How Long has 3G Been Around?

Home Security Tips

3G technology has been around for more than 20 years, having been released in 2001, but is expected to be phased out sometime after 2022.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • What 3G is
  • The history of 3G technology
  • The phasing out of 3G
  • The future of wireless technology

Wondering if your security system will still work with 3G? Call us at 800.552.1111 or contact us online. Our security experts are ready to answer your questions about 3G and help you upgrade your home or business to newer technology.


What is 3G?

3G is the third generation (G) of mobile technology. Like other cellular networks, 3G networks use radio frequencies to transmit data and voice signals from cell towers to wireless devices like smartphones, smart home devices and so on.

Learn more about the difference between 3G and newer technologies in our blog, “3G vs. 4G vs. 5G: What’s the Difference?


The history of 3G technology

3G networks were first introduced in 2001, which enabled the widespread use of the wireless technology that we know today. That said, 3G couldn’t have been created without the framework developed for earlier technologies starting in the 1970s.

To give you an idea of how wireless technology has advanced with each generation, we’ll compare 3G to previous generations:



Release Date


What it enabled



Up to 2.4 Kbps (kilobits/second) 

  • Voice transmission for early mobile phones



Up to 384 Kbps

  • Better quality voice transmission
  • Data transmission that made text and image messaging popular



Up to 42 Mbsp (megabits/second)

  • Video streaming
  • Web browsing
  • Wireless (cellular-based) security systems—which are more secure than the landline security systems that existed before


As progressive as 3G was, it didn’t take long for more advanced technologies—like 4G and 5G—to take its place.


Phasing out of 3G

As technology evolves, it gets faster and more reliable. But with this evolution also comes infrastructure changes, including changing radio frequencies and modifying cellular towers to support the new technologies.

Cellular towers are being upgraded to support the expanding 4G and the new 5G technologies, meaning the towers soon won’t be able to support 3G’s outdated technology.

Learn more about 3G phasing out and how it impacts your security system in our blog “Will 3G Work in 2021? When is 3G going away?


The future of wireless technology

With each new generation of wireless technology comes new higher-frequency signals, more reliable connections and faster speeds.

4G made its appearance in 2009, bringing speeds up to 100 Mbps, and provided faster download speeds, less latency (lagging) and better quality voice transmission than 3G.

The next big thing? 5G.

5G is the latest and greatest wireless technology to date. Introduced in 2019, 5G boasts speeds up to 1 Gbps (gigabits per second), giving users even faster speeds, more reliable connections and even lower latency than 4G.

Learn more about why you need 5G on our blog.


Ackerman Security is ready to help

Our alarm and monitoring services depend on WiFi and cellular networks to keep our customer’s homes and businesses safe and secure. Since 3G is phasing out soon, newer technology (like 5G) will soon be here to replace it.

At Ackerman Security, our security experts are ready to help our customers make the switch from 3G to better protect their home and business. Call 800.552.1111 or contact us online for a free quote.

For more details on our security services, check our home security systems page or business security systems page.

Recent articles and publications on home security