EDGE and 3G Innovation

The mobile phone market has been growing explosive during the last decade. Moving from analog to digital in a very short period and becoming way more than a telephone by adding features that you’ve never expected in a phone. One of the more prominent features of the mobile phone is internet access. The standard 2G connection back then was GPRS which offered speeds that are even much lower compared to what you can get from a DSL provider.

Over the last decade the mobile phone industry has grown massively. In a very short time period it has moved from analog to digital and furthermore it’s not just a telephone now with all the new and amazing features that we have never expected in a phone.

One of the out standing features of the mobile phone is the internet access. If we go back a little bit, the time of standard 2Gconnection, which was a GRPS, the speed it offered was much lower than the speed offered by the DSL providers.

EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) came as the need for faster internet connection increased. Both EDGE and GSM uses same equipment except for few minor variations in order to provide a fast internet connection and data speed. EDGE is also considered as a milestone towards the 3G hence it is called 2.5G. If we compare its speed we can say that it is in fact slightly better than that of a dial-up connection. It required a very little from Telcos to implement which is one of the advantages EDGE had.

When 3G was introduced it changed a lot of conventional standards in the mobile phone industry. To implement more features the 3G allowed larger bandwidth on it. The International Telecommunication Union established 3G family of standards to surpass the current 2G technology that was in place. Features like video calls and TV apps were possible because of the speed of 3G which began at 384kbps; well within DSL speeds. Further development on 3G technologies have also created even faster data rate reaching 3.6 and even 7.2Mbps.

However the speed obtained with the use of 3G technology comes with a price. As 3G networks are not attuned with existing GSM networks so therefore a new infrastructure was needed. Telcos have slowly rolled out 3G towers in areas where they feel that the demand is the greatest. So on the whole; they have to operate two radios in certain areas; one for 3G and one for GSM. Mobile phone owners are also required to switch mobile phones in order to take advantage of the new features.

It would only be a matter of time before 2G networks will lose their ground and 3G will take their place as more and more 3G radios are put up and more people are switching to 3G capable phones. By then the current 2G network would be powered down and all the existing 2G phones would become as useful as the analog phones that came before them, as a brick.

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