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CDMA & GSM buildout maps???

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by DaveyJ, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    1.) I need things that work in real life NOW as opposed to things that only work in the lab personaly.

    2.) Back on the original topic for a second, CDMA will be built out long before GSM will, but GSM will probably be built out enough for 95% of people by the end of this year/begining of next year most likely.
     
  2. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    I saw that Nokia EDGE handset in an article. I also played with a working GPRS handset at the Ericsson COMDEX booth in 2000. In 2000, there were no commercial GPRS systems working. Today there are no commercial EDGE systems in operation.

    Until we have a working EDGE system with enough EDGE handsets in the hands of consumers, we will not know if it works.

    GPRS was not running commercially for over one year after COMDEX 2000.
     
  3. t720

    t720 Senior Member
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  4. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Junior Member
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    *Snicker, Snicker*

    YES, one CAN buy a 6200 now!!! [​IMG] Now being the key word...
     
  5. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    Let's be quite blunt here. It doesn't MATTER if CDMA or GSM or TDMA or ABC123 or what have you are built out, from a consumer point of view. Just because 95% of the population is reached by CDMA signal does not mean that you will be able to sign up for one plan that will give you unfettered access to that signal.

    Take, for example, GSM. If you add T-Mobile, Cingular, and AT&T coverage, you come up with a big impressive coverage map. That's great, except that an AT&T customer can't roam everywhere on T-Mobile's network, a Cingular customer can't roam everywhere on AT&T, etc. It doesn't matter if a place is covered by GSM signal, it matters if the place is covered by $MY_CARRIER's GSM signal.

    Now, he who builds out first gets the fat preferential roaming revenue packet, which is about the only reason "complete buildout" matters.
     
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  6. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    ZaphodB:

    Your statement is true currently, but AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobile & Western Wireless have signed new roaming agreements. Those agreement will more than likely morph into Home on Home roaming as soon as they (the carriers) work out their coordination agreements. Remember the AT&T/Cingular Roadrunner agreement (a joint network buildout agreement) if you're wondering how it might work.
     
  7. Suliman

    Suliman Senior Member
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    Man, this thread makes my head hurt. Since switching to CDMA (Verizon), I get coverage in most of New England with very few dead spots, which is a vast improvement over my Nextel and USCC (TDMA) experience. I believe the roaming partners for VZW make it work for them. I really don't care whether 85% of the world's population is using or will use GSM, all I know is that VZW (CDMA) works quite well in New England and the America's Chioce Plan has a large footprint in the US. The GSM may have superior technology and the phones might be cooler or have more features, but if I can't get a signal I can't make or receive a call.

    Suliman
     
  8. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    My point remains, and will likely remain. Just because T-Mo users can (or will soon be able to) roam on AT&T on, say I-40 in Arizona does not mean that T-Mo users can roam on AT&T in, say, rural Wyoming. The same with Cingular. AT&T and Cingular have that roadrunner agreement which covers highways, mostly in the centre of the country, but if an AT&T customer in Berkeley had no coverage, he couldn't then use Cingular's network.

    I hope you're right, BTW... I hope there will eventually be a "Cingular Nation GSM" or "AT&T OneRate GSM" or similar plan that lets one use any GSM signal one happens to pick up (within the US, of course). I'd sign up for that lickety-split.
     
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  9. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    I'm sorry ZaphodB, but if you add T-Mobile, Cingular, and AT&T coverage, you DON'T come up with a big impressive coverage map [​IMG].....Instead, you come up with a anemic map that's still the smallest of all US networks. The map can double as a US Atlas IMO. [​IMG]
     
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  10. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    bugwart, give it up, you and the rest of the cdma camp have been throwing around the same discredited arguments for close to a decade now. The technical superiority of one standard over another is irrelevant, and that is the real lesson of past technology wars such as betamax-vhs and the mac-ms dos -- it is not that being first is important, but that being "best" is irrelevant. I might agree that CDMA is a better technology -- but in the end, I just want to able to use my phone wherever I go, and that's what GSM is delivering and CDMA is not, despite the CDG's coy little statement that CDMA is available on "5 continents".

    But if you insist on these meaningless arguments, stick to facts, and don't say things like "only western europe has chosen WCDMA," and that it was somehow "forced" on consumers by governments. It was CHOSEN by panels of experts hired by democratically elected governments with the interests of the voters in mind. You imply somehow that we're all actually screaming for Qualcomm's technology, but our evil, despotic, sadistic governments are forcing us to take WCDMA because they hate us. Korea originally had a technology neutral policy, but when ALL the applicants chose WDCMA for ALL three 3G licenses, they changed the rules of the licensing process and said that at least one of them had to be cdma2000. Then they couldn't get ANYONE to take the licence until they threw in some loan guarantees and other incentives, and it' still doubtful whether this network will ever be commercially launched. Qualcomm meanwhile has been bribing senators and pressuring the Commerce department to help it twist arms in places like Brazil and Iraq in a so-far fruitless attempt to get those countries to FORCe their operators to accept cdma2000, because they know damn well none of them will accept it willingly.

    And as for the migration argument, it is ridiculous to try to say "well, SOME tdma operators are going to GSM, but others are going CDMA" - the ACCURATE, non-misleading statement is ALMOST ALL TDMA operators are going to GSM and a FEW are going to CDMA. MANY CDMA operators (e.g., telefonica mexico and chile, BCE Brazil) in fact are going to GSM. ZERO -- that is, not one single one EVER -- GSM operators have EVER switched to CDMA.

    And finally the upgrade path argument is bankrupt also. Yes, for a cdmaOne operator, it is cheaper in the short run to upgrade to cdma2000 than for a GSM/GPRS operator to upgrade to wCDMA. But in the long run, (2008 - 2010) they will need to upgrade again, whilst the wCDMA operators will have digested the investments connected with the technology step change and will only need to do software updates to stay ahead.

    To return to my original argument, I DON'T CARE about the technology -- and if CDMA is so great, then why does Verizon need to offer its subscribers a band-aid, work-around solution of renting a GSM handset for when they travel to most of the world, but GSM operators only need to do this for Japan and Korea, and soon they won't have to do it at all? All most of care about is being able to land somewhere, switch on our phones and call, and that's a situation we WOULD have reached 5 years ago were it not for Irwin Jacobs running around the world bribing regulators and telling everyone they needed to think about CDMA.
     
  11. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Round 2....Fight!
     
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  12. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Polonius,

    Chill out!

    I use both GSM and CDMA - I have two contracts on each of these systems. I have also had AMPS contracts on two continents, and TDMA contracts in several countries.

    I travel a lot (currently elite level on three airlines). When I speak about competing systems, it is from personal experience using them augmented by independent study about them.

    Your facts are badly askew about Korea. The whole country is CDMA2000 1xRTT and EV-DO. The next phase will be both wCDMA and CDMA2000 3X. This is great for technology, since the most advanced cell phones will only get better by having both systems available for live testing.

    I have not tried to check what every single GSM service provider on the planet is doing, however I do know that an Indonesian GSM service provider is launching CDMA2000 service.

    When you make such emphatic statements, you should at least get your facts straight.
     
  13. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Korea had cdmaOne for 2G. When they licensed 3G (IMT-2000 spectrum) they offered 3 licenses and said they could use ANY 3G technology -- wCDMA, cdma2000, TDS-CDMA, whatever, but you had to specify the technology in your application. ALL of the applicants specified wCDMA, so they withdrew one license from the market and said that one was reserved for cdma2000. Then they couldn't get anyone to apply for it, so they started sweetening the licence conditions and started twisting arms. They got a got a consortium of one of the chaebol (I think it was LG) and some other investors to announce they were going take it, but then later they backed. I can't even remember the final license holder, because its some obscure company that they basically had to guarantee them profitability in order to persuade them to take the license. The cdma 1xrtt (2,5G) rollouts you are talking about are on the operators previously licensed spectrum -- whatever it is in Korea - 800 and 1700mhz?

    As for the indonesian operator you are talking about, it is a new network, and so far its just talk, no hardware. It is NOT an example of a GSM operator MIGRATING its GSM network to cdma. That has never, ever happened, not one single time anywhere, which is why you are unable to provide an example.

    I have elite levels on 3 airlines too, but I only have ONE phone. I never go to Korea, but I do go to Japan and parts of Latin America frequently. Three years ago I had to remember to rent a 1900 phone when travelling to USA and Canada, and had to use rental options for the rest of the Americas and Japan. Two years I got a tri-band phone and stopped having to hassle with the 1900. This past year, we've gotten roaming with Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, etc. and now we pretty much have GSM coverage americas-wide. That means the only place I still have to sim roam is Japan and Korea, and in no place do I have to get a separate contract.

    Maybe that's the difference between the cdma fans and the rest of the world -- you talk about having - how many? -- five, six different contracts with providers using what 4? different technologies as if that's a good thing. It's a big mess is what it is, and a good part of it is Irwin Jacobs' fault.
     
  14. DiverDown

    DiverDown Member
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    I am glad where comparing frequent flier miles people.

    This forum used to be nice and happy until Polonius joined and became the red snapper, for you see my friend The U.S. is a superpower with a ball busting economy and a drive to be different. Plus in the EU traveling across 10 countries may still be a much shorter distance then traveling across the U.S. so for the extremley large percent of Americans who only travel domestically for most of the time, there is no probably that the majority of Americans use CDMA which actually is a superior form of digital in the technological sense. Though you are correct that since GSM is the mainstream everywhere else the technology has definetly been perferted to its top potential at least in the 2.5g format. Especially considering that GSM phones in particular are far superior to CDMA phones.

    Also for those of us that do travel out of the coutnry for extended periods of time, it makes 10 times more sense for us just to buy a different cell phone abroad, for if we did have T-mobile U.S. service or any one of U.S. GSM cellular companies, and we take this world phone abroad the prices are ridiculous my friend had his NExtel world phone in london and was paying a 1.50 a minute to make or recieve a call, (while I spent a 100 quid on a prepaid "fresh" network phone and made calls for 15 cents a minute and could recieve calls for free.)

    So the argument of companies like Verizon renting us or offering GSM service for Americans to use abroad makes no sense because there still ripping us off, hence it doesn't matter that we use CDMA domestically anyways.

    Also if Just America used CDMA which is not true, (and I'm not saying that you made that point at all), it would still represent CDMA users in proportion to the rest of cellulars users as an incredibly large percentage, especially considering that many other countries have large amounts of CDMA just including canada increases that amount by a ton.
     
  15. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    I certainly couldn't argue with that.
     
  16. DiverDown

    DiverDown Member
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    Polonius don't think I'm against you in all forms, I'm mean lets face it my family only buy's SAABS because there $(%( awesome.

    Yeah it probably makes more sense that the U.S. should have just went GSM, but unlike other countries around the world we don't have goverment regulation on how many towers a company can put up, so each company puts up a bunch of towers so they have a large digital map (many don't) or they hope to have good roaming aggreements and still make a profit, if we all went GSM the whole capitalist apprach to comptetition would be thrown out the door and there would be only like 3 cellular companies in the U.S. because the rest wouldn't have enough money to compete. And the three major companies would probably not have any roaming aggrements with each other so they could each maintain there marketshare without adding an other competition.

    Okay I gotta go back to studying or I won't get in to lawschool.

    LSAT's are only 2 weeks away.

    God I hate smart people, I need to find my own country and start a dictatorship... HMMM Iraq perhaps (JK)
     
  17. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Not a problem, DiverDown, in fact I rather like the "Red Snapper" reference, maybe I'll change my alias[​IMG]

    I also am happy that CDMA exists, just to keep the GSM camp on its toes so they don't stop innovating. What does annoy me is the continous stream of dis-information that comes from the CDMA camp, from everyone from Irwin Jacobs down through the CDG to Bugwart. They never outright lie, but make statements like CDMA is growing in Europe, when what they mean is that a couple of countries are using a CDMA based system for their emergency communications. Or the hypocrisy of making "free-market" based arguments for free choice of standards in one market, while they try to persuade the regulator in another to mandate the exclusive use of CDMA.

    Anyway, don't bother studying for the LSAT, just take one of the prep courses -- worth every penny of the thousand bucks or so that they'll charge you.
     
  18. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    I like the good old SATC technology meself... String And Two Cans.
     
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  19. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    That would be Verizon. I hear they're coming out with a "3G" technology called SATC-wSiUDGC -- string and two cans whilst standing in an upside garbage can!
     
  20. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    I will ignore the personal attacks.

    There is enough disinformation from both sides in this. The CDG does make claims that there is CDMA in many places where it is a test. However, GSM World will claim that a country is GSM as soon as the first plans are on the table. Both sides are involved in this numbers game and I find it distasteful.

    What I have tried to do is bring facts to the table.

    One fact that is clear is that Western Europe and S. Korea are the only locations where regulators have limited the types of wireless systems that can be installed*. The Japanese did it years ago, but abandoned it once it was clear that such limitations hurt Japanese companies.

    The entire rest of the world either currently has multiple systems like we do in the North America, or at least allows them. It is marketing hype for either the CDG or GSM World to claim a victory just because a system is planned for a certain country. However, <u>BOTH</u> do it.

    Another fact that is clear is that GSM won the 2G war. Full stop.

    However, it is not logically correct to conclude that simply because this is true, that GPRS/EDGE/wCDMA will therefore win the 2.5G and 3G wars. This is a claim that I hear from many in the GSM camp.

    Subscriber numbers (the ones that are available) indicate that CDMA2000 is currently far ahead of GPRS/wCDMA. The most recent numbers that I can find indicate that GPRS + wCDMA subscribers total 6.9 million world wide. CDMA2000 has over 45 million subscribers.

    The final outcome of this healthy competition will be determined at some time in the future. The final victor may be neither CDMA2000 nor wCDMA. It might be TD-SCDMA or something else. I do think that it is reasonable to predict that most 3G phones in the future will be able to roam on and use services of multiple 3G networks.

    Another fact is that both 1xRTT and GPRS were scheduled for initial deployment in late 2000. 1xRTT was deployed on schedule.

    While I await your reply, I have put on my body armor. [​IMG]

    * I am aware that there are legacy TDMA systems like Nordic still in operation in Scandanavia. In S Korea, AMPS service remained in operation until last year.
     
  21. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    You are parsing this. GSM World PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (TELKOMobile) GSM 1800, chose Ericsson to provide CDMA2000 1xRTT and EV-DO infrastructure solutions for Bali. Ericsson to provide CDMA2000 infrastructure
    When I travel, my customers and vendors want to contact me by making a local, rather than an international call. Therefore the option of having one phone and asking them to call my number in either California or Taiwan is really not a viable solution for me.
    However, you will have to admit that the GSM coverage in the Americas is spotty. It is good in the US and Canada, but south of the Mexican border, the largest footprint is TDMA/AMPS followed by CDMA. GSM is present in a number of countries in the southern Americas, but it has a much smaller footprint than the other technologies.
    I am thinking of my customers and vendors, not myself. That is why I have 3 SIM cards (on contract) and 2 CDMA contracts. I can use a single CDMA phone for both contrats. I have a TRI-Mode phone that will work with any of my SIM cards. My customers' convernience is paramount, not my own.
    I am certain that Irwin Jacobs would be flattered that you think that he is the sole reason that there are 3* competing 3G standards, and 7** competing 2G standards.

    * CDMA2000, wCDMA, and TD-SCDMA
    ** NMT, GSM, iDEN, PHS, PDC, TDMA, and CDMA One
     
  22. DiverDown

    DiverDown Member
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    Its 2000 grand and I am in one right now.

    "oh yeah did I tell you that I have no idea what to do with my life because all i did was party for 4 years, though I did read business week, and maxim cover to cover during my University stay"


    The problem with the prep courses is that they get you all worried and still make you study a lot.


    Basically I am just a lazy young man, who usally ends up typing on this forum or working out or $U#)(*$.


    We all need our nerd obsession.

    Oh yeah and by the way if you didn't understand I love people with a little fire in them, these forums get to boring when everyone is slow polite, its like being on a constant first date, in the sense that you not only have to be polite the whole time, but also the odds of you getting laid are very low.

    (well not always)lol
     
  23. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Bugwart:

    Thank you for your FACT-BASED response -- and apologies for anything that sounded like a personal attack. I will admit to having some "issues" with Jacobs, and since I haven't had the opportunity to personally and publically chastise him since 1998, I confess that I SOMETIMES direct frustration with him towards whomever from the cdma camp happens to be at hand. I didn't mean anything personal and will try to also stick to the facts.

    And I'll start by disputing your claim that the GSM association makes the same kind of distortions the CDG does. Networks are clearly listed on their web-site in a standard, easy to navigate format that indicates not only which are "provisional", "planned" or "live", but also gives clear information on current status of roaming and coverage. The CDG does not do that - they'll get one little emergency services CDMA-based network in one village in Russia, and they'll colour in the whole country on their world o' CDMA map.

    It is also not true that western Europe and S. Korea are the only places to mandate a standard. India and China are two major examples of others who also specified GSM -- although they later allowed CDMA to enter under relentless pressure from Jacobs army of lobbyists and pressure groups (and in India of course this for WIRELESS, but not MOBILE service). Whilst Brazil will allow several 2G standards, they are preserving the IMT-2000 spectrum for 3G, specifically to avoid the mess the US is in and despite intense pressure from CDG. Most of the middle east and Africa has also chosen GSM as an exclusive standard. You make it sound like its a bad thing that governments establish national technical standards -- by your reckoning, a place like Nicaragua which not only has two mains voltages (110 and 220 at 50 and 60 cycles) but also three different power receptacles (two round pin, three round pin and two flat pin) in use in different buildings, has an ideal regulatory regime. That -- rather than the technical acheivements -- is the main accomplishment of the GSM association, and their work was built on the success of NMT, which came into being when the Nordic countries realised a long time ago that people would want to take their phones with them when they travel and established a common regional standard.

    As for the subscriber numbers -- 2003/2004 is when the bulk of the wCDMA network launches are planned, so I think that debate will soon come to an end, but even for subscribers living in a market where both technologies are available, the awareness that choosing a cdma2000 carrier means limiting their roaming ability to a dozen or so countries is going to severely restrain its success. And as for GPRS being "late" -- I was involved in launching it at the carrier I worked at in 1999, so by your reckoning it was launched ahead of schedule.

    BTW, I tried to check out the link on the Ericsson contract to Telkomsel you provided -- CDG's web server appears to be down [​IMG] (sorry, couldn't resist).


    I also do sometimes swap SIMs, but at least I still have one phone, and one phonebook. As professional suggestion, you might try getting your CLIENTS to give you one of their SIMs to use while you are on-site, rather than keeping several subscriptions. But your experience correctly indicates that it is not simply a technical issue -- pricing, particularly for roaming and international is ridiculous. It's the only reason I have a t-mobile USA subscription, which I would love to get rid of, but they charge outrageous prices for visitors to their network, and also to their own subs travelling. I know what the markups are because I used to handle the financial side of the roaming partners, and we were charging tmo about 12c/minute (according to our standard tariff our own subs paid) and they were jacking this up by 40%. For a brief period (approximately April - November 2000, or was it 2001?) after DT took over, they adopted the GSM standard of local tariff +15%, but then introduced their "world class" rates -- flat rates in USD for any call, anytime. At the extreme this meant a roamer making a local weekend call on t-mobile UK saw their call charge go from 8c to 99c in one leap. And even a peak call to the USA was still only 80c before the introduction of the "convenient" flat rates. I was thinking of switching to Cingular despite their relatively limited number of roaming partners, but they just recently also dropped the 15% markup approach in favour of even more outrageous flat pricing (1,49/minute minimum). It's monumentally stupid, because of course everyone now uses a combination of local pre-paid SIM, pre-paid calling cards and other inconvenient work-arounds like call-forwarding services to avoid these charges, so both the shareholders and the customers are losing, and it's defeating the whole purpose for which the gsm association was established, namely to make global roaming cheap and easy. But, of course, here again is the difference between the European and American regulators. The Europeans are aggressively using a combination of regulatory pressures, lawsuits and publicity to bring the rates down (which average about 40c/minute in Europe) but in the US, where rates are as high as 4,99/minute, the FCC hasn't said a word, consistent with the Bush government's "protect the strong at the expense of the weak" philosophy.

    Finally, you are quite correct about GSM still having a long way to go in Latin America, but over this past year I feel we have really turned the corner. Yes, coverage in places like Argentina, Cuba and Mexico is largely limited to capitals and a few other large cities, but I rarely travel outside of them and it is expected to expand. C+W of course is soon to fill the entire carribean which has long been a coverage hole, and I know that two other major multinationals currently using a mix of standards (including some CDMA) will migrate everything to GSM.

    Concerning Jacobs, you have to admit that it hasn't been due to HIS efforts that we've gone from 7 to 3 standards in the jump from 2G to 3G, and if it were not for him, we probably would finally be at the point where we had a single universal standard for everyone. Now if we could just get everyone using the same voltage and the same power receptacles this would be a beautiful world.
     
  24. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Perhaps you should forget law and switch to philosophy.
     
  25. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    Samsung SCH i760,
    Wireless Provider(s):
    SKT, Verizon, China Mobile, EPlus
    I thought when the EU was formed that ALL standards would be harmonized. Then I tried to plug in my computer at the Zurich airport. [​IMG] The plug works in Germany and Italy. When I reached the UK, I had to run out and buy a UK adaptor.

    And the phone plugs!!! Gag! I have a bag full of European phone plug adapters. The plug that I have from Singpore fits the UK phone plugs, but BT decided to use the outer two wires rather than the inner two, so I have two adapters that are identical except for the internal wiring.

    I find it humorous, that all of Eastern Asia has only 3 electrical plugs (US, German, and UK) and only two phone plugs (RJ-11 and UK style). Even Japan uses RJ-11 phone plugs. They did this without all the fanfare.

    I long for the chance to connect directly to the Internet through a 3G phone or a WiFi card. Both are here now, but WiFi is not everywhere yet. I can easily connect directly to the internet through my CDMA phone.

    IMHO, the future will bring two 3G standards (wCDMA and CDMA2000) and most phones will work on both by using the new Qualcomm chipsets. Roaming will be universal with both systems. That is my hope.

    You brought up a good point about roaming charges. The roaming costs in the US, both incoming and outgoing, are ridiculous. The flat rate charges are outlandish for local outgoing calls. I understand that European telcos also have expensive roaming charges for points outside of Europe, such as in East Asia.

    I have a FarEasTone SIM card (contract, not pre-paid) and the roaming costs throughout East Asia are quite low. In fact, there does not seem to be much mark up over the local tariffs. Roaming in the US and Europe is much more, ~$0.70/min. I have an O2 SIM (complements of Cellcom) which keeps the roaming charges low in Europe.

    The other charges that are out of line in the US are the charges for international calls from cell phones. For example, if I call S. Korea or Taiwan from my US cell phone, I will be charged about $0.80/min. However, if I call the US from either my Korean (SKM) or Taiwanese cell phone, the cost is about $0.16/min. The solution to this is a US pre-paid phone card service. Most people use these, thus the cell phone service providers are losing out on a revenue stream because they charge too much. This is similar to what you pointed out with excessive roaming charges.

    BTW, when I mentioned the launch of GPRS, I meant with working handsets in the hands of consumers. I know that the infrastructure was installed long before working handsets (with good battery life, and without getting overheated in operation) were widely available. I was not very clear in my previous post. Sorry. [​IMG]
     
  26. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Phone plugs are certainly a disaster -- I carry about eight of them (UK style, french style, belgian style, dutch style, german style, russian style, swedish style and danish style). But they are getting slowly replaced by rj-11. And BTW, I've seen the same pair-swapping phenomenon with rj-11s. In any case, I don't use that solution much anymore -- mostly GPRS or WiFi.

    But power connectors -- EXCEPT for the UK (which in IMHO is the best design out there but least widely used) are AFAIK standard round pin through ALL of Europe (not just the EU), the middle east, africa (except where you find the UK style), most of Asia (except Japan) and a good part of Latin America.

    But concerning the roaming and long distance -- it is not noticeably higher for asia than it is for Europe. Again, the standard is local tariff +15%, so if the end user price is high, its because the partner operator rates are high. Again, tmo is one exception -- they charge partners something like 50c/minute, NOT the same price they charge their own subs. And the availability of the calling card work-around is what really annoys me -- it's the same situation as it was with the hotel chains back in the 80s, when they decided to start gouging guests for phone calls. I had more than one bill that was higher than the room charges! So what do you do -- you go downstairs and use the payphone! (this was a while ago). So it's lose-lose -- the guest/subscriber loses convenience, and the shareholders lose the revenue. But they just can't seem to get rid of this "captive audience" mentality -- are these people BLIND to the fact that pre-paid SIM and calling cards are available in even the most remote places? Anyway, don't blame me -- I've certainly done my share of telling board members to WAKE UP (although I've never had the opportunity to do this at TMO USA) and sometimes even make a little progress.

    Concerning the international charges, the US used to allow you to choose your long distance provider for cell phones the way you can for land-lines. When they introduced PCS, they once again decided that "the market would take of this" and they dropped the requirement. Market forces have worked in some cases -- Orange for example made waves by offering international pricing that was below BT back around 1997. I don' t know if that's still the case.

    You MAY be right about dual mode (wCDMA/cdma2000 3x) phones, but I'm afraid that still will present problems. We've had tri-band phones for some years now (or at least 900/1900), but I still switched phones when I went to the US because none of the very small number of tri-band handsets available had any of the other features I cared about -- in other words, you had a choice - tri-band, or everything else. It still limits your choice somewhat -- the Nokia 9210 is still available ONLY as EITHER a 900/1800 OR a 1900 model. Otherwise, I would have gotten one. But now we have the Ericsson P800 -- very cool, tri-band, but now we need to think about quad-band! And so for the interim period until probably 2020 when we can get rid of GSM altogether, we will need a tri-mode (GSM/wCDMA/cdma2000 3x)/five band (850/900/1800/1900/2100) phone to go everywhere. No doubt a few will be available, but probably it won't be the one I want.

    Anyway, point taken with GPRS, yes we did not have handsets (at least none that would not melt during usage). But we were ready on our end!
     
  27. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    SKT, Verizon, China Mobile, EPlus
    I am glad to hear that Europe is gradually replacing individual country phone plugs with RJ-11s. Eventually this will lead to 3 plugs, since the UK seemd to be clinging to their phone plug. When I am in an airport these days, I normally use my WiFi card, or connect my phone to the USB port on my computer. So the problem is limited to hotels.

    I agree with you concerning the UK plug design. It is a bit large, but the connection is always secure. It is never partially hanging from the socket as often happens with non-grounded designs.

    The Swiss use a narrow waisted in-set electical plug. Although the round pins are standard European size, you need a narrow waisted adaptor/plug to connect.

    Concerning tri-bands. Nokia was very late in bringing out a tri-band GSM phone. However, there have been many others available.

    The larger issue is the plethora of frequencies that we currently have around the world. AFAIK, there are now 8 cellular frequencies currently in use: 450, 800, (850), 900, 1700, 1800, 1900, and 2100 MHz. GSM/GPRS uses 4 of them, CDMA One/2000 uses 4 of them (1900 is shared), and wCDMA uses 1.

    I doubt that we will ever have octo-band phones, but quad-band (or penta-band) may be the next step for road warriors.

    I will need to check my current roaming charges in East Asia with FET. The last time I checked they were rather low.
     
  28. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    I pay generally similar rates for Europe / elsewhere, as I expected (all rates peak, off-peak often less than 25% of peak):

    Germany - €0,61
    UK - £0,32 (about €0,45)
    Poland - 1,68 PLN (about £0,40)
    Thailand - 14,12 THB (about €0,28)
    Taiwan (FET) - 12 TWD peak (about €0,28), 4 ,5 TWD off-peak

    USA -- $0,87 peak AND off-peak (billing in 60 second increments!) - about €0,75 plus $0,80/minute for incoming IN ADDITION to the usual 12,00 SEK incoming call charge I pay everywhere - that well over two greenbacks a minute for an incoming call!!!! It's cheaper to take mind altering drugs and talk to yourself! And 25c for an SMS! (that almost 200000 -- yes, two hundred thousand -- dollars per MB!)
     
  29. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    My Phone:
    Samsung SCH i760,
    Wireless Provider(s):
    SKT, Verizon, China Mobile, EPlus
    My current roaming rates with FarEasTone for outgoing domestic calls are:

    PacBell - US NT$27.5 ($0.79)
    UK Vodafone NT$6.3, 15.7 ($0.18, .45)
    France Orange NT$4.9, 20.6 ($0.14, .59)
    Germany T Mobile NT$14.6, 29.4 ($0.42, .85)
    Sweden Conviq NT$3.3, 18.1 ($0.095, .52)
    China NT$13.3 ($0.38)
    HK Peoples NT$9.3 ($0.27)
    Thailand TAC NT$3.5, 14.1 ($0.10, .41)
    SingTel NT$2.5, 5 ($0.07, .144)

    The first rate is off peak. Where there is little or no difference, the rate is the peak cost.

    In most countries, each service provider has a different rate. This is true througout Europe, the UK, Asia, and North America.
     
  30. DiverDown

    DiverDown Member
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    Polonius wants me to go to philosophy so he and rest of you world travelers get to talk about the cool stuff, and I'll have to sit and ponder all day, ........... sounds good to me.

    For the record I hope none of you are ever waiting for the UK to standardize anything (including plugs and currency). Especially now with the incredible deflation that's happening to the euro abroad.

    Hmm kind of like The U.S. and GSM.

    Oh and Polonius about that rivalry you and jacobs have keep it up, its about the only interesting that I have read on here.
     

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