Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why You Might Not Pick GSM For Your Cell Phone

Best Wireless Cell Phones Part 3

Yesterday we discussed why GSM was the clear choice when looking at cell phone choice as a primary criterion. In particular, when looking at expensive smartphones, in it almost impossible to get the latest models -or sometimes enay model of a given line - on another technology that GSM. In Feb 2010, for instance, it is only possible to get the iPhone and the Google Nexus One on GSM.
image by kalleboo

If, however, phone choice or world mobility are not significant factors, it is worth looking at network coverage and wireless plan features/ costs as primary drivers. In this case, phone choice will be limited to the operator's list of phones for subsequent device selection. In the past few years, Verizon (which also powers Virgin Mobile) has seemed to have the best combined coverage and call reliability record, with the highest prices in the wireless market. Sprint has more affordable plans, along with good customer satisfaction. Nextel, also network provider for Boost Wireless, has the best rates among national providers, but probably the least future-proof technology.

So, if high quality service is most critical to you, while phone choice or world operations are not  important, CDMA is probably the best technology today in the US (in great part because of the high present load of the AT&T Wireless network). In this case, we will be largely limited to the range of phones offered for sale by your wireless carrier, with little opportunity to get an unlocked phone.

Similarly, if price is your only criterion, there is a good chance that iDEN will work well for you - if only for a limited time. In the same way, we will be limited to the range of phones offered for sale by your wireless carrier, which, for the case of iDEN, is a small sample set.

As we are specifically looking at the best cell phone, we will pick GSM/UMTS as our wireless technology of choice. Each cell phone comes with pre-programmed frequency bands - some are better than others for the US. Our next page we will discuss which frequency bands to choose for GSM/UMTS... So come back soon!

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