Difference between GPRS, Edge, 3G and HSDPA Dave Kind January 26, 2010 3G, 4G & /Phone 92 Comments GPRS, Edge, 3G and HSDPA what’s the difference? Thought i’d update this article to include a little bit about 3.75G, see below. Obviously 4G is taking it’s time!! 24/06/2013 – I’ve written a new article about GPRS, 3G and 4G that’s a little more up to date right here So Mobile networks are at last here and we use them every day as part of our normal business and personal lives. However many people I talk to still get confused with the differences between them. IT’s even more prevalent in the Rugged PDA world because due to the stability of the devices a lot of them tend to lag their “Consumer” equivalents in the GPRS technology they use. Below is a quick overview of some of the most important things you need to know about GPRS. And in the beginning… They made GSM modems. Does anyone remember the times we used those horrible 56K modems to connect your desktop to the internet by plugging it into your phone line? Well at first that’s how they did it with mobile phones in a roughly similar way too! Very low data rates of 10kbps and also the fact that you paid for the time you used the service were the main down points of this. Then came 2G However with the take up on mobile phones rapidly increasing we saw the switch to digital networks which allowed for better call quality and the SMS service. We started to see the potential for data to be sent using them. 2G was born in the form of GPRS. This allowed data to be sent over a network that was a lot more optimised for data communication. GPRS was and still is a little bit slow at no more than about 114kbps and unless you have a class 3 device, it can’t support sending data at the same time as a GSM voice call is in session. However this is more than enough for many people’s needs, even today and to add weight to that, the first iPhone was a GPRS device. Edge a stop-gap 3G was on the way but we saw one more incremental step before this was rolled out. Edge, eGPRS or 2.5G was a technology that gave us 3 fold better data rates with typical 400kbps being heralded by Cingular in the USA by using better coding methods than GPRS. However 120-200kbps is probably more realistic. Finally 3G Arrives Finally full 3G was released and it not only gave us more reliable faster data rates of up to 384kbps but it’s based upon a far better platform that allows synchronous voice and data usage. With 3G browsing the web performing more media intensive data work became a reality and in some cases still rivals some broadband connections we have in out homes. HSDPA and 3.5G, 3.75, 4G and beyond Currently HSDPA is the standard for most mobile phones. Running at 1.3mbps it rivals most broadband connections and networks are being upgraded across the UK to run at speeds of up to 7.2mbps, coined 4G. We’re now even starting to see our first 4G devices in the HTC 4G MAX, although we’re actually seeing a trend in 3.75G HSUPA devices being released at the moment, which are actually HSDPA devices but with improved upload speeds too. Added (19/10/11) HSPA is it a spelling mistake! Well no and HSPA and also evolved HSPA or HSPA+ are all new acronyms in the 3G world. I’m not going to get technical here, but these protocols are basically the next step in the mobile networks upgrade path. HSPA (Downlaod) and HSUPA (Upload) are pretty much implemented now and devices taking advantage of this can now theoretically reach speeds of 14MBPs on the downlink and 6MBPS up, some networks in the world have reported even more than this. HSPA+ further enhances this up to 80 & 22 MBPS which is now surpassing broadband speeds. With 3.5G, 3.75G, 4G and now HSPA we really now have no excuse to be connected to the Internet where-ever we go and its only a matter of time before the PDA or mobile phone truly becomes the data tool of choice as our lives become ever mobile. if you still need some help then give us a call at Rugged and Mobile and we’ll only be too happy to help you choose the right device for you. Dave The Rugged and Mobile blog. Share this:Google+ Dave Kind 92 Responses Phil December 19, 2010 Where does EDGE fit in to this? You mention it in the title… ruggedandmobile December 20, 2010 Edge is sometimes referred to as eGPRS or 2.5G and its in the part called “Edge a stop-gap” above. Basically you find that Edge is still the most common data technology in Rugged PDA’s and it is usually implemented so that dual data and voice calls can occur at the same time. Anthony Nicole May 25, 2011 The first Iphone was a GPRS device what about the new Iphone 4? ruggedandmobile June 6, 2011 The original iphone was edge based (2.5G), the iPhone 3G, was 3G and the iPHone 4 is HSDPA (3.5G). HSUPA (3.75G) is the fastest usuable speed that exists right now but don;t forget that it depends on the network you are using and the availability of the data speed in the first place. Kristina July 20, 2011 Could you pls tell me if my cell phone (evertek fd10) (which is gprs edge phone) can work with 3G network? (maybe the Q is stupid, but I do not know much about this). Thnx. Kristina ruggedandmobile August 10, 2011 Hi Kristina If your phone is only an edge (2.5G) then thats all it will ever do, regardless of the network coverage and capability. To get 3G or aboave you need to get a phone with 3G, HSDPA or HSUPA (3, 3.5, 3.75G). Abdurrahman s July 27, 2011 This site is very educative. we really appreciate the efforts u have been making to remove us from the dackness! Thanx. bunmi August 2, 2011 thnx 4 clearing my head on this, everything was becoming …. David Marshall August 12, 2011 Great blog…. and very useful…but really in the begining… I mean back in the very beginning …like 1985/86/87….I had a Vodafone mobile (Motorola and then Nokia) to which I attached a CDLC modem and to that a “PDA” (later a Psion Organiser/Psion Organiser II) to access individual BBS, MicroNet & later JANet. With no http, tools were the big problem…but there was finger, gopher, and email. But it didn’t fit the pocket very well… and if you really wanted to use it for more than an hour, you’d probalby flatten your car battery…but I could keep a database in my office, and interogate it on the move.. (well no, I had to park up)….but rugged…oh yes very rugged….just don’t dangle it by the cables….:-) ruggedandmobile August 17, 2011 Haha! Reminds me of the early days when people had analogue phones and the batteries ran out in 10 minutes! Arun kumar August 12, 2011 wow, it is really nice. i really learned alot now. great. thank you for ur explanation Arun kumar August 12, 2011 thank you amritpal singh August 15, 2011 broadband is working on 2G or not ruggedandmobile August 17, 2011 Hi Amritpal This post was about mobile WAN (Wide area network) technology which connects mobile phones to the internet via the GSM or CDMA phone network. It runs over your Airtel or Hutch mobile network and 2G is GPRS running at no more than about 40-50KBps. Broadband is usually the term we use for cables going into your home or office. In the UK we have ADSL (BT) or Cable (Virgin Media). Broadband as a term is also a way people refer to their network speeds. You need HSDPA (3.5G) or above to really start getting up to broadband level speeds. I’m not sure what speeds your broadband is in India, but in the UK Virgin is topping 50MBps, whilst ADSL tends to currently top out at 20MBPs. HSDPA is theoretically up to 7MBPs but I don’t think the mobile networks in the UK support anything like that. Hope that helps. Marco August 17, 2011 Hi, thank you for this nice article. I have a question: my galaxy tab often keeps switching between hsdpa and edge, sometimes hooking one or the other. Why? ruggedandmobile August 17, 2011 Hi Marco Thats because, despite the Galaxy being capable of higher 3G speeds (HSUPA or HSDPA i can;t remember!), it depends on the network you are using and the capability of the GSM mast you aere using. This is why in a city you’ll often get 3G or HSDPA, but where the population thins out, the masts have never been upgraded from eGPRS. Your Galaxy will hook up to whatever it has available from 2G up to 3.75G. upali August 24, 2011 Ur doing great service by explaining these IT jargons very cearly to all those who new to this field Difference between 3G ,GPRS and WiFi September 2, 2011 [...] [...] ruggedandmobile September 16, 2011 No its certainly not rugged, but its an interesting case and concept. Otterboxes are great for keeping smartphones clean of scratches and they do offer added protection but they are not MIL or IP rated and are far from what we would call rugged. To be truly rugged requires a lot more than a fancy case. kccwuk September 19, 2011 Great article! I had a 3G phone connected with T-Mobile 3G sim card. After my phone broke I went on the hunt for a reasonable replacement. Not needing internet on a regular bases the pay as you go option is my basis for not upgrading to an iphone or go on contract. The replacement phone I settled for has all the bells and whistles but is GPRS/EDGE and thanks to your article I saved myself some hard earned money! As I told my friend, “There is no need buying a phone that has functions you don’t understand or can’t use.”. Thanks to your article, I took my on advice! Cheers! ruggedandmobile September 25, 2011 Many thanks for the comment! prasoon October 11, 2011 i have a 3.5g phone using in a 3g supporting area but without a 3g activated sim.will i have any advantage while browsing or downloading? ruggedandmobile October 11, 2011 The type of network coverage you will actually experience depends on all 3 Prasoon. Firstly you will only ever get the speeds of the mobile network masts you are connected to. If you;rein a GPRS area then thats all you’ll get regardless of how fast your PDA is. Secondly the PDA of course dictates the speed too, if its an Edge (2.5G) device then even if you;re in the centre of Bangalore where HSDPA is prevalent everywhere, you will still only get a 2.5G speed. I’m not sure about the SIM cards. I know you used to be able to get GOPRS locked SIM cards in the UK, I haven;t come across them for a while though. The SIM card can restrict your speed though and I beleive this was done by the mobile operator detecting certain SIM cards and restricting this at their end. This is how mobile opertaors restrict/curb high data users. Yusif Suleiman October 11, 2011 educative article, i really like it. God bless! David Marshall October 17, 2011 After reading this blog article back in August, I started keeping track of my download/upload speeds using the dslreports website, an HTC Touch Diamond and a Vodafone (Ireland) account. In the heart of the Pyrenees with SFR (part of the Vodafone group) I was getting GPRS at 26kbps, Edge at about 40kbps and HSDPA at between 220 & 240kbps. In my home in Ireland, where I have my own cell I get about 2500kbps on HSDPA and if I wonder into the village it drops to around 1000kbps or so showing the 3G logo. ruggedandmobile October 17, 2011 Cheers David These seem very very typical of GPRS/3G speeds albeit at the top end and quite impressive to me if they’re actual speeds obtained. You still hardlly get 2MB through your “UP TO” speeds on broadband connections so I am quite impressed! Don’t forget that speeds can also be affected by a lot of other thigns too like number of users, how the mobile operators throttle speeds, what device and SIM you have and also GPRS especially can be implemented quite differently on devices, especially class 12 ones. Melissa November 14, 2011 Thanks… A very informative description. I’d just like to know more about the cost differences between 3G and GPRS/EDGE. My phone is 3G compatible and can either be set on GSM, UMTS or dual mode. Do you know which one will be cheaper? I am not too worried about the battery life. Melissa November 14, 2011 Thank you for a very informative description. I’d just like to know more about the cost differences between 3G and GPRS/EDGE. My phone is 3G compatible and can either be set on GSM, UMTS or dual mode. Do you know which one will be cheaper? I am not too worried about the effects on battery life. ruggedandmobile November 18, 2011 Hi Melissa You can think of all of these as roads. 2G or GPRS is a narrow country lane, 2.5G (Edge) maybe a B-Road, 3G an A or main road and all the way up to HSUPA which is like a 5 lane motorway. Think of the traffic going down these roads and then the toll booths they would have on them. The Motoroway will take far more money as there are probably 10-15 booths on the toll with far more traffic on the road. Its the same with GPRS. You will only ever get a low KBPS speed down these so effectively you can’t physically spend the same amount of money you can on a 3G or HSUPA enabled phone. Sometimes we wonder how these mobile operators give you a smartphone capable of doing 7MBPS but only give you 500MB per month, you do the maths! Hope to have helped L November 15, 2011 love it Marcus November 19, 2011 Thanks 4 a nice article. But plz whats d difference between GSM, UMTS and DUAL MODE when selecting network. I hav it in nokia 5230 & dont know d usefulness ruggedandmobile December 8, 2011 Hi Marcus I don’t know thw phone but i do know that it sounds like it has what’s called a “dual radio”. This means it will work on GSM and UMTS based networks. GSM is what Europe and parts of Africa use (among others) and UMTS is what Asia use. The USA is half and hald, AT&T is a GSM Netwok, Verizon and Sprint are UMTS. I htink I got that the right way round, but you get the picture! Basically your phone can work anywhere! gordon dickson January 5, 2012 R&M this is really useful – could you give rough dates as to when each step happened or will happen, i know it would be very rough but the trend is of interest. Thanks Gordo ruggedandmobile January 6, 2012 Hi Gordon Its a tricky one to assess really. The reason is there have been 4G handsets for years but the network in the UK has never been upgraded to make use of them. However things are changing now and fast. We have just seen the first 3.9 (HSPA+) handset released in the Honeywell Dolphin 7800 and we’ll need t upgrade the blog to deal with this! In the states they’re rolling out 4G aggressively now on the Sprint and Verizon networks and the next iPhone is rumoured to be full 4G too so I think next year will see the UK probably lagging but definitely improving. Hope that helps! gordon dickson January 6, 2012 Thanks but i am interested in the history & trend, if i took the view of date when realistic UK adoption took/will take place (just guessing) do you think it would it look like this? GSM 2001 GPRS 2006 3G 2010 3.5G2011 3.75G 2012 4G 2013 see what i am getting at? – could you correct these dates in your opnion, I kow its very rough i still use plenty of GPRS but i am trying to show the aceleration effect over a roughly decade. Thanks David Marshall January 6, 2012 Yes that would be interesting. I lived through it all, used it all. But it also, all went by so fast. A review of the technology timeline, introduction, uptake, even commercial adoption would be interesting to study. No doubt there are some commercial studies out there, but they’ll be a $1500 if not more. Regards all D ruggedandmobile January 7, 2012 Well I know 4G is being tested in London right now and its pulling 80MBPS from what someone at O2 told me. 4G is due to launch in 2013 in the UK and its brand new technology so should be far more stable and far quicker. 4G will also take ver the old TV signal frquencies to help it reach rural areas far bett than 3.xG does now. There’s actually a great link i found this morning about the dates that should help far more than i can here, it has an in depth look at the agreements and country take up of GSM to HSDPA. http://www.gsm.org/about-us/history.htm Hope that helps! David Marshall January 15, 2012 Brilliant…I’d forgotten how many steps there had been…. I recall back in about 2002, you could access my wap.blog by typing “cafe” (2233) on your wap enabled phone… think the system went belly-up around 2005. Nice simple timeline on gsm.org though. Thanks again D Carla January 30, 2012 hi, what about IPhone 4s here in the philippines, does it use HSDPA ? pls. tell me im new here and would be more than grateful for the info ruggedandmobile January 30, 2012 To My knowldedge the iPhone 4 is an HSDPA phone with 3.5G capability. The 3G used 3G!, and the iPhone 2 used GPRS or edge to be precise. Rakesh sehgal February 4, 2012 Thanksfor the insight dave. romel February 14, 2012 Great blog, very educational, thanks Bittu kr. kundu March 11, 2012 thanx..itz very knoledgable and helpful 2r April 11, 2012 Thanks, very educative Bahee April 17, 2012 hi, actually, what is the meaning for the letter ” E, G, H…etc,” on the top left corner in the mobile phones, wt it realy mean for…???? ruggedandmobile April 17, 2012 On a Winodws Mobile device it is: G=GPRS, E=Edge, 3G=3G, H=HSDPA! Bahee April 18, 2012 Tank u pa… Bonnie April 28, 2012 I have a question for you: At this time, I have a Blackberry thru AT&T. I’m not in a two year contract anymore and loving it. However, I do want a Droid. If I go to an AT&T store and play with the phones, find one I like and buy it from say, Ebay, when I put my SIM card in will it automatically know that I’m not on EDGE any longer? I’d actually like to get the T-Mobile G2 and drop my SIM card in, but I don’t know if it will automatically recognize to run on 3G. I really DON’T want to have another 2 year contract if I can avoid it, but I do want my new phone to run faster than EDGE. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us! ruggedandmobile May 9, 2012 Hi Bonnie, We’re UK based so my US knowledge must be taken with a pinch of salt. Firstly, AT&T and T-Mobile are different networks so my guess is that you might not be able to just use the new SIM. Secondly I know that Blackberry SIMs can be a pain to use in other phones as they use different gateways etc for their data. Networks like to keep their iPhone and BB users separate. Why don;t you just buy a SIM only deal. In the UK you can get rolling monthly or PAYG SIMS that gove you a really good deal and TMobile tend to lead the way when it comes to flexibility over here. lodha s.m. May 12, 2012 i use sony xperia lLT 26 I, WHETHER IT IS EDGE OR 3G HANDSET? CAN I BOOST THE DOWNLOAD SPEED, RIGHT NOW I GET -83DB 15 ASU ruggedandmobile May 14, 2012 TRhat really depends on which “experia” you have. The tend to all be at least HSDPA (3.5G). If you’re not getting the sopeed you think you should be then it’s probably down to a few things. The network coverage, you might have a 3G phone but are you in a 3G area? Throttling at the network, IE do you have the right data plan or are you busting it and getting throttled back. Check the SIM card is a 3G one, although rarer these days there are still some SIM cards that only allow GPRS whatever device you put them in. SLASH May 29, 2012 i loven whon ever posted that stuff gud work keep it up u are blessed SLASH May 29, 2012 please moew updates Defroid May 30, 2012 I use NOKIA Asha 300 which 3g sim will support the best for web speed? ruggedandmobile August 22, 2012 I think so as I had one once and it definitely had 3G. Maybe a look at the spec sheet will give you a better idea. yash poniya June 8, 2012 excellent dude..,….! mkhyf June 12, 2012 actually 3G is best technology so far……..but 4G will destroy everything because of speed XYZ ruggedandmobile June 13, 2012 Yes 4G is being trialled here in the UK right now and the speeds are alarming, like 80MBPS, the stad though states 100MBPS. However the proof will be in the implementation and how the networks delievr the services. 100MBPS is no good if there are 1000 people all trying to use it in one go!! 3G is the most prevalent technology now but GPRS still has it’s advantages in the RUgged market especially. Selva June 13, 2012 Iam really confused with all these technologies, i recently purchased a Huawei E173 USB modem, i want to knw which is the best option for the Internet browsing( GPRS / 2G/ 3G etc…) pl help deb June 14, 2012 I have a xperia neo v international so I want to know that is it 3G or 3.5G ? ruggedandmobile June 18, 2012 Hi Deb. According the Sony site it’s HSPA so 3.9G. salmsyn June 17, 2012 I love dis site kwame June 17, 2012 I think you should rather be writing Mb/s instead of MBPs. MB is not equal to Mb. My question is are there any real 3.75G phones out there? Cuz I think in order to experience such speed u will need a 3.75 device. Will 3.5G devices e able to operate at 3.75G speeds? I don’t think so. Airtel in Ghana is even saying they have 3.75G providing up to 21MB/S. That translates to 164mb/s and that’s even faster than 4G networks out there. Are they making a mistake or I’m missing something? ruggedandmobile June 18, 2012 Hi Kwame I guess strictly speaking mb is a Mega BITand MB is a megabyte so i’ll take a look at that in the blog. Most phones that have been released in the past year are probably 3.75G or 3.9G but just because they have the chip in them does not mean they will get the download speeds, for 3 main reasons: 1. The network providers network might not be up to that speed or the particular area you happen to be in might be only serving GPRS speeds. 2. The network might have the technoclogy but is throttling it or there is contention for the bandwidth in some way. 3. It also depends on the exact architecture of the chip, OS and phone you have. Some are faster and better than others and this is all about how well the phone deals with traffic itself. 4G should technically give 100MBps, trials have been showing around 80MBps in the UK but in reality no-one really knows how much it’s going to give the end user in the end. 4G in the USA is not true 4G, it’s still based on 3G technology at the meoment. Hope that helps kwame June 18, 2012 1. I believe you mean 80mbps and 100mbps because 100MBps(data copy and read rate of most modern hard disk drives) will be 800mbps which is much faster than any internet connection used commercially in the world today, even for wired ones. 2. I asked whether 3.5G modems can operate at 3.75G speeds ruling out network reception and speed, I guess not 3. As far as 4G LTE is concerned HSPA+ is a promising rival. Current 4G LTE systems (not trial) offer around 21- 48mbps Thanks though ianberg (@ianberg) June 22, 2012 Since I have voice + text messaging plan only (no data), I’ve got Edge (“2.5G”) enabled but not 3G on a Lumia 710. For voice calls and SMS I presume there is little noticeable difference between the two. ruggedandmobile July 9, 2012 Actually if you’re in a 3G area, then 3G will be significantly faster. Did you ever see the iPhone 3G event and advert that shows how much faster? 2.5G at best is talking 100KBPS, 3G up to roughly 700. rengarajan June 24, 2012 sony tab model s is 3G based and no GPRS/EDGE provision.instead samsung tab model 2 is 3G based and also GPRS/EDGE provision. what is the use of GPRS/EDGE in the 3G provision tab ruggedandmobile July 9, 2012 Well I don;t know where you live, but in the UK most of the country is still oblyt covered by 2 or 2.5G. I also explained higher up the benefists of running phones in GPRS only mode. In the rugged world custoemrs still ask for GPRS and not 3G PDA’s for these reasons. Its less and less but we still get reuests and many PDA’s are still available with GPRS. peter July 2, 2012 thank you so much. I want to buy a phone, now l’ve made up my mind to by HSDPA; since thats the speed offered by my network kumar July 14, 2012 Is N95 a 3.5G phone? what level I can use this mobile? Is it necessary to buy another mobile to avail the current facilities? or this is enough? Thomas July 26, 2012 Good job, I think you ‘ve unveiled some hiding fact in gsm world, keep it up firstname.lastname@example.org August 16, 2012 So how does LTE fit into all of this? ruggedandmobile August 22, 2012 LTE is basically 4G in laymans terms. It’s completely new technology that requires rolling out across the masts and handsets need a new chip to use it. Add to that the nwteork operators also need to have it running as a service. To put LTE into perspective, its supposed to bring 100MBPS speeds to mobile data. What the actual result will be is your guess and mine! David Marshall September 1, 2012 I thought this little result might be of interest. Generally I use a Nokia Lumia 800 on vodafone.ie. Its OS has just been updated to allow internet sharing, with the Lumia acting as a wifi hotspot utilising it’s data connection. At home standard 3G/2G reception is pretty poor so I use a Vodafone femtocell over a Vodafone 7Mbit/700Kbit ADSL connection. This provides me with my own 3G cell station and makes sure I always get good voice and data reception around my home, for my phone, using 3G and exploiting the broadband connection to which I already subscribe. I’ve been using for well over a year now and am very happy with it. I reviewed it back in April on my own occasional blog: http://ifeck.com/2012/04/06/suresignal-from-vodafone/ So I’ve just tried the Lumia’s wifi hot spot; easy and effective. As a result, I also tried a speed test using broadbandireland.ie. This normally shows me that my contracted domestic broadband runs to speed at: 7Mbit/700Kbit . Using the phone I got 5.22Mbit/500.2Kbit. Which I thought was pretty good… even so the question is what’s limiting the speed…? Is it the technology in the 3G femtocell or the Nokia Lumia 800. Not that I mind either way… that’s quite an accpetable performance from both products for now. Keep up the great work Regards David Nash September 13, 2012 Good article and responsiveness from here… Cheers! james singh September 20, 2012 Which network provider in india support hsupa and hspa 3.5g technology apart from 3g. Because even if i buy a phone which support these protocol, it would be useless. ruggedandmobile September 24, 2012 Hi James, We’re based in the UK so i’m not 100% sure but what i do know is that India’s mobile network industry is alive and kicking, with most of them offering at least 3G speeds. Wikipedia often have a good summary of a countries mobile networks so perhaps take a peek at that? Ravindra November 7, 2012 this is really a gr8 ………. But i have one question is like you said 2.5G is EDGE NW in which voice can be run parallel to data…..but my phone shows E(Edge) at the top and when get call it disappear and current download get failed why so…. ruggedandmobile November 12, 2012 Hi Ravindra, what is your phone? It might be that your phone is picking up an Edge signal but not actually capable of Edge or it uses a lower class of Edge that might not be fully data/phone compatible. It’s also dependent on your network and the coverage they give you too ruggedandmobile November 14, 2012 I’m not sure if you’re UK based so I can only go on what I know about my ipad in the UK! You can’t charge it up with GPRS, you either get a data plan or you don’t and as the ipad is a 3G device, it will use 3G wherever it can. Most providers offer 1, 2 10GB plans so there should be a plan that suits you. At the end of the day your ipad will consume the data you ask it to (And then some) so if you;re watching movies or downloading stuff you will use up your data plan quickly, just like with any other device. lokesh January 17, 2013 hi i went through this site. it is good blog. Actually HSPA is nothing but HSDPA and HSUPA. i had a doubt that in market lot of data cards are available. on some of the cards why they mention HSDPA and on other they mention HSUPA? instead of mentioning separate names why cant they mention it as HSPA? Ian January 31, 2013 I’m not subscribed to mobile broadband service and my phone supports 3G and Edge. I only use WiFi for browsing. I notice that my battery’s drain is less when I have Edge set as my fastest connection instead of 3G. My takeaway from this article is that for my voice and SMS usage, Edge should be sufficient. David Marshall (@Scrybler) February 15, 2013 That’s certainly my experience. I think theoretically 3G will consume about 1,8 times as much of your battery juice than 3G. When I’m staying in locations where there is only 2G reception and I’m not doing much to access the internet the charge in my Nokia Lumia 800 lasts around 3 days; as against half a day if I’m really flogging it. But I have noticed when there are locations with a 2G/3G choice, I do seem to get better “reception” when logged on with 3G; phone calls do seem clearer. Having said that I also use a “lone worker” phone (Sonim 3.2 Sentinel) It only runs 2G… I get great reception in the remotest of places and if I’m not being tracked (so GPRS/Edge always on) I get at least two weeks out of it. And when I really go into battery save mode, with little or no calls or texts, I get close to 3 weeks out of a single charge of battery. There’s no doubt that a well engineered 2G phone can give outstanding performance, but I suspect that most modern 3Gphones offering 2G compatability have probably sacrificed something in reception, call quality and battery life….maybe these guys at ruggedandmobile can tell us more… Lawrence Alexander (@larrysbrain) March 8, 2013 Thank you. Very useful and well done for answering everyone’s questions. What a nice bloke A to Z Internet Roaming Options | Motorhoming Europe | Europe in a Motorhome March 17, 2013 [...] by visiting a website and typing in the number. Make sure you get a dongle that fails back to EDGE and GPRS if there is no 3G connection. In non techy language that means you’ll still have [...] moorthy April 15, 2013 If i have Old mobile phone or GPRS 2.5G compatible modem will it work on the latest 3G or Edgle enabled SIM card provided by service provider. Thnx Murthy ruggedandmobile April 26, 2013 Should do, all versions of 3G are backward compatible so your phone will work but it will just be quite slow. MOHAMMED AMIN April 17, 2013 I’m actually a “green leaf” in mobile technology. But I will like to use your platform to improve my understanding of Mobile Technology and possibly be able to inprove that of many others. How do I know this mobile phone supports or belong the 3G, Edge, Gprs or which category. For instance, I use BlackBerry Curve 9300. Where do I classify it and do I know which of the above named it supports? I wolud appreciate with respect your response and education. Thank you. ruggedandmobile May 29, 2013 The spec sheet should tell you, all devices have a downloadable one. Samantha April 28, 2014 Hello. I’m curious to know,although i think i know i might be right,then again i could be wrong. So i saw someone saying that “H”(HSPA) uses more data than “E”(Edge) However,i don’t agree at all,i know the performance of “H” is faster than “E”(Edge) but i think the data usage remains the same as i think the only difference is the performance between “H’ and “E”. Would be nice to know. Thank you. Kind Regards, Samantha Greyling ruggedandmobile May 16, 2014 Hi Samantha, sorry for such a delay in replying to you. 2G (GPRS), 3G (HSDPA, HSPA etc) and 4G are simply the speed at which data can be read and written. So if you download a webpage that is a total of say 200KB then it’s 200KB regardless of whether you download it via 2G, 3G or even 4G or WiFi. It will just download faster on 3 or 4G than on GPRS. Now, i’m not sure about the absolute technicalities of how HSPA works. It could be that on a very low level it handles bits of data slightly differently and therefore might “waste” bandwidth but in layman’s terms the data should be the same on any network. Hope that helps.