What is 3G?
3G (3rd generation) is a standard for the mobile technologies that were defined by the International Telecommunication Union a (ITU) in the year 2000 as IMT-2000. It includes technologies like GSM edge, UMTS, CDMA2000, DECT and WiMax. It’s an updation from the standards like 2G, 2.5G, and 2.75G.
About International Telecommunication Union (ITU):
Global information and communication technology issues are handled only by the agency of the UN called ITU. It is focused in the standardization and development of the technologies involved in broadband internet to wireless, mobile and satellite networks.
What’s special about 3G?
There wasn’t any new or peculiar feature that was included in the 3G network. It does the same work, which can be done using the previous standards. But the voice and data packets can be transferred simultaneously at a much faster rate and from anywhere. The maximum 3G speed that can be offered is 14.4Mbps for download and 5.8Mbps for upload.
3G technology provides global roaming, using the same device and allows the combination of value added multimedia services through several mediums.
How does 3G broadband works?
The space and the speed available in a 3G service allows the network providers to offer a wide and more advanced range of services by improving spectral efficiency. The number of data transferred in a given time, over an available bandwidth in a specific communication system is called spectral efficiency. It helps the operators to increase their network capacity.
3G Mobile Broadband
3G is a technology that can be implemented to any device or service that works with the help of a mobile network. Ex: mobile phones, smart phones, mobile broadband, mobile TV, etc. But the technology created more expectations and is widely used for internet communication. 3G broadband or 3G mobile broadband; both mean almost the same kind of web access.
Internet through the mobile using GPRS and other technologies was good initially. But as the number of users increased, the cost of the service was not matching the speed offered. But the implementation of the 3G service was a good move and took internet users to the next level of wireless communication. Mobile Broadband provided more privacy, faster access and mobility.
3G broadband providers in UK
3 Mobile in UK was the first to introduce the 3G network in the whole of Europe in 2003. Today they maintain the largest 3G network in the country and are in the race to cover almost 98% of the population by 2010. Mobile Broadband was launched by 3 mobile in 2007. The speed offered at present is a maximum of 7.2Mbps which will be upgraded to 14.4Mbps by the end of the year 2010.
Vodafone launched its first 3G service in Europe in 2004. It also offers a speed of 7.2Mbps at present and has promised to upgrade the speed up to 14.4Mbps.
O2 mobile is a leading provider in UK for mobile and broadband services. It’s a part of the Telefonica Company and leads the market for data connections using GPRS, HSDPA, 3G and WLAN. They offer a mobile broadband speed of Max-3.6Mbps.
Orange is one of the leading telecom providers in the world. They maintain an integrated service of the 2G and 3G network. The mobile broadband speed offers a speed of 3.6Mbps which will be upgraded to 7.2Mbps within 2010.
T-Mobile is one of the largest mobile companies in the world which launched its 3G network in the year 2004. It launched its first mobile broadband modem in the year 2007. Currently the maximum speed of the mobile broadband service is 7.2Mbps.
Virgin Mobile offers mobile broadband in UK at a speed of 7.2Mbps. The company has a better upgraded 3G service in UK and its cable broadband was the first to offer a speed of 50Mbps in the whole of UK. So, Virgin mobile broadband is expected to offer a better speed in the future.
3G coverage in UK
Mobile Broadband and 3G broadband are necessarily not the same. Mobile broadband can be accessed using a 2G as well as 3G network. 3G networks can offer speeds up to 14.4Mbps while the 2G cannot offer anything beyond 1Mbps. So availability of a mobile broadband network in a certain area does not mean that it is accessing a 3G network and users cannot expect a high speed of more than 1Mbps.
It is an evident fact that mobile broadband providers in UK have not completed 100% updation of their networks to 3G. Based on this fact, Ofcom released a report about the 3G coverage map of different providers in UK.
Ofcom is a communication regulator in UK which ensures that a quality and secured communication service is provided to the people of UK. It monitors, regulates and listens to complaints and provides a detailed analysis report to the Parliament of UK.
Know more about: Mobile Broadband Coverage-UK
Future of 3G Broadband
Even though 3G broadband can offer a speed of 14.4Mbps, broadband analysts say that it’s not enough for the future requirements of virtual communication. Research and development has been started since a long time to develop a better technology than the 3G service. Extensions of 3G service like 3GPP and 3GPP2 were created to meet the needs of the next generation broadband service. Long term evolution or Ultra mobile broadband is what they call it. It would be the 4G broadband (4th generation) technology with an expected speed range of more than 100Mbps.