2G cell Phones: 2G stands for Second Generation Wireless Telephone Technology. 2G networks were analog but its predecessor 1G networks were analog. 2G technology came with text messaging (SMS) capabilities.
3G cell Phones: 3G is the third generation of mobile phone technology provides a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. This technology also offers wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Also includes HSPA data transmission capabilities able to deliver speeds up to 14.4Mbit/s on the downlink and 5.8Mbit/s on the uplink.
Internet: Internet is a "network of networks" that consists of millions networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked web pages and other resources of the World Wide Web. Internet can be accessed in both wired and wireless environment. IEEE 802.11 is a standard for WLAN. The term 802.11b and Wi-Fi are often used interchangeably. IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi or WLAN) networks are short range, high-bandwidth networks primarily developed for data communication.
In the following prospective 2G, 3G and Internet are same:
- All are wireless technologies
- Both offer broadband data service
In the following prospective 2G and 3G, and Internet are different:
- From the users prospective 2G is for voice communication with some messaging service, 3G is mostly voice and then data service and Internet is mostly for data communication service with voice capability.
- 2G/3G and Internet’s network structure is different.
- Current business models/deployments are different. 3G services provided by Mobile operators where as WiFi provided by data communications industry or we can say it’s a byproduct of the internet industry.
- Spectrum policy and management: (2G and 3G use licensed spectrum but Internet uses unlicensed shared spectrum. This has important implications for (1) cost of service; (2) quality of service (QoS) and congestion management; and (3) industry structure.)
- 3G offers better support for secure/private communications than others.
- 3G has a relatively small family of internationally sanctioned standards, collectively referred to as IMT-
- 2000.36. In contrast, Wireless Internet is one of the families of continuously evolving 802.11x wireless Ethernet standards, which is itself one of many WLAN technologies that are under development.
- Getting license for 3G is difficult than 2G.
- 3G is more developed than WiFi as a business and service model.
All of them have some advantages and disadvantages. 2G requires lower powered radio signals and consumes less battery power, so phones last much longer. 2G (without GPRS) is not much capable for data service. 3G is very reliable in voice communication with a wide range of more advanced services with improved spectral efficiency. But data communication with 3G phones is expensive comparing to general internet service. It consumes more power than 2G cell phones and it is not fully IP-based integrated system. Internet is basically for data communication with some voice communication capabilities. Of course, it is less expensive than the general telephony but still internet is not preferred for the voice communication.