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Cellular Network Standard

  1. Aug 24, 2016 #1
    I am very confused with the 3G, 4G, LTE, UTMS, WCDMA terms... Hope someone could shed some light on it. I think complication arises when marketing people start to use these terms interchangeably?

    Below is my interpretation, is that correct? Would someone be kind enough to make some comments? Thank you in advanced

    My understanding is that 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G are very brief standards created by a body specifying service performance level.

    Industries then try to achieve those standard (sometimes exceed them) by create technology standard to implement in the networks

    For example,
    2G standard is implemented by GSM, PDC, IS-95, etc
    3G standard is implemented by UMTS, CDMA2000, HSPDA, HSPDA+, etc
    and 4G is implemented by LTE, LTE advanced
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Here's an article on it the 3G, 4G and 5G generation/datarates terminology:


    You would use these terms to select a phone with the speed you want while looking to see if your areas are covered by it.

    and here's an article of the standards and technologies that provide the datarates:


  4. Aug 25, 2016 #3
    Thanks for your reply. Sure, I get that aspect but that still doesn't explain the term 4G and LTE. whether they are interchangeable terms?
    Or is LTE a set of technology that implement the 4G standard?

    Similarly 3G and UMTS, is UMTS an implementation of 3G standard? There are many ways to achieve the 3G standard, is UMTS just one of many set of technology
    platform to achieve the 3G standard?
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