2G and 3G Wireless Technology
In today’s world of communication, 2G and 3G technologies have their own importance and priority. Nowadays even a layman has some knowledge about 2G as it has become so popular because of the current political issues related to 2G spectrum. The “G” here stands for generation, thus 2G and 3G means second and third generation technologies respectively.
Even 1G technology exists; though it did not become that popular. Today the technology has come up to 4G. As in case of any other technology, as the updated technology gets introduced with many advanced features, the older version becomes outdated. These are wireless technologies used for telephone that is actually intended for mobile phones. 2G technology was first introduced in 1991 in Finland where as 3G was launched in 2001 in Japan, that is after 10 years.
Before 15 years, mobile phones were used just for vocal communication and for sending plain messages. So everybody preferred to have mobiles with these basic functionalities. At that time we can’t even imagine of booking our train ticket using our mobile phone or even chatting with a friend while traveling by using a mobile. But all these became true with the introduction of these wireless technologies. In a recent study conducted by European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) shows that 48% of Europeans use mobile phones with internet facility that is we would say almost 50% of them are making use of these technologies.
2G and 3G Comparison
2G is also known as GSM technology. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile communication. Considering the multiplexing technology used, 2G can be generally classified into two, they are Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). 2G even uses Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) for transmitting information, commonly used are the above two. In case of the 2G technology, the radio signals emit very low power. Thus it offers longer battery life for the cell phones and safety for the customer using the mobile. 3G mainly uses CDMA multiplexing. The technologies mainly used for 3G are Wide band Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) and CDMA2000. In case of 3G severe magnetic waves emit and these radiations are dangerous for our body. Increased use of this technology may adversely affect even our brain system. In case of transmission, 2G uses circuit switching whereas 3G uses packet switching technique. Comparing to 1G technology which was using analog signals for transmission, both 2G and 3G have innumerable advantages as it use digital signal for transmission, especially in case of security and clarity.
2G is not suitable in case of multimedia applications. That is 2G is mainly intended for simple voice communication and for normal internet browsing. If a customer wants to do video conferencing, multimedia usage etc, it cannot be accomplished with 2G. Here comes 3G into picture. The mobile phones which use 3G technology are more commonly known as smart phones and it can be used as mini laptops itself. As the name indicates, it is really smart. By using 3G you can have a video call, you can send MMS messages, you can watch TV in your mobile, you can play 3D games; in short all the information you want is in a blink of an eye. As of now, it might be a bit difficult to use multimedia applications in a mobile screen as the screen size is too small to watch a movie or play a real time game. But in future we may expect mobile phones with larger screen size. Another feature introduced by 3G is global roaming. You can always keep in touch with your family or colleagues while traveling anywhere with the confidence that your mobile is tuned with the local system.
Even though 2G and 3G technologies are for supporting internet access in cell phones, the major difference that can be felt for an end user is speed. In today’s speedy world nobody has time to wait. Especially in case of net connection, it would be ridiculous if we have to wait for 5 minutes just to get a site opened.
In 2G technology, the expected data transferring speed is 236 kbps whereas it is 3.6 Mbps in case of 3G. That is 3G is almost 20 times faster than 2G. Another concern while using internet is security, especially while using banking sites. In both 2G and 3G all messages are digitally encrypted, even though the encryption method used is different. 2G uses A5 ciphering algorithm whereas 3G makes use of KASUMI encryption which is more secure and reliable.
The price of 3G cell phones is more compared to 2G cell phones. Also the time allowed to access the internet is very low in case of 3G comparing to 2G for the same rate. So if we weigh the benefits and price for these two technologies, surely the benefits are incomparable considering the price. Moreover even now, 3G technology is not available in many of the places as it is an evolving technology. As we all know signal towers are to be widely available to receive and transmit signals. And the competition in the telecom sector is too high to get the license. Because of all these reasons towers are not that available, 3G usage is limited only to metros and some main cities in case of developing countries like India. So even if you are wondered about the features offered by 3G we have to wait to taste its advantages. And even though towers are widely available for 2G, since the digital signals are weaker, it may not reach the tower in case of areas where population is very high. So 2G is not that effective in populous areas.
Again we can expect more and more advanced features as it moves from 1G to 4G or even next generation ‘G’s. We could enjoy even unpredictable range of services in another 5 or 10 years. So the only thinking as of now should be Wait and See.