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  1. ccap's Avatar
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       #1  
    Can anyone tell me what the big difference is between GSm abd Sprints network? Does GSM have better coverage?

    I was talking to a Cingular sales rep and she said that Cingular, ATT and T-Mobile all share the same network which I assume is GSM.

    I would also assume that Sprint is all on its own? With that, I was speaking with a Sprint Rep who said for $5.00 mor p/m that would cover me is i was out of the Sprint PCS network and I would not get roaming charges.

    If any would could clarify which network is better and why, that will help me in chosing which Treo 600 to buy. Thanks
  2. #2  
    Which network is better depends mostly on coverage in the areas where you'll use the phone, as well as how you plan to use it.

    The quick and dirty answer is:

    Sprint, Verizon and Alltel use CDMA
    AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobile use GSM

    CDMA is "better" on a technical level, as in, better sound quality in laboratory tests, fewer dropped calls in laboratory tests. CDMA also uses battery power more rapidly, so it has less talk time and standby time. It is questionable whether the sound quality difference is perceptable using a cell handset.

    GSM is more standard across the world, making it more feasible to use a GSM phone when traveling overseas.

    Sprint has the best data services of any cell company, with theoretical max speeds of 150+ Kb/sec and real-world averages of close to 70 Kb/sec (faster than a 56k modem). Others are around half that. Also, Sprint has an unlimited data plan for $15, while others tend to charge per usage. And, Sprint's data service works the same way anywhere you have a Sprint digital signal in the U.S., while others are more patchwork and depend on the company to have upgraded local towers and equipment.

    Digital roaming on Sprint means that if you have a good Verizon signal but a weak Sprint signal, you use Verizon. I am not sure if Alltel participates in this. GSM roaming is better, since there are more companies sharing the towers. Data services are not available on Sprint phones when you are roaming on Verizon's network.

    Hope this helps. But all this aside, you really need to see what works in your home, your office, and other places you spend a lot of time. The best networks have coverage holes, and if one of those holes is in a crucial place, the service isn't as valuable.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by wombat2
    ...snip...Also, Sprint has an unlimited data plan for $15, while others tend to charge per usage. And, Sprint's data service works the same way anywhere you have a Sprint digital signal in the U.S., while others are more patchwork and depend on the company to have upgraded local towers and equipment.
    ...snip...
    This was only true last year...T-Mobile has had unlimited data for a year now for $19.

    GPRS works the same way regardless of GSM carrier. If you have a GSM/GPRS signal, then you have data. With Sprint, if you don't have a Sprint signal then you don't have ANY data coverage. You can't roam for data with Sprint. You CAN with GSM/GPRS.

    Sprint is definately faster, but that doesn't mean much if you don't have a signal.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by Insp_Gadget


    With Sprint, if you don't have a Sprint signal then you don't have ANY data coverage. You can't roam for data with Sprint. You CAN with GSM/GPRS.

    Sprint is definately faster, but that doesn't mean much if you don't have a signal.
    To be honest, I have never had an issue with coverage and Sprint. Granted, I dont go everywhere, but every where I have gone there was fantastic coverage. I have not had a multi-band phone since prior to the T300, and even then I disabled roaming.

    I think that I would not switch from one provider to the other (either or) as all providers have their issues. It depends on your priorities: Mine are Speed, Features, Connection and I've never had an issue with any of them.l
  5. ccap's Avatar
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       #5  
    Thank you guys soo much for clarifying this for me. I have been with Nextel for over thre years and I have come to HATE them! there phones stink, there coverage is even worse.

    Now that I am starting to understand my options and the latest and greatest, I am looking forward to my new treo 600

    thanks again
  6. #6  
    Okay, so this is a great thread for me because I had Sprint before and LOVED the call quality and never had an issue with coverage really. I now have T-Mobile and have issues with some of GSM/GPRS's flaw (like tower hand off, i.e. dropping calls when moving from tower to tower), LOVE having always on, all you can eat data - even if it isn't the fastest.

    I have been considering going back to Sprint for the Treo, but I am concerned about getting mail all the time (rapid polling) and still being able to receive phone calls.

    On my T-Mobile device, I get mail every 5 minutes and if a call comes in while I am using data, I can see it and accept the call which will suspend my GPRS connection. On Sprint, if you are using data the call cannot come in and goes straight to voice-mail. Someone said that they had their Treo on Sprint polling mail once and minute and it completely interfered with their ability to receive calls.

    Has anyone with Sprint found this to be an issue? It may be a show stopper for me if it works how I have been told it might.
  7. #7  
    You cannot receive calls on Sprint while a data connection is active. In the case of checking mail, figure it takes 15 seconds to check and download mail if you do it that frequently (since little would build up on the server in the meantime). Once you are done downloading mail, the connection stays active for 20 seconds, and if there is no further activity, it goes inactive. So you'd have a 35-second gap in which calls would go to voicemail.
    Last edited by wombat2; 10/23/2003 at 05:36 PM.
  8. #8  
    One thing that I have noticed about the GSM carriers is that their netowrk footprints are generally the same. So, even though there are 3 GSM carriers, you probably wont do much roaming from one to another. GSM is pretty new in the US. TMobile has been GSM since the beginning, but ATT & Cingular are moving from TDMA to GSM, so obviously they will build out the major metor parts of their GSM networks first, before they move to the more rural areas. Both ATT and Cingualr have lots of towers (left over from the days of analog coverage), so I would expect over the next several years for GSM converage in the US to dramatically improve.

    Wombat's explaination was very good. Probably the biggest difference between the GSM players and the CDMA players is that there is a huge difference in the CDMA coverage between Sprint and Verizon. Verizon wins, hands down. Sprint is a relativly new player in PCS, never having a legacy analog network. All their technology is the same throughout the country. Verizon is a conglomerate of old Analog carriers (here in ATL they were PacBell wireless and then AirTouch). So they have zillions of old Znalog cell sites they have converted to digital, hence their huge netork footprint. So far I have found that the digital roaming on Verizon has been very good. Right now, I think the combo of a Sprint phone (T600) with Sprint's excellent data network and the ability to use the largest digital network in the country is the best. I looked hard at a possible GSM solution when getting my Treo600, but without any analog and with still growing GSM networks, I still feel like Sprint is the best solutiion.
    Carl
  9. #9  
    I too have been worried about going with Sprint and getting caught in missing calls because I'm online where a GSM phone would allow me to surf and take calls. My ultimate decision has been to go with Sprint because they have better coverage in my house and because they have a faster connection, which should mean less time online in any event. I look forward to going back to GSM once the carriers have converted more of their towers, but that's a couple of years from now and I need to buy a Treo yesterday!
  10. #10  
    I'm concerned too about data connections causing my calls to go to Voicemail, but it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem yet for me. There's not much to add as several people have given good info about the diffs and all, but regarding coverage and Sprint, I would like to add that Verizon and Sprint are doing a lot of roaming stuff these days. If you digital roam with Verizon(which doesn't occur a lot), then you probably will be roaming on Sprint's network. Sprint has roaming agreements with Verizon and Alltel and the Treo 600 supports that. I added a $5 a month option that lets me use up to half of my total minutes for the month for roaming off of the Sprint network. I've rarely roamed though in 6 years with Sprint though and I did travel pretty extensively for a while. I believe the best advice that I could give anyone and that has been given here is to choose the carrier that has the *best* coverage where you are *most* of the time.
  11. willp2's Avatar
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    #11  
    Originally posted by CarlGalgano
    GSM is pretty new in the US. TMobile has been GSM since the beginning, but ATT & Cingular are moving from TDMA to GSM
    I donít know about other areas (and not that history really matters), but where I live in Southern California I had been using GSM phones from Pacbell (now Cingular) for a couple of years before Sprint arrived on the scene. In fact GSM was nationwide (via roaming) a couple of years before Sprint entered the game.

    Sprint has very actively perpetuated the argument that they are all digital and are the first to have a nationwide digital network. While that is technically true. You could in fact go digital nationwide with digital GSM via roaming before Sprint was in more than a couple of metropolitan areas.

    As for Cingular switching from TDMA or anything else to GSM I am unaware of that. If it is in fact the case, my assumption would that is a result of acquiring other companies that are using different technology.

    Again, this has nothing to so with which one is better now, just trying to set the timeline straight for anyone who cares.
  12. willp2's Avatar
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    #12  
    Originally posted by wombat2

    Sprint has the best data services of any cell company, with theoretical max speeds of 150+ Kb/sec and real-world averages of close to 70 Kb/sec (faster than a 56k modem). Others are around half that.
    True via a cell phone, but if you are looking for very fast wireless data speed for your laptop and are willing to spend $80 a month, Verizon has a 300-500 kbps sustained speed product with bursting speeds up to 2Mbps.

    It is indeed more spendy and only for laptops as you need to use their PC Card, but 300-500 kbps anywhere on your laptop is pretty awsome.

    Link to Wireless Broadband at Verizon

    ** edit **
    After looking at that a bit closer it looks like this is only in a couple cities for the moment. One of them is mine though
  13. #13  
    Anybody out there using GoodLink on their Treo 600 with Sprint having problems with getting phone calls?

    I'm currently using GoodLink on the Good G100 handheld, and can't wait to switch to the Treo 600. I get over a 100 emails a day, and my handheld is performing realtime syncs all the time. Calendar, notes, tasks, meeting requests.. these all get synced wirelessly. I'm concerned that I would miss most of my calls with GoodLink running constantly in the background, and for that reason, I'm waiting for the GSM version of the Treo.
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by goodpda
    Anybody out there using GoodLink on their Treo 600 with Sprint having problems with getting phone calls?

    I'm currently using GoodLink on the Good G100 handheld, and can't wait to switch to the Treo 600. I get over a 100 emails a day, and my handheld is performing realtime syncs all the time. Calendar, notes, tasks, meeting requests.. these all get synced wirelessly. I'm concerned that I would miss most of my calls with GoodLink running constantly in the background, and for that reason, I'm waiting for the GSM version of the Treo.
    I have not noticed this problem and I am using Good on the T600.
    The only verifiable time that a call went directly to VM was while I surfing. Not a Good issue.

    That said, there is a Sprint issue that (for me) limits the extent to which I determine whether calls are going directly to voicemail. On more than one occasion, I am picked up my Treo to notice that I have a voicemail. On these occasions, I have not always been around to hear the phone ring. However, since Sprint replaces the "Missed Call" screen with the "Voicemail" screen if the missed called leaves a message, there is no way for me to determine if the call was indeed missed, or if it simply went straight to voicemail due to an active data session.

    As an aside, I was a TMO user before getting this phone. This issue of potentially missed calls due to an active data session was my biggest concern. I think I have changed my mind. The speed of the data on this thing rocks. Way faster than anything I ever got from TMO. I understand that might be device-specific and I never used a GPRS T600, but I just cannot imagine it being as fast as this.

    My only complaints about the Good software is that it is a direct "port" from the G100. Certain issues and limitations inherent in that device were not even noticeable there, but are now. Nothing major at all, but I would like to see the GUI and related functionality modded a bit to take more advantage of the converged nature of the T600.

    All that said, Good on this thing absolutely rocks. It's a phone, G100 (in color even), and Palm OS device in one. Hard to beat.
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by MHR


    I have not noticed this problem and I am using Good on the T600.
    The only verifiable time that a call went directly to VM was while I surfing. Not a Good issue.

    That said, there is a Sprint issue that (for me) limits the extent to which I determine whether calls are going directly to voicemail. On more than one occasion, I am picked up my Treo to notice that I have a voicemail. On these occasions, I have not always been around to hear the phone ring. However, since Sprint replaces the "Missed Call" screen with the "Voicemail" screen if the missed called leaves a message, there is no way for me to determine if the call was indeed missed, or if it simply went straight to voicemail due to an active data session.

    .
    Just curious, but on average, how many emails do you receive in a day, and do you perform a lot of email management? I'm still worried about calls going to voicemail since each move, deletion, read message status, etc is all synced with GoodLink. I'd prefer the speed of Sprint's network, but missing calls frequently would be a problem for me.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by goodpda


    Just curious, but on average, how many emails do you receive in a day, and do you perform a lot of email management? I'm still worried about calls going to voicemail since each move, deletion, read message status, etc is all synced with GoodLink. I'd prefer the speed of Sprint's network, but missing calls frequently would be a problem for me.
    It varies. Anywhere from 20 to 100. Plus lots of calendaring and contact management -- all of which cause a sync.

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