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GSM vs CDMA

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

  1. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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  2. Simon5282

    Simon5282 Senior Member
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    after hearing about both technologlys, and trying both of them, i dont care as long as the price is right. i dont make a lot of money. I cannot afford another bill. so i go with the cheep stuff.
     
  3. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Viewfly

    You seem to be overlooking a few things that are happening now which might change the direction things are heading.

    People who are choosing their cellular technology like the MAP core that GSM uses because of interoperability. However, the TDMA air interface has built in limitations. Even GPRS and EDGE can really only partially solve the problems. You can get higher speed, but with a trade off - fewer users can have more resources or you can have more users with resource limitations.

    On the other hand, the CDMA 1x air interface provides more capacity and higher speed, but the ANSI 41 core was not designed with interoperability in mind.

    An optimum system would seem to be a combination of the MAP core with the capacity and high data rate of CDMA 1x. And let's throw in SIM cards to the mix. China Unicom is testing this system as you read this. It is called GSM 1x. They also poineered SIM cards for CDMA phones.

    Another factor to consider is that Samsung is working on phones that will operate on CDMA 1x, GSM and GRPS. These should be out within a few months.


    I will stretch a bit on this next point: I believe that by the time the problems with wCDMA are fully sorted out, that there will be multimode 3G handsets that will operate on both wCDMA and CDMA EV-DO.
     
  4. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Bugwart,

    I tried to chose my words carefully in the first posting, so as not to sound like an ogre. My view is that simplicity and a gobal standard is best. And I am mainly concerned about voice services.

    Whatever the new standard will be, all of our old phones probably won't work. But I doubt that the current large gobal user base will split into factions of different standards. If there is one system that merges the best of each together and the world switches to it, I'm fine with that. If it is a GSM 1x two chip system (voice/GSM - data/cdma2000 1x as China Unicom proposes) great.

    But until the world shifts to a new standard, the phones will probably be offered in only a few styles. And if I read the users of this forum correctly, we wouldn't like that. The idea of a CMDA/GSM/analog(?) phone is neat. (will it be 800/1900/1800/900,analog)

    But take the example of 6340i. I like my GAIT phone, but the protocol doesn't live up to the layman promise of seamless transfer between GSM and TDMA; calls get dropped and it doesn't always go for the best signal. Does it have all the features I want? Plus, there are only 2 phones on the market. The same would be true for a wCDMA and CDMA EV-DO phone, but maybe not...I have no crystal ball here. If the whole world moves to a system like this, then this is fine.

    Look how boring most of the TDMA (and I think CMDA) phone offerings were/are; now that GSM is open, the number of phones have exploded. Going on international Moto and Nokia web pages, there are lots of neat GSM phones...bluetooth, etc. This was not by design, but a result of moving to a standard with a larger user base. They can afford many phone styles because even if one model gets 5 % of sales...that is a lot of phones.

    I read also that China Unicom is testing GSM 1x (in one city) and they have CDMA networks. But their CDMA networks have 7 million subsribers compared to 60 million GSM for Unicom. And Unicom accounts for only 30% of China mobile services. Their Management firmly state that it will always support the GSM user, their main revenue base and growth. This is why they are trying the GSM 1x system, as I understand, to give users access to faster data speeds while perserving the GSM user base.

    But all this is in some distant future. In the near term, my point is that current Verizon CMDA could become quite isolated from a gobal business point of view. And as a consumer, it limits my phone selections and access.

    Best and only my opinion, not meant to start any heated debate,
     
  5. byrnefm

    byrnefm New Member

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    On the matter of GSM quad band phones, Motorola is about to come out with one - the V600. I think it's due to be released in the next month or so? No idea on pricing yet, though...
     
  6. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Looks like a winner....GSM quad band,integrated camera, bluetooth, flip, MMS, color, GPRS. Motorola has nice phones. Due 2nd half of 2003.

    Thanks for the info.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Go to: V600
     
  7. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    BTW, I started to think more about this.

    Maybe someone can help me verify/update these numbers...they are almost unbelievable.

    According to the web, in Feb 2003, China Unicom has 60 million GSM subscribrers----but only 30% of China's total GSM subscribers! ---200 million?

    From a June 2001 article in Wireless week,

    Verizon had 27.1 million subscribers
    Cingular had 20.5 million
    Att had 15.7 million
    Sprint 11.7 million
    Tmobile ?

    What are the 2003 numbers?

    Incredible how big the Chinese market is!
     
  8. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Off the top of my head here are the numbers, so don't flame me if they are a bit off:

    As of June 2003:
    Verizon: 34.1 Million
    Cingular: 22.6 Million
    AT&T: 21.6 Million
    Sprint: 18.8 Million
    Nextel: 11.5 Million
    T-Mobile: 10.5 Million
     
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  9. Bugwart

    Bugwart Bronze Senior Member
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    Viewfly,
    As far as variety goes, there are plenty of CDMA handsets available. There are quite a variety of EVDO handsets. Here are 46 EVDO phones (5 pages).

    There are 211 CDMA 1x handset for sale only in Korea. (21 pages in all).

    There are not many TDMA handsets out there, because the technology is being phased out.

    Unicom is worried about more than high data speeds. They are concerned that they will run out of GSM capacity.

    GPRS and EDGE increase data speeds, but at the expense of voice capacity. The 1xRTT air interface increases data rates AND voice capacity. Therefore, GSM 1X, if it works, will provide a more cost effective solution than doubling the number of GSM towers to guarantee both GSM voice and GPRS data capacity.

    I understand your point that you are only worried about voice and not data. However, both China Mobile and Unicom have seen what has happened with data service in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. They want to be prepared.
     
  10. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Bobolito:

    Thanks for the numbers. It seems like the US will have to outfit a cell to every man, women and child (~290M) to even reach the Chinese mobile users--- let alone on one technology platform. (can you hear me now - from the baby crib ).


    Bugwart:

    I've been to Japan about a dozens times over the last decade (and Korea). As you seem to know, it is a veritable candy store for electronic goodies. (Even low tech- in almost any store you can find a multitude of pencils in every point size, in stock) Their manufacturing philosophy is so different from ours.

    As you say there are hundreds of phones to look at and drool about. Too bad that we can't have that variety here in the States, which is where my statement comes from.

    As I said, whatever the future will bring, there is no certainty that it will be based on technological superiority considerations alone. But it is certain that the technology will change or blend together....I just wish that a gobal standard emerges and believe that the <u>current</u> GSM standard is the bridge to be on that will maximize my phone's voice portability until we get there.

    I follow the GSM 1x tests with interest.
     
  11. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Actually, if you think about it, the number of US users may be more than what carriers display. There is a group of people that use phones under someone else's name so if I have more phones in my account and I give one to my wife, my son (or my dog), it is still counted as one customer. Also, the number of phones is even greater. Many people have a work cell phone (paid by the employer), and another for personal use (paid by the end user). But in that case, they count that as two customers even though it is just one person.
     
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  12. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Interesting thought, bobolito.

    I'd assumed that they count by active phone numbers. I have 4 cell phones under my name (for family), but each one has a separate phone number. Wouldn't they count by that?


    What if their best dream came true for ATT and Cinguar---overnight their TDMA/analog networks turned to GSM and they kept all their customers. Then the US would have almost a 50/50 split between CDMA and GSM users ( I put Verizon and Sprint together and Cingular/ATT/Tmo together - ignoring Nextel).

    And still the total of all users (regardless of technology) would be 1/2 of the Chinese GSM users.....and I assumed that we are the techno - advanced country!
     
  13. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    The best dream to come true for me is for Cingular GSM to roam on AT&T GSM in this area.
     
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  14. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Bobolito,

    Have you tried Cingular GSM with something besides the 6340i? I mean a GSM 800/1900 phone only?

    I'm on the old Nation plan with 6340i. However, while in Houston recently, I could only get on Cingular TDMA. But the GSM Nation plan Map shows GSM coverage there. I then noted that in the Houston area (according to the Cingular Web page) only TDMA service/phones are available.

    It seems that an out of town GSM phone will be allowed to roam on GSM in Houston, but a out of town 6340i will only be allowed TDMA roaming.

    Just curious, maybe you tried this recently. I note that NJ Paterson area is now GSM only area on Cingular's Web page.
     
  15. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Bobolito,

    I should add that while in Maine this summer, my 6340i used ATT GSM fine.

    Also, I just checked the Houston Cingular web page today....now they are all GSM! 2-3 weeks ago they were only TDMA when I looked at it.
     

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