The Difference Between GSM and CDMA
If you have a cellphone and/or have seen commercials for cellphone's that you undoubtedly have come across "GSM" and "CDMA." I'm sure you are like me and find yourself asking, "What do they mean?" I had no idea, but I was going to make it my personal mission to find out. Well, not really a mission, more of a 15 minute task reading on Google the meaning of them, but you get the point. When you go and purchase a cellphone you are either buying the technology for GSM, Global System for Mobile Communication, or you are getting CDMA, Code Division Multiple Access. The way I understand it is GSM is more of a global network and CDMA is the main network in the United States. We could get into the debate about which network is superior, but that is not the point of this article. I'm trying to keep you awake here. It is said that CDMA is a faster network, but I don't think that has ever been proven. If you are a slave to your cellphone and need to access the internet and email, you might want to look into network speeds much closer. What I found very interesting is the topic of SIM cards. Those are the little thumbnail size cards that go into the back of your phone that somehow store a colossal amount of data. Anyway, in the U.S., GSM is the only service that uses these cards. I find that to be a very important factor because the SIM card is like a little USB storage device. It is comforting to know that if I get a new phone I can just put my SIM card in the back of it and, voila, all my data is now on my new phone. CDMA's "SIM card" is called R-UIM card. This is only available in Asia at the moment, but it seems to be making its way to the United States. In the United States, the main GSM networks are: AT&T (Cingular) and T-Mobile. The main CDMA networks are: Sprint, Verizon and Virgin Mobile. I base my network choice on the calling coverage I get in my area. Since I primarily use my phone to call people, it was important for me to have the best coverage. I hope this article helped shed some light on the GSM and CDMA networks.
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