Ever Wondered What 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G And 5G Actually Mean? Here’s All You Need To Know


The world has moved from all those slow and noisy modem web connections to the super fast 24/7 WiFi and 4G connections that can be used on the move. But have you ever though what does 4G even mean?

The G in 4G  stands for generation. The term means “fourth-generation”, and according to the European Commission (EC), a 4G connection should be able to download a one-hour 720p movie in about six minutes.

Here’s a small infographic to give you a quick idea:

Pic Credits: commscopetraining

1G could only be used for calls

Pic Credits: bbc

1G, the first generation of mobile data, began in 1991. The connection was purely analogue, and its phones looked like this the ones above

Then 2G introduced text messages

Pic Credits: bbc

The famous SMS 2G made it possible to send text messages between friends and was 1G’s digital brother. The picture messages via MMS (multimedia messaging service) was also made possible with 2G. Facilities like GSM, GPRS and EDGE, were made a reality on mobile phones like the one above

2001 saw the rise of 3G

Pic Credits: bbc

Along with the first wave of smart phones in came 3G with its 2mbit/s (or 0.25 megabytes per second) data. The internet was not very fast, but it still made video calling possible. The connection would take about one hour to download 1 GB file.

4G become available in 2010

Pic Credits: quoracdn


4G saw mobile gaming become a real thing. The speeds have risen, and the same amount of data takes about a couple of minutes on 4G. But 4G is still not available everywhere yet, and even some parts of the world still don’t have 2G let alone 3G or 4G.

And what about 5G?

Pic Credits: bbc

The EC speculates that 5G will be available sometime between 2020 and 2030 and will allow you to download a one hour HD movie in about six seconds.

Exciting times ahead indeed!

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