GPRS vs. CDMA
It just dawned on me today after reading a comment on my blog that even though I've got a super-cool smartphone now ("smartphone" is trademarked by none other than the late Gary Kildall, did you know that?), despite this phone, I'm a bit behind the technical curve. Why? Because I'm only using GPRS right now - which is a hopped up version of GSM. And we all know that the future of mobile communications is based on CDMA.
What type of email protocol does www.movistar.com use? POP3 IMAP? I do support for 3G1X networks in the US. Comparable to GPRS, but uses the CDMA technology for the packet switching network. Also I was curious what kind of data speeds you receive. Over here the average speed I see is about 70-80Kbps. Depending on coverage.
Posted by jhawk
I should explain now that I have my phone up and running that the email didn't matter. I was using their "default" email at first to make sure that that wasn't the problem, but I'm now checking my firstname.lastname@example.org email from my phone using IMAP. The phone is like a little computer. It logs onto the net wirelessly, gets an IP and then can do whatever a normal computer can do (within hardware limits). As well as email and Java apps, I've downloaded a chat program called IM+ which works quite well and allows me to chat via MSN, AIM and ICQ. Directly - with no middle server like some of the Java based solutions.
I'll say this right now. My experiences with GPRS is that it's slow! It takes at least 20 seconds or more to log on and though the chat is instant, the email is waaay too slow. I was expecting normal modem speeds, but it's like connecting at 14.4kbps or worse. The WAP browser isn't bad, but can also be slow. I don't know why this is like this. Maybe it's the phone or the network or the gateway (I'm only pre-pay not contract). I haven't used the phone enough to tell you whether it's intermittent or what, but it's definitely not as fast as I thought it would be. However, I'm not really complaining too much because at least I have a phone with an IP. The chat app and downloading Java apps is just cool.
Okay, so that brings me around to my point: GPRS vs. CDMA. It's pretty well known that the rest of the world is really having problems with CDMA technology. I've read a bunch on this subject, but I won't pretend to have a full grasp on the issues, but the idea is that there's a few different versions of 3G/UMTS technology based on CDMA: CDMA2000, W-CDMA and something else. Basically, the Europeans are having trouble getting the stuff working both on the handsets and base stations. Nokia has just announced that it's making it's first WCDMA phone available, and it's an ugly dog (and not even Symbian based, like this Fujitsu).
If you look at the speeds Jay is talking about on his 2.5G CDMA connection (real 3G is supposed to have 384Kbps) you can see the enormous advantages of CDMA. (Invest in Qualcomm, I think.)
Hmmm. We'll see. The question is really whether we'll see 3G actually be deployed in the next several years or if the big telecoms hold off and make incremental improvements. The next step from GSM after GPRS, for example, can be to something called EDGE. Then after you have to move to WCDMA which requires spectrum, etc.
Anyways, if I could predict this stuff, I'd be a zillionaire. But the point is that the future doesn't stop here. I feel on the cutting edge lately with this phone, but the reality is that this stuff is just beginning.
My last thought is about Microsoft. I wonder if their presence in the U.S. where CDMA is more popular and their connections to Asian manufacturers will give them a headstart in the 3G smartphone space. I already saw that they were launching handsets compatible with Sprint and Verizon's networks... what about 3G? Hmmm.