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Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
Selecting a Carrier
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Selecting a Carrier

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  • Cell Phone / Mobile Phone / Wireless Phone are interchangeable terms. We will use “Wireless phone” throughout the unit. Background Information: The wireless industry had 182 million subscribers in 2004 The wireless industry was a $102 billion-dollar industry in 2004 Source: “Yuan, Lin”, “TV-Anytime, Anywhere: Are you ready to watch television on your cellphone? Well, companies are getting ready to find out” The Wall Street Journal. 2005, September 12.
  • Carrier: Communications company that provides customer service, including air time, to Wireless phones. The Wireless phone can only be as good as the service the carrier provides.
  • The February 2005 Consumer Reports survey of 39,000 subscribers found that customers were the most satisfied with Verizon and the least satisfied with Cingular. However, Verizon isn’t offered in all cities, and T-Mobile was a close second.
  • Coverage : Geographical area in which your Wireless phone sends and receives calls. The best way to determine which carrier will be the best for you is to ask friends and family how the carrier works for them.
  • Coverage : Geographical area in which your Wireless phone sends and receives calls. Coverage maps are only accurate while using a phone outside or while in a car. Consumers should expect poor or no coverage inside of buildings, more specifically, basements, parking garages, and subways. Carriers are adamantly working to enhance in-building coverage. Source: FCC
  • Dead zone : a spot where service is not available because the signal between the handset and the cell tower is blocked. Limitations in the carrier’s network architecture and capacity will cause dropped calls in dead zones. As you move from one area to another, while talking on a Wireless phone, the carrier transfers the call from cell tower to cell tower. A dropped call occurs when the carrier fails to transfer a call-in-progress to another cell tower. Source FCC
  • Carriers create maps to help consumers make decisions, but each one carriers a large disclaimer that they are provided for informational purposes only. The key phrase, “Actual coverage my vary.” It is important to test the Wireless phone and plan in areas that you live, work, and play. Don’t rely solely on the carrier’s map. The map is generated by T-Mobile. Go the Consumer Awareness/ Wireless Phones/ Resources of the Consumer Jungle website to find direct links to carriers’ coverage maps. Source: FCC
  • In areas where carriers are closely matched in major respects, you may want to base your choice on factors specific to the carriers. Verizon – National IN Calling allows you to phone any other Verizon Wireless customer anytime, without using up minutes from your calling plan. T-Mobile – As of July 2005, for $39.99, subscribers receive 1,000 anytime minutes. Other carriers charge more. T-Mobile consistently offers the lowest-priced minutes. Sprint – Fair & Flexible adjusts the calling plan to allow for variation in minutes used, so you can avoid big unexpected charges. They will charge you batches $5 for every batch of 100 minutes over you plan. Sprint bought Nextel in December 2004 for $35 billion, and Nextel customers have the unique “walkie talkie” “push-to-talk” feature. Cingular – Rollover minutes allow you to carry over any unused minutes to the next month. Cingular is a joint venture between two traditional phone companies—Bell South and SBC. Cingular bought AT&T Wireless in February 2004 for $41 billion.
  • CDMA is the first of two digital networks. The left-hand-column talks about features of carriers that use CDMA technology. The right-hand column list features of CDMA phones. CDMA : Digital technology used to transmit Wireless phone calls by assigning them codes. These codes allow many calls to travel on the same frequency. Sprint uses CDMA technology, but they do not use the 850 mhz frequency. They only use the PCS frequency. Coverage : Geographical area in which your Wireless phone sends and receives calls. Why Cellular Frequencies provides better coverage in rural areas Analog networks were developed in the early 1980s and they use cellular frequencies at 850 mhz. Digital networks that use CDMA can also use the cellular frequency. Since the analog networks have been around longer, their cell towers are in more locations than more recent, digital networks. Source: FCC CDMA phones are Network centric, which means to move data, such as photos, in or out of the phone, you need a network connection. Folding-case Design The folding-case designs, in general, have an edge in voice quality because the microphone is closer to your mouth.
  • GSM is the first of two digital networks. The left-hand-column talks about features of carriers that use GSM digital technology. The right-hand column list features of GSM phones. GSM: Digital technology used to transmit Wireless phone calls by dividing Wireless phone calls into time slots. Only uses PCS frequencies. GSM and CDMA can call each other. Carriers sell only GSM or CDMA phones that are compatible with their network. GSM phones only operate on GSM networks. CDMA phones only operate on CDMA networks. GSM phones do not support analog technology using cellular frequencies unless they have “850 MHz network compatibility” Some GSM phones are World Phones You can use a “world phone” on wireless networks outside of the U.S., but you will have to program your phone to operate on the same radio-frequency band as the foreign country operates. The GSM phone has to specifically be a “tri-band” or “quad-band” phone that operates on foreign bands. The cost of using the phone in another country will be high, most likely starting at $.99 per minute. It often is better to get a second phone for traveling. Look for an “unlocked” GSM phone that you can insert an international SIM card into that will work with the local wireless carrier. Popular sites to buy “unlocked” GSM phones include CraigsList.com and ebay.com. Next, you’ll have to go online (try cellularabroad.com) to buy a SIM card for a specific country. The price per minute will vary depending on the retailer. Device Centric GSM phones are more “device centric,” because they use technologies such infrared that allow you to beam pictures directly to a printer and synchronize your phone’s address book with a computer or PDA. Innovative Design GSM phones tend to have more innovative designs in terms of size, coloring, and multi-function features. SIM card GSM phones are more portable. All of your account information is contained on a single, removable card called a subscriber information module (SIM), which can be easily transferred to a new phone. You can store names and phone numbers on the SIM card, too.
  • CDMA : Technology used to transmit wireless phone calls by assigning them codes that allow calls to travel on the same frequency. Uses cellular and PCS frequencies. GSM: Technology used to transmit wireless phone calls by dividing Wireless phone calls into time slots. Only uses PCS frequencies. GSM and CDMA can call each other. Carriers sell only GSM or CDMA phones that are compatible with their network. GSM phones only operate on GSM networks. CDMA phones only operate on CDMA networks. The term digital refers to the technology that uses one of two frequencies: either cellular at 850 mhz or PCS at 1800 -1950 mhz There are smaller digital networks as well. Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN). This network is used by Sprint since it merged with Nextel.
  • If you live in a rural area or small town, you may be better off with a CDMA phone. If you live in a larger city, you may be better off with a GSM phone. Check with others, before you sign up.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Lesson One: Choosing a Wireless Phone Carrier
    • 2. Why do you need a Wireless phone? <ul><li>Emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Convenience of sending or receiving calls from any location. </li></ul>
    • 3. 3 Steps to Buying a Wireless Phone <ul><li>Select & Evaluate in this order: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carrier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireless Phone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define your personal needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand how carrier, plan, and Wireless phone interact. </li></ul>
    • 4. Carrier Service & Satisfaction <ul><li>Customer satisfaction with national carriers (most satisfied to least satisfied) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verizon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T-Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sprint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cingular </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Consumer Reports Survey ~ February 2005 </li></ul></ul>
    • 5. Check Coverage with Others <ul><li>Does the carrier offer good coverage in your area? Ask: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who are in the same places as you </li></ul></ul>
    • 6. Coverage Inside of Buildings <ul><li>Coverage maps apply when you are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a Car </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coverage maps do not apply when you are in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buildings / Basements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parking Garages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subways / Trains </li></ul></ul>
    • 7. Why does my call get dropped? <ul><li>Dead zone: a spot where service is not available because the signal between the handset and the cell tower is blocked. </li></ul><ul><li>Caused by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hilly terrain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excessive foliage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tall buildings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Report dead zones at: www.deadcellzones.com </li></ul>
    • 8. Read the Fine Print <ul><li>Carrier maps at retail locations & on web sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Actual coverage may vary. Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>network changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>traffic volume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>service outages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>technical limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>signal strength </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>terrain structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weather </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other conditions </li></ul></ul>
    • 9. Compare Unique Features <ul><li>Verizon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National IN Calling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>T-Mobile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,000 Anytime Minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sprint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fair & Flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cingular </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rollover minutes </li></ul></ul>Check to see if other carriers are available in your area.
    • 10. Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) <ul><li>Carriers </li></ul><ul><li>Better coverage in rural areas because they use cellular frequency of 850 mhz as backup. </li></ul><ul><li>Offered by Verizon and Sprint </li></ul><ul><li>Phones </li></ul><ul><li>Provides analog backup </li></ul><ul><li>3-hour, average talk time </li></ul><ul><li>Network centric </li></ul><ul><li>Folding-case Design </li></ul>
    • 11. Global System for Mobile (GSM) <ul><li>Carriers </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide standard </li></ul><ul><li>T-Mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Cingular </li></ul><ul><li>Phones </li></ul><ul><li>Do not support analog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless “850 MHz network compatibility” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>World Phones </li></ul><ul><li>5-hour, average talk time </li></ul><ul><li>Device Centric </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative Design </li></ul><ul><li>SIM card </li></ul>
    • 12. Network & Phone Types <ul><li>2 Large, Digital Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CDMA (PCS & Cellular) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GSM (PCS) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Networks & Phones have to be compatible. </li></ul><ul><li>CDMA & GSM phones can call each other. </li></ul><ul><li>However, a GSM phone won’t work on the CDMA network & vice-versa. </li></ul>
    • 13. Evaluating Networks in Your Area <ul><li>Based upon this information, which network system is best for your area? </li></ul><ul><li>CDMA </li></ul><ul><li>GSM </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>

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