CDMA Phones and Internet Connectivity

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 29, 2005 at 19:10
ThreadID: 21600 Views:1910 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Evening All,

This area has been covered in previous posts but with much variation in comments as to quality, brands, etc. Some say Korean phones, others say "brand is best" such as Nokia.

I would like feedback please on the best CDMA phone out there on the market with range, options for car kits, high gain aerials, patch leads, handsfree options, ISP plans ie data vs time, connectivity to the internet(good/bad) as a few starting points.

Feel free to open the forum wider with any other issues you may have come across on your travels whether good, bad or indifferent.

Thanks in advance....

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Reply By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2005 at 21:52

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2005 at 21:52
Stick with the nokia. At work we have tried giving out kyocera handsets, but they somehow keep getting damaged by people until they are replaced by nokias. Nokias we have had no dramas with. if you are considering another brand of phone, just try dropping it from 1m onto carpet and see what it does. I went through 2 samsungs in a day before going straight back to a nokia. Downside to most nokias is no external antenna plug, but its no huge loss. I have a 3105 CDMA, and cant fault it. It doesnt have the features of my last phone (virtually a mobile computer) but I am happy with it.

Go for the full on genuine hands free kit. You will at least need a cradle, antenna coupler (takes the place of a patch lead), charger and external aerial to get it working well. Go for a genuine hands free kit as well and you can generally get a discount. The brain of the handsfree kit is compatible with older and newer handsets, so it will be valuable for some time to come. Stick with a genuine cradle, as you will need to plug in the phones data cable to it to get the laptop talking to the phone whilst it is using the external aerial.

Get a name brand aerial. Going for a mid to high gain (about 4+) will do you well. I've found The basic cheap aerials will bend and stay bent, break in the bush or not give performance they should. ZGC, GME, RFI are well known and tested brands. Keep the aerial pigtail as short as possible to minimise signal loss, and take care on crimps, tight bends and connectors. Signal will be effected by any crimps, so if you are not a full bottle on it, get it done by a pro.

There is a few options- I have tested the Telstra 1x CDMA PCMCIA card for laptops and found it reliable. It basically is a plug in CDMA phone for your computer. You can make calls, send SMS, use internet from an application in your PC. They can be fiddly to setup, but from memory it gives a little higher than Dial-up speeds- expect 60 kilobits of bandwidth. Another option is standard Dial-up access with any ISP. The downside is you have to pay for call charges whilst connected as well as the ISP fees. The link speed I was getting here was 36 kilobits. I imagine you can get your newer handsets on Telstras 1x network with telstra as your ISP, but I have not done this.
If you dont get both a laptop and phone with bluetooth, then a data cable ($59) will sort you out.

Another service being rolled out thru Testra is EVDO. Its still relatively new here, but gives near broadband speeds across the CDMA network. Starting to get popular with PDAs and smart phones. Worth watching.
AnswerID: 104226

Follow Up By: RC(NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 08:56

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 08:56
Hi Ben,

Thanks for the time and effort put into your answer.It was a cracker.
Could you tell me.... once you are out of CDMA coverage is there any way of extending other than aerial?

For example, we are heading off on a (3) month trip shortly and I need to have some form of contact with the office for emails predominantly. My concern is once we are out of range for CDMA we are back to max of 10kbps for satellite and the associated costs.

We only wish to use the sat phone if really required to make and receive calls as infrequesntly as possible(as we are trying to escape the office), but the data rates are just woeful for the sat phone. Any suggestions.....


FollowupID: 361714

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 10:26

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 10:26
The aerial is the only way I know of to increase range on a CDMA. There are other wide coverage terrestrial links, but you are paying big dollars and the infrastructure is not really suited for a "setup wherever you want" approach. ie: you can get HF devices that can tie in with a data/voice service, but Im not familiar with HF modems etc. The only stuff I have come across is hardcore gear we use in mine sites, $$$$$.

Sat phone uplink seems the way to go in the more remote areas. If its only for email, get attachments filtered by someone/something, and get replicaton going (only download email once then store on the laptop) this should be adequate.

I recall some road houses near the cape (one posted on here) getting ISDN for themselves and allowing wireless public access to the net- may be worth contacting some remote places to see if you can do this.
FollowupID: 361719

Reply By: RC(NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 10:47

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 10:47
Thought that might be the case.
Looks like the aerial option and forward planning.

Thanks again....

AnswerID: 104292

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