Difference Between 2G and 2.5G

In the contemporary world, cellular phones play a very important in everyone’s life. When it comes to the technology of cellular phones they are mainly portrayed by generations. It is impossible to imagine a world without any cellular phone technology. 

Generation can be divided into many parts. For each generation, everything is different whether it is related to technology or features. If in the case upgrade of any version is not very noticeable, then it can be identified as half-steps. 2G and 2.5G are one of them. 

2G vs 2.5G 

The main difference between 2G and2.5G is that the 2G is digitalized version of 1G while 2.5G is the upgraded version of 2G. As 2.5G is half-steps more than 2G that’s why 2G is less in terms of speed than 2.5G. When it comes to web browsing, 2.5G supports only limited web browsing whereas 2G does not. 

2GVs 2.5G

2G or Second-generation wireless telephony technology was launched in 1991. It was launched to replace 1G technology which was a bit old-fashioned and did not fit perfectly for the upcoming generation. 2G provided benefits over their predecessors such as they were digitally encrypted, introduced data services, and considerable mobile phone penetration levels.  

2.5G or second and a half-generation were launched in 1991. It can be called transitional or midway between 2G and 3G networks. 2.5G was designed to make networks more suitable than what 2G provides. It is generally associated with GPRS (General Packet Radio Services). Because 2.5G is an upgraded version of 2G, they both are quite similar but vary in many terms. 

Comparison Table Between 2G and 2.5G 

Parameters of Comparison2G2.5G
Design began19801985
SecurityText encryptionEncryption
Data bandwidth14.4 kbps384 kbps
SpecialtyDigital version of 1GUpgraded version of 2G

What is 2G? 

2G or Second-generation wireless telephony technology. It is a cellular network that was launched on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) standard in the year of 1991. It was launched by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa Oyj) in Finland. The usual 2G technology was TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) which is based on GSM. 

2G technologies provide services to various networks such as SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), and picture messages. 2G offers a transfer speed of 40 kbit/s with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and 384 kbit/s transfer speed with EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution).  

When 2G was launched, it was applauded due to many reasons. To make batteries lasted longer it used digital signals rather than analog signals. Data and voice calls got security as 2G used digital encryption. As a result, only a deliberate recipient could receive a call or read text. 

On the denunciation of 2G, it is majorly dependent on the location of the towers. In digital signals, signals completely deform or cuts off because of their jagged nature. But if we terminate 2G services from the remote area too it could lead to 2G users’ vulnerable users with no means to access emergency contacts. 

What is 2.5G? 

2.5G or two-point half-generation or second and a half-generation. It is an upgraded version of 2G. The task to assemble a design for 2.5G began in 1985 and was finally launched in 1999. 2.5G was applauded in the market as it has slightly more features and advantages than 2G. 

2.5G technology came up with services to various networks such as SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), mobile games, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and search and directory. This uses the packet-switched network which is quite similar to the internet. With 2.5G technologies, this service got possible. 

2.5G is just an upgraded version of 2G technology. That’s why it uses the infrastructure such as transmitter of older 2G networks. In addition, it implements circuit switching data as well as packet switching data. But its browsing speed is limited as compared to 2G. When it comes to carrier frequency it is the same as 2G. 

2.5G can be called transitional or midway between 2G and 3G networks. As a result, it includes HSCSD (High-Speed Circuit Switched Data), EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System), and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). In the field of data rates, its maximum speed can go up to 384 kbps whereas it can be low as 20 kbps. 

Main Differences Between 2G and 2.5G 

  1. 2G only supports SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), and picture messages whereas 2.5G supports SMS, MMS, mobile games, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and search and directory.  
  2. 2G has the technology of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication). On the other hand, 2.5G have TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access).  
  3. When it comes to speed, 2G supports GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) in 40-50 kbps and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) in 500 kbps- 1 Mbps while 2.5G supports GPRS in 20-40 kbps and EDGE in 236.8-384 kbps.  
  4. In terms of the core network, 2G provides PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). On the flip side, 2.5G provides PSTN as well as a packet network. 
  5. When it comes to standards of 2G and 2.5G, 2G has GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication), iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network), and D-MPS (Dual Modular Power System). In contrast, 2.5G has GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution). 


In a world where it is impossible to live without any access to networks, cellular phones technology plays a major role. Every generation comes up with more new features and advantages over their predecessors. As the main motive of every upcoming generation is to fulfill the demands of users. 

2G and 2.5G are one of the generations. It can be said that 2G is the digitalized version of 1G whereas 2.5G is the upgraded version of 2G. They both are quite similar because 2.5G is only the half step of 2G as they both use the same infrastructure such as transmitters. But when it comes to benefits, 2.5G is more advantageous than 2G because 2.5G made possible packet-switched network which is similar to the internet. 


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Y-91Z3y-gokC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=2G&ots=XpR6tA-D77&sig=Mcg8J6CVRJsYBtay3TzXgPBUqrg
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Y-91Z3y-gokC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=2.5G&ots=XpR6tA-E26&sig=7bmwiw0yb6dbOXbKaKGkz7d43Y4
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