Difference Between GSM and 3G
Global System for Mobile communications or GSM is the current and most widely used standard for mobile phones today while 3G is the next generation mobile technology that has begun to replace GSM. 3G is still in its infancy and only has a very small area covered when compared to GSM.
GSM technology has been the most prominent mobile phone technology in the world. Although there are other technologies that are competing with GSM, it has not budged in its dominance. GSM offered a lot of possibilities to the world of mobile phones like text messaging and even low speed internet access. Further improvements were made with the introduction of GPRS and EDGE that extended the capabilities of GSM networks. Multimedia messaging was added to its list of features allowing subscribers to send pictures, audio clips, and even short video clips to each other. EDGE also increased the speed of mobile internet browsing to Dial-up speeds.
3G is a whole new technology that was introduced as a replacement to the aging GSM technology. It offers substantial improvements over its predecessor in almost all aspects imaginable. For starters, mobile internet speeds for 3G networks starts out at 384kbps which is already within the range of DSL speeds. At the higher end of the 3G spectrum is HSDPA which can achieve speeds of up to 7.2mbps, way faster than what GSM can offer. Theses faster speeds also made it possible to add new features that were unavailable for GSM. One of which is video calling, that allows people to see each other while talking.
The only drawback behind 3G technology is the fact that it is not backward compatible to the older GSM technology. This means that your 3G mobile phones cannot communicate with GSM towers and 2G phones cannot communicate with 3G towers. To preserve backwards compatibility, most telecoms install newer 3G radios while still maintaining the older GSM radios. Mobile phone makers also include 3G support into their phones without removing 2G technologies. This would gradually fade as more and more 3G radios are put up and more 3G mobile phones are built.
It would only be a matter of time until 3G technologies fully supersede the GSM network, this not a competition but a natural transition from an older technology to a new one. Therefore, it would make sense to consider this when you are purchasing a new mobile phone and get one that already supports 3G technology.
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