Second generation: A day in the life with 2G speed

Welcome to the ‘90s. Grunge rules, everyone wants “The Rachel” hairstyle and “Titanic” sinks the competition at the box office.

And, if you’re among the fraction of people who own a cellphone, it’s large, bulky and pretty much featureless. But what your cellphone can do is take advantage of the “second generation” mobile phone system, also known as 2G.

With 2G speed, you can send and receive text messages and download cool things like ringtones. Pretty awesome, right? Definitely amazing in the 1990s … but for today’s smartphone and tablet users, not so much.

Over the last 20+ years, wireless technology has evolved from 2G to 3G to 4G LTE, and the things you can do with your wireless device today were barely imaginable back then. While 2G continues to play an important role in machine-to-machine technology like fleet management and asset tracking, today’s smartphones have far surpassed their predecessors.

Imagine using 2G speeds versus 4G LTE speeds today in the following scenarios with your smartphone or tablet…

Scenario: Your boss needs a large presentation emailed to her in 5 minutes.

  • 4G LTE—No problem. It takes approximately 3.8 seconds to send a 5 MB File.
  • 2G—How current is your resume? Sending a 5 MB file could take more than 8 minutes.

Scenario: You just took the most awesome “selfie” and want to share via Instagram.

  • 4G LTE—Done before you can say “selfie.”
  • 2G—By the time this shows up on Instagram, it will qualify for Throwback Thursday.

Scenario: You are waiting at the airport and would love to catch your favorite show on your tablet.

  • 4G LTE—Grab the peanuts! It should take only about 7 seconds to start streaming.
  • 2G—Video? Seriously? Maybe that guy sitting next to you is on 4G LTE and will let you watch on his tablet.

For consumers wanting to take advantage of the full capabilities of their wireless devices, we can’t think of any good reason to send our smartphones back to the ‘90s and 2G speed; can you?