Meaning Of 2G, 3G, E, H, H+, 4G, G. In The Mobile Internet Signal Bar‎

Gone are the days when mobile phones were used mainly for voice calls. Now mobile phones have become smart and millions of people are using internet through their smartphones. In different countries, the quality and speed of mobile Internt differs depending upon the progress of telecom industry.


In your Android smartphone, the strength of mobile Internet signal is shown using alphabet letters G,E,2G,3G,H and 4G near the signal bar.

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of these symbols/letters? Well, today I will tell you about the meaning of letters G,E,2G,3G,H and 4G in the context of the mobile Internet.



Letter G stands for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). It indicates the slowest speed of internet data transfer in your mobile phone. When you see G near your signal strength indicator, it is certain that your net connection is working at the slowest speed.

GPRS is considered to be the second generation (2G) mobile technology. It is the slowest and oldest among all mobile tecnologies. It is mainly good enough for sending text messsges using apps like WhatsApp. Data rates in GPRS are between 56 and 114Kbit/second


Letter E stands for EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) . It is also called Enhanced GPRS. This technology lies somewhere in between 2G and 3G technology. So, some people refer to it as 2.5G.

EDGE is faster that GPRS but still not good enough to browse the internet. It takes lot of time in loading websites when your signal bar is showing E letter alongside. Typically EDGE provides a data rate of 400 Kbits/second but in ideal conditions data rate of up to 1 Mbit/second can also be achieved. This technology also lies somewhere in between 2G and 3G. Those who call GPRS as 2.5 G, they refer EDGE as 2.75G.

3G means the third generation of mobile telephone technology. It uses the Universal Mobile Telecommunication Sytsem and is based on GSM Standards.

Typically 3g provides data transfer rates 384 kbit/second. But depending upon how it is implemented on various networks, the date rate can go up to 42 Mbits/second.

Usually 3G is faster than EDGE and you can easily browse websites and stream music

H stands for HSPA (High speed Packet Access). It is an enhanced form of 3G technology. HSPA provides higher data transfer rates than the basic 3G. HSPA can provide peak data rates of up to 14 Mbit/s for downlink and 5.76 Mbit/s for up uplink.
High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a further enhanced version of HSPA. HSDPA supports download speed of up to 99.3 Mbit/s.

When you see letter H near the signal bar in your mobile phone, you can stream music and even Youtube Videos without much interruption, But if you want to download a movie, it is going to take a very long time!


This is enhanced HSPA. It is faster than basic HSPA (as explained above). Relatively speedier data transfer in H+ will make your video to download or stream much more smoothly. At present 4G technology is not widely available. So, in most parts of the world, HSPA+ is the fastest speed you can get through mobile internet.

WCDMA is also a 3G technology. It stands for Wide-band Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Interestingly, this technology is actually used in the GSM systems. WCDMA in GSM increases the data transmission speed by using the air interface of CDMA. International Telecommunications Union has adopted WCDMA.

If you see 4G near a signal bar in your mobile phone, you’re lucky! It means you are using the fastest mobile internet connection available on the globe at present

4G is the fourth generation of mobile technology. It is also called LTE (Long Term Evolution) . 4G connection works as good as a wi-fi connection of your home or office. With such connection you can do everything on your mobile that you can do on your desktop.

Just to round it all up, the bars in signal indicator show the strength or quality of the signal you’re getting at your present location. Also, mobile phone makers often use a dull colour (like gray) to show weak/absent signal and a bright colour (like green and blue) to show good signal.

Tiny arrows in the signal bar show that the data transfer is taking place. The radar like icon shows the wi-fi connection


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