Glossary definition of Second Generation

Also known as: 2G

2G (Second Generation) is the generic term used to refer to the second generation of wireless mobile telephone networks, which were the first to feature purely digital technology. As demands for the quality and quantity of mobile communication services increased, 2G systems were the logical next stage in the evolution from the 1G (first generation) analogue systems.

Typical characteristics of 2G include roaming, better high-bit-rate voice quality, improved security with different levels of encryption, the ability to convey some data (e.g. SMS) as well as speech, and a wider selection of subscriber services.

Examples of the major second generation digital mobile telephony systems are: GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) in Europe, IS-95 (CDMAone) and IS-136 (D-AMPS / TDMA) in the USA, and PDC (Personal Digital Cellular) in Japan.