2G, 3G and 4G explained

The difference between 2G, 3G and 4G


2G is short for ‘2nd Generation wireless telephone technology’. 2G lets you send text and picture messages and has some internet capabilities. Because we only sell Smartphones, all our phones work better on 3G than 2G.

Sometimes, if you look at your mobile phone or smartphone, you might notice either a letter E or G. This means that your phone is currently using 2G speeds.

The ‘G’ stands for GPRS, which gives you slow, dial up modem speeds when you're trying to use data or the Internet. The ‘E’ stands for 'enhanced', and your Internet will work a little faster than when it's on G.


3G (or 3rd Generation) allows video calls and provides faster internet. 3G uses your mobile phone signal, so the quality of your internet connection will depend on your location. On your phone, you'll see either ‘3G’, ‘H’ or ‘H+’ to show that you're on 3G.


4G (or 4th Generation) enables even faster connections for mobiles. 4G internet speeds are five times faster than 3G, meaning web access, downloads and streaming services are incredibly quick. To use 4G you need a 4G compatible phone and you need to live in an area with 4G phone signal.

Can I get 4G on Talkmobile?

To be able to use 4G, you need a 4G compatible phone and need to be in an area with 4G phone signal. Most of the handsets we offer are not 4G ready because we focus on offering you best value. Moreover we are not yet able to offer nationwide 4G coverage.

Although we don’t currently offer 4G services, we hope to soon, and you'll find that more and more of the phones we sell will be ‘4G-ready’.

What are the charges for using data?

Most of our price plans provide a data allowance of 500MB, 1GB, 2GB or 3GB. Any internet connectivity will be covered by these data allowances up to these amounts. 2G and 3G data usage is charged at the same rate (per MB and GB).

To find out how much you'll be charged for data once you've exceeded your monthly data allowance, click on your your plan on our plan page and take a look at data charges.

To see charges for using data abroad, take a look at our using data abroad (roaming) charges.

Check Talkmobile signal in your area

If you're unsure whether or not you'll be able to get Talkmobile signal in your area, enter your post code in our signal checker to see what Talkmobile signal is like near you.