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last updated 5 Sep 2020
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    Mobil Phone Service Providers

    Recent updates:
    In 2020 T-Mobile merged with Sprint
    Best phone carriers of 2020 | Tom's Guide
    Best overall
    Tethering uses 3G (slower)
     Close to T-mobile overall
    Compare Cell Phone Plans, Internet Plans, Tablet Plans & TV Packages | WhistleOut
    Best Cell Phone Coverage | WhistleOut
    1. Verizon: 70% 4G Cell Phone Coverage
    2. AT&T: 68% 4G Cell Phone Coverage
    3. T-Mobile: 62% 4G Cell Phone Coverage
    Network Zip Codes Covered (CA) Geographic Area Covered m2
    CA NJ
    AT&T 1,785 120,517 7,731
    Verizon 1,797 117,504 7,540
    T-Mobile 1,796 114,155 7,565
    Sprint 1,640 59,222 7,419
    Coverage data generated November 21st 2019 from carrier maps.

    2010 Reviews:
    Cost all were within $5/mo (6%) for voice and $20/mo.(16%) for voice+data
    Vendor Tech-
    CR1 J. D. Power (2015)
    west n. cen-
    NE SE SW
    Verizon CDMA 69 5 5 5 5 5 5
    AT&T GSM 66 3 3 3 3 3 4
    Sprint CDMA 59 2 2 2 2 2 2
    T-Mobile GSM 69 2 3 2 2 2 3
    U.S. Cellular CDMA 73 5
    Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
    Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM)
      Note: Quad band GSM phones will usually work in Europe

    1. Consumer reports ratings 2013?
    Cell Phone Providers Review 2010 - TopTenREVIEWS
    Rating Cell Phone Plans, Wireless Plan Ratings


    Dead Cell Zones (Inverse coverage map) at is a list of locations reported by users where their service doesn't work.

    J.D. Power and Associates study Sep. 2008:
    The study measured wireless call quality based on seven problem areas that impacted overall carrier performance: dropped calls; static/interference; failed connection on the first try; voice distortion; echoes; no immediate voice mail notification; no immediate text message notification.

    Verizon Wireless lead the way with the highest ranking in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, West, and tied with Sprint Nextel in the Southwest Region. Alltel ranked the highest in the Southeast, and tied with U.S. Cellular for the North Central Region. Consumer Reports subscriber survey published in Jan. 2009
    Verizon had the best coverage, Sprint was 2nd and AT&T and T-mobil were last.

    Which carrier has the least amount of dropped calls? at had the same result. However, they say more people are switching to AT&T because of the iPhone.

    Coverage Maps:

     Verizon: voice	data
      Sprint: voice & data 
        AT&T: voice data
    T-mobile: voice data
    Only sprint reprted of number of PoPs (Point of presents) or cell towers
    like those listed below in 2001.  I think the companies are keeping that
    information close to the vest now.
    Network technologies:
    GSM: AT&T Wireless, and T-Mobile USA (Deutsche Telekom).
    GSM carriers can offer international roaming.
    GSM networks dominate the world market.
    CDMA:  carriers are Sprint PCS, Verizon, Alltel and Virgin Mobile.
    Pay as you go:
    I've bought a Tracfone and I'm saving money every month,
    I hear that Net 10 is also a good option.
    ConsumerReports Blog:
    Having had Verizon and now ATT, I can confirm that Verizon tends to have more of
    a stranglehold on features. They commonly cripple Bluetooth, limit music and
    picture services to their own platform (all for a fee) and even have a 'Verizon'
    user interface on many of their phones. They tend to charge for everything
    (GPS, visual voice mail, etc.)
    Some may say the same thing re: the iPhone being locked into iTunes,
    although I find this to be less of an issue. 
    CDMA has been traditionally faster than GSM, though both technologies continue
    to rapidly leapfrog along this path. Both boast "3G" standards, or 3rd
    generation technologies.
    Who's Got The Fastest Mobile Broadband? at
    ComputerWorld May, 2008 - Tests in Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York City,
    Portland, Raleigh-Durham, San Francisco and the Bay Area.
    Verizon Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO):
    downloads -- typical speeds of 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps.
    uploads -- typical speeds of 500-800 Kbps.
    AT&T  BroadbandConnect HSDPA/UMTS technology 3G
    (High Speed Downlink Packet Access/Universal Mobile Telephone System) 3G
    download throughput of 700 kbps to 1.7 Mbps 
    upload 1.2 Mbps
    GPRS/EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment) 110Kb/s
    download speeds of 220Kbps to 320Kbps with bursts at 384Kbps.
    UMTS/HSDPA - download up to 1 Mbps
    See: T-mobile G1 faster than iPhone AT&T G3
    Sprint Mobile Broadband Card
    download speeds of 600-1.4 Mbps, peaking at 3.1 Mbps
    Sprint had the highest national average download speed (1.4 Mbps)
    Wireless 3G speeds
    In Kansas City VZW (Verizon wireless) was in the 600kpbs range, AT&T avg more like 1600+kpbs. 
    Verizon Mifi in NY city destroys AT&T 3G
    Tethering (Mobile Modem):
    Tethering is using your mobil phone to connect your computer to the Internet via 
    a USB cable, PC Card (PCMCIA), IrDA (infrared wireless), Bluetooth or WiFi.
    You need a web-enabled cell phone with a data plan and
    bluetooth or a data cable connection. 
    Phones: Blackberry Storm, ..
    See problems with using Nokia 3220  data cable
    See How to Connect Your Computer to the Internet Using Your Cell Phone at: and
    $250 box which connects to your broadband internet and acts as a mini cell tower.
    Offered by Srint, Verizon and AT&T
    Make sure your contract doesn't renew automatically for another two years when it expires.
    They usually don't start over unless you buy a new phone. Frequencies: 824-849 MHz US Cellular Mobil Telephone (AMPS, CDMA, TDMA, CDPD) 800 MHz 851-869 SMR (NEXTEL) 869-894 US Cellular Mobil Telephone (AMPS, CDMA, TDMA, CDPD) 800 MHz 1.8-2.0 GHz US PCS Mobil Telephone (CDMA, TDMA, GSM) 890-960 GSM in Europe, Israel, Far East, Australia, Fraud - Scams - Legal Problems: See conversation with T-mobile cust supt over refusal to cancel contract because of no service. Advanced Phones: T-Mobile G1 features a full QWERTY keyboard, 3G support, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. The Google Android operating system offers good integration with Google applications.
    Feature iPhone G1
    Talk time 5 5
    Standby 300 130
    Screen size 3.5 3.2
    camera 2Mp 3Mp
    storage 8 or 16GB 2GB or 8GB
    tethering n n
    Qwerty keyboard n Y
    storage 8 or 16GB 2GB or 8GB
    phone $200 $180
    voice * $70 $30-60
    data $0-20 $25-35
    total 2yr $2,360 $1,620 - $2,460
    * Basic plan for the iPhone includes unlimited Internet. Unlimited texting is extra. Phones with GPS:
    See comparison at PC World


    Ranked by spectrum in major markets according to IDC (3Q 2001 data)
    CompanyBand !TechnologyCustomers
    M 3Q 2001
    click on map for more
    PoPs *Rev-
    enue $B
    Verizon800CDMA, AMPS29M, 24%213M233M$4.5
    AT&T **800/1900
    most 800
    TDMA, AMPS, GSM20M 16% 193M269M$3.5
    Sprint PCS1900CDMA, AMPS, (GSM-selected areas)14M 11%205M269M$2.6
    Cingular800/1900GSM, TDMA21M 17%70% - GA, SC, NC, TN, LA, Miss., FL, AL, OH, Mich., CA, WA, Missouri, OK152M179M$1.5
    T-Mobile1900GSM 6M 5%Nationwide except CA, NV, Mont., WY, ND, SD, VA, WV, NC, VT, MN, 120M220M
    NextelSMRiDEN8M 7%Nationwide 193M200M$2
    ! Band - 800 MHz (Cellular), 1900 MHz (PCS)
    ** AT&T has TDMA and AMPS at 800 MHz and TDMA at 1900 MHz
    * PoP - Point of Presence (Src: Yankee Group and WirelessNewsFactor)
    Note: a PoP in wireless is capacity for an individual (phone) not a connection point as in wireline.
    SMR - Specalized Mobil Radio - Frequencies in the 800 and 900 MHz band

    GSM phones in europe operate at 890-960 MHz

       824-849 MHz Cellular Mobil Telephone (AMPS, CDMA, TDMA, CDPD) 800 MHz
       851-869     SMR (NEXTEL) 
       869-894     Cellular Mobil Telephone (AMPS, CDMA, TDMA, CDPD) 800 MHz
       890-960     GSM in Europe, Israel, Far East, Australia,
       1.8-2.0 GHz PCS Mobil Telephone (CDMA, TDMA, GSM)
    Mobil Telephone Svc listings
    Get Connected
    Omni Choice
    Verizon Wireless - Dennis Strigl CEO 180 Washington Valley Rd. Bedminster, N.J. 07921 (908) 306-8000

    Sprint PCS - Charles Levine CEO 6160 Sprint Parkway Overland Park, Kan. 66251 (800) 480-4727

    Cingular Wireless - Stephen Carter CEO 5565 Glenridge Connector Atlanta, Ga. 30342 (866) 246-4852

    T-Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile International. Robert P. Dotson, CEO 1-800-T-MOBILE 12920 S.E. 38th St. Bellevue, WA 98006

    VoiceStream Wireless Corp. - John Stanton CEO 12920 SE 38th St. S.E. Bellevue, Wash. 98006 (425) 378-4000

    Nextel Communications Inc. - Tim Donahue 2001 Edmund Haley Dr. Reston, Va. 20191 (703) 433-4000

    See Also:
    Wireless Communications Yahoo Wireless Consumers Mobil Phone Technology - Timeline - Glossary

    Pagers and Wireless Data Web Link Wireless

    See Also: 2008 Wireless Call Quality Volume 2 at
    Mobile/Cell Phones Products
    Mobile Phone Accessories
    Cell Phone Forums

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