Techs & Specs
The 3G mobile phone network uses a different frequency band than its predecessors to deliver increased data transfer rates. The 3G network uses the 2100MHz frequency, while the existing 2G network operates at the 900MHz frequency band (GSM) and 800MHz (CDMA). This high-speed data capacity enables more content to be sent to and from mobile handsets through calls, messaging and Internet-based content. For example, 3G phones can be used for video phone calls, video message bank, Internet and e-mail, real-time interactive gaming and media streaming, such as news, weather and dedicated TV shows.
The original analogue network was the first-generation cellular mobile phone network which was operational in the 1980s when handsets resembled 'bricks' rather than the tiny, feature-packed devices they've become today. The next major development was the digital cellular mobile phone network that started to offer data as well as voice services and was considered the second-generation mobile network. The 2G network has a data rate of between 9.6Kbps and 14.4Kbps and the 2.5G network boosted rates to between 56Kbps and 144Kbps. The 3G network can deliver data rates up to 2.4Mbps although High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a 3G technology that allows for higher data transfer speeds. Current HSDPA in Australia now supports 1.8Mbps or 3.6Mbps in downlink. Speeds of up to 14.4Mbps and beyond are planned for the future. But the real future is 4G that will deliver data transfer rates of between 20 and 40Mbps, comparable with ADSL and cable Internet transfer speeds. However, the 4G network is only in development and is still some time away from trials and commercial release of services.