3G vs 4G – Difference and Comparison

What is 3G?

The third generation of wireless mobile communication technology is referred to as 3G. 3G is a data and transfer speed upgrade for 2.5G and 2.5G GPRS networks. It is used in wireless voice telephony, cell phone internet access, fixed wireless internet access, videoconferencing, and mobile TV.

3G allows data to be transferred at speeds ranging from 384 kbps to 2 Mbps, with an average speed of 128 kbps to 384 kbps. CDMA-2000 networks are the corresponding 3G networks on the CDMA platform. 3G transforms smartphones and devices into complete multimedia players, allowing users to download media-rich material and conduct full-fledged banking transactions.

Japan was the first country to launch 3G, with the service being dubbed “Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access” in Japan. So, in general, there are many various types of 3G. GSM and CDMA are the two most common.

What is 4G?

It all started with 1G cumbersome analogue mobile phones that only permitted voice conversations, then 2G digital mobile communication, which included calling and texting, and eventually 3G, when the internet went mobile with a basic mobile device that allowed you to send emails. Read the newspaper, check your favourite social networking sites, watch basic videos, and so on, but now there’s 4G mobile internet, which allows you to surf at the same speed as your fixed line at home while on the go.

4G offers download rates of up to 86 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 28 megabits per second. Due to lower latency, the 4G network also provides faster network reaction times and significantly more consistent connections, especially in locations with limited coverage.

Depending on the number of people in your area, network resources available, your device, and the application you’re using, you’ll still be able to download at around 20 megabits per second and upload at roughly 12 megabits per second under normal circumstances.

Difference Between 3G and 4G

  1. 4G is utilised for smartphone web access, IP telephony, gaming, HDTV, and video conferencing, whereas 3G is used for voice telephone, mobile TV, video calls, and web access.
  2. 3G data capacity ranges from 2 Mbps to 21 Mbps, whereas 4G data bandwidth ranges from 2 Mbps to 1 Gbps.
  3. The peak download rate in 3G technology is 21mbps, equivalent to 2.625 Mbps, whereas the peak download rate in 4G technology is 1Gbps, equivalent to 135 Mbps.
  4. 4. Packet switching is used in 3G technology to deliver packets from one port to another. For packet delivery, 4G technology employs packet and message swapping techniques.
  5. Error correction in 3G technology is done with turbo codes, but error correction in 4G technology is done with concatenated codes.

Comparison Between 3G and 4G

Parameters of Comparison3G4G
AccessThe network that preceded 4G, provided faster data transfer rates for music and internet data access.The successor to 3G network with much higher speed and access to audio and video files without any buffers.
TermBroadcast Mobile Technology (3G) employs packet data transmission and is referred to as Broadcast Mobile Technology.The term ‘MAGIC’ is used to describe 4G technology.
TechnologyEDGE, CDMA 2000, UTMS, and other 3G technologies are popular.HSPA+, LTE, Wimax2, and other 4G technologies are popular.
SpeedFor stationary mobiles, 3G allows for a minimum speed of 2Mbps and 384 Kbps for movement.The data transfer speeds are measured in megabits per second (Mbps) and range from 20 to 1Gbps.
FrequencyOnly 1.5 to 2.8 GHz is covered by the frequency band.The frequency band ranges from 2 to 8 GHz


A 3G network uses many languages to convey data to customers over the network, but a 4G network uses just one language to transmit all IP data. 4G uses a different frequency management system in which you share available bandwidth with other users. The way the frequency is shared in 4G differs from 3G, where your speed is regulated and limited. 4G uses much more efficient radio coding, which means you’ll get dedicated bandwidth. Imagine a racetrack reserved just for your race car, where you can go as fast as you want.