Video 3G can be described as the third generation of wireless technologies. It comes with improvements over former wireless technologies, for instance, high-speed transfers, advanced multimedia access and global roaming. It is mainly is use in cell phones and handsets as a way to connect mobile phones to the Internet or other IP networks to make voice and video calls, download and upload data and to browse the internet.
Video 3G follows a string of G's that began in the beginning of the 1990's by the ITU. The pattern is a wireless initiative known as the International Mobile Communications 2000. Video 3G therefore comes right after 2G and 2.5G, the second generation technologies. 2G technologies consist of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) - the renowned cell phone technology we use today, among many others. The 2.5G brings standards that are halfway between 2G and 3G, including the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and others. The first pre-commercial 3G network was launched by NTT in Japan on 1998, branded as the FOMA. It was first available in early May 2001 as a test release of the W-CDMA technology. The first commercial release of Video 3G was also by NTT DoCoMo of Japan, on the 1st of October, 2001, albeit still somewhat limited in reach at the beginning as wider availability of the system was delayed by obvious concerns on its reliability.
A new generation of mobile phone and video standards has materialized almost every tenth year ever since 1G systems were launched in the early 80s. Each generation is branded by fresh frequency bands, faster data speeds and non-backwards, compatible transfer technology. The first launch of the 3GPP Long Term Evolution standard does not completely comply with the ITU four not backwards compatible with 3G, but is a pre-4G or 3.9G technology, however occasionally branded as "4G" by service providers. Its evolution, "LTE Advanced" is a fourth generation technology. WiMAX is another technology verging on or marketed as 4G. Video 3G networks have the advantage of being available on the move, unlike Wi-Fi, which is limited to a few meters around the main router. So a user with a 3G phone and a 3G data plan is very well suitable for making free-of-cost mobile phone calls. They will only have to download any one of the many available free apps and install it on their cell phones and begin making video calls.
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Video 3G technology was slow to be adopted all over the world. For example, video 3G networks do not use the same radio frequencies as 2G so mobile operators were required to build new networks from scratch and license entirely new frequencies, specially so to achieve high data transfer rates. Other delays were because the costs of updating transmission equipment, especially for UMTS, whose use required the replacement of most broadcast towers. Due to these problems and hitches with placement, many carriers were not able to, or delayed acquirement of these new capabilities.