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2G Summary

Term used to represent the 2nd generation of mobile telecommunications technology

2G

2G (or 2-G) is short for second-generation cellular technology. Second-generation 2G cellular networks were commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa Oyj) in 1991. Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted; 2G systems were significantly more efficient on the spectrum enabling far greater wireless penetration levels; and 2G introduced data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages. 2G technologies enabled the various networks to provide the services such as text messages, picture messages, and MMS (multimedia messages). All text messages sent over 2G are digitally encrypted, allowing the transfer of data in such a way that only the intended receiver can receive and read it. After 2G was launched, the previous mobile wireless network systems were retroactively dubbed 1G. While radio signals on 1G networks are analog, radio signals on 2G networks are digital. Both systems use digital signaling to connect the radio towers (which listen to the devices) to the rest of the mobile system. With General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), 2G offers a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 50 kbit/s (40 kbit/s in practice). With EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), there is a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 1 Mbit/s (500 kbit/s in practice).The most common 2G technology was the time division multiple access (TDMA)-based GSM, originally from Europe but used in most of the world outside North America. Over 60 GSM operators were also using CDMA2000 in the 450 MHz frequency band (CDMA450) by 2010.

1G2G spectrum case2degrees3.5G3G3GPP3G adoption3rd Generation Partnership Project 2
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