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There have been several questions as to what 3G is, and how it will benefit ... C Spire/Cellular South forum

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    N8DBB's Avatar
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    What is 3G? Explained

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    There have been several questions as to what 3G is, and how it will benefit cell phone users, so here is an explination of 3G, with the recent questions about WiFi enabled cell phones and T-Mobile announcing on October 6th that they will be initiating a 3G network.

    See Related Articles:
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    There have also been questions, such as "will my 8700 or pearl work on a 3G network?" The answer is no. You will need a phone that is 3G equipped.

    This does NOT mean that if you have a phone that is not 3G equipped it will become worthless.

    Compare it to Edge in that aspect. Phones equipped with EDGE service are able to use it (8700) but other phones (BB 7290) are not equipped with EDGE service so they are not.


    GPRS: Data service that was first provided on the hand held cell phone data devices. GPRS is still widely used, but it is slow, with speeds upto 56kbps.

    EDGE: Newer data technology now available from some carriers (Cell phone companies), it is much faster, with speeds of upto 170kbps.

    UTMS/3G:
    Next generation (3G) of mobile data service and is the fastest of the three data technologies at speeds approaching 384kbps

    3G (or 3-G) is short for third-generation technology. It is used in the context of mobile phone standards. The services associated with 3G provide the ability to transfer simultaneously both voice data (a telephone call) and non-voice data (such as downloading information, exchanging email, and instant messaging). In marketing 3G services, video telephony has often been used as the killer application for 3G.

    3G networks are not upgrades of 2G networks and do not operate on the same frequency spectrum; rather, entirely new networks need to be built and new frequencies need to be assigned to mobile operators. Induced euphoria led to huge spectrum-licensing fees in many countries, especially in Europe, where spectrum auctions went into the billions of euros. These spectrum licensing fees which were collected years before actual 3G development, together with the enormous investments necessary to build the all-new 3G networks, financially strained a number of mobile operators, delaying 3G roll-out worldwide except in Japan and South Korea, where such spectrum licensing fees were non-existent as the priority in those countries was set on national IT infrastructure development.

    The first country which introduced 3G on a large commercial scale was Japan. In 2005, about 40% of subscribers used 3G networks only, with 2G being on the way out in Japan. It was expected that during 2006 the transition from 2G to 3G would be largely completed in Japan, and upgrades to the next 3.5G stage with 3 Mbit/s data rates were underway.

    Technically, 3G networks are not IEEE 802.11 networks. IEEE 802.11 networks are short range, primarily internet access networks, while 3G networks are wide area cellular telephone networks which evolved to incorporate high-speed internet access and video telephony to these networks.

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    Background

    It is estimated that there are about 60 3G networks in 25 countries around the world. In Asia, Europe and the USA, telecommunication companies use WCDMA technology with the support of around 100 terminal designs to operate 3G mobile networks.

    In 2001, NTT DoCoMo - one of the giant telecommunication companies in Japan - was the first telecommunication company to launch a commercial WCDMA network. The introduction of 3G services within Europe began in early 2003.

    The official 3G mobile network is the systems and services based on the ITU family of standards under the International Mobile Telecommunications programme, 'IMT-2000'. A boost was given to 3G mobile networks in Europe when the EU council suggested that the 3G operators should cover 80% of the European national populations by the end of 2005.

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    Features

    The most significant features offered by third generation (3G) mobile technologies are the momentous capacity and broadband capabilities to support greater numbers of voice and data customers - especially in urban centres - plus higher data rates at lower incremental cost than 2G.

    By using the radio spectrum in bands identified, which is provided by the ITU for Third Generation IMT-2000 mobile services, it subsequently licensed to operators. 3G uses 5 MHz channel carrier width to deliver significantly higher data rates and increased capacity compared with 2G networks.

    The 5 MHz channel carrier provides optimum use of radio resources for operators who have been granted large, contiguous blocks of spectrum. On the other hand, it also helps to reduce the cost to 3G networks while being capable of providing extremely high-speed data transmission to users.

    It also allows the transmission of 384kbps for mobile systems and 2Mbps for stationary systems. 3G users are expected to have greater capacity and improved spectrum efficiency, which will allow them to access global roaming between different 3G networkings.

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    Standard 3G

    International Telecommunications Unit (ITU): IMT-2000 consists of five radio interfaces

    * W-CDMA
    * CDMA2000
    * CDMA2001
    * TD-CDMA / TD-SCDMA
    * UWC-136
    * DECT+

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    Issues


    Even though 3G has successfully been introduced to European mobile users, there are some issues that are debated by 3G providers and users.

    * High input fees for the 3G service licenses;
    * Great differences in the licensing terms;
    * Current high debt of many telecommunication companies, making it more of a challenge to build the necessary infrastructure for 3G;
    * Member State support to the financially troubled operators;
    * Health aspects of the effects of electromagnetic waves;
    * Expense and bulk of 3G phones;
    * Lack of 2G mobile user buy-in for 3G wireless service;
    * Lack of coverage because it is still new service;
    * High prices of 3G mobile services in some countries.

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Great info you brought together here in a good format. Thanks N8!

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    A very well written and informative article covering all aspects of this technology.

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~thank you very much for explaing what a 3G is!

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Great read! Good job!

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Is this better than EVDO?

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Thanks N8. That answered a lot of my questions.

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Quote Originally Posted by CAPONE
    Is this better than EVDO?
    I'm assuming yes.. it is stated that it's the next generation speed.

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
    I currently use a UMTS PC card. It gives real broadband performance when compared with GPRS. Unfortunately I have noticed real discomfort when close up to it. I am really concerned about the health issues when such high power stuff is available in a BB handset. I think we'll need bigger batteries too. UMTS doesn't appear as reliable in bad weather! I'm always switching down to GPRS when it rains.

    Personally I think we need more efficient use of lower power GPRS technologies too. Its not always about bandwidth - latency is a real issue for usability and optimising content for mobile. BB is really good at optomising email with server-side browsing of attachments.

    3G isn't an instant silver bullet solution (to what?). 3G needs to be low power. I still disappointed with the battery life of my 8700 when compared to my old 7230 which still goes on for nealry 2 weeks without a re-charge. The 8700 is more like 2 days, and with UMTS I reckon its gonna be much less.

    I'd like to see a new "basic" BB model with emphasis on style, cool apps and PC connectivity. I reckon there's life still in GPRS!

    WIFI? No good unless you've got good encryption/VPN otherwise I wouldn't trust it.

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Quote Originally Posted by flash24
    I'm assuming yes.. it is stated that it's the next generation speed.
    I Thought EVDO and EDGE were the same speed.

    Pretty cool though i cant wait for it to come out. Hope the Coverage gets better too!

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    Re: What is 3G? Explained

    Quote Originally Posted by CAPONE
    Is this better than EVDO?
    EVDO is a technology offered by the CDMA carriers (Sprint & Verizon). It is used for data only, hence the name "Evolution Data Only," or EVDO.

    EVDO is currently faster than UMTS, but it will be comparable to HSDPA when that is fully rolled out. I have an EVDO PC Card from Verizon for my laptop and have experienced speeds ~700 Kbps down and ~60 Kbps up; fairly equivalent to a DSL line. And I have even used it at 70 MPH on the freeway. While my wife was driving, of course.

    Dave

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    NTT DoCoMo are currently testing VSF-OFCDM. during a test achieved a maximum packet transmission speed of 2.5 Gbps.

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    3g sounds good but im still concerned about the price for me i would want wifi and 3g option that way your not stuck with the carriers high prices. thanks for the info on 3g

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    apart from price i think that 3g coverage at the moment is the biggest problem. take t-mobile uk at the moment their 3g coverage isn't that great but instead of sorting the problem out they introduce HSDPA which at present ,only has limited coverage. why release something that is not going to work the way it was designed too. the really funny fact of the story is why offer me a 3g handset when you know i cann't get 3g coverage in my area?? networks need to sort themselves out to be honest.

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