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3G (or 3-G) is short for third-generation mobile telephone technology. The services associated with 3G provide the ability to transfer both voice data (a telephone call) and non-voice data (such as downloading information, exchanging email, and instant messaging).

Table of contents
1 3G Standards
2 3G and the tech bubble
3 List of countries that have deployed 3G
4 References
5 Related topics
6 External links

3G Standards

3G technologies are an answer to the International Telecommunications Union's IMT-2000 specification. Originally, 3G was supposed to be a single, unified, worldwide standard, but in practice, the 3G world has been split into three incompatible camps.


UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone System), based on W-CDMA technology, is the solution generally preferred by countries that used GSM, centered in Europe. UMTS is managed by the 3GPP organization also responsible for GSM, GPRS and EDGE.


The other significant 3G standard is CDMA2000, which is an outgrowth of the earlier 2G CDMA standard IS-95. CDMA2000's primary proponents are outside the GSM zone in the Americas, Japan and Korea. CDMA2000 is managed by 3GPP2, which is separate and independent from UMTS's 3GPP.


A less well known standard is TD-SCDMA which is being developed in the People's Republic of China by the companies Datung and Siemens. They are predicting an operational system for 2005.

3G and the tech bubble

The auction of 3G licenses and radio spectrum in Europe played a significant part in the tech bubble of the late 1990s. Convinced that 3G adoption would be rapid and the profits from data massive, European telecommunications companies ploughed a total of €109 billion into the licenses alone, for a total of approximately €300 billion including equipment and marketing.

When the expected profits failed to materialize, the investors were left with nearly worthless licenses and large debts. Many companies gave up their licenses and wrote off the debt, while others have attempted to negotiate with the issuing governments over the licensing terms.

List of countries that have deployed 3G

Countries that have commercial 3G networks include:


Related topics

External links