The Era of 3G!

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3G, created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is the 3rd generation of wireless technology. With the evolution in technology, the world of communication has been of great advantage and the things have been pushed to their limits.  It is a fact that in today’s increasingly reliant on technology society, we are unable to allow ourselves to be disconnected from not only technology but from everyone around us. 3G was launched to facilitate growth, increase bandwidth and support more diverse applications. The aim of launching 3G was to unify the various international standards, but it proved to be really difficult. After some negotiations, a 3G standard known as IMT-2000 emerged which basically represents various standards lumped together under one banner and is thus successful in providing ‘global roaming’ in phones using these standards. Nokia 6233 is among the 1st 3G phones launched in the market.

Standards grouped under IMT-2000 :

* W-CDMA

W-CDMA stands for Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access and is officially known as IMT-2000 direct speed. It has been derived from Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and can support portable voice, images, data and video communications at upto 2 Mbps.

* CDMA 2000

CDMA 2000 is known as IMT-CDMA Multi-Carrier. It can support communication speeds from 144 kbps – 2 mbps. World’s first 3G system, launched by SK telecom (South Korea) in 2000, used CDMA 2000 1X.

* TD-CDMA

TD-CDMA is defined as IMT-TD Time-Division. It provides better quality of service for multimedia communication.

* DECT

DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications. It is a digital wireless technology launched to make cordless phones much more common in both businesses and homes. It has 5 applications: The Cordless, WLL, Cordless Terminal Mobility, Home Cordless Phone and GSM/DECT internetworking.

* UWC – 136

UWC – 136 means Universal Wireless communication – 136. It has enhancements to the TDMA (IS-136) cellular phones that help increase data rates. Its key components are EDGE and WIN.

Unfortunately, out of these 5 standards, only 3, W-CDMA, CDMA 2000 and TD-CDMA are able to allow full network coverage.

Why is 3G better?

Undoubtedly, 3G is better than its preceding technologies, i.e. 2G and 2.5G. Some of the advantages it has are:

* Several times higher data speed which ranges between 128 kbps and 144 kbps. In case of LANs, the speed goes as high as 2 Mbps.
* Enhanced audio and video streaming.
* It has video- conferencing support, which is not available in any of the previous technologies.
* Web and WAP browsing is available at comparatively higher speeds.
* It has IPTV support as well.

Requirements to use 3G:

* A 3G compatible device (phone).
* 3G phones usually need 2 cameras. One in the front as well since it’s required for video conferencing.
* Unlike Wifi, you need to subscribe to a service provide to get 3G network connectivity.

Is it worth it?

Though 3G is not cheap, but it is definitely worth spending on it as it provides you connectivity on the move. 3G phones usually have Wifi support as well. Some applications can even help 3G users make free mobile calls. With all other features which are available in 2G phones, enhanced to the exceptional features talked above, a 3G phone can very well be an addiction!!

Sahil Batra

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