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AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA

by snoot / May 30, 2004 5:50 AM PDT

How good of coverage is the AT&T GSM Plan. For the past 3 years I've had the Digital One Rate Plan (TDMA)and was happy with the coverage and service. Recently the service in the Atlanta Area has gone down the tubes! The phone is fine and AT&T technical folks find no problems. I THINK that they are adding GSM cells at the expense of the TDMA cells. I wouldn't mind trying AT&T GSM but don't want to committ. Unfortunately AT&T doesn't want to make me a deal. If I have to switch, why stay with AT&T or GSM. There's other carriers. Let me know who you think has the best nationwide coverage (including those remote places) and plans.

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Re:AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by OSny / June 8, 2004 8:33 PM PDT

AT&T is the worst provider I've ever had. I travel around the country up to 200,000 miles a year and the worst coverage is in large cities.I had GSM for 10 days and cancelled to go back to TDMA. When my AT&T agreement is over I'll be changing carriers the next day.I've gotten the same story from AT&T for 2 years(we are improving our service on a regular basis) however with less customers and more dropped calls I don't believe them.The customer service stinks!

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Re:AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by usafguard / July 31, 2004 3:51 PM PDT

AT&T is slowly converting all their TDMA to GSM. GSM is a TDMA technology, but TDMA is a dead end. There are no plans for 3G technology with TDMA equipment however 3G technology has already launched in parts of Europe on GSM technology.

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Re:AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by dave1973 / August 1, 2004 12:53 AM PDT

I have a friend who's on the TDMA AT&T network and likes it. He said he won't switch to GSM right now. And with Cingular acquiring AT&T, he said if Cingular get's his account, he'll pay the termination fee to get away from them. The Chicago market is a market that Cingular might not be able to acquire because of overlap. That was why when Cingular was Cellular One, parent company SBC couldn't acquire Ameritech cellular when they bought out Ameritech because Ameritech Cellular covered every market Cellular One (now Cingular) was in, and Verizon Wireless acquired nearly all of those customers. But Verizon wasn't able to acquire Primeco in Illinois and Indiana because of overlap. US Cellular acquired those markets.

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Re:AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by pauly001 / September 9, 2004 10:44 PM PDT

So what exactly is the difference in the data transfer or speed of transfer. It sounds like nobdy really knows what it is? So is this better for us the consumer or the provider?

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Re:AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by M. Chobanian / August 18, 2004 1:33 AM PDT

I wish I had read this before July 1, 2004 when we started our AT&T wireless GSM "service". We live in the NW suburbs of Chicago and can't hold down one decent conversation without dropping service. And because we are beyond the 30 limit, we own our so-called phones, the worst I've ever had (LG 4015) and AT&T "customer care" could care less. They have us hostage for 2 years. We are so unhappy, we are considering paying $350 (2 phones at $175 early termination) just to get away from them. They just kept harping on the fact that we were beyond our 30-day regret period and after the 7th time I heard it, I lost it, had to give the phone to my husband, I actually screamed, something I never do. So, they say it is the phone, not the GSM service and we have to pay $14.99 per phone ($29.98) to exchange the phones for refurbished ones of the same model. And when they don't work (I can't believe they will work), we'll exchange those -- the return charges are a one-time charge. They can eat their sub-standard equipment or help us get phones and service that actually works.

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Re:AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by kimley / October 16, 2004 4:22 PM PDT

I guess you don't understand that after the 30 day return period that your warranty is with LG Electronics. You should contact them for repairs on the phones you have (but the reason you didn't just return the phones within the return period escapes me). AT&T offers that "14.99" warranty exchange service so that you don't have to send your phone off for repairs and be without a phone. It's a great deal if you can NOT be without your phone.

http://us.lge.com/index.do

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by Desertritz / August 9, 2004 5:30 PM PDT

mY gsm SERVICE WITH Att is better than my GSM was and they hav a migration plan which works the same as new service, Phones at the promo price and 30 Day guarantee. You can switch back within that period If you dont like it

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by hh / August 19, 2004 2:04 AM PDT

In large metropolitan areas GSM is fine, however if you travel to remote areas, it could be a problem. I currently have 2 verizon and 2 ATT (tdma) services. I am not aware if ATT has a phone that switches between TDMA and GSM (called a gate phone?) as does Cingular but I think they only have one or two phones capable of this and both ugly and bulky. As far as best coverage nationwide, I think Verizon has it! But its CDMA format is only good in the USA, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. Also beware and don't get 'digital only' phones. You will have the same problems as a GSM phone. Get tri-mode phones which switches between digital and analog. Better overall coverage. Good luck.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by dave1973 / August 19, 2004 3:38 AM PDT

All GSM carriers eliminated analog already on new phones. So unless you need a digital/analog phone with GSM, you'll need to look for an old phone for that. Also AT&T in my area already eliminated TDMA on some of their towers in my area, from what a friend told me, who still had AT&T TDMA service. And AT&T doesn't have a GAIT phone. Your choice is TDMA or GSM. And with Verizon Wireless, I agree, get a tri-mode phone, though those are getting scarce. But in most areas I travel on Verizon Wireless's network, my phone shows No Service when I int4entionally put it in analog.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by kimley / October 16, 2004 4:28 PM PDT

More tech is built into gait phones (which is generally why they are a little bulkier)... and AT&T Wireless has 2, the Siemens S-46 and the Sony Ericsson T62U. One good thing about the S-46 is that you can switch it into GSM only or TDMA only if you need to.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by JOESTER / October 6, 2004 6:17 AM PDT

RIGHT NOW.. GSM IS PRETTY BAD.. SINCE CINGULAR ACQUIRE ATT.. THEIR GSM IS SHAKING.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by dave1973 / October 6, 2004 11:24 AM PDT

All GSM carriers' have bad coverage. AT&T and Cingular only jumped on it in the last year or 2, while T-Mobile had it in the states for years, but made no real attempt to expand their coverage. I don't expect Cingular's coverage to increase that much since it's going to be mostly overlap, and in many markets, they're sharing towers. That's the case in NW Indiana with AT&T and Cingular sharing towers.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by JOESTER / October 8, 2004 7:46 AM PDT

Right now, ATT is not investing anymore money on TDMA. My friend who works at ATT said that all of the towers from TDMA will be switched to GSM. If you compare TDMA's and GSM's plans, TDMA would likely be way more expensive now. The purpose of that is to get every customer into GSM. Especially when cingular purchased AT&T

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by kimley / October 16, 2004 4:43 PM PDT

Not all. AT&T Wireless received a notice from the FCC requiring them to maintain ANALOG towers for at least another 5 years. Imagine... and analog is a technology (in cell phones) that hasn't been marketed in years. No, all tdma won't be switched over, but alot will be.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by bartolomeo / October 14, 2004 3:17 PM PDT

Living in NC and traveling in NC and VA, I think the GSM coverage is pretty good. Your always going to have dead spots but for the most part it does the job. I have been with GSM for 1 year. My problem is I get GSM phones that are not picked up by the carriers but able to use anyways. Ex. Nokia 5100, I can use it, except the Blue Tooth features such as tones, etc

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by RossWhit / October 15, 2004 6:38 AM PDT

I've been using AT&T TDMA for 3 years and have been pleased. This summer I purchased their little Samsung GSM flip phone. I loved the phone, but got no coverage when traveling in rural areas. After my 30 day trial period, I switched to a Nokia 6560 TDMA. Am happy once again!

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by kimley / October 16, 2004 4:55 PM PDT

YAY!

You were smart and did what you needed to do, rather than wait too long and complain about crappy coverage. I'm glad you're happy w/ your TDMA service. And... nice phone too. Happy

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Re. AT&T TDMA vs. CDMA
by prema / January 28, 2005 12:31 AM PST

I read that you are happy with the Nokia 6560. Right now I have a 6360 the hand off between my carrier service and roaming takes about 30 to 60 secs. Is the 6560 quicker or the same? Does the key pad light up? How is the volumne?
I don't want to switch to CDMA unless I have to and GSM coverage is too sparce at this time, but if I can't get better service with the 6560 phone then I will switch to Verizon if it is better for me (I am on the AT&T Digital One Rate Plan so if I do switch I would switch to the National Single Rate {I need to be able to use analog service}).

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AT&T is coming around
by GregW / Oregon / October 15, 2004 12:09 PM PDT

When first launched, AT&T's GSM coverage was horrible. My wife gave up and switched carriers just before they ballyhooed their improved coverage about
May or June of this year. I switched from AT&T TDMA to GSM in June and it is not bad. Remote areas still are without coverage, and many GSM phones don't have analog bands.

Still, I am reasonably happy with my SE P900 and AT&T here in Portland, OR.

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Re: AT&T Service: GSM vs TDMA
by JRMcBride / October 15, 2004 11:27 PM PDT

We live in Dallas and have three phones. We have been with AT&T for almost 10 years. Until this year, we used their TDMA service. But, in early 2004, we upgraded to GSM, actually a less expensive service. TDMA was excellent with coverage almost everywhere we went. But, as AT&T converted to GSM, they seemed to let TDMA go. GSM was weak until late summer and quality and coverage improved. We can use the GSM phone in many locations we couldn't get a good TDMA signal. We're reasonably happy with service now and with AT&T. However, and this is a big recommendation, never use the "Customer Service" toll-free number to solve your problems. To them, you are not a "customer" and what they give you is far, far from "service". Instead, find an AT&T Store and introduce yourself to the manager. The one I use is helpful, curteous and goes out of their way to service. If you ever have to exchange a phone, prepare to call and talk to a very foreign sounding, "Hello, I am Bob" voice that will not be able to understand what is wrong with your phone. My last exchange took 97 minutes from call start to call completion. The one before that took 3 calls, the last of which took over two hours (47 minutes to connect and over 90 minutes of questions and tests). But, in Dallas, we have tested Cingular, Verizon and Sprint and none worked as well as AT&T.

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GSM VS. TDMA
by ladyofspain / January 29, 2005 3:40 PM PST

TDMA is old school technology. CDMA and GSM are the same just used by different carries. MSN technology (microcellular network technology) increases the capacity of wireless networks in urban areas. Ask your provider about this. I just read it in my Nokia 6230 manual.

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off the beaten track
by kirkster / November 13, 2005 5:01 PM PST

I travel to fairly remote sites doing field service in pump stations and hydroelectric sites..all fairly remote. I've had ATT one rate plan TDMA service and it has been as good as any in terms of coverage and ease of roaming between coverages. What provider out there is a contender for coverage in such areas?

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TDMA
by birdmantd Forum moderator / November 13, 2005 8:17 PM PST
In reply to: off the beaten track

Just keep in mind that TDMA coverage will be non-existent after 2008 as per a recent FCC decision.

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TDMA vs GSM
by bloha / May 8, 2006 10:58 AM PDT
In reply to: TDMA

I've just ''tried'' Cingular's GSM and there is no way I am switching to it from AT&T?s TDMA till 2008 until it shuts down completely. After my recent trip I am returning GSM super smart 2125 useless phone and keeping my 3 years old friend 8260. I drove 2000 miles and about third of them TDMA only kept me connected with everyone.

Once in MT for about 260+ straight highway miles I had absolutely nothing on GSM. Dead! In IA 130 miles were spotty for a couple of miles at a time. Talk about coverage. And the network has so much noise. People are complaining about whooshing sound as it is windy on my end, even though I can hear them ok. Coming home and getting that GSM thing back to where it came from (what was I thinking?)

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I broke down and bought a new phone
by Jlak64 / May 10, 2006 2:22 AM PDT
In reply to: TDMA vs GSM

In the urban areas where there's been a lot of GSM investment the TDMA service was to comparatively bad that I had to break down and get a new phone and plan, even though I liked my AT&T TDMA. The reception on TDMA was just so awful. And I couldn't receive a signal from inside most buildings, or in the shadow of tall buildings, etc... I was amazed how much better phone service could be when I finally did make the switch. Happy

That was my experience.

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