Difference between 3G and 4G | 3G vs 4G

By Anjnee Bhatnagar|Updated : September 22nd, 2022

Both 3G and 4G are mobile computing technologies. The major difference between 3G and 4G is that 3G refers to the third generation, while 4G refers to fourth-generation mobile communication networks. There exists a major difference between 3G and 4G based on various metrics like rate of data transmission, capacity, technology compliance, etc.

Difference Between 3G and 4G PDF

Compared to 2G, 3G technology enables mobile service providers to offer better information transfer and broadband capabilities (second generation). On the other hand, the 4G LTE technology offers an even better capability for a quicker, more stable, and multi-connection-capable mobile internet experience. In this article, we will focus on the difference between 3G and 4G, along with some satellite information, like the meaning of the 3G network and 4G network.

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difference between 3g and 4g

Difference Between 3G and 4G

The difference between 3G and 4G based on various factors such as upload rate, network architecture, generation, frequency, and a lot more are mentioned in the table below.

3G vs 4G

3G Technology

4G Technology

3G stands for the third generation.

4G stands for the fourth generation.

5Mbps is the maximum upload rate of 3G.

500Mbps is the maximum upload rate of 4G.

The maximum download rate of 3G: 21Mbps.

The maximum download rate of 4G: 1Gbps.

Uses only the packet switching technique.

Uses packet switching and message switching techniques.

Based on wide-area cell network architecture.

It is an integration of wide-area cell-based architecture as well as LAN.

The frequency range is between 1.8 GHz to 2.5 GHz.

The frequency range is between 2 GHz to 8 GHz.

What is 3G Technology?

The 3G, third-generation technology, is a standard for mobile telecommunication. The standards set forth the criteria for transmitting data, like using airwaves for voice and data transmission.

The 3G technology was launched in 2001 in Japan to provide wireless mobile communication. It offers a faster transmission rate or speed than the older generation (2G). The difference between 3G and 4G exists as 4G is the improvised version of 3G that overcomes all the setbacks of 3G technology. The differences between the two will be cleared as we proceed through the article.

What is 4G Technology?

The definition of 4G has evolved through the years. However, the fact remains the same 4G technology is an improved and more advanced technology than 3G. 4G stands for the fourth generation. It is considered or alternately called LTE (Long Term Evolution).

The fourth-generation mobile computing was launched in December 2009 by TeliaSonera telecom operator. The speed of a 4G network is at least 100Mbps. Any network to be declared as 4G needs to qualify the speed criteria of 100Mbps data transmission.

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FAQs on Difference between 3G and 4G

  • The major difference between 3G and 4G is based on their upload rate. Up to 5 Megabytes per second can be transferred by 3G technology. However, 4G can reach speeds of roughly 500 Megabytes per second or greater.

  • Based on leniency, 3G technology is horizontally lenient. On the other hand, the 4G technology is vertically and horizontally lenient. The difference between 3G and 4G in terms of leniency lies in the fact that 4G is an advanced and improvised version of 3G.

  • The basic difference between 2G and 3G technology is that it gives a faster internet browsing experience to the users. Also, the data downloading and uploading speed is better in 3G than in 2G. The data transmission rate of 2G is 170kbps, while that of 3G is Mbps.

  • Though both 3G and 4G can perform error corrections, the difference between 3G and 4G in terms of error correction is that the 3G technology uses turbo codes to correct errors while the 4G technology uses the concatenation of codes to perform error correction.

  • The difference between 3G and 4G in terms of upload and download speeds are as follows:

    • The maximum upload speed of 3G is 5 Megabytes per second.
    • The maximum download speed of 3G is 21 Megabytes per second.
    • The maximum upload speed of 4G is 500 Megabytes per second.
    • The maximum download speed of 4G is 1 Gigabyte per second.
  • 3G or third-generation technology is a mobile communication standard controlled by the service provider. Wireless fidelity or Wi-Fi is a wireless communication technology for local area networks. 3G is expensive compared to Wi-Fi. In contrast, it covers a larger area than the Wi-Fi network.

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