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2nd-generation (2G) refers to the initial group of wireless technology standards that were digital instead of analog (1G).

Digital increased capacity significantly over analog, permitting many more people to use the same base station (tower) at one time.

2G offers both data and voice, but unlike 2.5G or 3G standards, transferring data over a 2G involves a "data call", which uses as much network capacity as any other call, and uses that capacity for the duration of the connection, regardless of whether data is being transmitted at any one moment.

Newer 2.5G and 3G standards are much faster for data, and only use network capacity when data is actively being transmitted.

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