3G Technology Features, Advantages and Drawbacks

Third-generation wireless technology is the advanced wireless technology. This technology enhances the features that were available in second generation and adds further advanced features. This technology is widely used in mobile phones and data cards.

Evolution of 3G:

Evolution of 3G describes updating cellular telecommunications network around the world to use 3G technologies. Japan was the first country to commercially launch 3G in 2001. The transition to 3G was completed during 2005/2006 in Japan. In 2005, there were 23 networks world wide, operating 3G technology. Some are only for test use and some operators are providing services to consumers.

The main reason for the evolution of 3G was due to the limited capacity of the 2G networks.

2G networks were built for voice calls and slow data transmission. But these services were unable to satisfy the requirements of present wireless revolution.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has defined the demand for 3G in the International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT)-2000 standards to facilitate growth, increase bandwidth, support diverse applications.

The development like 2.5G or GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and 2.75G or EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) technologies resulted in the transition to 3G. These technologies act like bridge between 2G and 3G.

Features of 3G:

The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) has proposed 3G telecommunications standards to provide cost efficient high quality, wireless multimedia applications and enhanced wireless communications.

The features of 3G can be divided into two categories. One is data rates and the other is security.

  • The main feature of 3G technology is that it supports greater voice and data capacity and high data transmission at low-cost. 3G mobiles can operate on 2G and 3G technologies.
  • The second major feature is the security: 3G offers greater security features than 2G like Network Access Security, Network Domain Security, User Domain Security, Application Security.
  • This technology provides localized services for accessing traffic and weather updates. Video calls and video conference is another major feature in 3G mobile technology. These features reduces the communication barriers between people, that were not sacked even with mobile phones.

Date transfer rates are high and can support even live TV channels over phone. Online media is another exciting feature in 3G mobiles. 3G mobiles highly attract the music lovers as they can listen to music and watch videos online and can download huge files with in less time.

Few 3G mobiles support MS-office and RSS feeds.

Advantages of 3G:

All the functions performed in a normal 2G mobile device can be performed in 3G at a higher speed.

3G provides faster connectivity, faster internet access and music with improved quality.

Few applications of 3G are:

  • The 3G mobile can be used as a modem for a computer which can access internet and can download games and songs at high speed.
  • 3G technology provides high quality voice calls and video calls.
  • View live TV broadcasting in mobile. Get weather updates and news headlines in mobiles.
  • 3G increases bit rate which helps the service providers to provide high speed internet facility and many applications to its customers.
  • 3G devices can provide data transmission speed upto 2Mbits/s when used in stationary mode
  • Provides multimedia services such as sharing of digital photos and movies.
  • This technology provides real time multi player gaming and location-based services.
  • 3G allows users to be online all the time.
  • 3G also includes mobile office services, like virtual banking and online selling.
  • Teleconferencing at work is one of the best applications.


Though there are many advantages with 3G technology, there are few drawbacks like

  • Upgrading the base station and cellular infrastructure to 3G incurs very high costs.
  • Service provider has to pay high amount for 3G licensing and agreements.
  • Problem with the availability of handsets in few regions and their costs.
  • High power consumption

3G technology provides high data rates and improved call quality, video calling facility and much more. This technology provides huge benefits to mobile users. The major drawbacks are from the regions where 3G is in initial stages of launch. These drawbacks can be minimized when 3G services are used extensively.

  • Interested in learning more about 3G? Click here to read on evolution of 3G.

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2 comments on “3G Technology Features, Advantages and Drawbacks”

  1. OLADIMEJI says:

    This information was useful to me. thanks.

  2. Useful info..