Networks classified as 3G (3rd generation) operate on the IEEE 802.11 protocols and were basicallydeveloped for the use of data transfer over wireless networks. 3G is the third generation of telecommunications specifications laid down by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
At its most basic core, 3G permits network operators a all encompassing range of services and technologies to get better services and makes room for higher capacities on networks. This is achieved through spectral efficiency; spectral efficiency defines how a particular bandwidth or frequency is utilized in the transmission of data in the form of voice, video telephony and general data transmissions like that of the Internet. The IEEE 802.11 networks are primarily short range and high bandwidth for data transmission and can also be used for telephone calls and video calls.
3G broadband provides a superior quality of speed of transmission: the average speed has not yet been standardized.
You will be given varying information on connection speed according to the service provider’s documentation. But generally, a 3G broadband user in a fixed position will be able to transfer at a minimum of 2 Mbit/s to a maximum of 14.4 Mbit/s. These rates fluctuate as the user changes position between varying cellular towers and access points via the 3G network. At a walking pace, users can expect to have a maximum transfer of: 384 kbit/s or in a moving car at 128 kbit/s.
3G also incorporates the use of HSPA for speedy transmissions; HSPA is a combination of two separate mobile telephone protocols. One is for the uplink transfer (HSUPA) and the other for downlink (HSDPA) transfers.
The standard for 3G has fallen into the UMTS or W-CDMA specification and is used in the majority of 3G networks in one form or another. There are five other interfaces for the technologies overseeing the wireless Internet and telephone industries, although many are only used in remote locations that have not yet upgraded to the 3G network.
The upgrade process is a prolonged and difficult one as the pre-3G technologies needed to have major upgrades and replacing. In many areas and countries, the radio frequencies used for 3G and UMTS are totally different than those used for previous technologies.
Licensing needs approval on these new radio frequencies which has been a problem for some companies and countries as the costs can be stratopheric.
While new networks need to be constructed and designed in areas lacking the available technology to build on, 3G broadband has taken a fair portion of the world’s data services. According to Informa (via Morgan Stanley December 2009), the leading three countries for usage of 3G handsets is Japan at 87%, South Korea 71% and Australia 52%. The USA is positioned 7th with 37%. Global usage as of December 2009 is 11%.