Glossary  >  3G


Noun, Abbr.

3G is a notation for third-generation wireless—the standard for much of the wireless technology we use today.

3G marked the beginning of web browsing, email, video downloading, and many other technologies associated with smartphones.

Introduced commercially in 2001, 3G aimed to overcome the limitations of 2G. Its primary objectives were:

  • To enable greater data capacity
  • Support a wider range of applications
  • Increase data transmission at a lower cost

3G utilizes UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) as its core network architecture, enhancing the capabilities of 2G with new technologies to provide faster data rates as outlined by the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) standards.

A key standard for 3G is the provision of speeds of at least 300 Kbps, with stationary speeds of 2 Mbps and mobile speeds of 384 kbps defined as the benchmark for "true" 3G.

Following 2G's evolutionary path, 3G advanced to 3.5G and then 3.75G as it incorporated more features, eventually paving the way for the introduction of 4G.

Example of 3G in a sentence:

"3G enabled video streaming—the best innovation since sliced bread."

Related Terms for 3G: