What is 3G cellular technology?

What is 3G cellular technology?With an increasing number of cellular phones and carriers touting 3G service, the obvious question arises: What is 3G? The term 3G refers to the third generation of mobile telephone, or cellular, technology. 3G was specifically designed to allow for the growth of applications that rely on increased mobile bandwidth.

While older generations of cellular technology allowed for only voice or limited data transfer, 3G can deliver multimedia applications over the network at faster speeds. With speeds ranging from 144Kbps to 2.4Mbps, 3G networks can be nearly as fast as a cable-modem. With that kind of speed, mobile web browsing, chatting and even live video streaming are possible.

In the United States, most carriers have begun rolling out their 3G networks to urban areas. Eventually the carriers' entire networks will be 3G.

So, do you need a 3G enabled cell phone? It depends on how you want to use your phone. If you're simply interested in making voice calls, there is no real advantage. If you plan to send multimedia messages containing photos and video, browse the web, chat or download applications over the network to your phone you should certainly look only at devices and carriers with a 3G network.