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Thread: With UMTS coming, when will GSM be phased out

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    With UMTS coming, when will GSM be phased out

    They just relatively recently completed the natonal GSM overlay and now they are already jumping to 3G with UMTS to keep pace w/ Verizon and Sprint. Will this upgrade be analagous to the TDMA to GSM transition, where intermediate phones (like GAIT phones), will be released, however, with both UMTS and GSM capabilities and then a gradual phaseout of GSM.
    ow long till GSM dissappears?
    Will our old 64kb GSM SIMs work in the soon-to-be released 3G/UMTS phones?

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    You are confusing technology, UMTS is not replacing GSM, it is replacing GPRS (wireless internet). Both UMTS and GSM operate on the current GSM network. Your current SIM will work.
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    GSM is for voice, GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA are for data. GSM is not going anywhere.

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    I have been told (and read on here) that the current SIMs won't work in the UMTS phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shortdog
    GSM is for voice, GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA are for data. GSM is not going anywhere.
    UMTS (a.k.a. W-CDMA) will eventually replace GSM. It is like it's bad step sister CDMA. UMTS/W-CDMA will do both voice and data. Initially, Cingular is going to use the 3G technology for data only. When the first phones come out next year, they will use UMTS/W-CDMA for voice and data. When UMTS/W-CDMA is not available, the phone will drop to GSM/EDGE/GPRS. The USA is YEARS away from shutting down the GSM network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcadden
    I have been told (and read on here) that the current SIMs won't work in the UMTS phones.
    Correct. Your current SIM card will not work in a UMTS phone. You will need to replaace it with a U-SIM.

    Eventually, GSM will be no more. GSM is the worlds most advanced system based on TDMA. But, TDMA is not able to support faster data speeds then EDGE. But GSM will be around for a while yet as UMTS is only planned right now to operate on 1.9Ghz so in order to make UMTS available in more rural areas where is is mostly 850Hhz they would have to add alot more towers and they won't do that for years to come

    UMTS is BOTH voice and data. In otherwords, if you are using UMTS you are NOT using GSM at all. UMTS is based on a CDMA air interface using a system called W-CDMA.

    HSDPA is a data only upgrade for UMTS just like EDGE is a data only upgrade fo GSM

    But, ALL UMTS phones have GSM on them aswell and the network is able to hand off calls from one tech to the other without dropping the call so you won't even notice if you lose UMTS in the middle of a call.

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    Mr. CDMA explained it better than I did, but hopefully, you get the jist. UMTS and GSM will hand off as the switches use the same back office interface. GSM/UMTS will not hand off to a CDMA/TDMA switch because the switches are based on the AMPS interface. The only way to make that happen is to use the next version of GAIT which none of the carriers are interested in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry ATL
    Mr. CDMA explained it better than I did, but hopefully, you get the jist. UMTS and GSM will hand off as the switches use the same back office interface. GSM/UMTS will not hand off to a CDMA/TDMA switch because the switches are based on the AMPS interface. The only way to make that happen is to use the next version of GAIT which none of the carriers are interested in.
    The UMTS/GSM handoffs can occur because both use the MAP (Mobile Application Part) network core. IS-95 and IS-136 use the ANSI-41 network core, just like AMPS.


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    Let me add this:
    handovers from Umts to Gsm during voice calls work today without a problem. Handovers from Gsm to UMTS are in development. Video calls interrupt when you loose THE UMTS Signal because Gsm does not support video calls.
    Packet Data handovers are planned today in most cases the GPRS TO UMTS handover works while the other direction don't work.
    Of cause you can use old GSM sim cards in UMTS PHONES, the phones work with them together without problems but you are unable to make video calls. And some providers like mine don't let you use their UMTS network with an old Sim. But thats no problem O2 sent me the new U-Sim without paying anything for it.
    All that experiences were collected with the my N6680 and my Networks (o2-de GSM/UMTS and T-mobile D GSM/UMTS)

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    Do we really need GSM to UMTS handoffs? Basically, it means that if you go out of UMTS coverage, you'll be handed off to GSM. If you go from a GSM coverage area back to where there is UMTS (while you are talking to someone) you will just stay on GSM for the duration of the call. I don't believe there will be any areas with UMTS and not GSM at least until 2010 if not well beyond that (it doesn't use up much network resources to keep a technology alive if people aren't making calls for it - just like Cingular's TDMA network isn't draining resources being there; it's only draining resources because people are using it and therefore it is still serving a purpose).

    This is going to be a much smoother transition because there won't be a shrink in coverage area because of the migration. Cingular could start selling UMTS phones to people in markets that aren't expected to be converted for another year because the phones can be used on GSM networks. People won't have to think "there's UMTS where I live, but some places I travel don't have it" since the phone will seamlessly use GSM. This isn't the crap that GAIT did. This is real interoperability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jyalexop2003
    They just relatively recently completed the natonal GSM overlay and now they are already jumping to 3G with UMTS to keep pace w/ Verizon and Sprint. Will this upgrade be analagous to the TDMA to GSM transition, where intermediate phones (like GAIT phones), will be released, however, with both UMTS and GSM capabilities and then a gradual phaseout of GSM.
    ow long till GSM dissappears?
    Will our old 64kb GSM SIMs work in the soon-to-be released 3G/UMTS phones?
    TDMA has yet to disappear and nobody knows exactly when that's going away.
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    Handovers from Gsm to UMTS are not needed by the subscribers but are useful for the network providers. In europe Gsm Networks are used heavily especially in big cities and during big events. So if there are handovers between Gsm and UMTS possible they can more dynamically distribute the capacities of both Networks even even if the subscribers have active voice calls.

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    UMTS and GSM will work together in the way TDMA (and CDMA) have worked with AMPS, if not technically, at least so in the way the consumer perceives it. There will be no rush in turning GSM off as there hasn't been one to turn analog off.

    Of course it would be better for a UMTS phone to fall back to GSM than it is for a CDMA or TDMA phone to fall back to analog. Unlike analog, GSM mode will support most of the sane goodies UMTS can provide: voice calls, WAP access, text and multimedia messaging and PTT. Only video calls and some other advanced services will be lost while in GSM mode, plus a drop in data speeds. But then again, try to access any data service while in analog mode.

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    A good comparision...

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    If you look at the coverage maps on the UMTS thread, you'll see that projected network build out by the end of 2006 doesn't even come close to national coverage. They'll actually have to build out UMTS before they can bring down GSM.
    So it's going to be many many years. Furthermore, they may never bring down GSM (at least 10-15 years) in order to support international roaming. If you only have GSM in another country and come here, you'll need GSM.

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