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Difference Between 2G and 3G Network Technology

2G vs 3G Network Technology

2G and 3G networks are the two current technologies in use today. Although both are good enough for basic calls and text messaging features, the two are very different when it comes to capabilities. The main difference between 3G and 2G network technology is bandwidth, which people commonly refer to as speed. At the very minimum, 3G provides speeds that are roughly twice the maximum speed possible with GPRS, a 2G network technology. 2G has been left in the dust as current technologies have much faster speeds.

Data speed in itself is already a huge improvement as it opened up the internet to mobile phone users, which 2G networks had a very limited version called WAP. Nowadays, you pretty much get the same internet experience on your mobile devices as you would get from your computer. But aside from opening that, 3G network technology also paved the way for the introduction of new cellular phone features that were unheard of in 2G. This includes MMS, the ability to send multimedia files like photos, videos, and sound files from one 3G capable phone to another; and then there’s video calling, pretty much like traditional calling but you can see your conversation partner with the use of the phone’s cameras. These features seem mundane to most people nowadays but they were ground-breaking when they were introduced a few years back.

As is the case with every new technology that aims to replace an older technology, 3G did not outright replace 2G. 2G networks were pretty established by then and migrating to 3G meant purchasing new equipment for the telcos and purchasing new phones for the users. That is why a gradual roll-out was the step taken by just about everyone, with 2G and 3G networks coexisting in certain areas. This provides better flexibility to serve all customers. But in some areas where the population is not as large, the introduction of 3G network technologies are not as cost effective. That’s why there are still some areas with only 2G network technologies and not 3G. This is not a problem for 3G phone owners as these phones are able to utilize 2G network technologies as a fallback in case 3G network technologies are not available.


  1. 3G provides way more bandwidth than 2G network technology
  2. 3G has more features than 2G network technology
  3. 3G networks are not as widely deployed as 2G networks are

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