Third-Generation (3G) Mobile Phones

Third generation mobile phones, or “3G Internet” mobile phones, is a set of standards for wireless mobile communication systems, that promises to deliver quality multimedia services along with high quality voice transmission.


  • 3G systems comply with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000)

  • specifications by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
  • The first 3G services were available in 1998.

  • It provides high speed transmission having data transfer rate more than 0.2Mbps.

  • Global roaming services are available for both voice and data.

  • It offers advanced multimedia access like playing music, viewing videos, television services etc.

  • It provides access to all advanced Internet services, for example surfing webpages with audio and video.

  • It paved the way for the increased usage of smartphones with wide screens as they provided better viewing of mobile webpages, videos and mobile televisions.

Specifications for 3G

3G specifications are laid down by two groups, 3GPP and 3GPP2.

  • 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) − These specifications are based upon Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications, and are known as Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems (UMTS). The technologies includes in it are −

    • Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA)

    • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

    • Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)

  • 3GPP2 − These specifications are based upon Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Two main specifications under this are −

    • Wideband CDMA (WCDMA)
    • CDMA2000

Areas of Application

  • Wireless voice telephony
  • Fixed wireless Internet access
  • Mobile Internet access
  • Video calls
  • Mobile TV technologies
  • Video-on-demand
  • Video conferencing
  • Tele-medicine
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Location-based services