Difference between 3G and 4G

By Anjnee Bhatnagar|Updated : June 14th, 2022

Difference between 3G and 4G: 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. These differences are based on various metrics like rate of data transmission, capacity, technology compliance, etc.

In this article, we will keep our focus on the difference between 3G and 4G, along with some satellite information like the meaning of the 3G network, the meaning of the 4G network, and finally, see the difference between 3G and 4G.

Table of Content

Difference Between 3G and 4G

The list of differences 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 provided below:

Key Differences Between 3G and 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 technology, or third-generation technology, is a standard for mobile telecommunication. The standards set forth the criteria for transmitting data, like the usage of 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 for 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

  • 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 that is used for local area networks. 3G is expensive as compared to Wi-Fi. In contrast, it covers a larger area than the Wi-Fi network.

  • In terms of leniency, the 3G technology is horizontally lenient. On the other hand, the 4G technology is both vertically as well as 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.

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