iPhone 4 - Verizon - CDMA - Old Technology

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ArmCortexA8, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. ArmCortexA8 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Hi all

    Firstly, I'm in Australia where we use the latest and most current mobile phone network technology - Telstra call it NextG. CDMA in Australia was shut down over 10 years ago as it was not quick enough and a technology that aged quickly and could not keep up with data demands.

    This really makes me wonder why the USA which proclaims its so technologically advanced, uses such an old and antiquated CDMA phone network. Furthermore, Apple had to re-create the iPhone for the CDMA network - which seems ridiculous just for one provider - Verizon. If Australia phased out and replaced CDMA years ago, why hasn't the US changed as well?

    Why are Verizon and maybe other's hanging onto such old technology?
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    It was the cheapest to upgrade to "3G" status, even though it doesn't even scratch that.
     
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #3
    Well we're almost on LTE (long term evolution)
     
  4. shadrap macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Older doesn't necessarily mean it's inferior. CDMA cost more than GSM technology and was one of the reasons GSM is so wide spread. Most companies took the cheaper way. You can do simultaneous voice and data on CDMA it just cost more to implement. Also, CDMA technology is more secure than GSM. With the right equipment you can scan and listen in on GSM, it was just recently done by a group to make that point.

    Not gonna post links, but google it and you will find what I am talking about.
     
  5. NKT macrumors regular

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    #5
    CDMA is newer than GSM.

    It's also used in more places than just Verizon.
     
  6. ArmCortexA8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Australia only has 24 million people and yet we upgraded our mobile phone network completely, and if its to do with the cost of upgrading, the US would get a return on investment a lot quicker due to their population. We in Australia have more mobile phones than the population of the country.
     
  7. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The US is lagging behind in many technological areas now, so we are you surprised? We have comparatively slow broadband Internet, antiquated cell technology, and an overall broken ecosystem.

    CDMA will still be around for quite some time, certainly long enough for the iPhone 4 to remain a competitor. Though Verizon is aggressively rolling out LTE, it's still going to be a 2-3 years before it is ubiquitous. By that time, there will certainly be an LTE iPhone available, so the CDMA iPhone 4 fills a need during that transition. Most of us will not have access to LTE this year, so it made sense for Apple and Verizon to release a CDMA version.

    The bigger question is what's going to happen in July when the NEW iPhone is released? Will both AT&T and Verizon get it simultaneously, or will Verizon customers have to wait for THEIR yearly cycle that is on a different schedule?
     
  8. El Guapo macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Exactly you have 24 million people, the upgrades to the network over their don't have to compensate for as many people using their system. Why do you assume CDMA is worse than GSM?
     
  9. ArmCortexA8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Sometimes older technology is better true, and GSM is still used today primarily as a fallback network (in Australia) when 3G and data cannot be used. Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications provider decided to removed CDMA and upgraded their whole mobile phone network and it works amazingly well. For clarification, NextG is the 3G UMTS network - 2100mhz, which is the primary and largest mobile phone network in Australia - world's best. If Australia with only 24 million people can upgrade their network a massive cost
     
  10. zephxiii macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Hence why we are migrating to UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ and finally LTE.
     
  11. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a

    MarlboroLite

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    #11
    Well the reasons are complicated--what is now AT&T and Verizon were really mergers of "baby bell" companies that came into existance once the old "Ma Bell" (original) AT&T monopoly was broken up in the 70s into regional baby bells. Over time as wireless services began to appear these baby bells began offering their crude analog services...then upgraded....then upgraded...a lot of the baby bells merged to create the wireless giants we have today. At the time the US never imposed any sort of standard and so the different companies were free to pick their technologies, and remember at the time cell phones were starting to gain steam they were still uber expensive luxury items....then they were simple dumb phones like the RAZR. Obviously the companies now known as Sprint and Verizon had developed their extensive networks already on CDMA and it would have been prohibitively expensive to switch to GSM in a country as large as the US.

    So at the end of the day...what ocurred was simply a total lack of government regulation that would have imposed the logical global stadard across the board...I suppose they believed that it was up to the individual companies to decide. Mistake in hindsight.

    Nevertheless, calling CDMA "ancient" or in some way a dinosaur is in fact completely inaccurate. It was a standard that was just simply not adopted worldwide, that speaks nothing to its merits as a technology, it was just not the standard that won out. The only things that make it inferior in people's minds are that it is so sparsely used around the world and the "slowness" compared to GSM 3G. The reason Verizon offers lower speeds and no simultaneous voice and data at the same time is simply due to the fact that they made the decision to stop upgrading their systems to support higher speeds and features like voice/data. They did this for a very good reason. They are planning on replacing the entire CDMA structure into LTE (which NOT GSM based) which will be the new world standard across the world replacing BOTH GSM and CDMA. It's obviously cheaper and more efficient to switch over from the vast CDMA infrastructure to LTE and skipping a hugely expensive switch to GSM say in the mid part of the 00s.

    Look...for most Americans it makes ZERO difference, most Americans do not travel abroad, and the slower speeds Verizon offers more than make up the swiss cheese nature of US GMS providers. Verizon users get to make reliable phone calls, access relatively decent speeds for data and 93 million subscribers means that that is the most important thing to them--not some debate about technology X vs technology Y.

    They will phase out CDMA entirely first for data and later on for voice in favor of LTE. The complete transition will take a few years. The end result will have been worth it to not continue CDMA upgrades to rev. B or rev C.
    Once that's done, these stupid debates will be over. CDMA is surely dead-end technology, but guess what so is GSM.
     
  12. Bonsai1214 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    but isn't telstra government owned, or at least partially owned? if its the same entity, then its a lot easier to press upgrades. whereas if the US government tried to force a certain standard, there would be an uproar from a bunch of different people. its like broadband internet. the US should have had its distribution regulated by the government, but instead left it to private companies, and because of that, they took more care to make money than to make sure it was competitive with the world.
     
  13. ArmCortexA8, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2011

    ArmCortexA8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I agree and for Apple to redesign the iPhone 4's antenna system for CDMA, proves how badly the US have remained backwards technologically. I am surprised that the US hold onto such old technology for so long with a Australia with a smaller population uses the later technology. As for broadband, we use ADSL as cable users are only on cable if too far from a phone exchange. Makes me glad in Australia we have newer technology and not holding onto the old.

    Im not, im comparing ancient old CDMA with UMTS 3G which is used here in Australia. Edge and GSM are only used as fallback frequencies, but UMTS 3G is the default network.

    It seems the US, unlike Australia did not have a planned / structured mobile phone network plan - hence why companies were pushing their own technologies which actually made it more expensive business wise and more confusing for the customer, and more expensive for the mobile handset manufacturer. With any rollout of any network, certain things have to be set in concrete to enable similarity between providers. In the case of the US, they really stuffed up big time and no wonder they are still using CDMA while Australia uses UMTS 3G.
     
  14. TallManNY macrumors 68040

    TallManNY

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    #14
    Umm, the U.S. is holding onto the old CDMA technology because a private company built a network based on CDMA and they provide a service through it that they sell to customers (many of whom are very happy with it) and they stay in business with the money they make. If you are suggesting that the U.S. should have shut down Verizon by fiat, perhaps you would like to be currently living under a Japanese Emperor? I bet he would have picked the right cell phone technology and delivered it to his Australian subjects.

    Seriously, if you live in Australia, don't talk trash. Lovely country (I hear and hope to visit) and lovely people, but as you point out you are blip in total population on the world scale. And what money have is only because of your vast mineral wealth not your ability to produce stuff. With every ton of coal or iron or gold you export you are literally digging yourself into a hole as a functioning country. You really aren't very different from the Middle East. You dig something out of the ground and trade it for something that the other countries make out of their ingenuity. The problem is that the other countries can keep making up stuff, but your ground resources are finite. This is not a viable future.
     
  15. ArmCortexA8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Telstra (formerly Telecom Australia) was started by the taxpayers as a Government owned asset which was also owned by the people - its still the largest Telecommunications Company in Australia. This was illegally privatised and sold off without the permission of the Australia people who are still the owners. Optus also operates in Australia (Singapore Government Owned Subsidiary) and they too use UMTS 3G 2100mhz as well. No Australian telecommunications companies use CDMA anymore. Handy hint from the Australian way, never rely on companies who's only motivation is profit, to establish standards for a mobile phone network. Look at the result in your own backyard.
     
  16. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #16
    Size of coverage is part of it.

    While both the USA and Australia are about 3 million square miles, CDMA in the USA covers about 25 times the area of total cell coverage in Australia.

    And we don't have 25 * 24 million = 600 million people to pay for a change :)

    Even so, that same CDMA area will be completely covered with LTE within a few years. Who is behind?
     
  17. NKT macrumors regular

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    #17
    CDMA is far from ancient. GSM is older as a matter of fact.

    And let's not forget that UMTS IS CDMA (W-CDMA, but the same general technology). So your network there in Aussy land is using that crapy ancient tech...
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #18
    I hear you, it does suck.
    I wish all US carriers were on the same tech and this way we can take our phone and just purchase and swap sims at any time like the rest of the world.
    But no, we gotta be different than everyone and more difficult:)
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #19
    I think you need to correct some of that.

    GSM 3G is a type of CDMA signal and has the security that Verizon CDMA users. They are different types of CDMA technology but still CDMA.
    GSM 3G is WCDMA and Verizon is like EVO200 (or something like that)

    Edge is a type of TDMA technology. It not a secure and easy to hack into.

    From this point on we are just going to talk about TDMA and CDMA technology.
    TDMA has slower speeds and must more limited than CDMA. Reason TDMA took off and become GSM was because it was cheaper but at the time CDMA was a much better technology than TDMA. CDMA patents were all held by Quadcomm at the time. Much higher cost than the TDMA ones.

    Now the reason AT&T 3G network lag so far behind Verizon is Verizon towers were already laid out in an optimized set up for a CDMA network. The hardware was already there to handle CDMA so it was an easy software upgrade for them.
    AT&T network was laid out optimized for a TDMA network. It required very different hardware to go to WCDMA (type of CDMA). So they need more towers to be closer together to address the issues with suing a CDMA technology plus they need to put new hardware in all the towers they had. This means it took a lot more time and money.

    Verizon ate the cost on the front end going CDMA from the get go. Made it back in the fact everything lasted twice as long compared to AT&T who had to eat the cost to put everything new in.

    Now Verizon could do voice and data and the same time and had plans to do it. It got scraped when they choose to go LTE.


    TDMA vs CDMA would be a lot like Beta vs VHS. Beta was better than VHS but VHS was cheaper and more around. Killed off BETA. CDMA was and still is better than TDMA but TDMA was cheaper and more of it so got the lead and killed it off in most of the world. On top of that governments got involved in some parts and forced the issue.
     
  20. NKT macrumors regular

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    #20
    cdma2000 ;)
     
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #21
    I though it was something like that.

    GSM 3G and CDMA 3G are both different types of CDMA.

    GSM 3G is WCDGA
    CDMA 3g is CDMA2000.
     
  22. NKT macrumors regular

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    #22
    Close enough for government work. And it illustrates the point that CDMA isn't ancient.
     
  23. ArmCortexA8, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2011

    ArmCortexA8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    The US is holding onto old technology because the US Government left it to private companies to dictate multiple mobile telecommunications standards on the hope the multiple companies would agree on a standard - obviously this has failed miserably hence the US still use CDMA. What you don't know is that I was on CDMA when it was in use and when we upgraded to UMTS 3G it literally blew CDMA out of the water. At least Australia had the planning and ideas in place to release a national network in a country which has a land mass larger than the US itself - not a small feat by any means. Im not talking trash Im comparing and questioning why the US still use CDMA when Australia use UMTS 3G. Our standards were not fully dictated to by Government, but all the network providers use the same UMTS network.

    The land mass of Australia is larger or equivalent to the US, which means deploying a network in Australia is probably a larger and more expensive challenge. As for paying for the network, well if the US keep using their fractional reserve banking system to water down the wealth of the country, then the US is in dire straights to say the least. If Australia can do it, so can the US.
     
  24. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #24
    Verizon already has LTE (4G) deployed in 38 metro areas (and 60 airports).

    Where are the Australian carriers in regards their deployment of this latest and most current mobile phone network technology?

    In the US, half of the major carriers went with CDMA, and the other half went with GSM/UMTS. It was their choice. Regardless, three of them have committed to moving to LTE, so who cares?
     
  25. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #25
    Yeah. I went threw a lot of the geeker stuff.
    I want to say there is another evolotion of CDMA2000 that does allow for even higher speeds but it got scraped along with the Data/Voice Same time when Verizon choose to focus on LTE.
    Verizon saw no point to doing that set up when LTE was just around the corner. If LTE was lets say another 5-6 years away Verizon would of done it but they saw no point to do something that might be running for a year or 2 that would delay them getting LTE out. It would of been tons of cost for no gain.

    Things change due to the LTE switch. To go 4G everyone has to go brand new equipment and Verizon choose to do it then to make the jump to GSM standard for 4G and then CDMA for everything else.

    Go read my long post.
    It is full of tons of nerd and geek information explaining how far off base you are.
     

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