Over the passed few weeks the most interesting and heated debates here on RIMarkable have been about CDMA and GSM networks, which technology is better, and who will ultimately win out here in the United States. Most would argue that GSM is technologically better than CDMA and, as the name implies, is the global standard, however, here in the U.S., CDMA networks tend to have the best coverage.
WiMAX: The new kid on the block…
While CDMA and GSM proponents have been duking it out, the proverbial “new kid on the block” has just moved in and, from what I can tell, has the coolest looking bicycle.
With WiMAX and all that it offers coming to a cell tower near you in the not too distant future, does it make all the fussing over GSM, CDMA, and who is better pretty much pointless? I know that mass WiMAX adoption is still a ways off, however, I believe that it will be pervasive well before GSM eliminates CDMA or visa versa here in the United States.
I have to agree with you. With Wi-MAX and the number of players out there trying to bankroll and see its inevitable success, I can’t help, but think it would win significant customers from both the GSM/CDMA camps.
The only way I would support WiMax is if it became a global standard. It’s 2007 and I shouldn’t have to have multiple phones to travel to multiple countries, damnit. Furthermore, if you’re waiting for a bunch of greedy cell phone carriers and device manufacturers to embrace a new standard you shouldn’t hold your breath. There are enough coverage problems and gaps with both GSM and CDMA in the country right now, so there’s nothing that would make me believe that introducing a third player would help the situation. It would fracture the market even more. If a carrier wants to switch from one standard to embrace another, that would be fine, but it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.
I agree with Elise: Sprint has enough problems with holes in their current network, and I cannot see them being able to provide an adequate network with this new standard any time soon. Plus, it’s not like they can roam off of another carrier with this either…I know people who have Sprint and the only thing that keeps them there is the fact that they can roam off of Verizon in many places. Building out a nationwide network on a whole new wireless standard is a very difficult and expensive proposition.
Well you have to take things into perspective about it. There are 2 standards body (3GPP, and 3GPP2). 3GPP is the standard body for GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA systems. 3GPP2 is the standard body for CDMA2000/EVDO.
3G standards are dominated by the underlining CDMA interface (not to confuse with CDMA2000 or 1xRTT). UMTS/HSPA are based on CDMA interface so well as EVDO.
For 4G, they are working on a standard called LTE (Long Term Evolution). As for 3GPP2 they are working on a standard called UMB. Both these use OFDMA underlining interface just like WiMax does. These are not yet complete drafts and people are working vigorously on it. WiMax again here I mean mobile WiMax is trying to compete with these 2 standards. Inspite of its early start to marketing the draft is far from complete. Lots of issues with relation to power consumption are still worked out.
So, even before something is completely drafted how people could claim one is better than other bewilders me.
WiMax is not qualcomm which is a great reason why it’s a option. Open standards such as GSM is the way forward in wireless communication. History shows cdma being a locked, proprietary, technology doesn’t go too far, yet open technologies like GSM are open, non-proprietary, global standards.
@hellno: You are totally incorrect. CDMA2000 based technologies are also standardized by the 3GPP2 body just like GSM based technologies. GSM isn’t any more open standard than CDMA. Just take a look at the members of the 3GPP2 standards body before making you statement,
No Eshwar you are the one thats “totally” wrong. You missed the key words open and non-proprietary standard. GSM is very different than cdma GSM is a open, non-proprietary technology managed fairly by an association, cdma (as in this discussion) IS a locked, proprietary, technology dictated by qualcomm
“What is GSM?
GSM is an open, non-proprietary system that is constantly evolving. One of its great strengths is the international roaming capability. This gives consumers seamless and same standardised same number contactability in more than 170 countries.”
“What is the GSM Association?
The GSM Association, based in Dublin, Ireland and London, UK, represents the interests of more than 690 GSM, satellite and 3GSM operators, key manufacturers and suppliers to the GSM industry as well as regulatory and administrative bodies from more than 190 countries and regions around the world. Most of the first third generation licensees are also members. The GSM Association is responsible for the continued maintenance of open standards and interoperability. The global cooperation between operators is most powerfully illuminated by the success of international roaming. One of the Association’s major priorities is the development and promotion of the GSM standard worldwide.”
@hellno: You’re argument is weak. You give me a link from gsmworld, the title say it all. You can get a working draft of the CDMA2000 series standardized by 3GPP2 body. So it’s not closed!
I am not calling GSM closed. It is open, but to say CDMA is closed is wrong. Don’t forget GSM has chose to use CDMA interface for their 3G technologies of UMTS and HSPA.
No argument Eshwar, I’m just pointing out the truth. Sadly some are unable to accept or understand the truth.
GSM = open, non-proprietary
qualcomm cdma = cdma locked, proprietary
Why 3GSM uses parts of cdma technology has nothing to do with your problems with the truth. You’ll notice 3GSM is not exactly being rushed to roll out since most see 3GSM/WCDMA is no step forward, the negatives sure dont outweigh the positives.
Then again the sooner qualcomm is broken up and the pieces sold for penny’s on the dollar the better all wireless consumers will be.
Qualcomm lawyer resigns amid setbacks
@hellno: Not true. How can something that has been standardized by a body be considered closed + proprietary. It is open and you can get a draft for the entire standard. I have already given you a link pointing out the members of the 3GPP2 standards body.
3G is more expensive (because its faster + more spectrum must be brought by the carriers) and thats the reasons its not rolled out sooner. If your problem is with Qualcomm, how are going to deal with the fact that Qualcomm is also a major player with 4G technologies both UMB and WiMax. They do own intellectual property concerned with OFDMA technologies.
Qualcomm recent problems have nothing to do with what u are pointing out. It was due to Broadcom’s recent patent they acquired regarding a battery life saving technology. Another thing, Qualcomm doesn’t own the entire market. So looks like you have a personal grudge against Qualcomm.
Eshwar S for the answer to “How can something that has been standardized by a body be considered closed + proprietary” you better ask qualcomm.
Your fooling yourself if you think cdma, or wcdma is open and non-proprietary when compared to GSM and the reasons why GSM is the global success it is.
“CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a technology developed by Qualcomm in the United States”
“GSM: Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) was invented in 1987 by the GSM Association, an international organization dedicated to developing the GSM standard worldwide.”
“The GSM Association is an international organization founded in 1987, dedicated to providing, developing, and overseeing the worldwide wireless standard of GSM. CDMA, a proprietary standard designed by Qualcomm in the United States”
“GSM is a widely spread standard and CDMA is a patented technology. That is you must pay a royalty for using CDMA”
“CDMA was created by Qualcomm, which holds most of the patents in it. As it is mainly controlled by one company, the cost of maintaining a CDMA network is quite high as compared to GSM, which is an open standard.”
I have no problem with cdma the technology, and know it is more advanced than GSM (but so was beta over vhs) The problem is one company named qualcomm controlling cdma, and one large service provider which is union busting and also has a long history of anti-consumer actions. qualcomm and verizon are doing their best to shot themselves in the foot. I was and would be a verizon customer again IF they changed their culture more to what they really are, a service providing utility. verizon could make a ton more money by giving customers freedoms that come as the norm with GSM. If verizon opened the device market to 3rd party phones, allow new technologies like GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth which in the long run will mean more air time which most consumers would gladly pay for. verizon restricting and controlling it’s customers by taking away normal everyday technologies only hurts verizon.
qualcomm forcing the use of proprietary technologies and app’s (brew, mediaflo) when open app’s are available, are most times better, and more pro-consumer only hurt qualcomm. qualcomm also is killing itself and it’s technologies by charging high royalties, the constant litigation (which thank goodness the courts have finally seen through the qualcomm smoke screen) Qualcomm is no longer innovating future technologies but buying up patents to be just another SCO or NTP. Making sure there is plenty more litigation and qualcomm CONTROL over future consumer wireless communication technologies. Lucky open, standard technologies like GSM globally show smart consumers which technology is the right path forward. The numbers and the facts don’t lie.
For your further knowledge, knowing the truth is better than continuing to believe the FUD.
@hellno: So your problem seems to be Qualcomm controlling CDMA patents. The same is true with GSM. Many companies posses patents that are needed to implement GSM/GPRS/EDGE systems, although these royalty rates maybe lower than CDMA systems. I am sure either Sony Erricson or Nokia control some of these fundamental patents. The main reason for GSM popularity is because of Nokia and Sony Erricson and European Union.
Regarding BREW (the run-time from Qualcomm), from my knowledge its not on all phones. RIM also uses Qualcomm’s chipset and they aren’t using BREW instead use the same JVM they use on their GSM chipset.
Regarding MediaFLO, I am not an expert on this but from my knowledge AT&T has agreed to use it. From what I know its the European union that stands behind DVB something that is developed by a European company, Nokia. So both in your definition is closed. But again I don’t think MediaFLO is bundled with all CDMA phones.
Carrier openness is a different issue from standards. You seem to think Verizon and Qualcomm is the problem. Check the news today with AT&T and 8810 or 20. GSM carriers aren’t is any slightest way more open than their CDMA counterparts. Thats a FUD. Sprint is more open than AT&T. Although I do agree T-Mobile a GSM carrier is probably the most open of all but that again has nothing to do with them being GSM/GPRS.
I have been reading your posts for a while now, and i appreciate the time and effort you put into it. I always look forward to your next post to hear your opinion and input. I myself do a blog about WiMAX on my blog website: http://www.goingwimax.com.
Please comment on the website about how you feel about WiMAX and the site. If you would ever like to do some link exchanging, I would love my blog viewers to check out this site. Feel free to contact me!