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5

Knowledge Base

2G, 3G and 4G/LTE

You probably have read a lot about 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE already. In the wireless scouting camera world, we will try to make it easier for you. Let's start from 2G. 2G signifies second generation wireless digital technology. We always use GSM wireless scouting camera to indicate it's a 2G device. 

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile communications. GSM is considered a 2G protocol. It is the system that AT&T and T Mobile uses in the United States and associated with the cameras that use SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards. GSM has the advantage of using SIM card in the US. Sprint, Virgin Mobile and Verizon Wireless use the competing CDMA standard. The SIM card, which acts as your digital identity, is tied to your wireless service carrier’s network rather than to the camera itself. This allows for easy exchange from one camera to another without new service activation.

When we enter the 3G world, things become a little bit complicated. 3G is the third generation of mobile standards and technology. 3G supersedes 2G technology and precedes 4G technology. 3G technologies have enabled faster data transmission speeds, greater network capacity and more advanced network services. UMTS-HSPA is the world’s leading 3G technology. Different carrier may use different 3G technology. In US, AT&T and T-Mobile use UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System). UMTS uses WCDMA and HSPA. Wideband CDMA (WCDMA) is the radio technology used in UMTS. As a result, the terms UMTS and WCDMA are often used interchangeably.

Virizon and Sprint use CDMA2000. CDMA2000 is a code-division multiple access (CDMA) version of the IMT-2000 standard developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The CDMA2000 standard is a 3G mobile technology. CDMA2000 devices are activated remotely, by the carrier, using the camera's MEID number. Since each carrier has a database of all the MEIDs that are approved for its network, this lets most CDMA carriers refuse to activate cameras not originally intended for their network.

In the U.S., CDMA2000 and GSM are currently the competing cellular phone standards. They are about equal in the U.S. in terms of users; but, internationally, 85% of the mobile users employ GSM.

None of the scotuing cameras utilize the 4G/LTE technology right now.