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Old 12-29-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
BobRoosth
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Default Cell phone basics

Yes, but over there (and all of Europe) there is only one cellphone technology in use. GSM. In the US, there are at least two, CDMA and GSM. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA, but do not work on each others networks. Cingular and AT&T are GSM, but again do not work on each others networks. Most of their phones are locked, meaning they are tied to a specific network. As best I can tell, all European GSM phones are unlocked and can work across the EU and beyond. Just swap out the SIM.

Some phones, particularly Blackberries, have both GSM and CDMA radios.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:13 AM   #2
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Yes, but over there (and all of Europe) there is only one cellphone technology in use. GSM. In the US, there are at least two, CDMA and GSM. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA, but do not work on each others networks. Cingular and AT&T are GSM, but again do not work on each others networks. Most of their phones are locked, meaning they are tied to a specific network. As best I can tell, all European GSM phones are unlocked and can work across the EU and beyond. Just swap out the SIM.

Some phones, particularly Blackberries, have both GSM and CDMA radios.
Thank you! You have cleared up most of my confusion about these phones, in just 7 succinct sentences.

   
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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And one more: 3g networks (at least in the US) use different frequencies, depending on the carrier. They tell me that 3G will be available on my local carrier's network soonish. But on a frequency that isn't supported by my unlocked Nokia phone. Arrgghhh.

   
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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And one more: 3g networks (at least in the US) use different frequencies, depending on the carrier. They tell me that 3G will be available on my local carrier's network soonish. But on a frequency that isn't supported by my unlocked Nokia phone. Arrgghhh.
Arrgghhh, indeed.

When I get around to getting a cell phone — probably not long from now — I will count on the advice of you and others here. It is such a mess.

   
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:35 AM   #5
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Depending on what you want the phone for, it might be simple or complex. If you just y'know want like ... a phone, ask people in your area what carrier they use and how good the coverage is for each carrier, whether they're dropped from calls often and so on.

If you have to have movies and web browsing and espresso-brewing and whatnot ... life's more complex.

   
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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Depending on what you want the phone for, it might be simple or complex. If you just y'know want like ... a phone, ask people in your area what carrier they use and how good the coverage is for each carrier, whether they're dropped from calls often and so on.
Mostly just a phone. I’m not immune to charm and style, of course, but we mostly need a telephone that works.

For now, I hope to avoid long-term commitments. I have seen some acceptable phones that are either pre-paid or “go” (whatever that means), so I expect we will just choose one like those. Small enough to fit in a pocket, preferably.

   
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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kt: “go” (whatever that means)
I think "Go" is a brand of pre-paid phone but I'm not sure...

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Old 01-02-2010, 12:39 PM   #8
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I think "Go" is a brand of pre-paid phone but I'm not sure...
Aha! Maybe so. I will ask him more about it. I liked the phones they have, physically, and they are happy with the reception and audio quality.

   
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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If you have to have movies and web browsing and espresso-brewing and whatnot ... life's more complex.
Gee, and I just upgraded my phone. To think I could have had expresso-brewing included makes me upset I didn't wait for it.

   
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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You can always go for the other extreme ... Jitterbug. It makes calls. Period.

<g>

   
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