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View Full Version : One Reason Why I Like GSM (GPRS) over CDMA (1XRTT)

Jason Dunn
07-09-2003, 11:30 PM
You can't truly understand the beauty of being able to move a GSM SIM card into a new device, and have it work, until you try to do something similar with a CMDA device. You can't.Samsung was generous enough to send an i700, their awesome 1XRTT device with a built in camera, to review. They sent it to me a little over a month ago, and I figured "Well, Telus is the local CDMA carrier here in Calgary, so I'm sure I can connect with their PR people, get a demo account, activate the phone, and write the review." The first part went well - I got in touch with a nice lady from Telus, she said they could give me a demo account to use for the review. Then came activation time.The activation process was painful - we were looking for the ESN number, and couldn't find it on the device, so there was a flurry of emails back and forth between Telus, Samsung and myself as we tried to figure this out. By the end of the nearly month-long process, I was informed that Telus only let devices onto their network that they had been tested. Since they hadn't yet tested the i700 (and won't unless they decide to sell it), I might be able to get the i700 activated by, oh, 2004. :roll: I'll have the same problem if I can get my hands on their i600 Smartphone - which basically makes any CDMA useless to me as long as Telus has their current activation policies in place. &lt;sigh>Contrast that with the GSM world - I'm currently using the <a href="http://www.fido.ca">Fido network</a>, and I had a SIM in my XDA until I broke it. Then I moved that SIM into my T68i and used it as a data modem over Bluetooth with my Dell X5 and a Socket Bluetooth card. When I received my SPV Smartphone, I put the SIM in that, and have been using it since. Zero problems: I just put in the SIM, and it worked. Isn't that the way technology is supposed to be? Magical? You just plug it in and it works, the first time, and every time. The importance of being able to do that can't be overstated: while most people don't have as many devices as I do, the ease of being able to get a new phone or Pocket PC, pop in a card, and just use it, really can't be underestimated.The CDMA people could really learn a few things from the GSM camp...

07-10-2003, 12:00 AM
jason Are you going to duplicating posts across the thoughts media sites allthe time?

Robert Levy
07-10-2003, 12:15 AM
Whenever appropriate to multiple sites, yes. There is still some internal discussion about if/when/how those conversations should be linked.

07-10-2003, 02:14 AM
GSM is surely the best way to go. I am not locked by the provider with a phone I can't use with anybody else or other similar problems. I use a cellular phone since 1990 when they became available in Italy, in 1993 we switched to GSM. Never paid a penny when I receive calls, never had to buy a certain amount of minutes and try to use all of them but not more then the ones I had etc.
The real problem here in the US is that the whole billing system is wrong.
A comparison of the number of SMS sent and received in Europe and here is 100 to 1. The diffusion of phones in Europe is much higher than here, probably 80/85% in Europe, 50% here; not only what really makes the difference is the time spent using the phone and there is way higher then here.
Bottom line as far as cellular phones goes we are really behind...unfortunately for us.

07-10-2003, 02:30 AM
This brings up an interesting point, and I'll put it here where it won't get lost in the heavy traffic over there at PocketPCThoughts. Eventually there will be some natural distribution of the user base between the two (or more) Thoughts sites and people will gravitate toward their interests. So in a case like this the phone users might tend to be at this site and this particular topic would generate more traffic here.

Now, from my perspective, I am interested in mobile technology in general but do not own a PocketPC. I find PocketPCThoughts interesting because of the variety of topics discussed there. I am interested in the PocketPC platform but not in things like specific ROM updates or other esoterica. Some topics will bridge the two site focuses and some will not necessarily fit with either. So, where will topics such as DRM and multi-pocket clothing (to name two of Ed's favorites) find a home?


07-10-2003, 02:40 AM
Bottom line as far as cellular phones goes we are really behind...unfortunately for us.

I hear that a lot but I don't really agree with it.

In the U.S. we have SMS just like the rest of the world. It works seamlessly between carriers and even internationally. We just generally choose not to use it. That's a societal thing, not a technological issue.

I also hear a lot about how Europeans do not have to pay for incoming calls. Well that's because the caller is paying. It's just a matter of cost transfer. In the U.S. local calls are basically free so the caller is not subsidizing the wireless user's airtime. I am also not convinced that wireless service is cheaper anywhere else in the world. I don't know, so feel free to convince me.

I pay US$55 for 1000 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, and unlimited use of Nextel Direct Connect. For $15 more I have unlimited web browsing and messaging plus another 100 minutes. How do plans in the rest of the world compare to that?


07-10-2003, 03:57 AM
I agree with the whole SIM card experience described in the original story. Soooooo much better. Just the fact that I can buy a phone on eBay and switch my SIM into it....without having to extend my contract or even go into a Verizon store to make the switch...is worth it's weight in gold.

But GSM here in my area STINKS ON ICE! Verizon's reception here is so much better.

I had the i700 for about a week as I thought I wanted to go back to a PPCPE device (silly me). The slim battery was terrible and the larger battery made it too heavy. I kept feeling like I was going to drop the $599 device everytime I took it out of my pocket. So back to the store it went and a new SPV was purchased again!

But in that brief time under Verizon....I remembered the number one reason why I like their service so much. I actually could talk anywhere in my home and didn't have to go to a window to get reception!

When the i600 comes out....I may be tempted to switch.
But I would have to lose my SIM.

Decisions...decisions...decisions. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! :D

07-10-2003, 09:26 AM
I pay US$55 for 1000 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, and unlimited use of Nextel Direct Connect. For $15 more I have unlimited web browsing and messaging plus another 100 minutes. How do plans in the rest of the world compare to that?

I also have a Nextel phone (i85s) as well as various other phones on other carriers (T-Mobile, MetroPCS, SprintPCS, AT&T, etc) for testing purposes. I find the best deal for the non-traveller is the MetroPCS plan which is $35/month unlimited and $3/month for unlimited SMS if you are in one of the few areas it is available.

As with many things American, competitive pressures will cause all carriers to come out with an 'all-you-can-eat' plan.

07-10-2003, 08:34 PM
The GSM platform has a distinct advantage with their SIM chip portability.

The CDMA camp has developed their own version of this technology called Removeable User Identity Module, or R-UIM in either CDMA or GSM handsets. Or so the pitch goes:


Last December, Nokia and Gemplus demonstrated the first successful test of R-UIM cards here in North America: http://www.cdg.org/news/search/2002/12/vendor/120302%5Fven%5Fg.html. They are in use in China AFAIK with China Unicom.

07-13-2003, 04:44 AM
While SIM Cards might make life a little easier for some users - the level of management provided by the lack of them has some advantages at a network and application level.
1. Devices that are potentially damaging to the network & non compliant with standards cannot be connected in a non-SIM environment without operator involvement. The ability to get new devices approved / connected easily is in the hands of the individual network operators - obviously their approaches / processes around this will differ.
2. The network operator has exact knowledge of the hardware connected and thus is able to intelligently channel appropriate services to the device. eg a multifunctional infomation system supporting both SMS & WAP content has knowledge prior to transmission as to whether the handset is WAP capable(and what browser version) - if not it will utilise SMS.

I personally use a CDMA 1X Audiovox Thera and the lack of a SIM card is not going to deter me from the advantages of a network that can and normally does deliver throughput in excess of 100kbps.

The sort of performance GPRS dreams about !!

07-14-2003, 09:39 PM
Well, I don't get my plan that cheap... more like 500 minutes for about $50... but I get a whole set of services that are offered by my Telco.

I get my 500 minutes, I get about 417 SMS My SIM is tied to my MastercardElectronic, I get a good set of SMSBased services like movie schedules, weather, traffic, news, etc. I get MMS, I can actually manage my back account via my mobile ghone. etc. I don't think Nextel does all that.

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo