Over at NewMobileComputing, we’ve got a new article that explores the various methods that wireless telecom firms are offering for high speed packet-based data services. There’s been some controversy over whether the CDMA2000 1x networks are really “3G” or are “2.5G” like GPRS. This article explores the controversy, and tries to get to the bottom of what constitutes a true 3G network.
The 3G/2.5G Controversy: GSM vs. CDMA
2003-04-21 Wireless 6 Comments
From my experience doing some testing for a datacasting project is terrible. Slow access to even the simplest of data pages on a good variety of phones. It gives new meaning to the term ‘world wide wait’.
Here in the UK our first true 3G network has launched:
And promises real video phone functionality, football clips of goals as they happen etc. They certainly have a strong brand forming but I am not convinced they are bringing anything to the table that can’t happen over current 2.5G technology.
It all comes down to number of users and bandwidth available per user. I think 2.5G technically has the bandwidth to do those things, with limited users, but can it handle many users doing it all at once? Maybe that is where 3G networks will set themselves apart.
CDMA is fast only when you’re not sharing the bandwidth with thousands of others, so yes technically you can watch video, but at what time of the day? But again, “3G”/UMTS (and not CDMA2000) is not on the market, what CDMA2000 claims to be is not anywhere near what UMTS was supposed to offer and they’re just trying to fool subscribers. This said, GPRS is also a shared-bandwidth scheme, and more than not have I had errors trying to access WAP stuff during the day because voice communications get the priority over data transfers.
Hmmm… the article in question does not even mention GSM, let alone explore any kind of GSM vs CDMA controversy. It is really a 2.5G (or not) discussion.
Pity – a GSM vs CDMA article would be a good read. Next time please label articles correctly.
3G is a joke in regards to data. For the record most of those UMTS networks won’t even offer what CDMA2000 can offer speed wise, at least not initially. And UMTS is based on cdma (W-CDMA). But at the end of the day these arguments are academic and fairly useless. The user experience for data in GPRS, CDMA200, and UMTS universally sucks. It is held back by high latency, slow speeds, lack of applications, and lack of a realistic user interface (not just the gui).
the cell-phone industry was driven by visionaries 10 years ago. Now its driven by a massive hype machine. Imode worked well in japan but the interest for these 3G services (beyond basic messaging and voice) elsewhere is not there, period. No one cares. Stop buying the hype. 3G sucks and its going to fail, end -unless the vendors pony up to the truth and start talking honestly about what 3g really is. 3G (UMTS) is a voice network and it will be a damn good one in time. Just admit it and end this endless debate about who of all the horrible data performers performs least worst.
I read that some US senators ammended the congressional bill planning Iraq’s reconstruction to insist that Iraq use Qualcomm’s CDMA instead of GSM. The US wants to ensure that US companies’ IP is forced upon the Iraqi people.
Do any other countries in the Middle East even use CDMA? I read that only the US and Korea use CDMA, with a few South American countries “testing” it.