3G, short for “Third Generation Wireless,” is the next generation high-speed mobile system based on GSM. 3G supports broadband, packet-based transmission of voice, text, multimedia, and video data at rates from 384 kbps to 2 Mbps. At the heart of 3G is the aim to provide mobile users, wherever they may be, with the same high speed services offered by broadband. With 3G, the mobile user can access high speed internet, videoconferencing, and basic video/TV services.
3G can support a minimum of 2 Mbps for stationary or slow-moving users (walking) and 384 kbps for fast-moving vehicles (in an auto or train). Compare this to rates of 9.6-40 kbps for 2G and 2.5G systems.
3G was developed to address the ever-growing consumer demand for mobile network capacity and services. From the youth-inspired excitement for SMS to a need for seamless connectivity to the corporate network while traveling, consumers have embraced the benefits of mobility. The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) started the process of defining the 3G standard back in the mid-1980s. In 1998, the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) was established to continue developing the 3G specifications. The 3GPP is a global body that brings together several telecommunications standards bodies from Europe, Japan, the United States, Korea, and China.
3G supports the needs of a growing mobile workforce, including the typical “road warrior,” as well as those working from home, a satellite office, or commuting. 3G extends the office LAN to these mobile workers, providing access to email, corporate networks, and the Internet. There are many personal-use applications as well, ranging from “smart” appliances to e-commerce and multimedia applications. And as 3G technology evolves, advanced applications beyond those envisioned today are sure to be developed.
Here are just a few of the benefits of 3G technology:
– While on the road, a manager can conduct a teleconference with colleagues to discuss an upcoming presentation. He can download the latest version, make edits online, all while talking.
– Users can take advantage of mobile video on demand to watch news, sports highlights, and video clips anytime on their mobile devices.
– 3G gives mobile staff access to critical applications like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications. For example, field engineers can view a customer’s profile from the road, update their files, and even close the trouble ticket while on site. Sales people can create and place orders while still at the customer’s location.
– 3G-enabled vehicles are beginning to enter the market. These provide access to traffic-view cameras, Internet access, gaming, and video-streaming.