Enhanced Data for Global Evolution.
An upgrade for 2G GSM/GPRS networks that tripled data rates (speed) over standard GPRS.
Although many EDGE phones and devices are theoretically capable of up to 236 Kbps, most EDGE networks were only configured to allow up to 135 Kbps, to conserve spectrum resources. Real-world data rates are usually lower than the maximum.
Because it was based on existing GSM / GPRS 2G technology, EDGE was an easy way for network operators to boost 2G data speeds before investing in 3G technology.
Although EDGE works at a low level within the GSM standard that includes voice, the main benefit is to increase GPRS data rates. GPRS operating over EDGE is called EGPRS.
Although EDGE is faster than GPRS, it is not as fast as 3G technologies such as HSDPA and EVDO.