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Difference between 3G and 4G Technology

Introduction to 3G and 4G Technology

3G refers to the third generation of cellular network, which is developed for enhancing the information quality and broadband connectivity with higher properties.4G LTE refers to the fourth generation of network technology which has a lot of capabilities in terms of connection establishment and mobile network services.

Basically, there are various parameters over which we can make a difference between the 3G technology and the 4G technology. These are the following parameters:

  • Information processing design
  • Information transfer rate
  • Variety of connections
  • Capacity
  • Technology compliance
Difference between 3G and 4G Technology

3G Technology

3G stands for the third generation of cellular networks, which is used in mobile technology. Before this generation, there existed two previous generations, so this third generation consists of the features of the previous two generations with some additional features. The 3GPP (Third generation partnership project) was started in 1998 to set up the 3G network.

There are various benefits provided by the 3GPP program, which are the following:

  • The data rates were increased upto 384 kbps.
  • The downlink speed was increased to around 14Mbps using HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access).
  • The GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) speed increased upto 114 Kbps.
  • Long Term Evolution (LTE) designed.

GPRS, which is the part of 3G technology, was developed in 2000, and EDGE was developed in 2003. These are sometimes called 2.5G instead of 3G because they have a lower data rate compared to 3G technology.

4G Technology

As we know, 4G means the fourth generation of network technology; 4G supports a huge number of users at a time than the 3G technology. It provides speed like broadband through a mobile device using high-speed upload and download packets.

Basically, there are two types of 4G technology that provides different speed:


LTE means Long Term Evolution. 4G LTE gives the downloading speed around 150 Mbps which is used to download 1000 MB files in just 8 minutes.

4G LTE-Advanced

It offers a downloading speed of around 300 Mbps which can be used to download a 1000 MB file in just 4 minutes.

The main usage of 4G is in the business, where productivity suffers due to poor speed connection. In rural areas where a broadband connection is not available, 4G provides high speed connectivity.

The main reason for high speed connectivity in 4G is LTE. With LTE, devices are able to send the data and transmit data at the same time because they utilize different frequency bands for these tasks.LTE works on OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) which basically divides a signal into some data streams which are parallel. These data streams travel into different radio sub channels. In the end, these data streams are combined together by the processor.

Difference between 3G and 4G Technology

3G Technology 4G Technology
The maximum upload rate in 3G technology is limited to 5Mbps. whereas In 4G technology, the maximum upload rate increases upto 100 times (500Mbps).
The packet switching technique is used in 3G technology. In 4G technology, packet switching, and message switching are both techniques used.
3G is horizontally lenient. 4G technology is horizontally and vertically lenient.
To find out the errors and error correction purpose, turbo codes are used in 3G technology 4G uses concatenated codes for error correction.
In 3G technology, the internet uses is called broadband service. In 4G technology, the internet uses is called ultra-broadband service.
3G means the third generation of the cellular network. 4G means the fourth generation of cellular network technology.
For downloading, 3G supports a maximum speed of around 21Mbps. We can get a downloading speed of around 1Gbps in 4G.
Frequency bands in 3G are from 1.8 GHz to 2.5 GHz. In 4G, the frequency bands range from 2 GHz to 8 GHz.
The 3G network has the architecture of a wide-area cell-based network. The 4G network has the architecture combined from wireless LAN as well as a wide-area cellular network.
In the 3G network, various technologies like EDGE, UMTS, WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), Digital broadband packet data CDMA 2000, etc., are used. In 4G, WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), LTE (Long-Term Evolution), etc., is used.
The data bandwidth in 3G varies from 2 Mbps to 21 Mbps. In 4G, the data bandwidth varies from 2 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

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