Difference Between 2G and 3G


Main Difference

2G (second generation) and 3g (third generation) are two kinds of wireless telephone technology. The number before G shows the power and speed of technology. The main difference between 2G and 3g is that 3G offers faster data speed as compare to 2G, however, there is no much significant difference between these two network technologies in case of voice use and text messaging.

What is 2G?

2G stands for second generation wireless telephone technology that was launched in 1991 on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). In 2G, three new features were introduced that were more advanced as compare to its predecessor. These three features were: mobile conversations were digitally encrypted; 2G systems were more effective and efficient in greater mobile phone penetration levels; and third it introduced first time data services for mobiles that include SMS text messaging. With the introduction of 2G, various other mobile services came into existence that includes text messages (SMS), picture messages and multi-media-messages (MMS). All data sent in form of text messages is digitally encrypted and transfer in such a way that only respective receiver can receive and interpret it.


What is 3G?

3G stands for third generation wireless telephone technology that was first publicly introduced in 1998. This technology is based on the set standards for mobile phone. By this technology you can have coverage of text messages, voice calls and also gives fast access to the internet. It has capability to carry larger amount of data. 3G finds application in wireless voice telephony, mobile internet access, fixed wireless internet access, video calls and mobile TV. It is a new generation of cellular standards after 1G and 2G. The mobiles used for this are called “Smartphones”. This technology cannot be used on the cell phones made for 1G and 2G. This opened up paths for new mode of communication, video calling enabled for 3G. On this we can download audio, video in excessive amount.


Key Differences

  1. 3G offers faster data speed as compare to 2G, however, there is no much significant difference between these two network technologies in case of voice use and text messaging.
  2. The license fee of 3G network is more costly as compared to 2G networks.
  3. The network system developing of 3G is more complicated and costly than 2G networks.
  4. Smartphones by default use 3G network technology while 2G networks are mostly less compatible with the smartphones.
  5. 2G network technology is mostly used to share information via voice signals or messaging while in 3G, data can be transferred in more speed through video-conferencing, MMS, and many more.
  6. Downloading and uploading speeds in 2G are restricted up to 236 Kbps. In case of 3g network technology, uploading speed is available up to 5.7 Mbps while downloading speed is available up to 21 Mbps.
  7. Networks of 2G are: GSM, CDMAOne, and D-AMPS. Networks of 3G are: UMTSA FDD & TDD, IMT-2000 DECT, CDMA2000 1x EVSO, CDMA200 3x, TD-SCDMA, EDGE, Arib WCDMA.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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