As the use of 2G phones became more widespread and people began to utilize mobile phones in their daily lives, it became clear that demand for data services (such as access to the internet) was growing. Furthermore, experience from fixed broadband services showed there would also be an ever increasing demand for greater data speeds. The 2G technology was nowhere near up to the job, so the industry began to work on the next generation of technology known as 3G. The main technological difference that distinguishes 3G technology from 2G technology is the use of packet switching rather than circuit switching for data transmission. In addition, the standardization process focused on requirements more than technology (2 Mbit/s maximum data rate indoors, 384 kbit/s outdoors, for example).
During the development of 3G systems, 2.5G systems such as CDMA2000 1x and GPRS were developed as extensions to existing 2G networks. These provide some of the features of 3G without fulfilling the promised high data rates or full range of multimedia services. CDMA2000-1X delivers theoretical maximum data speeds of up to 307 kbit/s. Just beyond these is the EDGE system which in theory covers the requirements for 3G system, but is so narrowly above these that any practical system would be sure to fall short.