gsm vs cdma - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-17, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
met
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gsm vs cdma

Hi!

I'm moving to Vancouver soon and I need a mobile. I've searched for some information and found out that there are 2 types of connectivity, gsm and cdma. I just need to do call and text-messages (no internet at all), does it changes something in terms of coverage or something else?

Other than that I'd have another couple of questions:
are gsm contract phones blocked? (if I buy a quadriband with a 2y contract from Fido, can I use it in Europe just by changing the sim?)

and could you please suggest me a reliable company? Fido seems the cheapest one but I read bad things about it.


Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-17, 06:18 PM
 
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Technically CDMA is better then GSM, in real live, there is little difference.
In some spots GSM is better , next block CDMA is better.

If you are planning to travel rogers/fido works anywhere in the world, just call the provider and your Phone works there.

If you add a + in front of all your 1 numbers in your address book, you dont have to dial special codes.

Only place it has problems is in some asian areas where they have a comdo system, like japan, where they use standard sims in CDMA, so I had to rent a phone there, put my sim in and it worked.


Andy
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-17, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
met
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Thanks for your help!

I figured out that all gsm contract phones are locked but there's a way to unlock them, so I can use my italian sim when I'm in Europe. I guess I'll go with Fido+Razr2
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-17, 09:07 PM
 
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It's complex now because CDMA is used by both systems! There's the 1x/EvDO version of CDMA that Telus, Bell, SaskTel, etc. use... and there's WCDMA that GSM providers use in their 3G networks all around the world.

2G GSM has some advantages over 3G GSM and 1x/EvDO, primarily in the area of battery life. 3G GSM gives slightly higher voice quality (to my ear 2G GSM sounds better than 1x/EvDO voice by a long shot, but some carriers, particularly in the US, use a codec that compresses the voice more than the one Rogers uses which reduces quality noticeably) and much higher data speeds, but for voice none of this matters. A 3G phone will give you the ability to use either service, which can be useful during times of great demand on the system, but otherwise having 3G is a liability for voice because of the reduced battery life.

If you want to be able to unlock your phone and use it anywhere, GSM is your technology. In a few years, though, everybody is going to be using GSM (probably 4th generation) so the point will be quite moot, but I love that I can pick my own hardware with GSM. I have a bunch of phones and I use all of them depending on my whims and needs of the day. I used an unlocked phone in New York City last week with AT&T, and got a SIM for Red Pocket Mobile that allows calls from the US to Canada without charging extra for toll, to use on my next trip. I like having that kind of control.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-18, 05:28 AM
 
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Quote:
If you are planning to travel rogers/fido works anywhere in the world, just call the provider and your Phone works
Everywhere in the world except for Newfoundland and Labrador. (with the exception of St. John's, townie *******s).
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-18, 06:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by barter View Post
Everywhere in the world except for Newfoundland and Labrador. (with the exception of St. John's, townie *******s).
Or along Hwy 17 between Sault Ste Marie and pretty much Winnipeg. It's only a 17 hour section of the Trans Canada Highway.

TC-P54G25, JVC Receiver, Turbosound Impact 50 speakers, Turbosound Impact 110 Sub, Sony SA-WM500 Sub, Bell TV 9200
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-19, 10:30 AM
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Idunno?? My phone says WCDMA 850/1900 on it and i get good reception and voice quality
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-19, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
met
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Thanks guys!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-22, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by met View Post
Thanks for your help!

I figured out that all gsm contract phones are locked but there's a way to unlock them, so I can use my italian sim when I'm in Europe. I guess I'll go with Fido+Razr2
Unlocking a GSM phone costs $10 in an Asian mall.... in TO anyway
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-28, 03:03 AM
 
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10 bucks?! I wonder if they do it properly by code, or just hack your phone with some tool?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-30, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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wow.. could you pm me the details of that store?
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-30, 11:40 AM
 
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Unlocking a GSM phone costs $10 in an Asian mall.
I was told by a vendor that unlocking may cause some features not to work. For example, if you have your BlackBerry or other e-mail enabled phone unlocked by one of those third-party services, your voice capability and text capability will work, but you may no longer be able to use the phone's e-mail functionality.

I have no experience of third-party unlocking; I'm just passing along what I was told.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 2008-12-30, 02:51 PM
 
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Usually unlocking doesn't change how the phone is configured, it just lets you use any SIM. Things that worked before will continue to work.

One incompatibility often overlooked is that locked phones, even once unlocked, often have data settings that cannot be changed without flashing new firmware. Unlocking a Rogers phone would not let you use it with AT&T Mobile in the States for data use, unless you had firmware that permitted you to configure the data side.

I have had a few phones unlocked over the years. The two Rogers-locked phones I got unlocked (Nokia 6590i and Motorola RAZR V3) both worked normally with Rogers after unlocking, including data, but I couldn't configure the data to work with other providers.
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