- 11-19-2012, 02:30 PM #1
This is a bit of a stupid question I guess but I'm gonna ask it anyways.
Whats the deal with Verizon & AT&T in the states? Obviously in the UK with have different carriers. Some that we share with you such as T-Mobile but some that you don't have such as O2, Three, EE, Vodafone, Orange etc. But from what I've seen on these forums you guys seem to love Verizon but also hate the way they cripple the phones at the same time. Why do Verizon mess about with the phones and AT&T don't? Why are some of you **** bent on staying with Verizon even when it means you can't have the phone you want because a killer feature is crippled? Why is AT&T other peoples faves?
Also, What's the deal with CDMA vs GSM? Over here we only get GSM as far as I know. You guys had to have a special version of the iphone to run on verizon didn't you? Why is that?
I know this might seem like a stupid thread but I'm genuinly curious as to why Verizon keeps appearing in threads and why people love/hate them. Don't they insist on having there brand stamped on all the phones as well?
A curious Brit.
P.S ( Yes I do have teeth like Austin Powers :D)
- 11-19-2012, 02:41 PM #2
I have a feeling that CDMA will eventually go away here in the US. Canadian carriers are phasing it out. They got an early start, since they needed to provide sufficient network coverage for all the international visitors at the Vancouver Olympics.
- 11-19-2012, 02:43 PM #3
"Why are some of you **** bent on staying with Verizon even when it means you can't have the phone you want because a killer feature is crippled? Why is AT&T other peoples faves?"
Okay, they are the two biggest. Since the US is absolutely massive these guys have a huge portion of the market, because they cover a huge portion of the country. Verizon is a little better CS wise than AT&T and typically they have better service on the east coast, but that's changed a lot in the past few years. The other reason why people like to stay with their provider is because it's **** to get out of them, especially if you have more than one phone on your plan. Every phone's contract ends at different dates and ultimately this ends up causing everyone's bills to skyrocket if someone on the family plan decides to go on a prepaid or cheaper plan with Tmobile or Sprint.
CDMA is just a different cell tech, and it is, I believe, supposed to work better in concrete buildings or something like that, while GSM works better in mountainous terrain. That could all be internet blah blah blah though. The big difference is SIM cards. GSM has them CDMA doesn't. So all CDMA phones are permanently locked to the carrier they are bought at.
Verizon is an interesting company, after a few years then them I decided that they're very over priced. I also decided that I prefer GSM over CDMA, being as I travel a lot and end up in Europe a lot. Being as I'm in Italy now. It would have been nice to get a prepaid sim and pop it in my phone here, but I can't with Verizon. People hate Verizon and ATT for the same reasons. They are blood sucking vermin. They charge an arm and a leg for services you pay half the price for. I believe my Scottish pal has an Iphone with unlimited data, text, and minutes for 35 pounds a month. That's a lot less than the 70 dollars it would cost you on verizon and att, especially because they don't even do unlimited data anymore.
- 11-19-2012, 02:49 PM #4
I pay £36 a month and I have unlimited data, 5000 texts and 3000 minutes every month. I think I probably only send about 5 texts a day max. I rarely ever make a call. I'm just on this plan for the data lol.
I don't know how it is over there but in the UK most contracts are 2 years now. Its very difficult to get a 12 month contract like the old days. Thats purely because the cost of handests has gone through the roof.
- 11-19-2012, 05:17 PM #5
My friend's parents travel to Europe frequently. They used to have Verizon and needed to buy cheap dumb phones just to use in Europe. Now they have AT&T and had their smartphones unlocked, so they get prepaid SIMs for use in Europe. It's cheaper than international roaming.
- 11-19-2012, 05:19 PM #6
CDMA became popular in the USA because, at the time, it was the only wireless standard with a clear path for data. It also was far superior to early GSM in covering large empty areas of the country with few residents economically (GSM required up to 4X as many towers to do so as CDMA).
The USA had the early lead in smartphone technology and digital data services as a result. I moved from the USA to the UK for about six years back in 2003, and having to give up the then state-of-the-art Sprint CDMA "PCS Vision" data network for Orange's GPRS was PAINFUL.
Of course, CDMA today is largely obsolete -- but still deployed so widely that it will take years to phase out.
- 11-19-2012, 05:52 PM #7
My family has Verizon. We have a U.S./Canada plan (my mom's from Canada, and we go there at least once a year) that is no longer offered (but we still have it) and so that's one reason we have Verizon. It's historically had (and still does have) the best coverage, especially with LTE.
There are other carriers here that have much better deals, but either don't have the same selection of phones, or the coverage is more local. The following are nationwide, though.
Straight Talk - $45 a month for unlimited everything. It relies on all 4 major networks for service, depending on your phone. The phone selection isn't very good, but certain outside phones can be used with it, including the Lumia 710.
Ting - Costs from $15 up per month. Basically you're only charged for how many minutes/texts/data you use. It's a cool concept and the website will give you a better idea of how it works. There are only Android phones right now, but Windows Phones are said to be coming. You pretty much can't bring phones from the outside, though they are working on it. Runs on Sprint's network.
Republic Wireless - $19 per month for unlimited everything. The trick is that you are supposed to use WiFi as much as possible, but there aren't any overage charges. As long as you maintain the correct ratio of WiFi/Cellular (at least 60% WiFi) you won't have any problems. The main caveat is that only one phone is offered, and it's not very good. Runs on Sprint's network.
There are plenty others other than just these guys, but you get the picture...
- 11-19-2012, 06:01 PM #8
Here is my take...
Verizon has the best network. (Most coverage, most LTE coverage, Most 3G coverage, they are CDMA)
AT&T has the best Windows Phones and were the first with the iPhone. That alone puts them in a top spot for a lot of people. (They are GSM)
Sprint has bad coverage and is CDMA but they have GREAT customer service.
T-Mobile has the smallest network, smallest number of clients, no LTE, good customer service, but decent speed "4G", is GSM.
Those are the big 4 and how I see them.
Yes, Verizon and Sprint both have an iPhone that is CDMA. Why? iPhone is extremely popular here in the states. I think world-wide iPhone holds 17% of the market. In the US, it's closer to 30% of all smartphones.
Basically Verizon is the biggest carrier in the US and AT&T are RIGHT behind them. This is due in large part to AT&T getting the iPhone first. iPhone was ONLY on AT&T until the iPhone 4S came out. In that time T-Mobile got Android first and Verizon said 'Heyyyyy, we wanna play too!' and Verizon with a lot more customers and money advertized the heck out of android as the iPhone alternative. This is why android and Verizon have such a hold on the US. When AT&T had the iPhone their coverage was awful! There are jokes EVERYWHERE about how bad their network is, late night tv was always poking fun at them "hey you got an iphone! But I will make the call since you are on that network where you don't get service anywhere."Now that the iPhone is everywhere its creeping back but Android is still king here. But since the iPhone is everywhere AT&T really have improved their network because they had to, they no longer have a monopoly on the iPhone in the sates.
CDMA is still strong in the US because of this. It's not bad technology but you can't just slap a sim into a new phone and call it good. They register the IMEI number instead and no sim is needed (however verizons LTE network requires a sim). I don't agree with the people saying they are going to phase it out. There are too many phones on CDMA today. Maybe they are working on phasing it out but it's going to be a seriously long time before that happens. Spring is third in the country and they are CDMA as well.
Personally I think CDMA is a stonger signal, I have been on all 4 carriers and never had issues being indoors with CDMA as I did with GSM carriers. When I had AT&T there was this one restaurant I frequented and I would lose service the second I entered, but have 4-5 bars once I stepped outside. On Verizon I have 3-5 bars at all times in our outside that building. Maybe that's jsut my area though I don't know.
I know GSM is WAYYYYY more popular world-wide.
As far as staying with Verizon even when other carriers have "better" phones, it's a pain in the **** to switch carriers if you are in the middle of a contract. And even if you aren't in the middle of a contract to some of us (me included) quality of network out-weigh's the phone I have to use every time. At least thats what I have decided over the years. Besides my 822 does everything the 922 does but with a little worse camera and a little less sharper screen. It's the same OS with the same functions but on a better network in my eyes. Also I am on a decent plan and my employer gives a discount if we have Verizon. So you have to take that into consideration too!
Oh and America, **** YEAH! lol. :P Just being silly.
11-19-2012, 06:53 PM #10
- 466 Posts
Verizon has long ignored Windows Phone except the Trophy. The one thing they have done is push out every update for the Trophy quick. While ATT has the best Windows Phones updates have been less reliable. Its going to stay a mess but let's hope WP8 can get enough market share to demand attention from everyone!
- 11-19-2012, 07:14 PM #11
I do not believe the phase-out of CDMA will be immediate; however, I do see it happening. Other than some carriers in China and India, CDMA is non-existent outside of North America and already on its way out in Canada. Bell and Telus no longer sell any new CDMA smartphones.
Sprint is finally getting rid of Nextel iDEN next year. That was announced quite some time ago.
11-19-2012, 07:17 PM #12
- 993 Posts
I'm not sure why people are saying CDMA is obsolete. AFAIK it has better coverage, and I think most phones these days support simultaneous voice and data. Most Verizon phones these days have GSM radios as well. That said, I think Verizon is going to phase out CDMA by eventually switching to voice over LTE. But that's a few years off still.
Sent from my HTC Trophy using Board Express
- 11-20-2012, 01:25 AM #14
- 11-20-2012, 07:42 AM #15
I would also like to note that Verizon and AT&T are the most expensive. Sprint and TMO are much cheaper, especially if you go with prepaid options here in the US. Their coverage isn't as amazing as Verizon and AT&T but that is likely to change over the next few years, and has already changed in the past few. So the biggest reason that people stay with their providers is because of contracts. It is hellish to try to escape the iron jaws of a cellphone provider. Once they get you they keep you until you die.
A basic plan on Verizon with 1 smartphone unlimited text/talk and 1gb of data, 2 gb makes 60, 4- 70 etc.
ATT: 60$ for 300mb of data and 450 minutes a month, with no texting. You can add unlimited texting for 20$ a month
TMO: 80$ for unlimited talk text and web (data throttled after 2gb)
Prepaid TMO: 30$ a month for 100 minutes, unlimited texting, and data (throttled after 5gb)
Sprint: 80$ for 450 min, unlimited messaging, and data (no throttling that I can see)
Virgin Mobile(prepaid sprint): 35$ a month for 300 min, unlimited texting, and data (throttled after 2.5gb)
So pretty much it's a price factor. Each company can help customize it for you. I like the prepaid tmo, because it's cheaper, because within 2 years, even after the cost of a full price phone, you pay less. But overall, Verizon and ATT are ripoffs.
- 11-20-2012, 09:09 AM #16
let's be clear, ST can use ANY ATT or T-Mobile phone, in addition to unlocked ones. ST is the closest thing we have to the way it works in Europe. In fact EE/P4U is a STEP BACKWARDS for Europe and I would avoid that crap if at all possible mate. EE is the FAILED/CORRUPT US model to get you hooked on subsidies.
CDMA cannot go away fast enough. As soon as Verizon figures out VoLTE the phase out will start in full. GSM will stay around in the US longer due to its compatibility with the rest of the world.
- 11-20-2012, 03:27 PM #17
It depends on what you want. With Sprint you can get 400 minutes, unlimited data and text for $80 but if you want to add tethering they cap the data and it can cost upwards of $50 depending on what you want.
In the end Sprint is very similar to VZW share plan but with VZW you get unlimited talk + unlimited text and your data is capped. So if you like to tether there really is no difference and it comes down to network... and VZW blows Sprint out of the water.
- 11-20-2012, 04:09 PM #18
Verizon itself has said CDMA will be completely gone from its network by 2021 -- which isn't that far away.
11-20-2012, 07:24 PM #20
- 62 Posts
Is it really that hard to get out of a phone contract in the States?
I had an 18 month contract with o2 that ran out beginning of September. It'll just roll each month now at the same price unless I make a change.
I've now given my 30 day notice, no qualms at all. They gave me the PAC code straight away. I'll give this to EE when my 920 turns up tomorrow, they'll move my existing number to my new sim and that will signal the last day of my o2 contract.
To be fair it's only recent changes in European Law that have forced networks to make migration that simple.
- 11-20-2012, 07:49 PM #21
It's like this, people prefer Verizon because they have the most coverage, and people prefer AT&T for the best phones and coverage as well. That being said as a result the prices are very high and are twice than what I am paying on T-mobile for comparable services (I get coverage wherever I'm at so I don't care).
CDMA- phones are restricted only to the carrier and the data is programmed onto them. Its also not as easy to switch phones. CDMA albeit with better signal strength, it has poorer capacity and slower speeds than GSM. For example CDMA EvDO speeds can only top out at 3.5mbps (sprint only maxes out at 768kbps due to its capacity issues and averages much lower).
GSM-uses SIM cards, has better signal quality, capacity and faster speeds.
11-20-2012, 08:05 PM #22
- 70 Posts
It varies from year-to-year.
Sprint was quickest at 3G rollouts to my area (rural) with the best coverage for years from 2001-2007. Virgin and the lesser names use the Sprint ClearWire backbone for their products. They have a big FAIL on 4G,
T-Mobile I like but they are slower on the LTE network buildout. They are becoming the next Sprint. I'd have T-Mobile now if they offered the 920 and same deal as ATT. Financially strapped I expect them to merge or implode. I just left T-Mobile ,,,,,,,,
That leaves the other 2. The plans I saw on Verizon for the Nokias were simply outrageous due to their restriction to shared plans with a 45 surcharge. .
That left me with ATT which is slower than Verizon in my area and costs $100 a month for the 5GB Hotspot plan with 450 minutes and taxes, etc.
- 11-20-2012, 10:45 PM #23
- 11-21-2012, 02:25 PM #24
- 11-21-2012, 02:29 PM #25
In England all the carriers pretty much have the same handsets. Occasionally you get a phone that is exclusive to a network for a couple of months or exclusive in a certain colour but you can still go out and buyt the phone sim free from a phone shop. Its pretty easy to pick and choose a network and I would say its quite common to move around networks in the UK.
I myself havent stayed on the same network at all.
I've been on:
and a few older ones I cant remember anymore.
Switching networks is a no brainer over here as the prices are so competitive between the networks that they have to work really hard to keep you. I just go for the best data plans on the lowest tariff everytime.
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