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Thread: Does UMTS travel further/propagate deeper/covers land area more easily than CDMA/LTE?

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    Does UMTS travel further/propagate deeper/covers land area more easily than CDMA/LTE?

    In my state of Vermont, AT&T is on a whole other level for coverage than any other carrier, but I dont know if it's because they have more towers or the UMTS tech actually does provide a LOT more coverage, what is everyone else's experiences with 4G(HSPA)? Anyone have instances of better coverage with CDMA? I just find it so bizarre AT&T has much more coverage than the top rated Verizon in this area of the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroSignal View Post
    In my state of Vermont, AT&T is on a whole other level for coverage than any other carrier, but I dont know if it's because they have more towers or the UMTS tech actually does provide a LOT more coverage, what is everyone else's experiences with 4G(HSPA)? Anyone have instances of better coverage with CDMA? I just find it so bizarre AT&T has much more coverage than the top rated Verizon in this area of the state.

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    There are plenty of places where one phone carrier has a better signal than the other. Even Sprint has a better signal for some. Verizon has never had the best signal in every nook and cranny of every block.

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    I would say it's site density. CDMA outruns UMTS by a lot. UMTS range is closer to that of LTE (when comparing on similar frequencies) than UMTS is to CDMA.

    In my area VZ CDMA site density is lower than UMTS site density and yet CDMA 850 still out covers U850 in the area. Same goes for the two on 1900 as well. Out west I see the same thing, CDMA 1x on 850 covering a good bit more than any other technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GusHerb94 View Post
    I would say it's site density. CDMA outruns UMTS by a lot. UMTS range is closer to that of LTE (when comparing on similar frequencies) than UMTS is to CDMA.

    In my area VZ CDMA site density is lower than UMTS site density and yet CDMA 850 still out covers U850 in the area. Same goes for the two on 1900 as well. Out west I see the same thing, CDMA 1x on 850 covering a good bit more than any other technology.
    Now, I would agree with you, but going down a hill while I'm on band 12 LTE, it loses signal, however on band 5 HSPA it keeps the connection while the tower for HSPA may be a bit closer it's still about the same direction as the one with LTE. CDMA could never hang on that well every time I went down the hill, no service. UMTS in my experience, even on band 2 from the same site propagates deeper into some buildings and basements than band 12! You are certainly correct that AT&T has a lot more cell density than Verizon and USCC, which are pretty large players here as well just not as dense. I've seen CDMA do some pretty incredible things, but it seems like that only happened with optimal and favorable weather conditions, but that's only 1x, not great for data, while with AT&T I get 4G in the same places, which is much faster.

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    IMO, depends on the device. My iPhone 4s was tenacious with Faux G, my S7 is a total dog, but is great with LTE. Weirdly, B5 HSPA+ performs a lot better than B2 HSPA+, which makes sense, but B17 LTE is barely any better than B2 LTE in most places. Maybe they have B17 tuned way down so as not to interfere tower to tower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    IMO, depends on the device. My iPhone 4s was tenacious with Faux G, my S7 is a total dog, but is great with LTE. Weirdly, B5 HSPA+ performs a lot better than B2 HSPA+, which makes sense, but B17 LTE is barely any better than B2 LTE in most places. Maybe they have B17 tuned way down so as not to interfere tower to tower.
    That's weird, they should really turn the power up more so I could have LTE down that hill lol, my S8+ is also tenacious on 4G and it'll hang on for dear life on it, it's pretty good with LTE too, but LTE is so like weak compared to band 5 hspa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroSignal View Post
    That's weird, they should really turn the power up more so I could have LTE down that hill lol, my S8+ is also tenacious on 4G and it'll hang on for dear life on it, it's pretty good with LTE too, but LTE is so like weak compared to band 5 hspa.
    That's weird, as that's not my experience at all. I'm not sure how my perception of data speed figure in though, as most HSPA+ seems to be kind of useless these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroSignal View Post
    In my state of Vermont, AT&T is on a whole other level for coverage than any other carrier, but I dont know if it's because they have more towers or the UMTS tech actually does provide a LOT more coverage, what is everyone else's experiences with 4G(HSPA)? Anyone have instances of better coverage with CDMA? I just find it so bizarre AT&T has much more coverage than the top rated Verizon in this area of the state.
    It's all about location...
    I do know that UMTS provides more coverage with AT&T on the part of Vermont I'm familiar with.
    I have noticed that LTE "breaks apart" and drops to UMTS as I travel away from the site and through a low rise hill.
    I haven't tried CDMA yet, which I will find out soon.

    But by the same token, I've held on to AT&T LTE while reaching into a valley during my drive before it breaks off and AT&T MX takes over.
    Kinda of annoying since I'm still holding to the weak AT&T LTE signal while my speeds suffer greatly when ideally I would like to break off and roam on AT&T MX, Movistar or Telcel just so I can use my phone again.

    In my office in the Westside, I don't get LTE at all and sometimes I get UMTS when I'm near the window. Other times, I get nothing at all.

    The only place I know for a fact that CDMA works better than UMTS is if I'm driving through the sides of the Santa Monica Mountains. AT&T simply dies in this area when driving some of these residential areas. AT&T LTE is sketchy at best. While these homes are really nice, it sucks to have a paperweight in one hand and a working phone on 1x/3G in the other.

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    CDMA benefits from patent encumbered technology that UMTS did not use. UMTS, or W-CDMA, was GSMA's effort to take expiring patents from the early days of CDMA, and reuptake them into GSM.

    CDMA2000 typically will outperform UMTS, without further enhancements (HSPA). In call quality, CDMA2000 is superior except in very high signal quality scenarios.

    HSPA benefits from technologies that were rival to EV-DV and EV-DO Rev's C and D (aka UMB), which were never finished. UMB was Qualcomm's original answer to WiMAX and LTE - before they joined the LTE team.

    LTE is superior to both, except for voice calls in very fringe areas - where CDMA2000 probably will be a bit better for voice. But that's only because of how VoLTE and LTE handle extremely poor SNR situations.

    Please keep in mind, these are technology comparisons. Towers and spectrum allocation play a huge, decisive role.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    That's weird, as that's not my experience at all. I'm not sure how my perception of data speed figure in though, as most HSPA+ seems to be kind of useless these days.
    When you live in a rural area that has very little users on the network, I can see why AT&T didn't bother putting up LTE until quite recently, there is enough bandwidth around for everyone, once it becomes very slow, then they come in and add LTE. LTE can and will probably become just as slow as HSPA+ is (which isn't very slow) because of congestion, it'll just take more users per site. Interestingly, as you said B17 LTE isn't much better than B2 HSPA is quite accurate, B17 LTE in this hilly area is in and out, just like B2 4G, but B5 4G hangs on a bit longer and deeper into hills, in my experience. It always surprises me because when I had Verizon and the over rated USCC here, right when you go down a hill you lose service, if you're lucky you might hang on to a dirty 1X signal that's useless for calls and data. I'd rather have a usable 4G connection than an unusable 1x connection. For whatever reason UMTS is just better in hilly terrain than CDMA, is CDMA any better in flat areas where the signal can go on as long and far as it wants? It seems like HSPA is better at NLOS than CDMA, at least here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatoncat View Post

    CDMA2000 typically will outperform UMTS, without further enhancements (HSPA). In call quality, CDMA2000 is superior except in very high signal quality scenarios.
    ]
    I see no difference in quality except when cdma gets congested. CDMA becomes very muffled and robotic sounding. It's gets to the point where you can't even understand the other person that's how bad it could be. Never remembered UMTS ever sounding that bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRC72 View Post
    I see no difference in quality except when cdma gets congested. CDMA becomes very muffled and robotic sounding. It's gets to the point where you can't even understand the other person that's how bad it could be. Never remembered UMTS ever sounding that bad.
    Again, spectrum allocation plays a huge factor. CDMA carriers had to split voice spectrum with EV-DO, whereas AT&T shutdown GSM and refarmed all that spectrum to UMTS. What you're describing is not uncommon... but with CDMA at the edge, I'd rather have muffled and working than great quality and no signal.

    So yes, UMTS often does sound better. But in a fringe area, you'd want CDMA2000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatoncat View Post
    Again, spectrum allocation plays a huge factor. CDMA carriers had to split voice spectrum with EV-DO, whereas AT&T shutdown GSM and refarmed all that spectrum to UMTS. What you're describing is not uncommon... but with CDMA at the edge, I'd rather have muffled and working than great quality and no signal.

    So yes, UMTS often does sound better. But in a fringe area, you'd want CDMA2000.
    I doubt AT&T refarmed GSM to use on UMTS, why would they do that when they have a much more efficient technology, LTE? CDMA is awful in my state, as I said go down a hill and you have Zippo service and drop calls all over the place, haven't really made a call while driving on AT&T yet, but I do keep a data connection more than I did with USCC and Verizon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroSignal View Post
    I doubt AT&T refarmed GSM to use on UMTS, why would they do that when they have a much more efficient technology, LTE? CDMA is awful in my state, as I said go down a hill and you have Zippo service and drop calls all over the place, haven't really made a call while driving on AT&T yet, but I do keep a data connection more than I did with USCC and Verizon.

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    I don't think that it had anything to do with the reclaimed spectrum... GSM channels are 200 kHz wide each and they probably only had 3-5 channels so they may have reclaimed 600 kHz to 1 MHz of spectrum. With the move to an UMTS/LTE only network brings a few things... for one, the capacity/spectral efficiency increases. From an old thread in 2006 I found about the topic of GSM vs UMTS...

    in the real world a wcdma radio can support about 80 users per sector in 5MHz in a multi cell network, in comparison gsm with the tdma air interface and amr codec supports closer to 45 in the same amount of spectrum and multicell network
    This means it can handle nearly 2 times as many calls per sector. IMO, that alone is worth the change. Not to mention that we live in a data oriented world where people care more about being able to stream YouTube than being able to pick up a signal... mostly because the majority of people have signal 99% of the time.

    They also save with not having to maintain that ancient network. This will cost Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint M(B?)illions of dollars down the road just to keep these networks active... AT&T doesn't have to worry about optimizing this network anymore to make sure that it performs optimally. In the same sense that AMPS was shutdown, eventually GSM, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, UMTS, and even LTE will be refarmed some day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    I don't think that it had anything to do with the reclaimed spectrum... GSM channels are 200 kHz wide each and they probably only had 3-5 channels so they may have reclaimed 600 kHz to 1 MHz of spectrum. With the move to an UMTS/LTE only network brings a few things... for one, the capacity/spectral efficiency increases. From an old thread in 2006 I found about the topic of GSM vs UMTS...



    This means it can handle nearly 2 times as many calls per sector. IMO, that alone is worth the change. Not to mention that we live in a data oriented world where people care more about being able to stream YouTube than being able to pick up a signal... mostly because the majority of people have signal 99% of the time.

    They also save with not having to maintain that ancient network. This will cost Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint M(B?)illions of dollars down the road just to keep these networks active... AT&T doesn't have to worry about optimizing this network anymore to make sure that it performs optimally. In the same sense that AMPS was shutdown, eventually GSM, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, UMTS, and even LTE will be refarmed some day...
    Aren't you in mn if I remember correctly? I'll be there for a few days before long curious how att and T-Mobile are there in general? I'll have T-Mobile and a gophone line with me.

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