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Thread: Why companies chose/choose CDMA over GSM

  1. #16
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    Counterpoint- China. CDMA and GSM are on pretty much the same level (freedom-wise). Sure, the local carrier won't activate that nice, shiny Korean/US phone for you (independent shops handle that for varying activation fees- I've seen anywhere from about $5-$50) but they'll support it once you get it onto the network(at least the network-related functions). Oh, and their official line-up uses R-UIM.

    Their only advantage of CDMA in China is that they have 1xRTT, currently the fastest data network in China (excluding the EDGE coverage in Guangdong province) and that it has good rural coverage. That does say something about the state of China's wireless development.

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    对不起,但是我不同意。 I think that CDMA in China (as a lot of things in this enormous country) is a peculiarity.

    China is a country where authorities are still to issue 3G licenses. CDMA survives because it currently provides the fastest legal solution!

    When 3G comes to China (finally) then we will se the acceptance of the new service by the chinese public and the effect it will have on CDMA fate in China!
    In varietate concordia

  3. #18
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    I believe I did say that CDMA's only advantage was its data network.

    Personally, I've been waiting for 3G too, but CDMA won't go down without a fight, I'd imagine.

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    Yes I agree with you that for the time being CDMA's advantage in China is 1xRTT.

    But this cannot be compared to the rest of the world, because in China, this advantage has been a result of some peculiar decisions by the local authorities that haven't yet given the go ahead for real 3G, and 1xRTT is just the best thing that can happen for now...

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    Oh, of course. Sometimes I forget that in China the government has far more control over business than in most other countries, despite glaring reminders every so often in my daily life in Shanghai (the fact that Chinese Nintendo stuff is branded iQue instead of Nintendo, that cars are branded differently, insanely cheap cellphone plans, etc...).

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by yangj08
    Counterpoint- China. CDMA and GSM are on pretty much the same level (freedom-wise). Sure, the local carrier won't activate that nice, shiny Korean/US phone for you (independent shops handle that for varying activation fees- I've seen anywhere from about $5-$50) but they'll support it once you get it onto the network(at least the network-related functions). Oh, and their official line-up uses R-UIM.

    Their only advantage of CDMA in China is that they have 1xRTT, currently the fastest data network in China (excluding the EDGE coverage in Guangdong province) and that it has good rural coverage. That does say something about the state of China's wireless development.

    For China, you are right. When I wrote my previous post, I didn't consider China. I didn't because I heard that 85%+ of Internet traffic is in English. So I only really considered the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

    The UK doesn't have CDMA. The other countries I listed seem to be the same way about CDMA as it is in the US.

    However, when I say this I don't mean disrespect towards China. For the record, even though I'm a U.S. native, my mother is an immigrant from Taiwan. She came here for school, met my father, and didn't move back.

    But, I did assume that most people here are located in English speaking countries, so what I wrote applied to that (except the UK, where there's no CDMA as far as I know).


    I can only hope that the CDMA carriers in the U.S. and elsewhere will start using RUIM, or switch to GSM. However, I doubt it since it would increase consumer control and choice.

    CDMA as a technology isn't bad, but the implementation is horrible (RUIM not being used except in China).

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbott
    ...So I only really considered the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada...
    Australia is saying goodbye to CDMA in February 2008...

    That leaves us with the US, Canada and New Zealand. In the US I don't know the CDMA market share, in Canada it's around 60-63% and in NZ it's 49%. Only in the two north American countries does CDMA have more than 50% market share and in NZ it has close to 50% because there are only two networks (one GSM and one CDMA) in the rest of the world the technology is getting more and more marginalised, including S.Korea where it currently has more than 50% of the market, but the same providers are trying to switch their customers to 3GSM/HSDPA!

    The question posed here, I believe, has more sense when referring to N.American carriers who chose CDMA because of it being a home-grown technology and an upgrade to their existing equipment. In the rest of the world (Korea, Australia, NZ, S.America) they went for CDMA, only because the american companies went for it!

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    I'd love to know the motivation behind the use of CDMA in China when the GSM network was doing just fine, though... Or is it really just a matter of "we can't get 3G licenses yet so we'll set up the fastest possible 2G network for now?"

    Oh, BTW- I'm actually a US citizen, I just happen to live in China for now. Not at the moment, though- I'm currently in the States (still adjusting to sticker shock, especially in cellphone plans- $10 for 5MB of data on GoPhone is hardly sane when I used to get 50MB for less than that in China).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmmour
    Australia is saying goodbye to CDMA in February 2008...
    Awesome. But I wonder, does this mean that on March 1st, 2008 anything CDMA is bricked, or do they become legacy customers who can't renew and no new subscribers are allowed?

    In the U.S., AMPS was that way for many years. However, I don't know if AMPS users are still allowed to maintain their phones.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmmour
    That leaves us with the US, Canada and New Zealand. In the US I don't know the CDMA market share, in Canada it's around 60-63% and in NZ it's 49%. Only in the two north American countries does CDMA have more than 50% market share and in NZ it has close to 50% because there are only two networks (one GSM and one CDMA) in the rest of the world the technology is getting more and more marginalised, including S.Korea where it currently has more than 50% of the market, but the same providers are trying to switch their customers to 3GSM/HSDPA!

    Source


    I couldn't find more recent data (that's for Q4 of 2005), though I admit that I probably could've tried harder. I suppose there's paying a research firm for the latest report, but I didn't want to do that.

    According to that, Sprint and Verizon have an aggregate share of 44%. However, I've also heard of Verizon increasing their market share. It also doesn't take into account CDMA MVNOs, such as Virgin Mobile (what sort of name is that anyway??) and Tracfone. On the flip side, the aggregate of Cingular and T-Mobile is 46.3%.

    So...I'm guessing it's about 50/50 CDMA vs. GSM. That shows a lot of people don't know better, but then again when it comes to technology most don't. I've heard of legitimate reasons to chose CDMA over GSM, but they don't apply to most, and those reasons are quickly disappearing. I'm thinking of coverage issues when I say that.

    It's also why Verizon still manages to sell their broadband over cellular service, even though anyone who does so should only use Cingular or at least Sprint, because Verizon has a 5GB monthly bandwidth cap, not enough for a PC.


    Quote Originally Posted by gmmour
    The question posed here, I believe, has more sense when referring to N.American carriers who chose CDMA because of it being a home-grown technology and an upgrade to their existing equipment. In the rest of the world (Korea, Australia, NZ, S.America) they went for CDMA, only because the american companies went for it!
    I wish I could completely believe that. It makes some sense, but I just can't help it's the less consumer choice/vendor lock-in thing. Worst part is that unlike Ma Bell, if your phone breaks YOU have to pay, yet the phone you buy can only work with THEIR network.

    I wish I never went with Verizon in the first place. The only reason I did was because at the time I didn't know anything about the different technologies and because at the time I lived in an area where Verizon was the telco, so I thought of Verizon when I got the phone. This reiterates one of my previous points, of consumers not knowing any better.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbott
    So...I'm guessing it's about 50/50 CDMA vs. GSM. That shows a lot of people don't know better, but then again when it comes to technology most don't. I've heard of legitimate reasons to chose CDMA over GSM, but they don't apply to most, and those reasons are quickly disappearing. I'm thinking of coverage issues when I say that.

    I wish I could completely believe that. It makes some sense, but I just can't help it's the less consumer choice/vendor lock-in thing. Worst part is that unlike Ma Bell, if your phone breaks YOU have to pay, yet the phone you buy can only work with THEIR network.
    In North America, CDMA has 50.3% market share and GSM has 38.5% in Q1 2007.

    http://www.cellular-news.com/story/24950.php

    Go look at the iphone for the ultimate in carrier lock-in --- with the original evil ma bell.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbott
    Awesome. But I wonder, does this mean that on March 1st, 2008 anything CDMA is bricked, or do they become legacy customers who can't renew and no new subscribers are allowed?

    In the U.S., AMPS was that way for many years. However, I don't know if AMPS users are still allowed to maintain their phones.
    Telstra is switching off CDMA in the first days of February 2008!

    They have already started reducing antenna power and coverage on CDMA and customers are given incentives to move to the new network (with free handsets etc.) ASAP as they have been notified that their CDMA service will be discontinued coming February! Many customers have already noticed significant loss of coverage, although the CDMA network is supposed to stay alive "as is" until next February that it will be switched off! This is inevitable though since Telstra are fitting WCDMA in the same frequencies and of course give priority to the new network!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmmour
    Many customers have already noticed significant loss of coverage, although the CDMA network is supposed to stay alive "as is" until next February that it will be switched off! This is inevitable though since Telstra are fitting WCDMA in the same frequencies and of course give priority to the new network!
    You mis-read the news reports.

    The people living in the bushes are having coverage problems with the new wcdma system (which is sold as the "Next G").

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...?site=riverina

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    Quote Originally Posted by samab
    In North America, CDMA has 50.3% market share and GSM has 38.5% in Q1 2007.

    http://www.cellular-news.com/story/24950.php

    Go look at the iphone for the ultimate in carrier lock-in --- with the original evil ma bell.
    Thanks for the info. I even read the link, and it said that CDMA has managed to have a higher growth rate. Do those operators have better marketing? Perhaps different television ads? I don't subscribe to cable (or dish) so I don't know.


    As for the IPhone, I concur.

    Article at the Inq.

    I think anyone who buys one is just an Apple fanboi. For the same money you can get something better. How about the HTC TyTN? Or you can get similar capabilities with less money.

    Why Apple decided to only make it available through a single channel with strings attached is beyond me. This effectively means it's U.S. only, despite being GSM AND quad-band. I don't see why they can't sell them in unlocked versions too. Example: Suppose folks in South Africa (or any other country) want to buy an IPhone, and let's assume they have enough money. Seeing as the IPhone is both GSM and quad-band, it could work if unlocked. So, why not sell an unlocked version, and sell a few more? A sale is a sale. If the customer has enough money it doesn't matter who buys it or where he lives.


    As for AT&T itself, I don't have the same negative sentiment. Why? Sure, it's no longer the one big company. But it was heavily regulated. Also, when you had to use their phones, phones were fixed free of charge. The result was that their phones were designed to be very reliable indeed. Even today, I only use older Bell System telephones for my home phone.

    Even though the big company no longer exists, you still have only one choice where you live, like it is with the other utilities. Plus, the phone company is no longer obligated to fix your phone. In some ways, we aren't better off.

    But enough about POTS. Let's get back to topic with why GSM is better than CDMA (or if you prefer, why you think vice versa).

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by samab
    You mis-read the news reports.

    The people living in the bushes are having coverage problems with the new wcdma system (which is sold as the "Next G").

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...?site=riverina
    The link you provided doesn't in any way cancel what I said!

    You should try to understand what people are saying before you reply!

    I never said that NextG coverage is as good as the former CDMA one out in the bush! You made that from your mind and that's what you're trying to disprove with your link, although I never claimed anything like that! In fact, I agree that they need to provide equal or better coverage with their new network before they switch off their old one!

    What I said is what I've read as user feedback on many fora, that Telstra CDMA users have personally noticed a decrease in their CDMA coverage after NextG was launched! This means (explained in plain English): that the CDMA coverage for them is getting worse in places where THEY used to have good service! That's what I said! And I didn't notice any reply of yours on my sayings, rather you replied on something you thought I said!!! (usual practice)

    The best explanation one could give for that is that Telstra engineers are installing WCDMA equipment on the same base stations operating in the same frequencies and this affects CDMA coverage, but they don't care to fine-tune that in order to keep CDMA coverage the same, because in any way they will shut it down in about 7 months!

    As a future looking statement by Telstra, they said that they expect to provide the same level of coverage as they used to do with their CDMA system, by the day they phase out CDMA, i.e. by February 2008!
    I hope they do so, but I don't personally care since I'm not in Australia and I'm not going to the Australian Bush in the coming years!

    In the meanwhile, it is difficult for the two systems to co-exist in the same bands without problems!


    Expected reply from you: Yes, but... (fill in with any irrelevant thing you want, that has nothing to do with my post and you have an expected reply)

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbott
    Thanks for the info. I even read the link, and it said that CDMA has managed to have a higher growth rate. Do those operators have better marketing? Perhaps different television ads? I don't subscribe to cable (or dish) so I don't know.
    Why do you think that it's related to marketing at all?

    The best run carrier in the US is Verizon Wireless and the best run carrier in Canada is Telus Mobiliy --- in terms of churn, in terms of postpaid net adds, in terms of coverage, in terms of profitability.... --- and they are both CDMA carriers.

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