Difference Between 3G and HSDPA (With Table)

Nowadays the internet and mobile communication are essential parts of our daily lives. At each and every moment we need to depend on the technologies for communication with our colleagues or friends etc. After going through developments, the internet speed also has been modified by developers. 3G is a modified version of the 2G network.


The main difference between 3G and HSDPA is that HSDPA is a modified version of 3G. That’s why HSDPA is also known as 3G+ or 3.5G or Turbo 3G. As HSDPA is an advanced version of 3G, the former one (HSDPA) is faster than the latter (3G).


As the name depicts, 3G is the third generation of mobile technology. It was upgraded over 2G, 2.5G, GPRS and 2.75G EDGE networks. The main goal was to provide a better and faster network. It can provide both types of data (voice and non-voice) at the speed of three megabytes(Mb) per second.

The full form of HSDPA is High-Speed Downlink Packet Access. It is one kind of packet-based protocol network that allows data rates up to 14.4 Mbit/s in the downlink. It provides higher data speed and capacity than 3G networks. HSPA is made upon HSDPA. It is also used in radio networks to speed up transfer rates.

Comparison Table Between 3G and HSDPA

Parameter of Comparison3GHSDPA
Definition3G is the third generation of network with higher bandwidth for web-based applications and video.HSDPA is a modified version of 3G and also a packet-based mobile telephonic protocol.
PurposeTo modify and increase data capacity of 2G type networks.To speed up downlink of 3G type networks.
Data Rates3 megabits per second (Mbps).up to 14.4 Mbit/s in the downlink.
Network ArchitectureThe 3G system consists of two main parts: the User Equipment (UE) and the UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN).HSDPA is an enhanced 3G mobile telephone communications protocol. Release 99 UTRAN architecture.
Advantages Data transfer rate is faster than 2G.
Non-voice data, i.e. , multimedia services are available.
Easy access to the internet.
Supports higher spectrum efficiency in units of data/MHz
Provide higher data speed usually 14.4 Mbps in indoor DAS systems.

What is 3G?

3G is an advanced version of 2G network which provides higher network speed than 2G and it also has many more advantages like 3G has the ability to provide a stable network connection for both voice and non-voice data types including calls, web browsing, videos and audios in mails. 3G is widely used in IoT as it can work indoors and outdoors. More bandwidth, security, and reliability is provided by 3G type networks.

The main advantage of 3G is that users can access the internet from anywhere. It works as a wireless broadband and it’s really good for data-intensive applications. As mentioned earlier, it can be used for accessing non-voice data, users will get uninterrupted video streaming on their device. It is faster than the previous versions of mobile technology. But there are some requirements to use the 3G network on mobile phones as the device must be compatible with 3G connection.

3G helps you download faster, stream live videos and video conferences. It is much better than 2G. It is quite effective and widespread over the previous technology. Signal strength is much better and varies depending upon which device users are using. The main point to keep in mind is that as the technology is developing rapidly, it will not be the fastest network for a very long time. 

What is HSDPA?

HSDPA is short form of High Speed Downlink Packet Access. It is called as downlink packet access because it is a packet based mobile technology protocol and it is also used to increase the data capacity of networks and transfer rate. Like a 3G connection HSDPA also allows users to transmit voice and data without interruptions through their mobile phones. It is mainly used in 3G UMTS radio networks for high speed features. Sometimes it is called 3.5G, 3G+ or Turbo 3G.

In this method users can get a high speed download rate and the less the pipe is occupied in HSDPA, the more the user can access the internet and enjoy high speed data transfer. It is an efficient method to allocate dedicated pipes to users. It can be said that HSDPA is a collection of adaptive modulation and coding, fast transmissions with incremental redundancy and fast scheduling processes.

The speed provided by this method is the same as ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). There are many different products that are using HSDPA technology. With uninterrupted connections users can get a high speed network to do different kinds of activities on their mobile such as music download, video games, conference, broadcast television etc.

Main Differences Between 3G and HSDPA

  1. HSDPA is faster and better than 3G. Because HSDPA is a modified version of 3G itself.
  2. The latency provided by HSDPA is also better than any other previous versions including 3G.
  3. To improve the network type and to develop HSPA connection also HSDPA is used. HSDPA significantly enhanced the third generation (3G) cellular telecommunication system.
  4. Mobile phones having the feature of using 3G connection might not be reliable to use HSDPA because it will need advanced features to use the modified connectivity.
  5. 3G provides 3 Mbps whereas HSDPA has the speed of 14.4 Mbps.


HSDPA and 3G both are network types used in mobile phones and allows networks based on the UMTS to have higher data speeds and capacity. HSDPA is mainly based on 3G connection. It is a modified version of 3G and provides a faster network than 3G. HSDPA is an additional feature of 3G that provides higher speed downlink data rates specifically for packet switched services.

The 3G UMTS transport channels include – dedicated transport channel, broadcast channel, forward access channel and random access channel etc. In conclusion, HSDPA is an enhanced 3G mobile telephone communication protocol that provides high speed data.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4288758/
  2. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/4702