1.      Introduction - Evolution of the Mobile Market
2.      Access Technologies
3.      What is 3G?
4.      3G Technology
5.      Cellular Standards for 1G and 2G 
6.      Cellular Standards for the Third Generation
7.      "Why 3G?"
8.      3G Applications
9.      Evolution to 3G Wireless Technology
10.   Where is the new radio spectrum?
11.   Comparison of 2G, 2.5G and 3G Mobile Networks
12.   How do 3G phones work?
13.   How do 3G phones work?
14.   Conclusion


Third generation is the generic term used for the next generation of mobile communications systems. 3G will provide enhanced services to those - such as voice, text and data - predominantly available today. Video on demand, high speed multimedia and mobile Internet access are just a few of the possibilities for users in the future. 3G Services will expand the possibilities of information and communication. UMTS is a part of the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU's) 'IMT-2000' vision of a global family of third-generation mobile communications systems. The technology concepts for third generation systems and 3G services are currently under development industry wide. The global 3G Partnership Project (3GPP), a collaboration of organisations which includes the GSM Association, are committed to bringing us the 3rd Generation mobile systems.


This first generation (1G) analog system for mobile communications saw two key improvements during the 1970s: the invention of the microprocessor and the digitization of the control link between the mobilephone and the cell site. Second generation (2G) digital cellular systems were first developed at the end of the 1980s.  These systems digitized not only the control link but also the voice signal.  The new system provided better quality and higher capacity at lower cost to consumers. Third generation (3G) systems promise faster communications services, including voice, fax and Internet,  anytime and anywhere with seamless global roaming.  ITU’s  IMT-2000 global standard for 3G has opened the way to enabling innovative applications and services (e.g. multimedia entertainment, infotainment and location-based services, among others). The first 3G network was deployed in Japan in 2001.  2.5G networks, such as GPRS (Global Packet Radio Service) are already available in some parts of Europe.

Why 3G?

But you have an advantage over others. You pull out your new cell phone with its enhanced screen, which happens to double as your personal digital device. Using the snazzy wireless device, you not only can check the listing of all the movies at the theater, you can view clips from the movies as well. Using this same device, you select the movie you want to see, buy the tickets online, and then use the instant messaging function to let your friends who are meeting you know which movie you have selected.  Also, since you know that the restaurant across the street is going to be busy after the movie, you make reservations for you and your friends. After the show, once you and your friends get to the restaurant, you call up on your wireless phone the restaurant's discount coupon and pay for dinner - avoiding using cash or a credit card. Welcome to the world of Third Generation wireless (3G) - where high-speed, broadband mobility meets the Internet.


This article offers an introduction to 3G radio transmission technologies and various functionalities of 3G device. A qualitative comparison of mobile wireless technologies that could be viewed simultaneously as substitute and/or complementary paths for evolving to broadband wireless access. The goal of the analysis is to explore the future of wireless access and to speculate on the likely success and possible interactions between the mobile technologies in the future.