What is 3G Broadband?

3G simply stands for third generation in terms of mobile phone standards, and these standards are laid down by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Customers have more service options, such as mobile broadband, when their mobile operators utilise 3G technology.

3G enables mobile bandwidth to be used more efficiently than was the case with 2G. 3G is also more flexible, with more services being available as a result. Though the even newer 4G is now available, 3G remains the most popular type of mobile broadband technology.

There are parallels between 2G and 3G technology and that of dial-up and broadband, and also with how digital TV has replaced terrestrial TV. The newer technologies, because of the ability to transfer data more quickly, have ensured that there is both more choice for the consumer and that they are provided with a better service.

Broadband: 3G and mobile technology

Mobile phones and dongles are two devices that can be used to make use of 3G technology and provide a broadband service. As inexpensive mobile phones are now 3G enabled, 3G broadband is more widely accessible than ever before.

The increasing use of smartphones and dongles has led to 3G broadband becoming a more typical way of accessing the internet. Mobile broadband users are also able to do a variety of things on their PC or laptops, from downloading music files to checking emails - so long as they are in an area where there is coverage.

HSDPA and HSUPA are necessary for 3G broadband to work, with both complementing the other. HSDPA is an abbreviation of high speed download, while HSUPA stands for upload packet access. Download speeds that reach 21Mb can be achieved through the two technologies. When a mobile dongle, MiFi or USB modem are used, upload speeds can reach 1.76Mb.

Prior to 3G, older technologies such as 2G and GPRS would often provide internet connectivity that was both slow and expensive. Because of the efficient use of the airwaves, 3G broadband providers can offer prices of a few euros a month on some rolling contract deals, together with offering greater internet speeds.

Who offers 3G broadband?

Nearly all of the top mobile phone companies such as Three, Meteor and Vodafone provide a 3G data allowance as standard. These companies also offer deals on USB dongles and mobile WiFi hotspots which use 3G mobile broadband to provide internet access. If you would like to learn more about mobile broadband, check out our mobile broadband guide.

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