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What do the symbols next to my signal strength indicator mean?
When looking at your mobile phone you may have noticed some letters and numbers next to your signal strength indicator. Here's a brief overview of what these symbols mean.
- G – Referred to as second generation (2G) mobile technology, G stands for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). It is the slowest and oldest form of data connectivity (providing up to 114Kbits per second) and is typically only used if the phone can't find anything faster due to interference or location issues.
- E – The letter E stands for EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), which is also known as Enhanced GPRS. This technology lies somewhere in between 2G and 3G technology, providing typical speeds between 120Kbits and 384Kbits per second.
- 3G – 3G stands for third generation and offers double the performance of EDGE, providing data transfer rates of between 384Kbits per second and 2Mbits per second.
- H – H stands for HSPA (High Speed Packet Access). It is an enhanced form of 3G technology, providing higher data transfer rates than the basic 3G. HSPA boasts potential speeds of between 600Kbits per second and 10Mbits per second.
- 4G – Covering 98% of the UK, 4G is now the standard data connection type. Offering speeds of up to 100Mbits per second, but generally speaking at 40Mbits per second, 4G connection can work as good as, if not better than, a Wi-Fi (WiFi) connection.
- 5G – Now covering a large portion of the UK, 5G – which stands for fifth generation. Offering speeds of up to 750Mbits per second, but generally speaking at 130Mbits per second, 5G connection can work better than most home broadband and Wi-Fi (WiFi) connections.