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Difference Between Edge and 3G

cellphone-towerEdge vs. 3G

The mobile phone market has been growing explosively during the last decade. Moving from analog to digital in a very short period and becoming way more than a telephone by adding features that you’ve never expected in a phone. One of the more prominent features of the mobile phone is internet access. The standard 2G connection back then was GPRS which offered speeds that are even much lower compared to what you can get from a DSL provider.

The need for faster internet connections led to the development of EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution). This is a technology that uses the same equipment as GSM with only a few minor modifications to provide faster data speeds and is often regarded as a stepping stone towards 3G thus it is called 2.5G. It provides speeds that are actually marginally better than that of a dial-up connection. The only advantage that EDGE had was that it required very little from the telco to implement.

The introduction of 3G changed a lot of the accepted standards in the mobile phone industry. It allowed the use of a greater bandwidth that allowed more features to be implemented on it. 3G is a family of standards established by the International Telecommunication Union to supersede the current 2G technology that is in place. Features like video calls and TV apps were possible because of the speed of 3G which began at 384kbps; well within DSL speeds. Further development on 3G technologies have also created even faster data rate reaching 3.6 and even 7.2Mbps.

The speed acquired with the use of 3G technology doesn’t come without a price though. 3G networks aren’t compatible with existing GSM networks; therefore a new infrastructure is needed. Telcos have slowly rolled out 3G towers in areas where they feel that the demand is the greatest. So basically, they have to operate two radios in certain areas; one for 3G and one for GSM. Mobile phone owners are also required to switch mobile phones in order to take advantage of the new features.

As more and more 3G radios are put up and more people are switching to 3G capable phones, the 2G standard would begin to lose subscribers. It would only be a matter of years before the newer 3G network would make the existence of a 2G network redundant. By then the current 2G network would be powered down and all the existing 2G phones would become as useful as the analog phones that came before them, as a brick.

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1 Comment

  1. Very good the differences are clearly explained

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