What the… 2.75g???

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
iDEN — 2G

GSM
GPRS — 2.5G
EDGE — 2.75G
UMTS — 3G
HSPA — 3.5G

CDMA
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:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/17/2g-3g-4g-and-everything-in-between-an-engadget-wireless-prim/
http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2010/11/03/help-key-3g-4g-hspa-lte-wimax-what-do-they-mean-to-you/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2G

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10 Responses to What the… 2.75g???

  1. Pingback: The Beta Thread

  2. Ravi Jyoti says:

    Dear Sir ply reply us which network operator give faster Internet service,& low charges, in my Town Begusarai

  3. Y.P.SRIVASTAVA says:

    I am residing at Allahabad and my pin code is 211006. I am getting week signals of 2G. How to boost the signals

    • Sam says:

      Hi YP
      Boost your signal by keeping your battery charged, moving to a open location, or use a cellular repeater or femtocell.

      • Peggy Smith says:

        I just switched to Straight Talk (AT&T) but have poor coverage inside my home. Is this a common complaint. Will the Femtocell or cellular repeater be used with Satellite or (Dish Network WIFI) I have the I Phone 4 and I have to lay the phone on a flat service to get enough bars to send a text message. Any advise? Also where do you purchase the devises you mentioned? Thanks

  4. i want to measure different cell towers siganls which type of antenna i want use please send this related information to my mail ID:v.sugali7@gmail.com

  5. Jph,,,,,,, says:

    This is a good applicaltion that nreeds some improvement; AT&T is the best in my area and I live Northwest of Reading,PA, which is about 45-55 min Northwest of Philadelphia. First a common misconception is that AT&T gives you 550 minutes for their lowest tired plan. I had Verizon which is very exspensive even though CDMA is more reliable. Because. of no voice and internet at the same time. Switching to no cellular data on my phone I have yet to have dropped call. Sprint just six for covrerage, T-Mobile is in my opinion is second best carrier, their parent company just doesn’t want to invest in their America venture. Overall for improvements; advertising is key, show data from other countries if you can if not update so it can do that, name Change, OPEN TOWER, CELLULAR LOCATOR, FIND MY BEST CONNECTION. ILL shut up for now but ill post another one soon

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hello Mr.James,
    I commonly travel along the route shown in google maps if you enter (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA) as the starting point and (Chantilly High School, Stringfellow Road, Chantilly, VA) as the destination point. I am planning on buying an iPhone 5 that I will use data mainly on this route. I am not sure whether to go with att, verizon, or sprint. Could you tell me what is best for along this route?
    Thanks,
    Anonymous

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