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What Is 3G Internet?

3G Internet is commonly used with hardware such as mobile phones.
A person using a 3G compatible tablet.
Many 3G service providers require a subscription to use their networks.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Revised By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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3G Internet refers to third generation wireless network technology, provided by mobile phone companies, which subscribers can use to access data at faster speeds than previous versions. It is typically used with hardware such as mobile phones, though any 3G capable device can access such a network. While it is similar to Wifi® in some respects, users typically use it for network access at more diverse locations. Certain devices can be used to extend the networking possibilities of this standard, such as routers and other wireless hardware.

Access to 3G

To access 3G Internet, a user must have a 3G compatible device like a mobile phone or a tablet. Most service providers require a subscription to use their 3G networks. There can also be geographical limitations on service, based on the provider and their coverage area.

Other Standards

Both WiFi® and 3G Internet are similar; they provide users with wireless access to the Internet. The key difference lies in the fact that 3G networks also allow users to make phone calls and access other features from mobile devices, which require some sort of Internet connection to complete. The connection to the 3G network, and thus the 3G Internet, is established through the device's data card or internal software.

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WiFi® is mainly for surfing the Internet and typically a user cannot make a phone call using such a connection, except through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and similar technologies. Traditional WiFi® allows users to connect to the Internet from a laptop or other device that supports wireless Internet. While the user has to pay for an Internet connection in a home, many businesses and restaurants support local WiFi® hotspots where customers can access a network for free.

Advantages of 3G

Since 3G networks are more readily available than WiFi®, travelers may opt for 3G plans. Internet speeds are often slower on a 3G network than a broadband Internet connection, but the user can access the 3G Internet almost anywhere with signal coverage. This gives it a much broader range than other networks, which may be based on hotspots or hubs in certain areas.

Expanded Networking

Those traveling for business who want to share a 3G broadband connection among a group of peers can set up a 3G network. To do so, the user needs a 3G router and modem, or a device that acts as both. The modem connects a laptop or computer to the 3G network and the router sends out a signal so others in the same room can connect wirelessly to the Internet. One drawback to this type of 3G Internet connection, however, stems from the short range it covers, typically only the size of a small room.

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Discuss this Article

anon953432
Post 9

Well thanks for this post. There was no facility for 3g in my country but now I think I have it in some areas.

anon308555
Post 7

If I buy an apple ipad 3G to use for airmap would I need to pay for use?

anon238775
Post 5

Say I have a 3G network connection plan. Can I straight away connect to the internet with it if I used it with my ipad?

ronburg44
Post 4

I can tell you that 3G Internet is not available in my area and we are still stuck with older technologies if you have ever heard of the edge service offered by a variety of mobile providers, it does not stack up against what is offered on 3G and 4G wireless Internet networks. I can tell you that I will be using Internet connectivity in any mobile or wireless way until the networks in my area have been upgraded.

Since I live in a rule area the reality of this happening is not very likely and may take some time. I wonder if there will be any other advancements in technology as far as the use of satellites that will decrease the cost of current satellite Internet technology and also overcome the mobility issue that having satellite Internet connectivity brings.

While satellite Internet connectivity may be a good option if you are in a rule area it only works if you have a satellite mounted to a mobile vehicle or attached to your house. Even then you still have connectivity issues depending on how far away you are from the equator as well as if you are on a steep North Slope.

MrPolitic99
Post 3

I have been lucky enough to live in one of those large cities that offers both 3G and 4G services. Honestly I could not justify paying the high cost of 4G wireless mobile connectivity simply because it did not perform that much better than the 3G Internet. I don't know if this was because the lack of in network infrastructure on behalf of the wireless mobile provider, but it might have been. If this is the case in 4G Internet is truly worth its price, currently it is not ready. If you are looking to upgrade I would suggest waiting.

On the other hand my 3G wireless Internet is very reliable. I have both 3G Internet connections on my laptop as well is a 3G Internet card available for my kids to use. My use of 3G Internet doesn't stop there 3G network Internet surrounds my life especially on my 3G Internet phone. The mobility of using a 3G Internet phone gives you an incredible delivery of high-end high-definition content in the palm of your hand.

summertime
Post 2

The truth is that 3G mobile connectivity for Internet is actually up to par with what most consumers need as far as being able to get on the Internet check e-mail, update your Facebook status, as well as be able to look at the latest webpage or video. 3G Internet mobile connectivity is capable of streaming high definition video as long as it is compressed in the right manner.

The biggest problem with 3G Internet connectivity and its performance wirelessly has to do with the networks that is being offered from. There are major differences in the quality of connection and the speed of connection that is offered by 3G Internet service providers and mobile telephone companies. Because of these differences, one must do the proper research to make sure they are making the right choice in a subscription service for their local area.

CoffeeJim
Post 1

3G Internet is a form of wireless communication that is been implemented by telecommunication systems and mobile wireless providers. Because of this transformation in the industry and the fact that it changes so rapidly, I would not be surprised to see 4G Internet services available wirelessly throughout the nation in a matter of the next year.

While there are a few select cities that already have 4G Internet mobile connectivity, these are not very viable options for people in midsize and small city locations. Simply put, if you are out of a large city, you most likely do not have access to 4G Internet mobile connectivity and must rely on the speeds of 3G Internet.

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