Difference Between 3G and 4G

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between 3G and 4G

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When we discuss mobile technology nowadays, calls or SMS are also included. However, the first use for which a mobile device has become essential is for Internet activities, including using Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube, and web surfing.

Regarding technical compliance, information transfer rate, capacity, information processing design, diversity of connections, etc., 3G and 4G are frequently distinguished from one another. The third generation, or 3G, refers to the development of specialized mobile devices for approving information and internet services with the highest quality. On the other hand, fourth Generation LTE, often known as 4G LTE, offers a lot of capabilities for more connections and quicker mobile broadband experiences. Advanced technology, multimedia services, and a greater network capacity are all made possible by 3G technology. In addition, a broader radio spectrum is also made possible, which speeds up data transfer.

Furthermore, carriers may provide 3G at a lower price than they could with 2G. The fourth generation long-term evolution, or 4G LTE, intends to provide customers with faster, increased dependability of mobile broadband internet for devices like smartphones, pads, and pcs.

3G vs. 4G

Both are mobile communication standards, although 3G and 4G technologies differ significantly. We typically distinguish between the two based on technological compliance, information transfer speed, connection kinds, capacity, information processing architecture, and many other factors. For example, compared to 2G, 3G technology enables mobile service providers to offer more excellent information transmission and internet capabilities (second generation). On the other hand, the 4G LTE technology provides an even better capacity for a quicker, more reliable, and multi-connection-capable mobile internet experience.

The rate at which data may be uploaded to and retrieved from mobile computing devices using the Internet is the primary distinction between 3G and 4G. The "G" in 3G and 4G stands for the third and fourth generations of cellular networks, respectively. In terms of surfing, suffering, and video conferencing, 3G is far slower than 4G. Despite being a more recent technology, 4G has replaced 3G. While 4G supports the same, 3G was incompatible with the internet protocol for voice data. The term and abbreviation 4G refer to the fourth generation of mobile signal strength, which significantly outperforms 3G in terms of streaming video, buffer-free music, internet calling, and online gameplay. The MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) and OFDM technologies are crucial for 4G. (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing). The protocol for transmitting and receiving data in packets has been improved with the emergence of 4G. The 4G network is entirely IP-based.

Difference Between 3G and 4G in Tabular Form

Parameters Of Comparison 3G 4G
Complete Form The designation 3G refers to the Third Generation of technology. The fourth generation of technology is referred to as 4G.
Changing Approaches It makes use of the packet switching method. Both the message switching and the packet switching approaches are used.
Maximum Download Speed A maximum download speed of around 21 Megabytes per second is provided by 3G technology. With 4G technology, movies may be downloaded considerably more quickly—up to 1 Gigabyte per second.
Max Upload Speed Up to 5 Megabytes per second can be transferred. It can reach speeds of roughly 500 Megabytes per second or greater.
Variable Frequency The 3G technology operates at a frequency that fluctuates between 1.8 and 2.5 gigahertz. The 4G technology operates in a roughly 2 to 8 gigahertz frequency band.
Leniency Horizontally, 3G technology is forgiving. Both vertically and horizontally, 4G technology is forgiving.
Correction of Error The turbo codes are used by the 3G technology to do error correction. By concatenating the codes, 4G technology accomplishes error correction.
Technology It takes advantage of packet switching. While employing both the message switching and packet switching techniques.
Data volume Data bandwidth ranges from 2 to 21 Mbps. Data bandwidth ranges from 2 Mbps to 1 Gbps.
Network Structure Wide-area cells make up the network architecture of the 3G technology. With the incorporation of WLAN, the 4G technology's network design is cell-based and covers a large region.

What Is 3G?

The third generation is referred to as 3G. This generation of mobile telecom service standards complies with IMT-2000 (International Mobile Telecommunications - 2000). In the form of instant messaging, emails, and downloads, it gives a user the capacity to send data and voice simultaneously over the same network. The 3G is the successor to the 2G and offers a significantly reduced incremental cost while supporting a more extensive user base for voice and data. Circuit switching is used in 3G communication for voice, and packet switching is used for data.

Early in 2000, 3G-based mobile data was introduced, hampered the broad usage of mobile Internet for media. 3G data transfers phone network data using signals from mobile towers. The mobile phone's closest tower will transmit data to it for internet access and multimedia viewing. Every GPS-enabled application runs more efficiently with 3G connections than with older mobile network generations.

Advancement Of Technology

When the technology first became available, it was only natural to feel compelled to get a smartphone due to 3G. It has a 25 MHz bandwidth and is compatible with WCDMA technology, which is available with the CDMA system. In late 2010, when 3G technology became more widely available, unified communication technologies were created. The development of technology has essentially connected everyone through 3G network-based messaging apps. The restricted use of handheld devices before the release of third-generation handheld devices supports the career of app development to flourish in the digital sector.

Some Benefits Of 3G

  • The plans are more expensive due to the high cost of implementing the 3G network, but 3G technology allows for location-based services like weather forecasts on mobile. It also allows for video chats and business conferencing between cities, states, and nations.
  • Picture messaging enables the visual display of goods, developments, or issues. It also allows the development and deployment of more data-intensive apps. Finally, 3G technology makes it simple for consumers to access music, photos, and videos, expanding the advertising market for those sectors.
  • When using the Internet, you only pay for the connection when sending data packets like email or browsing the Web. In addition, 3G Internet capabilities enable connectivity that is always on mode, which means that your Internet connection is always accessible whenever you are ready to use it.
  • Due to the 3G network, business people may travel without renting or purchasing new phones. Bandwidth is a measure of transmission capacity. One of the selling aspects of 3G is its high bandwidth, which gives you rapid and straightforward access to all of your favorite online entertainment and Internet applications, just as if you were at home on the computer.
  • You can check your emails, make appointments for supper, and pay your bills while on the road. While a stationary 3G device's maximum bandwidth is 2.05 megabits (Mbps), while you're moving slowly, such as when you're walking, that number lowers to 384 kilobits (Kbps).

Some Drawbacks Of 3G

  • The cost of 3G licensing and agreements is considerable for the service provider, and there are issues with handset pricing and availability in some areas. In addition, 3G networks require a variety of equipment and have significant power requirements.
  • Because they are more costly and require closer base stations and 3G technology, The expenditures associated with spectrum licenses, network infrastructure, and handset subsidies are enormous. The price of updating base stations and building new cellular infrastructure is relatively costly.
  • The cost of obtaining 3G Internet may be an issue depending on its availability in your area. Additionally, because 3G transmission occurs at a different frequency than 2G, the cellular service provider must install the correct configuration at each base station, which can be pricey.

What Is 4G?

The word 4G refers to the fourth generation wireless mobile network technology, which follows the second and third generations and provides high-speed mobile data, which has become an increasingly significant aspect of our daily lives. For example, all typical applications for food delivery, cab booking, and online shopping are rapid and fluid over the mobile 4G network.

4G is an abbreviation that stands for the fourth generation. It is essentially an endeavor to build and incorporate 3G, 2G, Wireless LAN (WLAN), short-range systems, and fixed wire systems into a broadcast of a single network that is not only coherent and consistent but also practical. So said, 4G is an expansion of 3G technology that delivers numerous capabilities as described by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in IMT. To facilitate network interfacing, 3G technology provides flexibility, scalability, security, self-governance, and efficiency. In addition, it includes several new services that supplement the existing ones. The 4G technology consists of various customized multimedia, data, and voice services at a fast data rate (this can go up to 500 Mbps). 4G also offers more advanced services than 2G and 3G, such as gaming, 3D TV, video conferencing, IP telephony, and so on.

Advancement In The Technology

With a significant advance in 3G, 4G brought about a revolution in mobile industries in the late '20s. It was proposed as a route to run mobile networks in 4G broadband data with LTE technology. Although 4G is faster, the speed density is entirely dependent on the availability of mobile towers. Following the arrival of 4G technology on mobile phones, online business has taken off. In the current digital era, the widely acknowledged 4G technology can operate a healthy virtual corporation. Improved technology has necessitated a large storage capacity to accommodate the massive amounts of data generated by a 4G network.

Some Advantages Of 4G

  • The 4G wireless network is a pure data connection; it is an end-to-end Internet Protocol connection, and cellular operators may give data access to a wide range of devices.
  • Mobility is provided via 4G technology. It is more adaptable, dependable, easier to standardize, and affordable.
  • You may easily access the Internet, instant messaging, social networks, streaming media, video calling, and other broadband services. It is highly steady when connected to the Internet and does not throttle.
  • The 4G LTE network is high-speed and ten times quicker than the 3G network. In addition, it provides excellent speech quality and is extremely fast when downloading large files over a wireless network.
  • The 4G mobile network provides incredible speed. It has increased capacity, which leads to substantially quicker data transmission speed, which is especially beneficial for mobile devices. In addition, users of the 4G network benefit from improved, uninterrupted connectivity, which is especially useful for complex applications such as video chats and conferences.

Some Drawbacks Of 4G

  • Illegally obtaining information from individuals gets simpler; 4 G technology entails the possibility of some interference, albeit not much; it is vulnerable to assault (jamming frequencies), and the invasion of privacy increases.
  • The user is required to purchase a new gadget to support 4G. New frequencies need the installation of new components in cell towers. Resulting in consumers will pay more for data.
  • Current technology is incompatible with the 4G network; there are multiple network bands for different phones. In addition, it is costly and challenging to deploy.

Main Differences Between 3G And 4G in Points

  • The cost of a data pack for 3G technology is cheaper than that for 4G technology since 3G offers slower internet speeds than 4G, which is much quicker.
  • In contrast to 4G technology, which was introduced in 2009 and will dominate the market in 2012, 3G technology was introduced in 2001 and had a boom in the mid-20s.
  • In addition to air interference, 3G technology uses packet switching systems for data transfer, but 4G technology uses packet switching without any air interference obstacles.
  • GPS, mobile TV, and audio-video calling are among the mobile apps supported by 3G networks, whereas 4G networks also offer high-speed gaming and wearable technology.
  • 3G supports broadband internet services, while 4G provides ultra-broadband.
  • Wide area-based cell networks are part of 3G, and a hybrid network is used by 4G to create a high-speed network.
  • A wide-area cell-based network architecture underlies 3G. At the same time, 4G combines a wide-area cell-based network architecture with wireless LAN technology.
  • In 3G technology, turbo codes are utilized for mistake correction. At the same time, Concatenated codes are used in 4G technology to remedy errors.


In general, 3G and 4G differ in terms of generation, speed, cost, and other factors to optimize mobile internet data for seamless streaming of high-quality videos, gaming, and online browsers. Since 4G currently offers a 1 Gbps peak download rate, data bandwidth is a crucial feature to consider while differentiating between 3G and 4G characteristics. Every time a new sophisticated technology is developed, the cell-based network, either 4G or the impending 5G—increases quickly. Although 4G LTE has offered mobile networks speed for the quickest data transfer subject to the city or area having cell towers, 3G and 4G still have significant shortcomings despite being widely available.

One won't experience slow or lousy internet speed if you use it because its rate is significantly quicker than 3G. Mobile technologies like 3G and 4G enable better uploading and downloading of images, movies, and other digital material when using mobile Internet. 3G and 4G perform comparable tasks; the only distinction is in their technological development. With the announcement of 3G and 4G, mobile entertainment service providers have significantly benefited because these generations were the first to use packet switching for data transmission after the first and second generations.

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"Difference Between 3G and 4G." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 24 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-3g-and-4g-751>.

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