3G technology and products
Third generation (3G) cellular communication chips and chipsets include a variety of emerging protocols and technologies, including UMTS chips and EDGE chips. The global standard, IMT-2000, was developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and aims to codify technical specifications for global 3G wireless technology. UMTS is an abbreviation for universal mobile telecommunications system. EDGE is an acronym for enhanced data rates for global revolution. GSM is an acronym for global system for mobile communications.
3G technology has enabled cell phones to evolve from simple communication devices to handheld computers capable of managing advanced video and audio applications. The promise of 3G wireless technology is to create a unified transmission standard for all mobile computing devices, enabling users to travel anywhere in the world and use their devices to surf the web and send email without conflicting communication protocols. 3G chips, UMTS chips and EDGE chips are an important part of this vision.
GSM standards have been the key digital wireless standard in Europe and Japan for the last several years. In the United States, several different standards have been used, resulting in spotty coverage in some areas and incompatible devices. Succeeding GSM technology is UMTS technology, which uses a 5 MHz channel carrier width to provide higher data rates than previous second generation chips. The UMTS chip or UMTS chipset is based on the wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) cellular network standard, and is currently used in mostly urban settings where its bit rate ranges from 384 kbps to 2 Mbps. UMTS chips and UMTS chipsets also offer integrated functionality, such as automatic roaming capability and security, making it a useful solution to businesses migrating from 2G technology to 3G technology.
The EDGE chip is considered to be an intermediate step between 2G technology and 3G technology – a step up from the GSM standard, but not quite the quality of a UMTS chip. EDGE technology is considered an enhancement of existing GSM networks and GPRS networks, providing up to three times the data capacity. EDGE technology and UMTS technology enables mobile service providers to deliver multimedia, high-speed Internet access, and email to customers.