Please Explain: 2G vs. 3G

About The Author

CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

It's got to be one of the questions we get asked most by the readers of CNET Australia: "What is the difference between 2G and 3G?"

Check out the video above as we take a look at the difference between the two technologies, the strengths and weaknesses of both, and how much it will cost to get the most out of your mobile phone. Also, make sure you take a look at our guide to understanding how much mobile data you really need to make sure you're not getting ripped off the next time you sign a new mobile phone contract.

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yeshii posted a comment   
United States

3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union.[1] ..from wikipedia

So, Is the difference between 2G & 3G is simply its connection speed? or is there something else.

X_x.. No video.


RonW posted a comment   

Well I've installed latest Flash on Firefox, Chrome and SRWare iron and still all I can see is a spinning circle. SO the info I needed I can't get here.


Cellofane posted a comment   

Nice explanation Joe. Another reason why carriers go for 3G is that it creates more voice capacity and ability to handle more simultaneous voice calls. Which is a great advantage given that expanding 2G network capacity can be very very hard in crowded metros.

Of course as you said, 2G data bills are small and manageable, 3G bills can have you calling the paramedics.
Check out my blog post on data bill shocks -


Nebken posted a comment   

Could you be any more patronising Mr Simms? Yesterday this video didn't work in IE8, Firefox or Chrome and today it works. Obviously something was fixed on your end. Was nothing to do with the version of Flash.


Craig Simms posted a comment   

Guys, this is confirmed working in Opera 9.6, Firefox 3.5.2, IE8 and Chrome 2.0. Try installing a newer Flash player plugin:


Duh posted a comment   

What video?

Do you guy ever look at what the reader actually sees ?

Not on IE/Safari/Firefox.

What do you use?


Roedy posted a comment   

The video is not visible on either Opera 10 nor Firefox.


Roedy posted a comment   

Until C-Net does a full essay, have a look at

for an overview of 4G


Nexus posted a comment   

Now explain 4G and what that means for the future of mobility services.

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