Nearly There (2.5G)
Moving from the second to the third generation of wireless technology was not as simple as moving from 1G to 2G. The third generation would not be a shift in technology, but would have to be an improvement on the already existing technologies. This meant a slow, steady evolution, with a number of new technologies to keep the shift entertaining.
2.5G technologies are called so because they take the capabilities of a 2G network one step ahead, but still fall short of being labelled Third Generation (3G). This feature largely governs the current use of mobile telephony.
This generation of technology has seen the development of the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and its integration into the GSM network to provide an increased data transfer rate. It would use the unused TDMA time-slots in the network to transmit and receive data. In a GPRS network, one can browse the internet, send and receive multimedia content such as sound, movies and images at faster rates, and chat with friends using Instant Messaging.
Simultaneously, the CDMA2000 standard was developed, which increased the data transfer speeds on the CDMA network to 140 kbps. CDMA2000 networks are backward-compatible with the older cdmaOne networks.
The 2.5G technologies brought multimedia to our mobile phones, but the data transfer rates have still left a lot to be desired.