If you are a mobile web user of the cellular phone systems, you may have heard the terms, 3G and 4G. I recently had someone ask me, “What does the “G” stand for?”. Ironically, the answer to that question fell right into my lap while working on my blog.
Below is a clip from a PC Magazine Article, “What is 4G, And Do I Need It?” , that answers the “G” questions for us.
A “G” is a generation of wireless technology. Each generation offers significantly faster Internet access than the previous generation, but it’s incompatible with the previous generation—you have to upgrade your phone to use it, and carriers usually have to install new hardware.
The first G was the old analog cellular systems. 2G systems are digital, but slow. Many phones still use 2G. Internet speeds on 2G phones range from 9.6 Kbits/s to about 200 Kbps. 3G systems run from about 384 Kbps to—well, we’ll get to that.
4G systems such as LTE and WiMAX claim to have real-life speeds of 5 Mbits/s or greater, much like a home cable connection. The most recent versions of these technologies promise speeds in the hundreds of Mbits/s, faster than any home Internet connection available right now. 4G systems are also “all-IP.” Down the road, they’ll be able to replace the old circuit-switched voice phone calling with voice-over-IP systems. [SOURCE: PC MAGAZINE]
2/26/2012 – Also see another article on this same topic: What Is All This 2G, 3G and 4G Talk?