[lug] Android comparisons

Ferdinand Schmid ferdinand at schmidix.net
Thu Aug 19 22:53:10 MDT 2010

Sorry for the late reply - but I do want to share my experience here as a
T-Mobile and Verizon user...

> After 3 years of living here, I still feel bad when I hear these kind
> > of sentences. I know, I've probably ranted about it onlist already,
> > but in many other countries (most of the Europe and surely in Italy)
> > you can buy any phone you like and it will very likely work with any
> > carrier you like.
> This is because GSM is the main standard in most of Europe, correct?

GSM - Global System for Mobile Communication is a great concept.  Why should
you get locked into particular vendor solutions when there is a global
standard.  The history of CDMA is a patent story more than anything else.
 Improvements should be applied to a standard and can still get licensed
properly.  In my opinion that's better than forking technologies.  By the
way - some of my family members still complain about echo and other voice
artifacts that you have to put up with on CDMA, which aren't present with

> > Ah, and 90% of the Italian phones do work here in the US with a
> > T-mobile SIM card (in fact, the phone I'm using right now was bought
> > in Italy, because I couldn't find anything worth buying here - and
> > T-mobile is the only carrier deserving my money, since they allow me
> > to do that). Good luck with putting an Italian SIM card in your iPhone
> > - although you may buy the exact same iPhone in Italy and I'll bet it
> > works just fine with any carrier
> Unfortunately I know from good sources (the carriers will never publish
> this information, but it COULD be dug out of the public FCC tower and
> transmitter databases, very painfully) that T-Mo in Colorado has about
> 1/3 less sites than the other carriers.  I know plenty of people who use
> them, don't get me wrong, but get outside of populated areas and you're
> either not going to have (much) coverage, or you may even be on a
> roaming agreement between T-Mo and AT&T... since they're the only two
> GSM players.

It doesn't matter how many towers you own - what matters is how many
channels you provide to your customers where they need them.  T-Mo never
charged for domestic roaming as far as I know.  And traveling with my
Verizon phone and my daughter's T-Mo phone I am frustrated that Verizon
often has much worse coverage than T-Mo (in Denver hotels, rural Nebraska,
etc.).  The T-Mo phone displays whose network you are roaming on (USA 450,
AT&T, UnionWireless in Wyoming, etc) but the service is good.  JD Edwards
rated T-Mo as the second best carrier (based on customer satisfaction) after
Verizon in late 2008.  In certain markets they were actually number one (SW
states).  Always check the coverage map for your area :-)

> And I think I saw news today where T-Mo isn't going to upgrade to 4G.
> They're staying at 3G in the U.S.

 Check out this link (you need to click on HSPA+ and 3G:
The speeds that users get to enjoy surpass the Sprint 4G speeds
significantly (21 Mbps down, 5.7 Mbps up).  Even if actual speeds are 30%
slower that still compares well to 4G at 3-6 Mbps down and 3.1 Mbps up)

T-Mobile's weak side, and my reason for changeing carriers, is poor device
choices.  I switched when the original Droid came out because I wanted a fun
phone with minimal limitations.  And that's exactly what it turned out to
be.  Voice commands, Google Voice, and other apps are best of breed.  I have
a hard time remembering what things were like when I had to type on my phone
while driving.  "Call Fred", "Directions to Noodles Boulder", and dictating
e-mail and text messages are very cool features.  Being able to write simple
pieces of code and copying them onto my phone for use is also way cool.
 However, this platform is not for everybody.  Blackberry, iPhone, Windows
Mobile (or Phone7), and Android each have their place and I enjoy that we
have this choice.  I hope there will continue to be several platform
providers because any company (or human) without challenge will get lazy
(and potentially greedy).

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