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3G stands for 3rd generation. The objective of the 3G of wireless communication is to provide fairly high speed wireless communications. Applications targeted include multimedia, data, and video in addition to voice. The ITU's IMT-2000 initiative has defined the ITU's view of 3G capabilities as mentioned below; 3G is the successor to 1G and 2G systems. 1G was launched with the introduction of AMPS network in 1980. 2G was introduced with the launch of CDMA and GSM in 1990.

3G As mentioned in the figure 3G covers EGDE,EGPRS,WCDMA,HSPA,HSPA+ and CDMA2000 technologies.

-Voice quality comparable to PSTN.
-144kbps data rate available to users in vehicles moving at high speed.
-384kbps data rate to pedestrians standing or moving at low speed.
-symmetrical data rate and asymmetrical one.
-support packet switched and circuit switched services.
-flexibility for future expansion of new services and technologies.
3GPP (3rd generation partnership project) was formed in 1998. It is successor to GSM and it has been formed to proliferate 3G networks. Hence 3G technologies are somewhat similar to legacy technologies with enhancement in speed. 3GPP technologies evolved as follows.
- GPRS system of 114 Kbps
- EDGE system with speed up to 384 Kbps
-UMTS WCDMA with speed limited to 1.92 Mbps for downlink side
-HSDPA with speed limited to 14Mbps
-E-UTRA with speeds up to 100 Mbps.
To achieve transition from CDMA 2000 to 3G, 3GPP2 has been formed. 3GPP2 include EVDO and UMB technologies.

4G technologies basically extension of 3G technologies such as LTE is evolved from 3GPP and UMB is evolved from 3GPP2. Hence it is difficult to tell which technologies fall under 3G and which one under 4G. All the future broadband mobile technologies are referred as IMT-Advanced, which is also known popularly as 4G.

RELATED LINKS on 3G technologies

CDMA Tutorial
Multicarrier CDMA
GPRS tutorial

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