The abbreviations 2G, 3G, and 4G simply stand for second, third, and fourth-generation mobile communications. What distinguishes these networks is mainly the speed at which you can surf, travel on your mobile. 3G is slower than 4G. There is also a certain difference in coverage as 3G covers a slightly different surface than 4G. During the year 2020, 5G has begun to make its entry in many countries, ie the fifth generation of mobile communications. With 5G, you can surf at even higher speeds with your mobile.
2G is the second generation mobile network that was built in the 90s, also called GSM. The network can be used for telephone calls, text messages and MMS. The speed is so low that it is basically not possible to surf the 2G network. Sometimes they can stand Edge on your mobile, then you surf the 2G network. The mobile network for 2G is well developed throughout Sweden. The 2G network can also be used for alarms and payment terminals.
The 3G network allows you to surf at speeds of up to 16 Mbit / s. This means that it is up to 40 times faster than 2G. How high a speed you get up to varies. It depends partly on your mobile phone and partly on how far from a 3G mast you are.
The 3G network made video calling possible, but it was above all smartphones with apps and mobile broadband that made data use accelerate. The 3G network was quickly overloaded and they had to start supplementing it with the new and faster 4G network which made it possible for even larger amounts of data to be sent and received.
Today, 3G is used for data traffic when you do not have coverage on the 4G network. Voice calls, which do not require large amounts of data, also usually go on the 3G network.
Fourth-generation mobile communication 4G is a collective name for technologies that are faster than 3G. To be called 4G, the technology must be able to offer mobile users speeds of about 100 Megabits per second.
If you have a modern phone, it has no problem connecting to the 4G network, as long as there is 4G coverage. If you have a really old phone that is at least 6-7 years old, then there is a risk that it only supports 3G. Then you will never be able to surf the 4G network, that is, fast.
In practice, you can reach surfing speeds of up to 40 Mbit / s in the 4G network. 4G was used primarily for data and not for voice calls.
About 4G +
Several mobile operators have chosen to upgrade the 4G network to newer technologies. All new cellular towers that are set up are usually 4G +. It allows even faster surfing in even larger amounts. With 4G +, you can theoretically reach speeds of up to 300 Mbit / s.
Mobile users, on the other hand, are not quite reaching these speeds yet. You can count on surfing about twice as fast with 4G + as you do with 4G. However, you must have a phone that supports 4G + to use the network.
Today, all operators are expanding their 4G + network. 5G is not finished yet, but 4G + is the technology used today.
The technology for 5G has begun to be rolled out on a larger scale in 2020 in several countries, but so far no one has full coverage. There is no exact date for when the technology is up and running throughout the whole world, but the major mobile operators have launched their 5G networks on a smaller scale. So far, it is mainly the larger cities that have gained access to the network.
The expectations for 5G are, among other things, that it will be possible to surf in places that have previously been difficult to reach with the 4G network, for example on trains. You also want a data rate of 10,000 Mbit / s (compared to the 4G network’s 100 Mbit / s). Consumers are also wishing for greater amounts of surfing for subscriptions, whether it is mobile broadband or for mobile telephony.
Another wish is that consumption should be lower and the response time faster. Response time is the time it takes for a server to answer the question you send from your mobile, for example when you go to a certain website. In the 5G network, you want that response time to be less than a thousandth of a second (to compare with 4G’s response time which is 20 times this).
To be able to use the new 5G network, you must have a modern mobile phone with support for the new network.
Different mobile generations
1G – voice call
2G – voice calls and SMS / MMS
3G – data traffic of at least 200 kbit / s
3.5G – intermediate between 3G and 4G
4G – data traffic at high speed
4G + (4.5G) – data traffic at very high speed
5G – The mobile network of the future with data traffic of up to 1 Gbit / s