3G is shorthand for “3rd generation,” and refers to a networking standard in cell phone technology that is capable of providing high-speed data service to mobile devices. As 3G wireless networks became more widespread, you could finally connect to and use the Internet at practical speeds (with a 3G-enabled smartphone), which far surpassed those of the previous generation of mobile phone technology (called 1X).
Verizon’s 3G network paved the way for a world that’s almost forgotten phones were once used merely for voice calls and text messaging. A world where it’s perfectly ordinary to download huge chunks of information to your phone from the Internet, to stream audio and video to people thousands of miles away, and to effortlessly, wirelessly pass large multimedia files to a co-worker.
Indeed, it was 3G that made smartphones truly feasible. In doing so, it changed the way millions of people communicate, and set the stage for even more advanced mobile technologies such as 4G.