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A G is a generation.

Within each of those generations there are various competingh


standards, and various "half step" improvements.

There is also a lot of marketing spin.

 1G = analog
Examples include NMT, AMPS, TACS, etc
This did not do data.
 2G = digital, voice
Examples include GSM, D-AMPS, PDC
2.5G added data (GPRS)

2.75G faster data (EDGE)

Data rates from 9.6Kbps (GPRS) to 200Kbps (2.75G)


 3G = digital, supported data, but still circuit switched
WCDMA, EvDO
Includes data but still onto circuit switched architecture

3.5G faster data, added true always-on / packet data (HSPA)

Data rates of 2Mbps-tens of Mbps

NB The USA and few other places had a rival technology ("CDMA"). IS95,
EvDO.
That was marketed as 3G when it was launched, but initially was probably
closer to 2.5G and then upgraded to 3G with the EvDO upgraded.
 4G = wireless broadband
OFDMA, flat architecture, true packet switched
Pure data: voice as VoIP (VoLTE)
Most people say this is LTE & WiMAX, (though some people are waiting for an
upgrade to LTE-A, based on a rather silly data rate definition).

4.5G term not widely used but some people say that is LTE-A

Data rates of Tens of Mbps - Hundreds of Mbps


 5G = not yet defined
Much faster. Likely to be real ~2020
Being argued about now in standards bodies.
Will likely be an extension of 4G but with higher data rates & better support for
IoT
Data rates of “1Gbps” are proposed