Welcome to Our WirelessAdvisor Community!

You are viewing our forums as a GUEST. Please join us so you can post and view all the pictures.
Registration is easy, fast and FREE!

GSM vs. CDMA - Who's the Champion?

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by MachMaster, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. MachMaster

    MachMaster New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sacramento
    You hear the sales pitches, but which one is actually better? I'd like to hear some input from those that have experianced both systems and which one they prefer and why.

    Thanks.

    MM
     
  2. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC, U.S.A
    My Phone:
    Pixel 7 Pro
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile, Visible
    In my experience GSM has better audio quality (to the person on the other end) than CDMA does. I realize this is also dependent on the phone, but I haven't heard a CDMA phone yet that sounds as good as a GSM phone.

    Regarding data, I found GPRS to feel a little faster than 1x when using the mobile Web.

    None of this is based on technical data or specs, just my personal experience.
     
  3. Fathead

    Fathead In the Industry
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    The answer: Both.


    It's too dependant on how well the network is tweaked, which frequency is being used, what phone you have, how congested the network is, the weather, topography, and a thousand other factors. One may be miles ahead of the other in one place, and only 10 miles down the road have the exact opposite be true.


    The only reason, and I mean only reason, to pick one technology over the other is if you plan on being in europe quite a bit, and even then there are solutions for cdma.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    My Phone:
    Apple iPhone 3G
    Wireless Provider(s):
    at&t Mobility
    That is the first statement you don't post on WA. It will NEVER end. It's like arguing about politics. Well I think i've said enough.
     
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Phone:
    iPhone 12 Pro Max
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless

    I agree with Fathead, there are too many variable. As for my experiences, I first started off with GSM then went to CDMA. From my experiences, I like CDMA better.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. Sprint PCS 411

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia
    My Phone:
    Nokia 3200
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Cingular Wireless GSM America
    Hey guys, here is my :twocents:

    Well there is NO defenate winner
    Here are my statistics

    GSM - AT&T/Cingular - From my experiances with AT&T/Cingular GSM it was pretty good (voice and data quality wise). AT&T/Cingular GSM also have a pretty big GSM nationwide footprint. Also good roaming and fairly priced plans. Good metro and suburban network... and ok rural wise. Great Data services.

    GSM - Tmobile - They have some really generously priced plans for nationwide coverage. They have average voice quality but have awsome data services (not avalible everywhere). A down side to Tmobile is that they have very few roaming partners. They have a good GSM network (for metro and suburban) but not so good for rural areas. Ok nationwide footprint. Ok data services.

    CDMA - Sprint PCS - They have fairly good nationwide footprint. Good voice quality while on SPCS network. Good roaming partners (Verizon - only one i know of). Ok data service. Pro is that they have Analog backup. Fairly priced plans. I like the fact of their fair and flexible plan.

    CDMA - Alltel - They have a fairly good regional footprint (especially the southeast and midatlantic and southwest states). Fair voice quality. Nice roaming partners. Not so good at data services though. Nicely priced plans. Good advantage to have Analog for rural areas.

    TDMA - AT&T/Cingular - GREAT nationwide footprint. Ok data service - such as txt messaging. Good voice quality. Ok with roaming partners (such as Suncom and US Cellular). Outrageously priced plans - only way to get TDMA is either prepaid or Cingular GAIT. Also good digital signal in rural areas and analog is a plus. Also I have AT&T Free2Go TDMA, i get secitons of ATT TDMA and Suncom TDMA network and the rest is roaming. I get roaming on US Cellulars TDMA and Analog network. I get Analog ATT for free/no roaming and also Cingular TDMA Nationwide.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Champion will be the One with the Most:
    1. Customers
    2. Towers which means most coverage.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Phone:
    iPhone 12 Pro Max
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless

    Haha, that's a good way to look at it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    It will be a Numbers Game.
    These companies will look at their Books and see if they will be Financially Healthy in the Years to Come.

    If you're a Big Company, I think the Government will Bail them out.
    MCI and Chrysler were Bailed out.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. Rasputin

    Rasputin Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Phone:
    Apple Iphone
    Wireless Provider(s):
    ATT, Verizon
    It is easy CDMA will be the winner, that is why GSM is trying to move to WCDMA ( it would have worked out if they just paid the Qualcomm royalties ), GSM is just beefed up TDMA, CDMA has more capacity, soft handoffs.

    Now from a nontechnical stand point you could say GSM has won by the numbers worldwide, but years from now CDMA will still be around and GSM will be a thing of the past.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. rallykid

    rallykid New house = No free time
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Davison, Michigan
    My Phone:
    LG 9700
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon, Sprint
    I like GSM for it's phone versatility, I can choose my phone based on my mood or the occasion and not have to go through a lot of hassle to change what phone I am using. However my primary is Verizon CDMA because of coverage. If GSM and CDMA coverage were equal in the U.S. the I would find a reliable GSM provider and give them my business. However as it stands right now, Verizon gets my money for the coverage and customer service I get from them.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    My Phone:
    Apple iPhone 3G
    Wireless Provider(s):
    at&t Mobility
    Oh, it's getting there, there have been ALOT of improvements in the past 2 years. I'm sticking to GSM because i'm don't travel often at all, and where I do I get service. The voice quality in GSM, I believe is better. Just because the U. S. isn't covered completely by the company, doesn't mean there good. GSM is in most cases less expensive than CDMA, and i've never had a problem with ATWS CS and i've called on avg about 20 times, and always polite and helpful. About UMTS (WCDMA), why didn't any of the CDMA companies launch it first in the U. S.? It was a GSM company that did it :rolleyes: .
     
  13. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    These GSM carriers will add W-CDMA.
    You can Operate GSM and W_CDMA at the same time, sitting in existing RACKS using existing Cabinets/Housing/Towers.

    Some here have a wrong Misconception that GSM carriers will TURN OFF GSM when they Install W-CDMA.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Allow me to make an ANALOGY:

    Did VZW turnoff Analog when it moved to CDMA?
    Does'nt VZW operate Analog and CDMA at the same time?


    Better make some real reasearch.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #14 jones, Aug 21, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2004
  15. ballazck

    ballazck Junior Member
    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ashland, OH
    My Phone:
    Nokia 3587i
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Alltel
    No, by FCC law they are not allowed to turn Analog off until 2007 or 2008. They operate both CDMA and Analog networks at the same time.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    My Phone:
    Apple iPhone 3G
    Wireless Provider(s):
    at&t Mobility
    So let me get this straight, GSM to UMTS is going to be like Analog to CDMA? GSM is going to be UTMS back up?
     
  17. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    13,722
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    165
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    My Phone:
    Galaxy S22+
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    I prefer the incoming call delivery system that GSM uses over the CDMA system. The CDMA slot cycle system delays the phone ringing time on incoming calls and also causes calls rolling to VM more often.
     
  18. Gabriel

    Gabriel TICUS AD MORTEM
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    My Phone:
    Motorola v551
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Cingular
    larry, this is true. here in radio shack we do a lot of verizon and sprint activations, and after about 5 minutes, when i do the test call (i call from our store land phone to their new cell phone to make sure the activation went alright), i usually hear 2 rings from my end, and at the 3rd, their new cellphone rings. this does not happen with my cingular or my sister's tmobile, which are, of course, gsm.




    hehehe, everybody forgets about oceania and latin america (and sometimes asia) when they talk about gsm. remember, oceania and asia use europe's frequencies; latin america uses both american and european, depending on the country. :biggrin:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. ballazck

    ballazck Junior Member
    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ashland, OH
    My Phone:
    Nokia 3587i
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Alltel
    I would have to say definately CDMA. Just for the fact because they have the most coverage. I live in Small Town USA and GSM is non-existent. Plus, CDMA has better voice quality IMO. Just my 2 cents.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,468
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SID 150 or 1214
    My Phone:
    Nokia 6256i
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    the point is what you need if you need! The sales man are paid to say anything to get you to buy. The good and the bad of both are already listed.
    If you are going to make a trip to Europe you will need GSM or WCDMA phone.
    If you travel lots of rural america you need a phone that has analog and CDMA as a digital choice. Yes there are some very rural areas the GSM covers like Union Cellular does
    GSM in the US will never get the rural coverage that CDMA has becuase there are many very rural areas and both cellular providers are CDMA is why. I am sure there is a market or 2 that both providers are GSM now (don't know where?)
     
  21. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    Why do people keep asking this same question instead of using the SEARCH button? This horse has been beaten to death way too many times!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    Actually, it's the other way around. You'll be surprised to know reality is not as dark for GSM as you believe. Check this out:

    In the Top 40 U.S. Markets, the 2 - 800MHz licenses are held by one cdma and one gsm carrier, with the exception of the following:

    9. Dallas - both GSM (at&t, cingular)
    12. Miami - both GSM (AT&T, cingular)
    15. Cleveland - both CDMA (Verizon, Alltel)
    16.Phoenix - both CDMA (alltel, verizon)
    26. orlando- both GSM (at&t,cingular)
    29. charlotte,nc - both CDMA (verizon,alltel)
    32. san antonio - both GSM (at&t,cingular)
    34. norfolk, va- both CDMA (alltel verizon)
    35.austin,tx - both GSM (at&t,cingular)
    37. greensboro,nc - both CDMA (alltel, verizon)
    40. jacksonville- both GSM (cingular, at&T)

    So 35/40 top US markets will have GSM850,
    while 34/40 top US markets have CDMA850! how about that?

    That means 6 of the top 40 markets have both cellular bands on GSM while only 5 of the top 40 markets have both cellular bands on CDMA! :D

    Thanks to Rockon83 for the data!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you miss the Analogy here. We all know they can't turn Analog off.
    But the point here is that W-CDMA is an addition to GSM.
    How long will GSM be ON, that depends on Cingular or T-Mobile. They can turn it on for the next 100 years.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC, U.S.A
    My Phone:
    Pixel 7 Pro
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile, Visible
    Doe anyone know why there is no 850 GSM service in this area? Does someone have a license but is not using it? Or is there no 850 license here?

    Edit: I think I answered my own question. There are two available and both happen to be CDMA carriers. :O
     
  25. Fathead

    Fathead In the Industry
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    Yes, there are only 2 800 blocks.



    Bobo, While I agree with your data, he specifically stated rural markets. The top 40 markets are anything but "rural".

     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  26. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    GSM Operators are building towers in the Rural Areas?
    Where have you been?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  27. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    That's right...you got me there ;)

    But I still disagree with the statement that GSM will never get the rural coverage CDMA has. Sooner or later it will happen even if it is at 1900Mhz. As someone used to emphasize here in the past, Lake and Mendocino counties are as rural as you can get and GSM 1900 works fine there according to him.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  28. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    50
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    My Phone:
    iPhone SE
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    The way it works is that when you call a GSM phone you won't hear any ringing until the phone actualy starts ringing, so you'll notice there's a longer silence after you dial. Normally, when you dial a CDMA phone, you start to hear the ring right away.

    However, sometimes you may hear a ring or two even if a GSM phone is not ringing. Those ring come from the Voicemail system because the phone is either out of range, or turned off.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  29. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    13,722
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    165
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    My Phone:
    Galaxy S22+
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    Ok so there might not be as big of an advantage for GSM than I thought in that regards. If there's longer silience after you dial the call isn't going to get through as fast as I thought.
     
  30. Fathead

    Fathead In the Industry
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    True bobo. But of course, by that time, we'll be arguing about which is better, EV-DV and WCDMA.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page

Copyright 1997-2022 Wireless Advisor™, LLC. All rights reserved. All registered and unregistered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
WirelessAdvisor.com is not associated by ownership or membership with any cellular, PCS or wireless service provider companies and is not meant to be an endorsement of any company or service. Some links on these pages may be paid advertising or paid affiliate programs.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice