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(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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Reliance Communications Introduces 3G Network Services 22
Ericsson, which deployed Orange Jordan's 3G network back in 2009, will provide Orange with the latest HSPA+ technology to expand its coverage and capacity.
Ofcom also proposes that price controls should be imposed on dominant operators connecting calls to 3G networks as well as 2G networks," the media-to-telecoms regulator said in a statement.
It is also responsible for developing the first 3G handsets for the world's first 3G networks.
As the supplier of 3 Ireland's W-CDMA/UMTS radio access network (UTRAN), the contract includes the delivery of a full complement of Node-B radio base stations and radio network controllers with an aim to providing ubiquitous 3G network coverage for 3 customers around Ireland.
Beginning today, customers who live in homes where location, geography or structural conditions interfere with reception can use the Verizon Wireless 3G Network Extender to instantly enhance the signal on their Verizon Wireless phones and smartphones.
Following this, it strove to develop a mobile router best suited to the development of a solution at a practical level; in addition it carried out experimentation tests to enable coordination with a 3G network with the aim of expanding the applicable area, and has achieved the current result as a consequence.
The lack of a compelling business case for 3G network enhancements, combined with an increase in network sharing, will have a profound impact on the cellular network infrastructure market.
T-Mobile is the first UK operator to deliver HSDPA capability across its entire 3G network, supporting data rates of up to 1.
Avea Selects Huawei Technologies for 3G Network II-72
0 reflects our steadfast commitment to driving increased 3G network usage and delivering a converged offering today," said Alon Barnea, General Manager of the RADVISION Mobility & Service Provider Business Unit.