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The definition of 3G as per what is available on Wikipedia is;

3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications, is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunications services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT — 2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union.[1] Application services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, mobile Internet access, video calls and mobile TV, all in a mobile environment. To meet the IMT-2000 standards, a system is required to provide peak data rates of at least 200 kbit/s. Recent 3G releases, often denoted 3.5G and 3.75G, also provide mobile broadband access of several Mbit/s to smartphones and mobile modems in laptop computers.

Understanding 3G Service from Layman's Prespective

However, there are not many who can make anything out of it because not everyone who is using mobile services is a techie or have any direct or indirect relation with the technology in anyway. So, following will make you understand what exactly is 3G and what you can expect out of this much hyped and talked about buzz 3G.

Very High Speed

Speed ranges from 144kb to 2mb /sec which means you can download 4 minute MP3 song track within 10 sec to 1.5 minutes which is far less than a 2g where it takes around 30-40 minutes. So, speed is assumed to be 20-30 times better than 2G network. Factors like signal strength, network traffic and your location will make the actual speed vary. For example, you may experience a different speed when working indoor as compared to when you are working on the move (sitting in a vehicle).

Easy and Faster Video Content

Availability of very high speed in 3G also means that now you will be able to have a great experience making and receiving video calls and watching live TV and other video content which used to be the bottleneck previously (before 3G). However, good news is that making and receiving video calls will be charged at normal voice rates.

Testing the Handset Compatibility

Not every handset is compatible to use this 3G service. You may need to check out your mobile handset’s manufacturer’s website to know if it is compatible or not. You can also check this out at your service provider’s website (Airtel, Vodafone, Idea etc) as most of the service providers do provide this information on their respective websites and even display the mobile model numbers which are compatible. Alternatively, you can also find out the compatibility by looking at your mobile’s screen near the area where network signal bars are displayed (mostly, on the top right or top left side). If you are in a area where 3G service has already started then you should see text “3G” or “H” displayed near to network signal bars.

3G Service Experience

The level of experience will vary depending upon the handset model. That means even if you have a 3G compatible handset, the experience of using 3G services like Video calls and live TV would be much better on high end phone sets which have wide high resolution screens and high resolution built in camera as compared to other low end phone handsets with lesser configurations.

Cost and Charges

There would be additional charges as per the chosen plan for 3G service. This would also vary between different operators and if subscribed this may incur extra rental and/or usage charges just like your normal internet connection plans. Also, be prepared to understand that these charges may be quite substantial initially and you may see further reduction in rental /usage charges only if there is a good increase in number of subscribers base which may not happen that early keeping in mind that not everyone has the 3G compatible handsets and may not even afford to buy because of extra cost of high end handsets. Even, out of all the people who have 3G compatible handsets, not everyone will be using it due to the extra service and usage cost.

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