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3G(1) (3rd Generation) The third version of a product or system. See iPhone 3G.
(2) (3rd Generation) The previous generation of cellular transmission, which features moderately high speed for Internet access compared to the very sluggish 2G systems. As 4G LTE technology proliferates, carriers maintain their 3G networks for compatibility with millions of cellphones that rely on 3G technology (for the difference between 3G and Wi-Fi, see cellular vs. Wi-Fi).
Several advanced, higher-speed 3G technologies have been officially sanctioned as 4G (see cellular generations). In the U.S., the major 3G technologies are EV-DO for CDMA networks, such as used by Verizon and Sprint, and HSPA for GSM networks for carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile. See EV-DO, HSPA and 4G.
|The Network Makes a Difference|
|These iPhone speed tests were taken at the same time using AT&T's slower 2G EDGE (E) network and its faster 3G network. Speed is always based on the number of active users in the cell. This test was performed in 2009.|