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Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by derf, Dec 20, 2002.
whats the difference????
and why does Sprint get all the cool phones first
The technology is the same. Both use CDMA (Qualcomm's CDMA One (is-95) and CDMA 2000 (1xrtt)).
PCS is a radio frequency. Verizon uses frequencies from both cellular (800Mhz) and PCS (1900Mhz). Sprint only uses the PCS frequency. However when using PCS spectrum, network design requires more cell sites to cover capacity needs over the same geographical area served by cellular (or 800Mhz). So the task on increasing coverage and capacity can be expensive and time consuming.
The only reason Sprint is "all-PCS" is because they only purchased PCS licenses to create their company. There are some advantages to PCS, but the biggest advantage to PCS is that licenses have been easier to obtain (either through auction or aquisition) which offers the spectrum/capacity that is needed by carriers.
Sprint often has alot of the cool phones first...but that is because their device testing is not as rigid as Verizon's. Verizon tends to focus on quality first, then flash. (Kinda like your mom wants to make sure that your cool new winter coat will also keep you warm). Sprint also has a higher return rate on phones than most carriers. Don't get me wrong, not all of their phones are busts or bad quality. But often from a business standpoint it makes sense to invest in manufacturers that can meet Verizon's quality standards first, then go after aesthetics.
Verizon has terrible testing standards. The reason that Verizon doesn't get the cool phones is because they only get things that they can get good deals on and only purchase from certain manufacturers. Verizon's attitude is we're special so you'll do what we want and they are in the position to demand things. Sprint works better with manufacturers.
PCS does have less range than cellular, but it's not as dramatic as people make it out to be. PCS licences have been easire to get since there are more of them. Most importantly, PCS providers don't have to maintain analog service which means that there is more airspace available to digital customers (granted one company might own x ammount more MHz of airspace than another and therefore, even with analog taking up some might still have more).
Basically, Verizon has better coverage. Keep in mind that although PCS does cut down the range a bit, it offers much better battery life than cellular. Kinda have to decide between the phones/battery life or the coverage.
Let me guess, you work for Sony-Erricsson or Nokia and are upset we don't carry your phones????
Verizon has cool phones, they just don't release anything and everything because it is cool. Trust me...a lot of more handsets come through testing from manufacturers whose equipment is sold regularly in Verizon stores that can't cut the mustard in testing. People return their broken phone to the carrier, not the manufacturer. You hope to minimize that as much as possible.
And how do you base Verizon's testing standards anyway? Verizon has one of the lowest handset return rates in the industry.
And if you are going to choose between coverage (a significant difference) and battery(which is insignificant) ...you will need that extra battery life so your phone lasts long enough for you to find a place you can complete your call!!!
I like Verizon't selection of phones. I would have a VX10 if it got better battery life. Everyone I talk to says that they think that every other carrier has cooler phones. Personally, I don't like phones with colour screens (I use my T68i in black and white mode) or cool buttons.
Frankly, Verizon's voverage isn't better in metro areas than almost anyone elses simply because they all have the drive to cover those areas. I don't go to rural areas and have never left T-Mobile's coverage in the 5 mo. that I've had the phone. On the other hand, I do need the battery life. It's why I didn't pick up a Nokia 8390.
To address your last statement that points to how good is a wireless phone without coverage, I could say how good is a phone if it can't be turned on. Both are problems and people need to decide which is more important to them. Some people don't need to use their phone often, others do.
I had an LG TM-510 with Verizon for a while. I liked it except for the fact that the battery didn't last. The buttons were excellent, the flip was sturdier than any other I've seen, and the reception was well above average. I was going to upgrade to the VX10 for the slim down, next gen voice, and such, but the battery life wasn't improved and that means that it isn't a good enough phone for me.
A lot of Verizon's phones are good, but there are some REAL lemons in the bunch (the Keyocera 2135 comes to mind - don't tell me that it's even close to acceptable).
There is a reason that Verizon is the largest carrier in the country. It has good service. But there are also reasons why it hasn't gained a monopoly (people perfer the cooler phones; their minute package is being overshadowed by T-Mobile's general rates and Cingular and ATT's promo rates; Sprint's appealing advertising - which is slightly deceptive - and no-contract for an extra $10/mo. option). The reason that Verizon doesn't have as many returns is because of its service. Its the nice warm "I'm covered everywhere and don't have to worry about my service plan blanket."
I prefer the extra minutes and battery life that T-Mobile gives me. Not to mention the ability to only need one phone (overseas...). But the fact that GSM coverage is more sparce in the US and GSM phones can't do analog is why T-Mobile is more of a nitch player. There is no best plan/phone. It depends what people need.
The Nokia 5180 and Motorola T2260 (black candy-bar "Talkabout" in an orange box) Verizon phones come to mind. Especially the Motorola, these phones were just awful. Whoever quality tested the Motorola couldn't pass 8th grade, because when I worked at RadioShack at least half of however many of those we sold came back. Unfortunately Verizon wanted it to be a "free" phone, and at the beginning nobody knew better; we all assumed it must be good since it's a Motorola. Big mistake. I saw people coming in for months afterward with problems ranging from locked screens, to batteries that would die in no time, to reception errors, to corrupt software (how is that even possible in a phone?).
Here's the point: Verizon has had its share of crap phones too (isn't their version of the Motorola T720 having problems now too?). So has every other carrier, but every carrier has solid phones too. Sprint has Sanyo, Cingular's Nokias work well, etc. Verizon's quality control drops just as many bombs as anyone else's, and consumers go through the same headaches. Work at a Verizon dealer (direct or indirect, like RadioShack), and you'll see what I mean.
I agree about the Kyocera 2135...what a piece of junk. They sold that with their prepaid program for a while...though now they are selling better phone via prepay. The 2035 and 2235 were pretty solid...not sure what they were thinking with the 2135...felt like there was nothing in there.
The Motorola T720 did have problems when it first came out. The biggest issue was that Motorola sent them out with the wrong version of BREW causing the phone to crash if you ran games/apps that had motion...though Verizon is replacing the handsets with new ones to customers who bought the old version when it first hit the shelves. Not necessarily Motorola's finest hour...nor a glorious entry into the realm of color handsets!
I've been with Verizon for about two years...focusing on data (CDPD only until the past year), so I'm not sure I've seen the other handsets mentioned.
Personally I think today's phone manufacturers only want the customer to keep the phone for a year or two. Gone are the days of keeping a phone for 3-5 years it seems. My parents had Nokias with Cingular which built up lint under the screen and the only way to see the screen was in the dark with the backlight! I guess new manufacturers recommendations will say "keep phone in ziplock baggy when not in use!"
A similar reason that American cars today are enormous piles of crap. I blame leasing. Take a 1968 Chevrolet Malibu, and park it next to a new Cavalier side by side. The Malibu was built to last generations, but the Cavalier wasn't meant to be owned for more than 4 or 5 years.
Thankfully, the Germans and the Japanese have managed to stay on the ball.
Yeah the Keyocera before the 2135 was so much better, but one has to replace the old with the new no matter what, right? It seems to be the way it's going. Have you seen the buttons on some of the new Nokias? Nokia had a great customer base that bought their phones because they simply worked and were ergonomically sound. Now they're tring to make their phones cool.
Motorolas need a huge upgrade in the common sense department. They have the best battery life, sound quality, and reception I've seen (CDMA or GSM) yet, I can't buy one because the interface defies logic (the menu system is much more difficult than those from companies with much less resources), the buttons are sub-par (not to mention the fact that the send and end buttons are reversed), and many of them make interesting casing choices (the inwardly curved keypad and the curved ear piece that make it hard to press the buttons and difficult to find the sweet spot of the speaker respectively).
I'm geuessing the Nokias your parents had were ones with removable covers. Such a terrable idea that has no benefit.
I would like to find a phone that was shaped like an Ericsson T39m, with buttons similar to the LG TM-510, voice quality and reception of a recent Motorola, and great battery life.
You know, I've been looking at a lot of the older phones and thinking that they looked good. The StarTac, for instance; it needs an interface update and new buttons, but I always liked how the screen was away from your face and couldn't get face oils on it. Screens don't really need to be made bigger (as manufacturers think).
One idea that seems to have gone out of style are flip phones. I always liked having something covering my keyes. Too many phones are missing that now. I can't wait for SonyEricsson to come out with one (Nokia's a lost cause in that department).
LG really needs to improve battery life. I love their phones - great reception, design, sound quality, size, features - but they don't last long enough on a charge (plus, I would like something under 3oz. It's really nice to have a small/light phone when I don't want to carry a purse).
Well, now that I've gone completely off topic I guess I'll stop.
Wow, there sure are a lot of conflicting statements here.
"Sprint often has alot of the cool phones first...but that is because their device testing is not as rigid as Verizon's. Verizon tends to focus on quality first, then flash." "Sprint also has a higher return rate on phones than most carriers." Do you have proof to back this up? I would love to see a post with this info.
"Verizon has one of the lowest handset return rates in the industry." Does anyone here have this data to post also?
"I agree about the Kyocera 2135...what a piece of junk." "The Motorola T720 did have problems when it first came out. The biggest issue was that Motorola sent them out with the wrong version of BREW causing the phone to crash if you ran games/apps that had motion...though Verizon is replacing the handsets with new ones to customers who bought the old version when it first hit the shelves. Not necessarily Motorola's finest hour...nor a glorious entry into the realm of color handsets!" I thought Verizon had the best, rigid device testing? And they still sell the 2135!!!!! Gotta love those Audiovox phones too!
Chris54R, maybe you could post the difference in the device testing between Verizon and Sprint and their return rates. Did you work for Sprint in the past and that's why you know they don't have as rigid testing?
I am just curious about all this - who has the best phones and Sprint having higher return rate. I have used many Sprint phones in the past 4 years and not 1 has had a problem.
Thanks in advance for any data you can post Chris54R.
Here's a good article on Verizon's testing procedures...old, but details their standards and processes.
Boot camp for prospective Verizon wireless handsets
By John Rockhold, News Editor
Online Exclusive, Aug 31 2001 Brought to you by:
E-mail this information
Only the best of the best can become Verizon Wireless (www.verizonwireless.com) handsets. The nation’s largest carrier, with 27.9 million subscribers, puts new handsets through the ringer before they can be sold to the public.
Lou LaMedica, Verizon Wireless director of CPE (customer premises equipment), evaluation and development directs 14 lab engineers at the carrier’s handset testing lab in Bedminster, NJ. LaMedica rarely rejects handsets; only six over the course of 13 years have flunked out, he said. The process is more of a give and take between Verizon and handset vendors.
“What we do is identify deficiencies and give them (handsets) back to the vendors or they will be here working with us and ultimately they will try to address them,” LaMedica said.
The team tests everything about the handset, from its propensity to drop calls to the wireless-Internet interface. The root of most problems, LaMedica said, is the handset’s software. For handsets’ wireless-Internet interfaces, the testing team primarily tests those sites on Verizon’s deck. Servers frequently make the handsets look bad.
“There is always some handset that has a problem with a feature in one of those servers that half the time turns out to not be the handset, but the server,” LaMedica said.
Stage I of Verizon’s handset testing begins with parametric tests that all handsets typically meet. Stage II involves interoperability testing and messaging compliance with the carrier’s infrastructure. Testing labs exist for Lucent (www.lucent.com), Motorola (www.motorola.com) and Nortel (www.nortelnetworks.com) infrastructure. Stage III runs through all the core performance and characteristics of the handset.
“In addition, we do a metrics route for call performance which baselines a product that we are looking at against a product that we currently sell,” LaMedica said. “If there is a lot of variation between those, we go back to the vendor and say, ‘you have a problem here, we think it’s in this particular area, tell us what you want us to do to help but get your people on it and come to a solution.’”
To test a handset’s audio performance, Verizon uses a dummy. Dubbed Mr. Head, the team uses a mannequin with silicon ears that closely replicate human’s hearing ability.
“A number of years ago we did not have a good way to verify audio performance with CDMA handsets,” LaMedica said. “We kicked it around and thought there’s got to be a better way than passing it around and asking everybody what they thought of the sound quality.”
Mr. Head measures things such as audio amplitude, frequency, noise and distortion. A test that mimics human speech goes into the handset and the team compares the results to the original.
These days, LaMedica is busy testing 1XRTT handsets. Thus far, they’ve performed surprisingly well.
“Considering that it’s basically a new technology, we are not having anywhere close to the same issues we had when we originally deployed CDMA,” he said. “In the past, when you had an issue, you’d have 20 PhDs standing around scratching their heads (wondering) what do we do next. Now, we’ve climbed the learning curve. It’s never routine, but problems tend not to be as big of a crisis as they were in the past.”
LaMedica said that early hiccups with 1XRTT phones have been in the call processing software, but added that those problems originate from the network as well as the phone. So far, LaMedica’s team has tested 1XRTT devices from Audiovox ( www.audiovox.com/ACC_home.html ), Kyocera ( www.kyocera.com), LG Infocomm (www.lgjoyphone.com), Samsung (www.samsung.com) and Sierra Wireless (www.sierrawireless.com).
“You are going to see a lot of 1X phones because I think anybody who got out of the business or stayed on the sideline sees this as the time to get back into it,” LaMedica said.
Where was this article published. Can you provide a link?
Actually you can build about three 1900 Mhz sites for the same cost as one 800 Mhz, which is kind of ironic because it takes about three to cover one 800 Mhz site. The reason is the 1900 Mhz sites do not have to support analog service, which makes the equipment much less expensive.
As far as the reasons Sprint has the coolest phones is primarly because Sprint decided that was one way they wanted to differentiate themselves from the competition, it has nothing to do with testing rigors etc. You have not seen a Sony/Erricson phone with Sprint or for that matter a Nokia or Motorola model (okay I know the Nokia is back, but it's only one model right now). The reason was that those particular companies have issues with CDMA phones. I've used them all with another cdma carrier so I'm not just spouting what Sprint feeds me. In fact the last company I was Sales manager for we had to eventually sue Sony for their poor phones. (I've asked and heard on the Sony/e forum that things are improving, but we'll see, It doesn't make me warm and fuzzy to have to sue Sony and my experience with Ericson is working for USCC we only sold them in one city Lynchburg, VA...the big Ericson factory there might have had something to do with that.)
Fact is Sprint pulled the Kyocera 3035 of the shelf for poor reception and Verizon continued to sell it. (I loved that phone, but it does not perform well in weaker areas.)
So each company will sell some poor quality phones, sometimes they make the trade for performance on price..sometimes they get burnt LG1010, N240 come to mind recently. When you buy your next phone ask the Carriers reps which phones do they carry and why. If they say because they gave it to me then skip to the next rep. find one who will tell you the real deal on the phones. Less expensive is sometimes just cheaper.
It is actually more expensive to impliment 1900 over the same area as 800. Why? Well, you have to buy the land, build towers (in areas with no tall buildings to attach them to), and stuff like that. There is a cost savings-equipment wise, per tower-because PCS services don't have to support analog, but you're not going to get 3 for the price of 1 and solid objects are more of a problem for PCS services.
There's nothing wrong with PCS. It's just different. Some people need the coverage of cellular. I perfer the battery life of PCS.
I will have to agree with this all together. Really, Motorola has come out with a lot of crap for a while now. Remember the x2200's? The ones that looked like a big peanut? The menu system they used was not of the norm at all. The v120 wasn't the most intelligent either. I never have enjoyed useing any Motorola because of the menu style. I have tried and tested just about all of them. V60, V66, V70, V120, V2282, V2235, T2282, T720x, and the Timeports... I know a lot of people rave about the Motorola brand, but personaly, after useing Samsung, Nokia, Seimens, Sony Ericsson, LG, and etc. Motorola just does not make a very good product, period. Not user freindly thats for sure. A lot of them have software problems to.
The T720 must not have been tested by Verizon, because it has a lot of errors in it's programing. Design as well, keys stick, moves way to slow. Volume varies greatly on output power. Sometimes you answer the phone and it blasts in your ear. Then volume drops to practicly nothing. I would have to say that Verizon does not test their phones at all, the statement that they claim they do test their phones is probably just for the consumers ear to hear.
As far as my knowledge goes.. Sprint carries the "cooler" phones first and sometime , only they have it, because they usually(not always) require manufacturers to make handsets only for Sprint. They are soon to carry nokia handsets.