Picking the right cell phone service can prove to be very challenging. Most people want a good reliable service that doesn’t have a lot of drop calls and that doesn’t cost a lot of money each month. Some of the major companies for cell phone service include, but are not limited to: Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Cingular/AT&T.
Most of the reviews on these four services show that Verizon has the best call quality and also provides the best phone service plans. Verizon uses what is called a CDMA network, Code Division Multiple Access, which uses an analog to digital conversion to help reduce signal break-up as the phone passes from one cell site to another. Extended range (From each cell site) and excellent quality are gained by using a CDMA network; however, they do not have the roaming capabilities that the GSM network has, which I will talk about later. Another benefit to CDMA is the speed of data transfer. A lot of reports suggest that the real world speed of CDMA data transfer is around 300 – 700 kilobits per second, which is similar to the speed of DSL.
T-Mobile is close to Verizon mainly because they use GSM, Global Systems for Mobile communication, instead of CDMA. GSM gives T-Mobile an edge due to the fact that it is widely used in Europe and Asia, making it a great service for international travelers. GSM has currently 120 million customers worldwide in over 120 countries, so it is easy to see why companies, like T-Mobile, would employ this type of mobile telephone system. Also, GSM networks have contracts with other GSM carriers, so the users have better roaming capabilities for when they are in rural areas. Another cell phone company that uses GSM is Cingular, but they have lower scores and not as good of customer satisfaction as T-Mobile.
Sprint PCS, Personal Communications Services, is a wireless phone service but is similar to cellular service. The advantage Sprint has over cellular service is that it incorporates better personal service and provides an extended mobility. PCS uses technologies such as CDMA, GSM & TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) for their mobile service systems.
Ok, so it seems that GSM and CDMA are the two best (For now at least) cell phone networks, but I haven’t really listed any disadvantages to them. So below is a list I compiled that gives the advantages and disadvantages to each network.
Advantages – Excellent call quality and data transfer. Also has extended range from each cell site.
Disadvantages -Doesn’t provide a lot of service in rural areas. Also, they currently do not provide good international roaming capabilities.
Advantages – Excellent roaming capabilities in both the US and in other countries. GSM networks use a sim card which stores data on your phone and can be transferred to other GSM network phones.
Disadvantages – Shorter range from each cell site which requires them to have a lot of base stations in order to provide a good signal. They provide slower transfer speed and less quality when compared to CDMA networks.
After looking at the reviews from all these different types of cell phone services, I have come to the conclusion that if you reside in an urban area and want good call quality and data transfer, then Verizon is the best phone service. But, if you want service in more rural areas and in other countries and are not as concerned with good quality and data transfer, then T-Mobile would be the best phone service.
Hopefully this will help shed some light on the different cell phone services and provide you with some helpful information when deciding which service to employ!!