Tag: 2g

GSM Data Comparison: EDGE vs 3G vs WiFi

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BlackBerry 2G vs 3G

Over the past year, mobile data has become a topic in the mainstream media. The stories are mostly about AT&T’s network growing pains, how iPhone users are overtaxing the networks and are experiencing greatly reduced bandwidth as a result.

Carriers love talking about bandwidth. It seems to be the only thing that matters in terms of mobile data. When the iPhone 3G came out, the dumbed-down line that was used to describe the difference between 2G and 3G in Apple’s marketing was that 3G is “twice as fast”.

I have been trying to make heads or tails of this whole data speed thing for quite some time. I had noticed in more than a few instances that 2G is just as fast, and sometimes faster than 3G. With all this marketing about how much faster 3G is, I set out to do a few tests of my own to determine if 3G is a must-have, or if carriers are trying to oversell the technology as a giant leap when it’s really just an incremental step.
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Testing the 3G, 2G and WiFi download speeds on the Bold 9000

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various_blackberry_models

Counting the main differences between all the BlackBerry models can be done on one hand. Screen resolution, processing speed, form factor, input, and network speed. Choosing which one is right for you is usually a pretty simple affair. If a device in the lineup doesn’t immediately call out to you as being an obvious fit, you’ve got to become more critical about the details of how you want your device to perform.

One of the bigger deciding factors is raw transmission speed. How fast can you download big emails? How quickly can you send out mission-critical data? How fast can I surf the web? It seems to be the most important factor, with the least amount of clear explanations and data to back up claims.

There is so much vague talk when it comes to the difference between 3G and 2G, while WiFi is unfairly absent in the speed breakdown.
Click through to read the results of a speed test on the Bold 9000 using 2G, WiFi and 3G

GSM growth to slow in favor of 3G?

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A cell phone towerA new report from ABI Research suggests that 2G technology like EDGE will drop to a 14% growth rate in 2008/09, compared to 22% from 2006/07, while UMTS networks like HSDPA slowly increase market share. Saying new technology will replace old technology is a bit like going on about just how wet water is, but it’s nice to know how long it will take. 2G subscribers are expected to start actively shrinking by 2013. iDEN and CDMAone users are already shrinking rapidly, perhaps explaining Sprint’s lackadaisical attitude towards upgrading their phones in that area, although CDMA2000 use is expected to stick around in more rural areas. All in all it sounds like good news for the HSDPA-packing 9000. The forecast for CDMA technologies could also help you in our Weekly Contest