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rfsupplier - 3G
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For other uses, see 3G (disambiguation).
This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. Please help improve this article to make it understandable to non-experts, without removing the technical details. The talk page may contain suggestions. (October 2011)

3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union.[1] Application services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, mobile Internet access, video calls and mobile TV, all in a mobile environment.

Several telecommunications companies market wireless mobile Internet services as 3G, indicating that the advertised service is provided over a 3G wireless network. Services advertised as 3G are required to meet IMT-2000 technical standards, including standards for reliability and speed (data transfer rates). To meet the IMT-2000 standards, a system is required to provide peak data rates of at least 200 kbit/s (about 0.2 Mbit/s). However, many services advertised as 3G provide higher speed than the minimum technical requirements for a 3G service. Recent 3G releases, often denoted 3.5G and 3.75G, also provide mobile broadband access of several Mbit/s to smartphones and mobile modems in laptop computers.

The following standards are typically branded 3G:

the UMTS system, first offered in 2001, standardized by 3GPP, used primarily in Europe, Japan, China (however with a different radio interface) and other regions predominated by GSM 2G system infrastructure. The cell phones are typically UMTS and GSM hybrids. Several radio interfaces are offered, sharing the same infrastructure:
The original and most widespread radio interface is called W-CDMA.
The TD-SCDMA radio interface was commercialised in 2009 and is only offered in China.
The latest UMTS release, HSPA+, can provide peak data rates up to 56 Mbit/s in the downlink in theory (28 Mbit/s in existing services) and 22 Mbit/s in the uplink.

the CDMA2000 system, first offered in 2002, standardized by 3GPP2, used especially in North America and South Korea, sharing infrastructure with the IS-95 2G standard. The cell phones are typically CDMA2000 and IS-95 hybrids. The latest release EVDO Rev B offers peak rates of 14.7 Mbit/s downstream.

The above systems and radio interfaces are based on kindred spread spectrum radio transmission technology. While the GSM EDGE standard ("2.9G"), DECT cordless phones and Mobile WiMAX standards formally also fulfill the IMT-2000 requirements and are approved as 3G standards by ITU, these are typically not branded 3G, and are based on completely different technologies.

A new generation of cellular standards has appeared approximately every tenth year since 1G systems were introduced in 1981/1982. Each generation is characterized by new frequency bands, higher data rates and non backwards compatible transmission technology. The first release of the 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard does not completely fulfill the ITU 4G requirements called IMT-Advanced. First release LTE is not backwards compatible with 3G, but is a pre-4G or 3.9G technology, however sometimes branded "4G" by the service providers. Its evolution LTE Advanced is a 4G technology. WiMAX is another technology verging on or marketed as 4G.

1 Overview
1.1 Detailed breakdown of 3G systems
2 History
3 Adoption
3.1 Africa
3.2 Asia
3.2.1 Nepal
3.2.2 Pakistan
3.2.3 Bangladesh
3.2.4 China
3.2.5 India
3.2.6 North Korea
3.2.7 Philippines
3.3 Europe
3.4 North America
3.5 Middle East
3.6 Turkey
3.7 New Zealand
4 Features
4.1 Data rates
4.2 Security
4.3 Applications of 3G
5 Evolution
6 See also
7 References


The following common standards comply with the IMT2000/3G standard:

EDGE, a revision by the 3GPP organization to the older 2G GSM based transmission methods, utilizing the same switching nodes, basestation sites and frequencies as GPRS, but new basestation and cellphone RF circuits. It is based on the three times as efficient 8PSK modulation scheme as supplement to the original GMSK modulation scheme. EDGE is still used extensively due to its ease of upgrade from existing 2G GSM infrastructure and cell-phones.
EDGE combined with the GPRS 2.5G technology is called EGPRS, and allows peak data rates in the order of 200 kbit/s, just as the original UMTS WCDMA versions, and thus formally fulfills the IMT2000 requirements on 3G systems. However, in practice EDGE is seldom marketed as a 3G system, but a 2.9G system. EDGE shows slightly better system spectral efficiency than the original UMTS and CDMA2000 systems, but it is difficult to reach much higher peak data rates due to the limited GSM spectral bandwidth of 200 kHz, and it is thus a dead end.
EDGE was also a mode in the IS-135 TDMA system, today ceased.
Evolved EDGE, the latest revision, has peaks of 1 Mbit/s downstream and 400kbit/s upstream, but is not commercially used.
The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, created and revised by the 3GPP. The family is a full revision from GSM in terms of encoding methods and hardware, although some GSM sites can be retrofitted to broadcast in the UMTS/W-CDMA format.
W-CDMA is the most common deployment, commonly operated on the 2100 MHz band. A few others use the 900 and 1850 MHz bands.
HSPA is a revision and upgrade to W-CDMA UMTS, used by AT&T Wireless, Telstra and Telecom NZ, typically broadcasting on the 850 MHz band. HSPA requires updates to the
HSPA+ a revision and upgrade of HSPA, can provide peak data rates up to 56 Mbit/s in the downlink in theory (28 Mbit/s in existing services) and 22 Mbit/s in the uplink. It utilises multiple base stations to potentially double the channels available utilising MIMO principles.
The CDMA2000 system, or IS-2000, including CDMA2000 1x and CDMA2000 High Rate Packet Data (or EVDO), standardized by 3GPP2 (differing from the 3GPP), evolving from the original IS-95 CDMA system, is used especially in North America, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa[2].
CDMA2000 1x Rev. E more than triples the voice capacity from the widely deployed Rev. 0 and is in the process of being deployed in the U.S. EVDO Rev. B offers downstream peak rates of 14.7 Mbit/s while Rev. C enhanced existing and new terminal user experience.

While DECT cordless phones and Mobile WiMAX standards formally also fulfill the IMT-2000 requirements, they are not usually considered due to their rarity and unsuitability for usage with mobile phones.
Detailed breakdown of 3G systems

The 3G (UMTS and CDMA2000) research and development projects started in 1992. In 1999, ITU approved five radio interfaces for IMT-2000 as a part of the ITU-R M.1457 Recommendation; WiMAX was added in 2007.[3]

There are evolutionary standards (EDGE and CDMA) that are backwards-compatible extensions to pre-existing 2G networks as well as revolutionary standards that require all-new network hardware and frequency allocations. The cell phones used utilise UMTS in combination with 2G GSM standards and bandwidths, but do not support EDGE.[4] The latter group is the UMTS family, which consists of standards developed for IMT-2000, as well as the independently developed standards DECT and WiMAX, which were included because they fit the IMT-2000 definition.
Overview of 3G/IMT-2000 standards[5] ITU IMT-2000 compliant standards common name(s) bandwidth of data pre-4G upgrade duplex channel description geographical areas
TDMA Single‑Carrier (IMT‑SC) EDGE (UWC-136) EDGE Evolution likely discontinued FDD TDMA evolutionary upgrade to GSM/GPRS[nb 1] worldwide, except Japan and South Korea
CDMA Multi‑Carrier (IMT‑MC) CDMA2000 EV-DO UMB[nb 2] CDMA evolutionary upgrade to cdmaOne (IS-95) Americas, Asia, some others
CDMA Direct Spread (IMT‑DS) UMTS[nb 3] W-CDMA[nb 4] HSPA LTE family of revolutionary upgrades to earlier GSM family. worldwide
TD‑SCDMA[nb 6] China
FDMA/TDMA (IMT‑FT) DECT none FDMA/TDMA short-range; standard for cordless phones Europe, USA
IP‑OFDMA WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) OFDMA worldwide

^ Can also be used as an upgrade to PDC or D-AMPS.
^ development halted in favour of LTE.[6]
^ also known as FOMA;[7] UMTS is the common name for a standard that encompasses multiple air interfaces.
^ also known as UTRA-FDD; W-CDMA is sometimes used as a synonym for UMTS, ignoring the other air interface options.[7]
^ also known as UTRA-TDD 3.84 Mcps high chip rate (HCR)
^ also known as UTRA-TDD 1.28 Mcps low chip rate (LCR)

While EDGE fulfills the 3G specifications, most GSM/UMTS phones report EDGE ("2.75G") and UMTS ("3G") functionality.

The first pre-commercial 3G network was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan, branded as FOMA. It was first available in May 2001 as a pre-release (test) of W-CDMA technology.[8] The first commercial launch of 3G was also by NTT DoCoMo in Japan on 1 October 2001, although it was initially somewhat limited in scope;[9][10] broader availability of the system was delayed by apparent concerns over its reliability.[11]

The first European pre-commercial network was an UMTS network on the Isle of Man by Manx Telecom, the operator then owned by British Telecom, and the first commercial network (also UMTS based W-CDMA) in Europe was opened for business by Telenor in December 2001 with no commercial handsets and thus no paying customers.

The first network to go commercially live was by SK Telecom in South Korea on the CDMA-based 1xEV-DO technology in January 2002. By May 2002 the second South Korean 3G network was by KT on EV-DO and thus the Koreans were the first to see competition among 3G operators.

The first commercial United States 3G network was by Monet Mobile Networks, on CDMA2000 1x EV-DO technology, but this network provider later shut down operations. The second 3G network operator in the USA was Verizon Wireless in July 2002 also on CDMA2000 1x EV-DO.[12] AT&T Mobility is also a true 3G UMTS network, having completed its upgrade of the 3G network to HSUPA.

The first pre-commercial demonstration network in the southern hemisphere[dubious discuss] was built in Adelaide, South Australia by m.Net Corporation in February 2002 using UMTS on 2100 MHz. This was a demonstration network for the 2002 IT World Congress. The first commercial 3G network was launched by Hutchison Telecommunications branded as Three or "3" in J June 2003.

Emtel Launched the first 3G network in Africa.

By June 2007, the 200 millionth 3G subscriber had been connected. Out of 3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide this is only 6.7%. In the countries where 3G was launched first Japan and South Korea 3G penetration is over 70%.[13] In Europe the leading country is Italy with a third of its subscribers migrated to 3G. Other leading countries by 3G migration include UK, Austria, Australia and Singapore at the 20% migration level. A confusing statistic is counting CDMA2000 1x RTT customers as if they were 3G customers. If using this definition, then the total 3G subscriber base would be 475 million at June 2007 and 15.8% of all subscribers worldwide.

3G was relatively slow to be adopted globally. In some instances, 3G networks do not use the same radio frequencies as 2G so mobile operators must build entirely new networks and license entirely new frequencies, especially so to achieve high-end data transmission rates. Other delays were due to the expenses of upgrading transmission hardware, especially for UMTS, whose deployment required the replacement of most broadcast towers. Due to these issues and difficulties with deployment, many carriers were not able to or delayed acquisition of these updated capabilities.

In December 2007, 190 3G networks were operating in 40 countries and 154 HSDPA networks were operating in 71 countries, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). In Asia, Europe, Canada and the USA, telecommunication companies use W-CDMA technology with the support of around 100 terminal designs to operate 3G mobile networks.

Roll-out of 3G networks was delayed in some countries by the enormous costs of additional spectrum licensing fees. (See Telecoms crash.) The license fees in some European countries were particularly high, bolstered by government auctions of a limited number of licenses and sealed bid auctions, and initial excitement over 3G's potential.

The 3G standard is perhaps well known because of a massive expansion of the mobile communications market post-2G and advances of the consumer mophone. An especially notable development during this time is the smartphone (for example, the iPhone, and the Android family), combining the abilities of a PDA with a mobile phone, leading to widespread demand for mobile internet connectivity. 3G has also introduced the term "mobile broadband" because its speed and capability make it a viable alternative for internet browsing, and USB Modems connecting to 3G networks are becoming increasingly common.

The first African use of 3G technology was a 3G video call made in Johannesburg on the Vodacom network in November 2004. The first commercial launch was by Emtel-ltd in Mauritius in 2004. In late March 2006, a 3G service was provided by the new company Wana in Morocco. In May 2007, Safaricom launched 3G services in Kenya while later that year by Vodacom Tanzania also started providing services and in Somaliland, Telesom started first 3G services on 3 July 2011, to both prepaid and postpaid subscription customers. Telecommunication networks in Nigeria like Globacom, Airtel and MTN provide the 3G services to their numerous customers.

Asia is also using 3G services very well. A lot of companies like Dialog Axiata PLC (First to serve 3G Service in South Asia in 2006), BSNL, WorldCall, PTCL, Maxis, Vodafone, Airtel, DoCoMo, Aircel, Reliance have released their 3G services.

Nepal was one of the first countries in southern Asia to launch 3G services.

Pakistan's biggest telecommunication company PTCL launched its 3G network, EVO, in mid-2008 and has since then established itself in this sector. It provides 3G services in 105 cities across Pakistan. Omantel's WorldCall also provides 3G services in 50 cities Pakistanwide.

On 14 August 2010. Pakistan became the first country in the world to experience EVDO's RevB 3G technology that offers maximum speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s. At present the services of EVO Nitro (brand name (R)) are available in all over the Pakistan.

Two operators, Qubee and Banglalion, currently offer 4G WiMAX data services around Bangladesh. CityCell operates a nationwide third-generation CDMA2000 network capable of delivering super-fast mobile broadband. All GSM voice networks are still on 2G due a government indecision to provide 3G GSM/UMTS licences.

China announced in May 2008, that the telecoms sector was re-organized and three 3G networks would be allocated so that the largest mobile operator, China Mobile, would retain its GSM customer base. China Unicom would retain its GSM customer base but relinquish its CDMA2000 customer base, and launch 3G on the globally leading W-CDMA (UMTS) standard. The CDMA2000 customers of China Unicom would go to China Telecom, which would then launch 3G on the CDMA2000 1x EV-DO standard. This meant that China would have all three main cellular technology 3G standards in commercial use. Finally in January 2009, Ministry of industry and Information Technology of China awarded licenses of all three standards: TD-SCDMA to China Mobile, W-CDMA to China Unicom and CDMA2000 to China Telecom. The launch of 3G occurred on 1 October 2009, to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China. By August 2011, China Telecom's 3G subscriber has exceeded 23 million [14].

11 December 2008, India entered the 3G arena with the launch of 3G enabled Mobile and Data services by Government owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd MTNL in Delhi and later in Mumbai.MTNL becomes the first 3G Mobile service provider in India. After MTNL, another state operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL)launched 3G services on 22 Feb 2009 in Chennai and later launched 3G as Nationwide. The auction of 3G wireless spectrum was announced in April 2010 and 3G Spectrum allocated to all private operators on 1 September 2010.

The first Private-sector service provider that launched 3G services is Tata DoCoMo, on November 5, 2010. And the second is by Reliance Communications, December 13, 2010. Vodafone Launched their 3G by mid of March,2011 . Then, Bharti Airtel launched their 3G services on 24 January 2011 in Bangalore and also launched in Delhi & Jaipur on March 4, 2011(not GSM but only USB estick). Aircel also launched 3G in Kolkata in the month of February.Idea also launched its 3G services in mid April. Other providers like Virgin are expected to launch 3G services by Q1 2011.

All the operators provide 3G services on the 2100 MHz band. As of now, the Government owned BSNL is the most successful company with the subscribers of 3G service. It has more than 3 million subscribers of its 3G service. It also has the widest coverage with around 826 cities across the country. The private operators like IDEA and Reliance are increasing their 3G coverage as well as the number of subscribers.
North Korea

North Korea has had a 3G network since 2008, which is called Koryolink, a joint venture between Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holding and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) is North Korea's only 3G Mobile operator, and one of only two mobile companies in the country. According to Orascom quoted in BusinessWeek, the company had 125,661 subscribers in May 2010. The Egyptian company owns 75 percent of Koryolink, and is known to invest in infrastructure for mobile technology in developing nations. It covers Pyongyang, and five additional cities and eight highways and railways. Its only competitor, SunNet, uses GSM technology and suffers from poor call quality and disconnections.[15] Phone numbers on the network are prefixed with +850 (0)192.[16]

3G services were made available in the Philippines on December 2008.[17]

In Europe, mass market commercial 3G services were introduced starting in March 2003 by 3 (Part of Hutchison Whampoa) in the UK and Italy. The European Union Council suggested that the 3G operators should cover 80% of the European national populations by the end of 2005.
North America

In Canada, Bell Mobility, SaskTel[18] and Telus launched a 3G EVDO network in 2005.[19] Rogers Wireless was the first to implement UMTS technology, with HSDPA services in eastern Canada in late 2006.[20] Realizing they would miss out on roaming revenue from the 2010 Winter Olympics, Bell and Telus formed a joint venture and rolled out a shared HSDPA network using Nokia Siemens technology.
Middle East

In Jordan Orange is the first mobile 3G operator in Jordan.

Mobitel Iraq is the first mobile 3G operator in Iraq. It was launched commercially on February 2007.

MTN Syria is the first mobile 3G operator in Syria. It was launched commercially on May 2010.

In Iran Tamin Telecom won the bid for the third Operator license . Tamin Telecom is going to be the first 3G operator in Iran. Due to many delays Tamin Telecom will commercially launch in the last months of 2011.

In Lebanon Ministry of Telecoms launched a test period on September 20, 2011, where 4,000 smart-phone users were selected to enjoy 3G for one month and provide feedback. Currently, the test period is over, MTC Touch and Alfa began rolling out the new 3G services.

Turkcell, Avea and Vodafone launched their 3G networks commercially on 30 July 2009 at the same time. Turkcell and Vodafone launched their 3G service on all provincial centres. Avea launched it on 16 provincial centres. It was after Turkey's monopoly mobile operator Turkcell accepted number portability, mobile operators attended frequency band auction and frequencies for 3G usage distributed around mobile operators. Turkcell got A band, Vodafone B and Avea C. Currently Turkcell and Vodafone have 3G networks on most of crowded cities and towns. Turkey has 3.9G networks now.
New Zealand

In late 2005, Vodafone NZ Launched their 3G Network, followed by Telecom NZ's XT Network in 2008, and Newcomer 2degrees running off a combination of Vodafone's 3G towers and their own in 2009. 2degrees has since built more towers, and is now mostly self sufficient.
Data rates

ITU has not provided a clear definition of the data rate users can expect from 3G equipment or providers. Thus users sold 3G service may not be able to point to a standard and say that the rates it specifies are not being met. While stating in commentary that "it is expected that IMT-2000 will provide higher transmission rates: a minimum data rate of 2 Mbit/s for stationary or walking users, and 384 kbit/s in a moving vehicle,"[21] the ITU does not actually clearly specify minimum or average rates or what modes of the interfaces qualify as 3G, so various rates are sold as 3G intended to meet customers expectations of broadband data.

3G networks offer greater security than their 2G predecessors. By allowing the UE (User Equipment) to authenticate the network it is attaching to, the user can be sure the network is the intended one and not an impersonator. 3G networks use the KASUMI block crypto instead of the older A5/1 stream cipher. However, a number of serious weaknesses in the KASUMI cipher have been identified.[22]

In addition to the 3G network infrastructure security, end-to-end security is offered when application frameworks such as IMS are accessed, although this is not strictly a 3G property.
Applications of 3G

The bandwidth and location information available to 3G devices gives rise to applications not previously available to mobile phone users. Some of the applications are:

Mobile TV
Video on demand
Location-based services


Both 3GPP and 3GPP2 are currently working on extensions to 3G standard that are based on an all-IP network infrastructure and using advanced wireless technologies such as MIMO. These specifications already display features characteristic for IMT-Advanced (4G), the successor of 3G. However, falling short of the bandwidth requirements for 4G (which is 1 Gbit/s for stationary and 100 Mbit/s for mobile operation), these standards are classified as 3.9G or Pre-4G.

3GPP plans to meet the 4G goals with LTE Advanced, whereas Qualcomm has halted development of UMB in favour of the LTE family.[6]

On 14 December 2009, Telia Sonera announced in an official press release that "We are very proud to be the first operator in the world to offer our customers 4G services."[23] With the launch of their LTE network, initially they are offering pre-4G (or beyond 3G) services in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway.

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