Also called Enhanced Data for Global Evolution and Enhanced Data GSM Environment, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is a mobile data network based on the time division multiple access (TDMA) structure. Made commercially available in 2001, EDGE was introduced to offer better data transfer rates compared to GPRS, and also make way for mobile applications that could not be used on GPRS.
Often called 2.75G, EDGE falls right between General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and 3G, and can work on devices that work on GPRS. It’s denoted as “E” in the notifications bar of a mobile device. EDGE has a maximum data transfer speed of 217 kbps, which makes it almost three times quicker than GPRS but only marginally faster compared to dial-up Internet access. The data speed is good enough for advanced data services – including music and video clips, video and picture messaging, email, etc.
Though EDGE is considered an official IMT-2000 (3G) family member, it is more an iteration or an enhanced version of 2G, and not a significant upgrade enough to be considered a whole new generation. 3G, in fact, was the mobile communications generation that succeeded 2G. Compared to GPRS, EDGE is significantly faster; however, it’s still not speedy enough for seamless web browsing.