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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 ?
Gobi-equipped notebooks provide fast, secure and convenient built-in mobile broadband access and GPS functionality over wireless 3G cellular networks, freeing users from having to carry external data cards or search for Wi-Fi hotspots.
amp; BARCELONA, Spain -- MCCI[R] Corporation, the world's leading developer of USB connectivity for the mobile phone industry, today announced the availability of software that allows wireless devices to seamlessly transfer calls and Internet activity between a 3G cellular network and a WiMax network.
Using Phoenix IVS analytics, security alerts can be automatically generated from the portable, intelligent cameras back to the UWMSP or any patrolling officers over the Wireless Mesh or 3G cellular network improving the effectiveness of the overall security at that event.
Altium also provides the high-capacity wireless infrastructure for future 3G cellular network expansion.
Different cost models are created specifically for the 3G cellular network case, where the majority of backhaul demand lies.
A supervisor of an electronics section of a well-known appliance centre maintained that the cordless phones and accessories like wireless headsets sold in their store did not interfere with 3G cellular networks.
The MiFi Secure solution offers Icontrol One dealers the ability to upgrade their customers to 3G cellular networks and enable a simplified solution for home automation at the same time, all for less cost than many traditional standalone upgrade options.
At some locations, 2G and 3G cellular networks are still utilized for communication.
3G cellular networks are widely installed even in remote areas.
4G - better known as Long Term Evolution by those in the know - is a revolution in terms of data speeds, but is actually a natural upgrade for existing 2G and 3G cellular networks, achieving downstream speeds of an astonishing 300 Mbps and uplink speeds of 75 Mbps.
miniCASTER compresses the audio video signal before contributing it to the internet via 3G cellular networks, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a landline or even a satellite terminal.
There was growing fear that the deadlock between Nahhas and the director general of OGERO Abdel-Munem Youssif may hamper the efforts of the minister to install the fiber-optics Internet network and the launch of the highly anticipated 3G cellular networks.