Understanding Data Connectivity
Know Your Network
Ever wondered what does the little symbol (2G, GPRS/G, EDGE/E, 3G, 4G/LTE, etc.) means right next to the internet signal bar on your mobile phone? They actually represent different types of connectivity modes of wireless broadband to let you know about the internet speed, signal strength, and coverage.
The letter ‘G’ in the above-mentioned symbols stands for Generation. Each generation represents a set of telecommunication network standards that are followed during the implementation of the system. With each new reform in mobile technology, users get a more reliable, secure, and high-quality connection.
Below we’ve explained different wireless technologies and their features used on mobile devices:
2G refers to the 2nd Generation of mobile networks based on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). The 1st Generation or 1G radio signals were used by analog telephone networks. While 2G networks were introduced to represent digital wireless networks.
2G provides data speeds of up to 64 kbps along with better voice calls compared to the analog network systems. Other services include short message service (SMS) and Multimedia Message (MMS).
GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service which is an evolution of 2G/GSM network. It is often marked on a mobile phone display by the letter ‘G’. Currently, it is the slowest form of data connectivity that gives you an internet speed of 114 kbps. Generally, it’s used only if the phone can’t access internet signals faster, due to lower signal coverage or interference due to location circumstances.
With GPRS, you can load static webpages only and send/receive emails. Due to the slower internet speeds; full internet browsing, downloading media, and streaming media will not work effectively.
EDGE stands for Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution which is marked as ‘E’ on the mobile display. This connection type gives more coverage compared to 2G and GPRS with a theoretical speed of 400kbps.
However, real-time signals available on your phone might be half of this. If your device cannot access a faster connection i.e., 3G or 4G/LTE, it’ll likely resort to EDGE.
Article is continued in another Post [Part 2] …