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What does the G mean?
Before advancing, it should be known that 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G etc refers to the different generations of wireless communication technology characterized by having a defined range of speed.
GPRS(General Packet Radio Service)
GPRS is a packet-based* wireless communication service. It is a 2G technology network that support a download speed of up to 114Kbps.
Limitation of GPRS is that GPRS data cannot be sent while a voice call is in progress.
EDGE(Enhanced Data GSM Evolution)
GPRS and EDGE are both 2G technology but EDGE is significantly faster with a download speed of up to 384Kbps. EDGE is sometimes called a 2.5G network as it also has some characteristics of a 3G network but it doesn't satisfy the specification.
Introduction of 3G network made video calling and seamless streaming of video possible, with download speed of up to 3.1Mbps.
HSDPA(High-Speed Down-link Packet Access)
It is based on the 3G network and an enhancement to 3G. Thus has a faster speed, download speed can be up to 14Mbps. HSDPA is sometimes called 3.5G.
HSPA+(Evolved High-Speed Packet Access)
HSPA+ is an evolution HSPA(HSDPA&HSUPA).
It is a 4G technology that allows download at a rate of up to 168Mbps.
4G LTE(Long Term Evolution)
LTE is a 4G communication standard that supports HD video streaming, download speed as high as 299.6Mbps.
Summary - Hierarchy
GPRS(114Kbps) < EGDE(368Kbps) < 3G(3.1Mbps) < HSDPA(14Mbps) < HSPA+(168Mbps) < 4G/LTE(299.6Mbps)
What does packet mean? As in packet data
*Packet-based means data is broken into packets before being transmitted.
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