Why is 3G slow?

I remember if you had 3G you had ‘it made in the shade’. Now I am talking Verizon’s lovely network here, but would like to know other’s experience. Once LTE came about it seems like 3G does not work like it use to.

Did Verizon slow down/ divert resources from the older 3G network to allow a faster LTE? or did things just get more data intensive requiring a faster LTE speed. I highly doubt the latter as things seemed to fly on 3G, and now 3G seems the equivalent of 3x (2G?) or 1x (1G?).

I’m unsure about any specifics for Verizon’s network, but in general for carriers there has been resource reduction of 3G in favor of LTE. Carriers are limited by the frequencies they are able to lease from the government, so when they add something new, they either have to get more frequencies–but the government doesn’t make new stuff available all that often–or move things around.

If you’re familiar with WiFi (or even ISDN, back in the day) you might be familiar with multi-channel bonding, getting higher bandwidth by using multiple channels at the same time. As they reduce the channels for 3G by giving them to 4G, you stop being able to do that, and thus, slower speeds. Also, you’re more likely to get congested if there are higher numbers of 3G phones on the same tower.

1G and 2G are only for voice IIRC.

GSM (2G ) always had data, eg SMS’s are sent via data, and you could make a GPRS connection for data.

3G has HSDPA , which could allow 300 Megabits per second, but often carriers only implemented 3 megabits per second…

And with more and more devices around, eg trucks with GPS location sending, and so on, many are still on HSDPA… while the carriers can’t be bothered to upgrade 3G while they are rolling out 4G… and they want to recover 2G’s bandwidth for 4G use… they’ll just let 3G be a lesser service… there’s going to be a bandwidth crisis at some point… if everyone uses non-directional antenna for transmitting, the bandwidth gets used up…

IME if you have an LTE phone and it falls back to 3G, you’re just in an area of weak signal and it’s having difficulty transmitting/receiving anything.