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GSM vs CDMA

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by BlackVision, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. BlackVision

    BlackVision New Member

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    What do you think are the advantages of disvantages of both? How does data speed differ for GSM and 1xRTT? It does seem like 90% of the world are using GSM signals though so if you wanna use your phone in Europe or Asia, you gotta have a GSM phone.
     
  2. Cellularific

    Cellularific Junior Member
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    GSM data speeds are far slower than 1XRTT, although i find CDMA data services from sprint to be unreliable anyways.
     
  3. northform

    northform Bronze Senior Member
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    GSM is the worldwide standard while CDMA is most widely used in the US and Korea. GSM offers better voice quality, longer battery life, worldwide roaming with some phones and more minutes - which is more of a marketing thing than a technological one. CDMA offers the ability to roam on to analog with most phones, more flip phones, and a wide deployment - which is more of an age thing than a technological one. Both CDMA2000 1xEV-DV and WCDMA are likely to use the same codecs for voice services.

    Oh, the analog capibilities of many CDMA phones is the reason that they are generally bulkier and heavier than GSM phones. Take the A530 or VX3100 from Samsung or LG (both CDMA phones). They are much smaller than comparable phones because they lack analog. They are also cheaper because they lack analog capabilities.

    1xRTT - the 2.5G CDMA standard - offers data speeds around that of a 56k modem. GPRS - the 2.5G GSM technology - offers data speeds of around 40-45kbps. Neither are good for downloading the latest version of Linux, but 1xRTT will give you a slight edge in normal web browsing.

    Data's future: CDMA2000 1xEV-DO will offer speeds of 150 to 250kbps and 1xEV-DV will offer speeds of 300 to 400kbps. EDGE will offer speeds of 110 to 130kbps, WCDMA/UMTS will offer speeds of 200 to 300kbps and WCDMA-HSDPA will offer speeds of 800kbps to 1.2Mbps.

    Which is better depends on what you value in a phone and what is available in your area.
     
  4. DiverDown

    DiverDown Member
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    Lets get the facts straight people. (read the business week for the 2nd week of june), 2 issues back. Full quallcom interview, and samsung interview.

    26% of the world uses cdma, by 2005 46% of the world will be using it.

    It may seem like 90% but actually its 74%, still a vast majority of GSM though.
     
  5. Frito

    Frito Banned
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    Ummmmm Northform you say GSM offers better voice quality and better battery life?? Where in the world do u get ur facts?? That is all your opinion, as there is no PROOF that this is true. I would tend to majorly disagree with you on that. Besides, the discussion of which is better has gone on numerous times on WA....... Its not WHOS BETTER, its who works for you.
     
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  6. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    There are archives in DSL Reports (links are below) where people have actually tested the 2.5 G systems. The facts do not support your statements.

    1xRTT has data rates of between 60 and 120 kbps (up and down). GPRS, on the other hand has downlink speeds of 30 kbps and uplink speeds of 10 kbps. You must have taken the "new" math. This difference is not a "slight edge." This is a 1xRTT downlink advantage of 2 to 4 times! The GPRS uplink speed is the same as CSD rates. This is hardly surprising, since GRPS devices typically will operate with 3 or 4 downlinks and 1 uplink.

    Sorry, Northform, again your figures are not supported by reality. EV-DO has been in operation for nearly <u>3 years</u>. Therefore, the future tense is not necessary. Furthermore, it IS offering real 3G speeds - TODAY.

    I will accept your statements in the case of EDGE, EV-DV, and wCDMA-HSDPA, because none of these are reality. Anyone can make any claim that they desire about these.

    However, when they are operational, we can revisit the issue - OK?

    Real world test data by real users:
    T-Mobile GPRS (bottom of page, the top is WiFi)
    Verizon Express Network
    Sprint Vision
     
  7. dallison

    dallison Senior Member
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    actually the voice quality is better. i don't nkow if there ar4e studies on it but the clarity is better than tdma. talking on tdma is almost like a cb sometimes. you can walk over the other person when they are talking. gsm you can talk pretty well w/o interuptions(sic). i use most of the gsm fones and the 5165 8265, and i do notice the difference. the battery life has been noticably better, it could be a better battery. but gsm is easier on a battery
     
  8. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Currently, cdma is only about 100 million subs. GSM is very close to 1 billion. the others (primarily PDC and TDMA, with a bit of NMT, iDEN and AMPS) are together only about another 200 million. The "46%" cdma you are quoting is bundling together wCDMA (also known as "3GSM") with the CDMA2000 and 1xrtt numbers. GSM will of course be phased out, but in the near term, wCDMA/EDGE/GSM will offer a seamless global network. Tecnology is irrelevant, functionality is everything.
     
  9. Buickman

    Buickman Gearhead/Gadget freak
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    Dallison, everyone pretty much agrees that GSM and CDMA are far superior to TDMA in voice quality. One other point that hasn't been covered here is network capacity, I'm not positive ( but I know someone will chime in with the numbers ), but doesn't CDMA win that catagory too? P. S., Bugwart, Polonius, go back to your corners, lace up your gloves, and come out fighting ( no hitting below the belt). Sorry, I just had flashbacks to a previouse thread.
     
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  10. northform

    northform Bronze Senior Member
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    CDMA can carry 15.6 calls per MHz. GSM can handle 14.2 calls per MHz or 16 calls per MHz with Dynamic Frequency Channel Allocation.

    GPRS speeds vary by device. The most common type of GPRS is class 8. This means 48kbps down and 12kbps up. I think that 40-45 was more than fair. The second most common type is class 6 which is 36kbps down and 24kbps up.

    CDMA2000 1xRTT can achieve speeds of 153kbps as an absolute maximum using an ENTIRE 1.25MHz channel. Now, because 1xRTT is a packet switched technology, speeds won't decrease completely proportionately to the number of users (that is to say that 2 users doesn't mean 76.5kbps each since each person is constantly switching on and off at a rapid pace). Of course, voice traffic does a number on 1xRTT data speeds and so users won't see near the maximum unless no one is talking or using data on the network at the time. 60kbps isn't outrageous for 1xRTT and 80kbps wouldn't be either, but 100kbps is. Of course, 20kbps isn't outrageous at peak times either. I would give 1xRTT about 20kbps over GPRS.

    Fine, EV-DO isn't future tense, but then neither is wCDMA. They are both future tense as far as the US is concerned.

    The figures for the future technologies come straight from Rysavy Research. Don't be a dolt.

    GSM does have better battery life. That's a fact. Simply compare the standby times of Verizon's phones (about 130hrs a piece) to Cingular GSM's phones (about 225hrs a piece). Anyone that has used both technologies knows that. Sure the comparo method isn't the most scientific, but Verizon has 2 phones that get more than 200hrs battery while Cingular has 9. That's 9 of 11 (82%) vs. 2 of 11 (18%). Not to mention that, of Cingular's GSM lineup, only one phone gets less than 150hrs standby. Verizon has 8 that get less than 150hrs of standby. C'mon.

    GSM phones have better sound quality. That's a fact. Now, that's not to say that CDMA doesn't have some nice auditory features. I like how CDMA smoothes over gaping bit errors.

    Frito, what did I end my last post with? 'Which is better depends on what you value in a phone and what is available in your area.' I didn't turn this into a GSM/CDMA fight. I simply stated what is what and said that what matters most is what is good for the buyer based on geographic location.

    EDIT: GSM isn't 'better' because more people use it. There are plenty of idiots out there. Also, I believe the 46% thing was on US subscribers in 2005 or 2007. It is estimated that 46% of the US wireless market will be CDMA and 40% will be GSM.
     
  11. Frito

    Frito Banned
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    As far as ur battery statement went, lets remember that those are ESTIMATED times. Its not etched in stone. Are those cingular phones color screens?? WE must rmemeber that Color screens put an awsome amount of drain on a battery, regardelss if ur useing CDMA, GSM or IDEN. I have used AT&Ts GSM Netowrk here in Florida, and i can say that CDMA seems A TON better, In terms of Voice. Oh and i did use my Freinds T-Mobile phone for a week as well, still think CDMA has better voice. Just my Opinion. U stated its a fact, well then like all valid and good facts, weres the proof?
     
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  12. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    The 46% "thing" you are thinking of is the Pyramid Research study released in February, which projects that GSM will be the dominant technology in the Americas by 2007. The projected figures for year-end 2003 are: Analogue - 12%, TDMA - 47%, CDMA - 26% and GSM - 15%.
    By 2007, that is expected to change to Analogue - 3%, TDMA - 27%, CDMA - 28% and GSM - 42%. I'd say Pyramid is a bit conservative. They of course are projecting, based on current trends, that 95% of analogue/TDMA operators will migrate to GSM, and 5% to CDMA. But they are overlooking the historical data (look at Chile, Brazil, or Mexico) that shows the entire market grows much faster once GSM is introduced (due to better handsets, more services and lower prices), and that the GSM-based competitor captures the overwhelming majority of this increased growth.


    But anyway, thanks for the simple explanation of call and data capacities.
     
  13. northform

    northform Bronze Senior Member
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    If you were really objective about CDMA and GSM you would see that CDMA phones do get less battery life regardless of colour or not. In fact, the Verizon phone that gets the best battery life is a colour phone. I don't want to bring up Nokia since I know that their CDMA phones are crap, but their CDMA models get less battery life than their GSM models from the same family.

    Yes, you might get better voice on Verizon's network thanyour friend does on T-Mobile. That has more to do with the quality of network buildout than technology. T-Mobile can be...iffy in a lot of places. In terms of accurate audio reproduction, GSM does better than CDMA. Does that mean that T-Mobile at 1bar will sound better than Verizon at 6? Certainally not. There is no substitute for a good network.

    Funny, the research report I read put CDMA at high 40%s and GSM at low 40%s for 2007. ATT is agressively rolling out their network in an attempt to become the next Verizon - their network is being built out here at an astonishing rate and now thay have about twice the GSM coverage as they did for TDMA.
     
  14. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Northform,

    I linked the data. It is realworld data from tests performed by actual subs with their individual wireless devices. Furthermore, DSL Reports is as unbiased a test site as exists today. You are certianly entitled to your opinion, but the facts speak for themselves.

    BTW, your argument about CDMA2000 not offering multiple people high speeds also applies to wCDMA. Consequently, if CDMA2000 fails to perform for the reasons that you brought up, then wCDMA can be expected to fail in the same way and for the same reasons. Fortunately for CDMA, the data does not support your arguments.
    This comes as surprise to me (and Polonius as well - I suspect).

    Hutchison's 3 is operating in the UK and Australia. FOMA has been running in Japan for some time. Polonius, I forgot the operator's name in Sverige that has launched wCDMA.

    At any rate, it is certainly possible to compare wCDMA and EV-DO performance today. EV-DO is more mature than wCDMA, thus is is not surprising that EV-DO is currently faster than wCDMA. Whether this situation will remain the same or change will be determined by future events.
     
  15. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Here we go again..... I have new gloves here if you need them. Now, we have Polonius to complete the trio [​IMG]
     
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  16. Frito

    Frito Banned
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    Hehehehehe.......... Those 2 are something else! But afer my arguement with northform about GSM and CDMA, I now understand why Bugwart goes at it!!!!! Plues hes got LOTS of valid points too! [​IMG]
     
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  17. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Thanks

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Frito

    Frito Banned
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    Hehehe, No problem! Let the Truth Be TOLDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]
     
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  19. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    It's 3 in Sweden as well. ("Tre" in swedish -- coincidentally the same as in Italian, if you're wondering why the Hi3G website says "tre" twice)
     
  20. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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  21. jsb

    jsb New Member

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    Just to add some fuel to the fire on various fronts:

    DoCoMo's FOMA (WCDMA) has been running in Japan for about a year and a half I believe. By comparison, KDDI's au (CDMA2000) has been running for just over a year. I might be wrong on the dates, but I know for a fact that DoCoMo rolled out at least a few months (closer to six, I think) before KDDI. Anyhow, au has severely beaten DoCoMo in terms of 3G subscribers. In early May, KDDI reported 6.8 million CDMA2000 users within a year of the CDMA2000 launch. At the end of May, FOMA had 478,200 subscribers, while au added 523,700 new subscribers in May alone (but to be fair, many of those were upgrades from KDDI's 2G service, so the net addition was 162,000). By comparison, FOMA added 57,200 new subscribers in May. FOMA has seen extremely slow takeup for several reasons, including the fact that their network is not as extensive as DoCoMo's 2G network or competing 3G systems, and handsets have had poor battery life and high prices. So yes, FOMA has been running for some time, but it's hardly been a runaway success, particularly when compared to KDDI's CDMA2000 system, which launched later. Those figures are from the companies' own announcements, which come out pretty regularly.

    In the UK and Italy (Hutchison's first markets for its WCDMA systems), takeup has been characterized as slow. It's picked up recently in the UK, but this may be attributable to the fact that 3 UK implemented some pretty drastic price cuts, both on phones and on service.

    As for market share statistics, here are a few more, from EMC as of 6/2003:
    Worldwide CDMA subscribers (includes cdmaOne and CDMA2000): 159,203,210
    Worldwide GSM subscribers (does not include WCDMA as far as I know): 878,828,950
    USA/Canada CDMA subscribers: 70,517,400
    USA/Canada GSM subscribers: 20,981,500

    Yes, everyone's statistics will vary. EMC's as independent as anyone. By their figures, worldwide the GSM/CDMA split is 85% to 15%. That doesn't take into account analog, TDMA, or any technologies other than GSM and cdmaOne/CDMA2000. In the US, the split is almost reversed....77% CDMA vs. 23% GSM. I don't think EMC does predictions/forecasts, but even if they do, I was only looking at recent past statistics.

    Yes, EDGE networks are being rolled out right and left (in the US, Cingular just launched the first EDGE network in Indianapolis, I believe). Much of this is by virtue of the fact that new GSM/GPRS installations are EDGE-capable. However, there are precious few EDGE phones on the market. So while the network is EDGE-capable, there are few handsets to take advantage of the EDGE services, so it's hard to say how EDGE performs in the real world.

    CDMA2000 1xEV-DO networks are active in Brazil and S. Korea, and there are launches planned for 2003 in Jamaica, Japan, and the US (Verizon Wireless).
     
  22. DiverDown

    DiverDown Member
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    Polonius you know I luv u. My stats were reported from business week and were a prediction that was stated aby the CEO of Qualcomm, and it sounds pretty accurate that buy 2005 46% will be using it.

    Regarding wcdma I don't know, it didn't state that , but I doubt thats what it meant since it was based most likely on the cdma technology that qualcomm created.

    Oh and Northfrom, if I had the time and the ability I would love to sue you for libel against something because all of your stats are made up.

    Personal attacks are cheap but the truth is the truth.
     
  23. Kenster

    Kenster Senior Member
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    Forget the gloves! It's a bare-knuckle punching match now! [​IMG]
     
  24. leubme

    leubme New Member

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    the thing to remember about the US figures is that an overwhelming number of US wireless subscribers are on Verizon Wireless which of course is CDMA/AMPS.....i'm not sure on the exact #s but im sure someone is!!
     
  25. jsb

    jsb New Member

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    Another thing to remember is that most people don't care what technology they're using, as long as the service works. The average user couldn't care less about CDMA vs. GSM vs. TDMA vs. anything else. They go for a combination of what works and what best fits their budget, probably with a bit of good/bad customer service thrown in.

    The companies know that, and that's why almost none of them advertise what technology they use. Sprint and Verizon don't make mention of CDMA. AT&T and Cingular don't make mention of TDMA or GSM/GPRS. T-Mobile's the only one I know of that makes reference to its technology, and even then, it's only in terms of having "World Phone" capability.
     
  26. leubme

    leubme New Member

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    EXACTLY, we americans are much nore materialistic to care about anything except what we want that second and whoever can give us what we want we use without concern to who (or in this case what technology) gives it to us
     
  27. jsb

    jsb New Member

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    I don't know if I'd limit that to Americans. Remember that many markets don't have a choice of technology. Often the government makes a decision about what technology will be available and that's it, or the government makes such a choice after heavy lobbying by equipment manufacturers who promote one type of technology or another. In western Europe, your choices are basically GSM or GSM, except for the couple of markets with brand-new WCDMA service, so it's not really fair to say that they care about the technology more than Americans do, as they don't really have a choice. Of course, they are able to choose their carriers, and in that respect, they're just like Americans or any other group with choice of carriers: they choose the carrier that offers the best combination of service and price, not necessarily in that order.
     
  28. Kenster

    Kenster Senior Member
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    AT&T Wireless is making it well-known that they are indeed upgrading to the "world-standard" of GSM. You may not see it on commercials or magazine ads but thru their sales reps. Go to an AT&T Wireless store and ask the rep why you should go with ATTWS instead of Sprint or Verizon and see what they say. I'll bet you one of the answers is "...because we are upgrading to the world-wide GSM/GPRS standard which offers better phones, world-wide roaming and capabilities, etc, etc..." I've heard that line before a couple times in the ATTWS store between a rep and a customer.
     
  29. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Junior Member
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    Ummm... 15.6 per MHz depending on codec. You do realize that CDMA is a packet based technology and does not have a hard limit like a time division system such as GSM? Soft limit means that a CDMA system could, in all reality, have many more calls than "15.6 per MHz", but the number of calls is relational to the voice spectrum that can be carried which is more easily distinguished by call quality.
     
  30. polonius

    polonius Junior Member
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    Lies, damn lies and statistics. What BW apparently didn't mention is that 90% of th3 46% that they are describing as "CDMA" means UMTS, the 3G "GSM" standard. There's no question that some flavour of cdma will be used by most cellular systems in the forseeable future, but it won't be Qualcomm's cdma 1xrtt for all but a small segment.
     

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