread demand for mobile internet connectivity. 3G has also introduced the term "mobile broadband" because its speed and capability make it a viable alternative for internet browsing, and USB Modems connecting to 3G networks are becoming increasingly common.

Africa


The first African use of 3G technology was a 3G video call made in Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 on the Vodacom
Vodacom
Vodacom is a pan-African mobile telecommunications company, and was the 1st cellular network in South Africa. It provides GSM service to more than 35 million customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Revenue for the year ended 31 March 2008...

 network in November 2004. The first commercial launch was by Emtel-ltd in Mauritius in 2004. In late March 2006, a 3G service was provided by the new company Wana
Wana (Telecommunications)
Wana is the third main telecommunication company in Morocco. It was one of the early Internet service providers in Morocco. It started marketing its internet services representing the brand Wanadoo, thus the name Wana...

 in Morocco. In May 2007, Safaricom
Safaricom
Safaricom, Ltd is a leading mobile network operator in Kenya. It was formed in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone group Plc of the United Kingdom, the world's largest telecommunication company, acquired a 40% stake and management responsibility for the...

 launched 3G services in Kenya while later that year by Vodacom Tanzania also started providing services. In Egypt, Mobinil
Mobinil
Mobinil is one of Egypt's three mobile phone operators. Founded in 1998. The company is majority-owned and fully consolidated by France Télécom , which holds 71.25% of the shares in "Mobinil Telecom," the rest of the shares being held by Orascom Telecom...

 launched the service in 2008 and in Somaliland, Telesom
Telesom
Telesom is a privately held telecommunications company. It is headquartered in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.-Overview:...

 started first 3G services on 3 July 2011, to both prepaid and postpaid subscription customers.
Telecommunication networks in Nigeria like Globacom, Airtel and MTN provide the 3G services to their numerous customers.

Asia


Asia is also using 3G services very well. A lot of companies like Dialog Axiata PLC (First to serve 3G Service in South Asia in 2006), BSNL, WorldCall, PTCL, Maxis, Vodafone, Airtel, DoCoMo, Aircel, Reliance have released their 3G services.

Pakistan


Pakistan's biggest telecommunication company PTCL
PTCL
PTCL may be:* Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd, Pakistan* Peripheral T-cell lymphoma* Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, England...

 launched its 3G network, EVO, in mid-2008 and has since then established itself in this sector. It provides 3G services in 105 cities across Pakistan. Omantel
Omantel
Oman Telecommunications Company is the first telecommunications company in Oman and is the primary provider of internet services in the country. Omantel acquired a 65% share in WorldCall Pakistan in April 2008. The government of Oman owns a 70% share in Omantel.- Oman Mobile :Oman Mobile is a...

's WorldCall
WorldCall
WorldCALL is a telecommunication operator in Pakistan which provides services such as Cable TV, Broadband Internet, 3G EVDO Internet, pay-phone services, dial-up Internet cards and wireless telephone...

 also provides 3G services in 50 cities Pakistanwide.

On 14 August 2010. Pakistan became the first country in the world to experience EVDO's RevB 3G technology that offers maximum speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s. At present the services of EVO Nitro (brand name (R)) are available in all over the Pakistan.

Bangladesh


Two operators, Qubee
Qubee
Qubee is the customer facing brand of Augere, the wireless broadband business founded in 2007 by the former CEO of Orange, Sanjiv Ahuja. It has a mission to provide 'broadband for all' and is working to bring available, affordable and accessible broadband internet services to underserved...

 and Banglalion
BanglaLion
Banglalion Communications Ltd is a private limited company incorporated in Bangladesh on 5 Nov 2008 under the Companies Act, 1994. The company obtained license from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to operate Broadband Wireless Access services nationwide using WiMAX technology...

, currently offer 4G
4G
In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s...

 WiMAX data services around Bangladesh. CityCell
Citycell
Citycell is the first mobile communications company of Bangladesh. It is the only CDMA network operator in the country. As of 1 March 2008, Citycell's total mobile subscriber base is 1.56 million, up 137 per cent or 680,000 from two years ago, giving it the best growth rate of the company till date...

 operates a nationwide third-generation CDMA2000
CDMA2000
CDMA2000 is a family of 3G mobile technology standards, which use CDMA channel access, to send voice, data, and signaling data between mobile phones and cell sites. The set of standards includes: CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. 0, CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. B...

 network capable of delivering super-fast mobile broadband. All GSM voice networks are still on 2G
2G
2G is short for second-generation wireless telephone technology. Second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991...

 due a government indecision to provide 3G
3G
3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 specifications by the International Telecommunication Union...

 GSM/UMTS licences.

China


China announced in May 2008, that the telecoms sector was re-organized and three 3G networks would be allocated so that the largest mobile operator, China Mobile
China Mobile
China Mobile Limited is a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company that provides mobile voice and multimedia services through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network, the largest of its kind in the world...

, would retain its GSM customer base. China Unicom
China Unicom
China Unicom or China United Netcom Ltd , is a Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator in the People's Republic of China.-History:...

 would retain its GSM customer base but relinquish its CDMA2000 customer base, and launch 3G on the globally leading W-CDMA (UMTS) standard. The CDMA2000 customers of China Unicom would go to China Telecom
China Telecom
China Telecom Corp. Ltd. is a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company. It is the largest fixed line service and 3rd largest mobile telecommunication provider in the People's Republic of China.-Sectors:...

, which would then launch 3G on the CDMA2000 1x EV-DO standard. This meant that China would have all three main cellular technology 3G standards in commercial use. Finally in January 2009, Ministry of industry and Information Technology of China awarded licenses of all three standards: TD-SCDMA to China Mobile, W-CDMA to China Unicom and CDMA2000 to China Telecom. The launch of 3G occurred on 1 October 2009, to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China. By August 2011, China Telecom's 3G subscriber has exceeded 23 million
.

India


11 December 2008, India entered the 3G arena with the launch of 3G enabled Mobile and Data services by Government owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd MTNL in Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 and later in Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

.MTNL becomes the first 3G Mobile service provider in India. After MTNL, another state operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL)launched 3G services on 22 Feb 2009 in Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

 and later launched 3G as Nationwide. The auction of 3G wireless spectrum
3G Spectrum auction India
The 3G spectrum auction in India began on 9 April 2010. The winners were awarded spectrum in September, and Tata Docomo was the first private operator to launch 3G services in India. The government has earned from the 3G spectrum auction. While the broadband wireless spectrum auction generated a...

 was announced in April 2010 and 3G Spectrum allocated to all private operators on 1 September 2010.

The first Private-sector service provider that launched 3G services is Tata DoCoMo, on November 5, 2010. And the second is by Reliance Communications, December 13, 2010. Vodafone Launched their 3G by mid of March,2011 . Then, Bharti Airtel launched their 3G services on 24 January 2011 in Bangalore and also launched in Delhi & Jaipur on March 4, 2011(not GSM but only USB estick). Aircel also launched 3G in Kolkata in the month of February.Idea also launched its 3G services in mid April. Other providers like Virgin are expected to launch 3G services by Q1 2011.

All the operators provide 3G services on the 2100 MHz band. As of now, the Government owned BSNL is the most successful company with the subscribers of 3G service. It has more than 3 million subscribers of its 3G service. It also has the widest coverage with around 826 cities across the country. The private operators like IDEA and Reliance are increasing their 3G coverage as well as the number of subscribers.

North Korea


North Korea has had a 3G network since 2008, which is called Koryolink
Koryolink
Koryolink , a joint venture between Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holding and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation , is North Korea's only mobile operator. According to Orascom quoted in BusinessWeek, the company had 125,661 subscribers in May 2010. By March 2011, the...

, a joint venture between Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holding
Orascom Telecom Holding
Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. is a leading international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in the Middle East, Africa, Canada and Asia. It started its operations in Egypt by launching the first egyptian mobile operator in 1998, ....

 and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) is North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

's only 3G Mobile operator, and one of only two mobile companies in the country. According to Orascom quoted in BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...

, the company had 125,661 subscribers in May 2010. The Egyptian company owns 75 percent of Koryolink, and is known to invest in infrastructure for mobile technology in developing nations. It covers Pyongyang
Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

, and five additional cities and eight highways and railways. Its only competitor, SunNet, uses GSM technology and suffers from poor call quality and disconnections. Phone numbers on the network are prefixed with +850 (0)192.

Europe


In Europe, mass market commercial 3G services were introduced starting in March 2003 by 3 (Part of Hutchison Whampoa
Hutchison Whampoa
Hutchison Whampoa Limited or HWL of Hong Kong is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. HWL is an international corporation with a diverse array of holdings which includes the world's biggest port and telecommunication operations in 14...

) in the UK and Italy. The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 Council suggested that the 3G operators should cover 80% of the European national populations by the end of 2005.

North America


In Canada, Bell Mobility
Bell Mobility
Bell Mobility is a CDMA and HSPA+ based wireless network and the division of Bell Canada which sells wireless services in Canada...

, SaskTel
SaskTel
Saskatchewan Telecommunications is a provincial Crown Corporation operating under the authority of the Saskatchewan Telecommunications Act. It is the only remaining Crown Corporation in the Canadian telecommunications industry....

 and Telus
TELUS
Telus is a national telecommunications company in Canada that provides a wide range of telecommunications products and services including internet access, voice, entertainment, video, and satellite television. The company is based in Burnaby, British Columbia, part of Greater Vancouver...

 launched a 3G EVDO network in 2005. Rogers Wireless
Rogers Wireless
Rogers Wireless is a wireless telecommunications provider offering mobile phone and data services throughout Canada using Global System for Mobile Communications and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System technology. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications...

 was the first to implement UMTS technology, with HSDPA services in eastern Canada in late 2006. Realizing they would miss out on roaming revenue from the 2010 Winter Olympics, Bell
Bell Canada
Bell Canada is a major Canadian telecommunications company. Including its subsidiaries such as Bell Aliant, Northwestel, Télébec, and NorthernTel, it is the incumbent local exchange carrier for telephone and DSL Internet services in most of Canada east of Manitoba and in the northern territories,...

 and Telus
TELUS
Telus is a national telecommunications company in Canada that provides a wide range of telecommunications products and services including internet access, voice, entertainment, video, and satellite television. The company is based in Burnaby, British Columbia, part of Greater Vancouver...

 formed a joint venture and rolled out a shared HSDPA network using Nokia Siemens technology.

Middle East


In Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 Orange is the first mobile 3G operator in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

Mobitel
Mobitel
Mobitel is a Slovenian GSM/UMTS mobile operator. The company is under a 100-per-cent ownership of Telekom Slovenije.- Company history :Mobitel was established in October 1991 as a limited liability company. The founder was SP PTT Ljubljana, which was joined by other Slovenian PTT companies by the...

 Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 is the first mobile 3G operator in Iraq. It was launched commercially on February 2007.

MTN Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 is the first mobile 3G operator in Syria. It was launched commercially on May 2010.

In Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 Tamin Telecom won the bid for the third Operator license . Tamin Telecom is going to be the first 3G operator in Iran.
Due to many delays Tamin Telecom will commercially launch in the last months of 2011.

In Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 Ministry of Telecoms launched a test period on September 20, 2011, where 4,000 smart-phone users were selected to enjoy 3G for one month and provide feedback. Currently, the test period is over, MTC Touch and Alfa began rolling out the new 3G services.

Turkey


Turkcell
Turkcell
Turkcell is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey, based in Istanbul. The company has 34.1 million subscribers as of June 30th, 2011.- Company background :...

, Avea
Avea
AveA , the sole GSM 1800 mobile operator of Turkey, was founded in 2004 and has reached a nationwide customer base of 12.4 million by the end of June 2009.TT&TİM İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş...

 and Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone Group Plc is a global telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers , with around 341 million proportionate subscribers as of...

 launched their 3G networks commercially on 30 July 2009 at the same time. Turkcell
Turkcell
Turkcell is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey, based in Istanbul. The company has 34.1 million subscribers as of June 30th, 2011.- Company background :...

 and Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone Group Plc is a global telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers , with around 341 million proportionate subscribers as of...

 launched their 3G service on all provincial centres. Avea launched it on 16 provincial centres. It was after Turkey's monopoly mobile operator Turkcell accepted number portability, mobile operators attended frequency band auction and frequencies for 3G usage distributed around mobile operators. Turkcell
Turkcell
Turkcell is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey, based in Istanbul. The company has 34.1 million subscribers as of June 30th, 2011.- Company background :...

 got A band, Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone Group Plc is a global telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers , with around 341 million proportionate subscribers as of...

 B and Avea
Avea
AveA , the sole GSM 1800 mobile operator of Turkey, was founded in 2004 and has reached a nationwide customer base of 12.4 million by the end of June 2009.TT&TİM İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş...

 C. Currently Turkcell
Turkcell
Turkcell is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey, based in Istanbul. The company has 34.1 million subscribers as of June 30th, 2011.- Company background :...

 and Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone Group Plc is a global telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers , with around 341 million proportionate subscribers as of...

 have 3G networks on most of crowded cities and towns. Turkey has 3.9G networks now.

New Zealand


In late 2005, Vodafone NZ Launched their 3G Network, followed by Telecom NZ's XT Network in 2008, and Newcomer 2degrees
2degrees
2degrees is a U.S. and British owned mobile phone provider operating in New Zealand with 580,112 customers . They launched on 5 August 2009 after 9 years of planning. 2degrees currently offers prepaid and pay monthly mobile services...

 running off a combination of Vodafone's 3G towers and their own in 2009. 2degrees
2degrees
2degrees is a U.S. and British owned mobile phone provider operating in New Zealand with 580,112 customers . They launched on 5 August 2009 after 9 years of planning. 2degrees currently offers prepaid and pay monthly mobile services...

 has since built more towers, and is now mostly self sufficient.

Data rates


ITU has not provided a clear definition of the data rate users can expect from 3G equipment or providers. Thus users sold 3G service may not be able to point to a standard and say that the rates it specifies are not being met. While stating in commentary that "it is expected that IMT-2000 will provide higher transmission rates: a minimum data rate of 2 Mbit/s for stationary or walking users, and 384 kbit/s in a moving vehicle," the ITU does not actually clearly specify minimum or average rates or what modes of the interfaces qualify as 3G, so various rates are sold as 3G intended to meet customers expectations of broadband data.

Security


3G networks offer greater security than their 2G predecessors. By allowing the UE (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. 3G networks use the KASUMI block crypto instead of the older A5/1
A5/1
A5/1 is a stream cipher used to provide over-the-air communication privacy in the GSM cellular telephone standard. It was initially kept secret, but became public knowledge through leaks and reverse engineering. A number of serious weaknesses in the cipher have been identified.-History and...

 stream cipher
Stream cipher
In cryptography, a stream cipher is a symmetric key cipher where plaintext digits are combined with a pseudorandom cipher digit stream . In a stream cipher the plaintext digits are encrypted one at a time, and the transformation of successive digits varies during the encryption...

. However, a number of serious weaknesses in the KASUMI cipher have been identified.

In addition to the 3G network infrastructure security, end-to-end security is offered when application frameworks such as IMS are accessed, although this is not strictly a 3G property.

Applications of 3G


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
    Mobile TV
    Mobile television usually means television watched on a small handheld device. It may be a pay TV service broadcast on mobile phone networks or received free-to-air via terrestrial television stations from either regular broadcast or a special mobile TV transmission format...

  • Video on demand
    Video on demand
    Video on Demand or Audio and Video On Demand are systems which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand...

  • Videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing is the conduct of a videoconference by a set of telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously...

  • Telemedicine
    Telemedicine
    Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities...

  • Location-based service
    Location-based service
    A Location-Based Service is an information or entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device....

    s

Evolution


Both 3GPP
3GPP
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations, known as the Organizational Partners...

 and 3GPP2 are currently working on extensions to 3G standard that are based on an all-IP network infrastructure and using advanced wireless technologies such as MIMO
MIMO
In radio, multiple-input and multiple-output, or MIMO , is the use of multiple antennas at both the transmitter and receiver to improve communication performance. It is one of several forms of smart antenna technology...

. These specifications already display features characteristic for IMT-Advanced (4G), the successor of 3G. However, falling short of the bandwidth requirements for 4G (which is 1 Gbit/s for stationary and 100 Mbit/s for mobile operation), these standards are classified as 3.9G or Pre-4G.

3GPP plans to meet the 4G goals with LTE Advanced
LTE Advanced
LTE Advanced is a preliminary mobile communication standard, formally submitted as a candidate 4G system to ITU-T in late 2009, was approved into ITU, International Telecommunications Union, IMT-Advanced and expected to be finalized by 3GPP in early 2011...

, whereas Qualcomm has halted development of UMB in favour of the LTE family.

On 14 December 2009, Telia Sonera announced in an official press release that "We are very proud to be the first operator in the world to offer our customers 4G services." With the launch of their LTE network, initially they are offering pre-4G (or beyond 3G) services in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway.