GSM Device Eligibility

You can’t talk about the eligibility of your device with GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) without mentioning an alternative communication standard called CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). Most of today’s mobile users do not really ponder about the preferences in mobile communication standards. Moreover, many do not even have an idea of ​​what it is and what the choice of one or another may affect. In this article, we’ll try figuring out what the difference is, what advantages GSM can give a user, and what advantages CDMA has.

A Bit of History

Since its inception, mobile communication has gone through the evolution of its quality and scale. The earliest communication standards, related to the 1G generation, were the wireless counterparts of conventional telephony. They had many cons: high power of transmitters which could negatively affect your health, low capacity of base stations, poor noise immunity, etc. Omitting the intermediate stages of their development, they were quickly replaced by second-generation 2G networks, which, in their turn, were better in many aspects, but still far from ideal. GSM became the first digital standard. It began to be implemented in 1991, gradually becoming the most widespread in the whole world. An alternative standard, CDMA technology, began its journey in 1995. It is most widespread in the USA and Russia. However, it is also used in some Asian and African countries, often in conjunction with competing GSM operators.

GSM and CDMA. How does it Work and What’s the Difference?

GSM and CDMA work under two different communications, but at the same time, in similar ways as well to achieve the same goal. The fact that each one has hugely popular networks built on top of it just proves that the quality of the network is important, not the standard. For example, in the United States, two of the four major carriers (Verizon and Sprint) use CDMA, while the other two (AT&T and T-Mobile) use GSM.

The GSM standard uses the time and frequency division of the channels. A small frequency band is allocated for each subscriber, on which the phone communicates with the base station. In this case, the “sessions” of data exchange are fixed in terms of the amount of time. If you try to explain it in simple words, the signal is interrupted, but due to the high frequency of data transmission, the subscriber does not notice this. In real life, interruptions are noticeable only by the characteristic squeaking sound of the speakers, when there is a phone nearby, which is being called or a message is received.

In turn, the CDMA standard uses code division signals. Each subscriber connected to the base station uses the entire available frequency resource common to all subscribers, and the base station communicates with everyone at the same time. The signal from a specific user is allocated using code modulation – each subscriber corresponds to a specific “code”, which allows him to be distinguished from the general radio air.

Is my phone compatible? How do I know this?

Many phones are only compatible with GSM or only CDMA, but not both. For CDMA phones, you will need to buy a phone designed for your specific carrier. The easiest way to do this is to buy directly from your carrier.

If you have a ready-made model of the device and you are just planning to choose an operator and want to find out its characteristics, then you can always find it out by googling or calling the appropriate authority, as well as by using the internal info settings of your phone directly. Each brand of the mobile phone has its own specific settings, so you may also need to google the information about the location of this data.

So, Which One is Better to Choose?

So what is the best communication standard? What to choose? These are the first questions that are asked by many potential mobile users who are aware of the existence of different standards. Of course, it makes sense, but in this case, there is no simple answer to this question.

The key difference between these standards is the way of working with the frequency resource. Overall, CDMA has some minor advantages over GSM. They consist mainly in the better quality of speech transmission (a large frequency band is resistant to interference), security (from the outside, the intercepted CDMA signal looks like noise, it is difficult to separate a separate subscriber from it), as well as the lower power consumption of the communication device.

Technically, if we think globally, then neither one nor the other is the best in terms of quality. However, there is one more additional nuance. GSM phones can be unlocked and moved between carriers, while CDMA phones are often tied to a single carrier and cannot be transferred.

Plus, most phones only come in GSM or CDMA models (although most of the most recent models support both), so your choice of a phone can determine which standard you end up using. On the other hand, it all depends on which operators are available to you in your area. Some areas may be better covered by GSM providers, while CDMA providers will have better coverage in other areas. It is also worth noting that the GSM standard supports SIM cards. They can be easily swapped out and rearranged into a new phone. CDMA does not provide for their use, everything is stored on the phone. It’s your decision whether it’s a plus or minus.


Heralding CDMA’s Era Ending. What are the reasons?

Although the CDMA standard was good and popular for a long time, still, any technology sooner or later becomes obsolete. The CDMA standard has come to a natural end of its life cycle since it is outdated for a long time and loses in almost all parameters to modern 3G and 4G technologies. For instance, less than 1% of the company’s customers still use 3G services, according to a Verizon VP.

Thus, American telecommunications providers have been informing their subscribers for several years about the disconnection of 3G networks. For example, Verizon has approved a final shutdown date for its 3G CDMA network. This event, which was previously postponed several times, according to the statement, should occur on December 31, 2022. At the beginning of 2018, the operator stopped activating new 3G CDMA devices in its network, preparing to abandon this technology. It was originally planned to end its support at the end of 2019. However, later it was decided to postpone the closure – first to the end of 2020, and then to the end of 2022.

Also, AT&T presented a plan to phase out the use of 3G technology in its network by February 2022, and already in January of this year, in preparation for the implementation of this plan, this operator stopped activating devices that do not support HD Voice services.

All in all, it seems that GSM is now the route to go with the closure of CDMA.

Frequencies in the USA

AT&T (GSM). 3G – 850, 1900 MHz, 4G (LTE) – Bands 2, 4, 12/17, 30.

Verizon (CDMA). 3G – 850, 1900 MHz, 4G (LTE) – Bands 2, 4, 13.

T-Mobile (GSM). 3G – 1900, 1700/2100 MHz, 4G (LTE) – Bands 2, 4/66, 12.

Sprint (CDMA). 3G – 800, 1900 MHz, 4G (LTE) – Bands 25, 26, 41.

The Future of Metrocards and OMNY

OMNY Replacing Metrocards?

OMNY which stands for One Metro New York is a contactless payment system that is currently still being implemented all over New York and its surrounding areas. Many New Yorkers know, but some may not. But by 2023, metro cards will be phased out by the MTA and replaced with a contactless payment method called OMNY.

As of December 31st, 2020, OMNY became available to all MTA buses and train stations. Now while this may cause some dissonance due to the integration of going cashless, and the fact that we can’t live in a cashless world, OMNY will become a huge step forward into more technological advancements. And with the ongoing pandemic as of this article, going contactless is a much safer and beneficial alternative to the MetroCard. 

The History of Metrocards

Before OMNY and even metro cards, tokens were used. But tokens became an inconvenience. They were heavy and made lots of noise. Thus in 1992, metro cards started being utilized.

These magnetic strip cards were refillable cards that took cash/card and then utilized on trains and buses. It was a much bigger convenience than token coins. And up till now, it was the best form of payment. There were many benefits to using a MetroCard such as buying a weekly or monthly card that allowed you to swipe unlimited times for a set amount of money. This saved a lot of money than paying consistently every time you enter the station. But now with new technological advancements, it became time to go even further, and out comes a payment method that didn’t require a physical card or the need to refill. 

How OMNY Works and Convenience

OMNY is basically a contactless payment method. This means that you can use any method that accepts tap. Such forms would be credit cards that allow tap or phones implementing payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. You would then just tap or hover your card/device over the OMNY reader and the payment would be accepted. 

Transfers and multiple riders are also acknowledged with OMNY. Just make sure that when you’re transferring, you’re using the same exact card you used and tap within the normal “two-hour window.” The same goes for multiple riders! Pay for how many riders you have and once transferring, tap the same amount of times, and the system will read them as free transfers. 

And for the people that can’t have cards or prefer to pay cash? OMNY will most likely create a card similar to a MetroCard that you don’t need to swipe. You just fill it with cash, and the card will be accepted at OMNY readers for you to just tap and go. 

Upgrade with OMNY

And while OMNY is still being phased in, consider getting a new advanced phone that is compatible with the likes of OMNY. 

The convenience of this system is that you don’t need your physical wallet on hand. It is much safer and reduces the risk of having your wallet snatched or robbed from you. It’s also much faster than taking out your wallet if you use a phone. Just implement your digital wallet, tap the card you want to pay, and go. It’s that simple! You can even choose what card you want to use, instead of searching for your MetroCard or having to think about what card you need to use to refill your MetroCard. 

Look no further to advance your phone and check out Allvoi’s wide variety of smartphones. From the Apple iPhone 12 Pro to the Samsung Galaxy Ultra 5G, get familiar with all the new advancements these smartphones have to offer. With various phone storages and an array of vibrant colors, 100% guarantee that you’ll find a phone that speaks to you. Here are all the best phones Allvoi has to offer!

Get excited with the new advancements that OMNY has to offer, and get started on preparing for the phase-out process! Call your bank to send you a card that offers a tap payment method, or update/upgrade your older phone to implement a digital wallet with the likes of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay.