3G Vs 4G - Which is Better?

Pros and Cons of the 3G and 4G Networks

Cell tower

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Most mobile phones and smartphones still run the 3G network, both for voice and data access. 3G is also used by some of the biggest carriers and, in spite of the advent of 4G, still, manages to retain its popularity.​​

4G, which has also become the standard for wireless communication, also has its share of loyal customers in some pockets of the world. While 3G itself is very fast, 4G is already said to be 3-4 times faster. 5G will likely replace both of them soon enough.

Of course, like everything else, both the 3G and 4G networks have their pros and cons. Here is a detailed analysis of 3G vs 4G.

This article is here primarily for archival purposes. 3G is a legacy technology, and 4G is the most widely available wireless standard with 5G making its debut.

3G Networks


  • 3G offers much faster data transfers (than 2G), up to speeds as high as 2Mbps.

  • Developers can use this network to create maps and use positioning services (GPS), which are regularly accessed by the population.

  • This network also offers powerful multimedia services. Using such services allows for the development of apps such as online billing systems, video conferencing and so on.

  • Those wishing to develop visual voicemail apps will do very well to work on the 3G network.

  • 3G is a preferred platform for many popular mobile phone games, especially those which contain graphics and animation.

  • Advanced developers can also develop apps for mobile TV, IM and video chatting, as 3G supports all these and much more.


  • Because subscribing to 3G networks is expensive (compared to 2G), you should understand that your clientele, though exclusive, will be limited in number. Most users prefer not to use 3G, as its cost deters them. There will still be 3G users to purchase your apps, but they will not be a concentrated part of the population. However this price is expected to decline as 3G grows, 2 G shrinks and 4 G emerges.

  • Also, though 3G users have the facility of enjoying video conferencing sessions with other 3G customers, they may not do too much more than that. So early sales of 3G apps may remain low-scale.

  • 3G, though available in most parts of the world today, still has to catch on in some nations. Users in these locations may opt for other types of network.

4G networks


  • 4G offers is very good for advanced mobile services such as video and movie streaming. This offers much higher speed than 3G or WiFi.

  • Unlike WiFi, 4G has far expanded coverage and hence, offers more or less constant connectivity.

  • Users, especially business users, are more likely to use 4G, as it offers them more security than WiFi. This enhances safety and privacy of data.

  • You can choose from wide payment options. If you are renting 4G equipment, you can choose from among many pay-as-you-go plans.

  • Many companies are introducing low-cost 4G introductory offers. You can avail whichever suits you the best.


  • Though 4G coverage is expanding rapidly, it still is not available in many locations of the world.

  • Though 4G offers great quality connectivity, it is still in the formative stages and could result in bugs or glitches.

  • You will have to purchase a wireless modem or take it on rent. This is available at reasonable rates, though.

Final Verdict


  • Fast enough for plenty of uses.

  • Wider spread availability.

  • Supported by older devices.

  • May be more stable.


  • Considerably faster.

  • Better for data intensive tasks, like streaming video.

  • Wider range.

  • Improved security.

In conclusion, both 3G and 4G networking have a great deal to offer in terms of speed and quality. 4G technology has caught on and has become the primary connectivity technology, Go with 4G until 5G becomes prevalent.