what is EDGE?


2.75G also known as EDGE means Enhanced-Data-Rates-For-GSM-Evolution.

EDGE is an advanced super-set of the GSM network, it is implemented as an add-on enhancement, making an upgrade to its system easy.

It provides speeds of up to 236 Kbit/s (Kilobytes per second) with a theoretical maximum speed of 473.6 per second for 8-time slots.

It has an end-to-end latency of about 150ms (milliseconds) for four-time slots in packet mode.


Edge was first deployed in the United States in 2003 by AT&T (formerly named Cingular).

The technology introduced 8PSK (8 Phase-Key-Shifting) a sophisticated method of coding and transferring data.

This marked the end of GPRS and the beginning of EDGE.


The combination of an 8PSK encoding and Wideband-CDMA birthed a speed of 236.8Kbit/s downlink and 59.2Kbit/s uplink which is about thrice the speed of GPRS.


EDGE gives higher bit rates per radio channel delivering an increased capacity and performance three times more compared to GSM or GPRS.

This gives it the ability to handle three to four times more traffic than GPRS. EDGE is used for internet connection and any packet switched application.

The symbol rate for EDGE is 270.833 samples per second with each symbol carrying three bits namely EDGE, EGPRS, and IMT-SC (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution, Enhanced General Packet Radio Service, and International Mobile Telecommunications- Single Carrier).

The combination of the above provides better data transmission rates and an extension on top of standard GSM.

Although EDGE came in the Pre 3G era, The I.T.U(International Telecommunication Union) officially defined it as a 3G technology and was accepted as part of the IMT-2000 family of 3G standards.


iPhone and a hello coffee mug
Coffee mug and an iPhone




  • EDGE was first initially introduced in the USA by Cingular (AT&T) in 2003
  • It reached maximum speeds of 236.8Kbps downlink and 59.2Kbps uplink networks
  • It uses 8PSK Encoding (higher order PSK or 8 Phase- Shift Keying)
  • EDGE is an enhanced add-on and works only on GSM
  • The symbol for EDGE is E


In general, GSM technology introduced digital modulation and packet switching which widened the paths to higher-speed connections.

Other packet-based data protocols such as GPRS and EDGE built on top of 2G networks earned informal names, GPRS was called 2.5G and EDGE, 2.75G.

GSM introduced many of the fundamental services we currently use such as SMS, International Roaming, Voice Conference calls, on-the-spot billing, WAP browsing, etc.


Cell Tower


The 2G GSM networks sure became the base architecture for future technologies. Similarly, the next Generations were built upon this structure and modified with added or removed elements and functionalities.

Even with the rise of newer technologies, 2G’s GSM and CDMA are still retained as a widely used fallback service for phone calls and SMS in most parts of many continents like Africa, Europe, North and South America, in rural areas especially.


As you may sometimes notice whenever the signal is lost on a road trip around Rural areas, 2G comes to the rescue if available.

It is undoubtedly an essential network for the vulnerable in the core Rural areas where the latest technologies have not yet been deployed.

At least, it serves for basic phone calls and SMS which are very essential communication channels during emergencies.

After about 10 years of enjoying the 2G networks, it evolved and gave entrance to 3G in 1998.