The widget is out there! Here’s a question which I know is going to come up: what is 2.75G/2.5G? Most people know what 2G and 3G are, or do they…
Here’s what you might think:
- 2G just does voice, text and is on the phones that are just, er, phones, right?
- 3G does the internet and comes in smart phones that can do just about anything, no?
Not quite, because you could get internet on a 2G phone (remember WAP). Still the difference between 2G and 3G is pretty big, it’s sort of like the jump from dialup to broadband. But: don’t forget that broadband comes in lots of different bandwidths (1Mb, 3Mb, 20Mb and so on) it’s sort of the same with phones: it’s not just a question of 2G and 3G, there have been continual improvements in the network technologies. That’s where the decimal points come in… they show the gradual progression from 2G->3G and 3G->4G.
This is how we’ve classified the different network types:
iDEN — 2G
GPRS — 2.5G
EDGE — 2.75G
UMTS — 3G
HSPA — 3.5G
1xRTT — 2.5G
WCDMA — 3G
EVDO 0 — 3G
EVDO A/EVDO B –3.75G
We’re not saying this is the only way of classifying them. So far as we’re aware there’s no official way of sub-classing 2G and 3G (although what falls into each family is officially determined by the ITU, a UN agency). What this does show, which we do think is useful, is the continuum of technologies that are used by cellular devices.
Here are three interesting questions:
1) what’s better 5 bars of HSPA (3.5G) or 1 bar of EVDO 0 (3G)?
2) does it matter which network you have those bars on? Are 5 bars of one network better than 1 bar of another?
3) Are you really better off on a 3.5G network than a 3G one? Or is someone just trying to sell you something?
We’re not certain of any of the answers just yet, hopefully we’ll be able to find out. We’d like to hear your views!
Not clear? Or maybe you think all this naming is just a bit crazy, have your say at the OpenSignalMaps forum. Or follow the below links for more reading.
More about the various generations: