CDMA phones

Submitted: Friday, Jun 20, 2003 at 23:41
ThreadID: 5572 Views:1884 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Hello all, I am going to purchase a new mobile and I thought CDMA would be the way to go. I am currently with Vodafone and their coverage is useless. Orange offer good rates (much better than Telstra) but Im unsure about their coverage in the city. Does anyone have experience with CDMA, Orange/Telstra and the Nokia phone. Also someone said I can fit a fibreglass GME antenna on the bullbar to improve coverage. Is this true and is it better than the standard antenna that comes with the car kit?
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Reply By: Steve from Armidale - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 09:15

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 09:15
I'm in Armidale, Northern NSW, and up here you would not consider anything but CDMA. With a good GME aerial you can get up to 100kms from a base station. I've got an LG, which is bloody awful to use, but the coverage is great (the menus, etc are very poorly laid out), My son has just bought the nokia, and I think I'll upgrade to one of these. Excellent phone, with an easy to use set of menus.

As for Vodaphone v Telstra. Only ever used Telstra, and I've heard bad reports on Vodaphone, but that is just up here and the experience in other areas might be different.
AnswerID: 23127

Reply By: farmer - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 10:13

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 10:13
I have a CDMA Kyocera 3035 with Optus and I get great coverage in the country as well as the odd times I have unfortunatelty gone to Melbourne ( I don,t know how you city slickers survive in that mad house ) Orange and Optus use Telstra CDMA in country areas. Orange offer the best rates but will not let you sign up if you live in the country. This is because they have to pay Telsta for the use of their towers and if you use your phone more in the country than the city it cost them more.
This is what I was told by Orange in Geelong anyway.
AnswerID: 23132

Reply By: Member - Motley - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 11:43

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 11:43
I have botha Nokia 6310i (GSM) and a Nokia 6385 (CDMA). The is no doubt that CDMA is better in rural areas. Both these phones use the same hands free kit which is a bonus for me.

I recently fitted an RFI aerial on the bull bar. As far as I know its the first to be both GSM and CDMA compatible and the increase in range, particularly CDMA, was very noticeable over the "through the glass" windscreen mounted atenna.

Here is the link to the details of the RFI antenna - link text

If you go into the Forum and do a search for Post Id 3868, there are a number of posts which talk about CDMA range vs GSM

As for Telstra vs others, what's the real priority - coverage or rates? In my case I wantedthe coverage and with Telstra for both phones and on a linked plan, I am getting the coverage I want at a fair price.Motley
AnswerID: 23136

Follow Up By: Johnad - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 22:22

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 22:22
That sounds like a great idea, how much was the antenna and did you fit it yourself. What sort of range do you get out of town?

FollowupID: 15364

Reply By: Will - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 14:16

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 14:16
I was on GSM and changed to CDMA because it has large coverage in country areas
Wish I had changed sooner to CDMA as it does not drop dead like GSM
The Telstra shop supplied a fibreglass aerial and lead kit for our Kyocera phones and it improved the range even more
AnswerID: 23145

Reply By: macca - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 15:20

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 15:20
After changing over to CDMA I just wished I had done it earlier. Range is unbeleivable and no stupid drop outs. I have a Kyocera and couldnt be happier. Vodafone doesnt do CDMA and all other carriers have to use the Telstra network once they are out of the Metro area range. GME do a great antenna also. Do a search in the forum to read other replies to the same question.
AnswerID: 23149

Reply By: duncs - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 16:36

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 16:36
I live in Broken Hill once you get to the 100 sign on the edge of town you can say goodby to the GSM coverage. Have just gone to the CDMA with Optus because the rates are cheaper than Telstra. It is great. Coverage is identicl on all CDMA networks because there is only one set of towers. The Gov is currently sponsoring the extension of the network along the main highways and in the next few months there will be complete cover from Sydney to Adelaide.

I use a Nokia 6385 with a car kit and a 9db gain antenna on the bullbar. The improved coverage is fantastic. The antenna is a dual band GSM and CDMA the car kit takes the wifes 5110 and improves the coverage for that as well.

As a bonus I did the installation and it was a piece of cake. No I'm not an electronics genius.

AnswerID: 23157

Reply By: Luke - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 22:48

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 22:48
I use Orange CDMA.

Call rates are incredible! Coverage is great in the city (Melbourne) on the Orange network.

When you leave the city you roam on the Telstra CDMA network for great coverage.

Go CDMA, and if you want the bestrates by far, go Orange...
AnswerID: 23177

Follow Up By: Waynepd - Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 23:20

Saturday, Jun 21, 2003 at 23:20
Just as a point of interest Luke, do the call costs vary to the user if the telstra towers are used when the Orange ones die out?
I am a telstra digital customer at the moment, thinking of changing to Orange.

FollowupID: 15370

Follow Up By: Johnad - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 08:21

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 08:21
Luke thanks for your advice. I was worried that the orange coverage around Melbourne wasnt good (do you use a car kit). The call rates are the cheapest Ive found - 15c per 30 secs and lots of bonus things (on the business plan). Waynepd check the Orange web site for pricing -
FollowupID: 15381

Follow Up By: Luke - Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 13:56

Sunday, Jun 22, 2003 at 13:56

I don't use a car kit - just the handset which is a Hyundai HGC-610E. I guess a car kit would give you even greater coverage in country areas but in the city I've never wanted or needed it.

Yes, if you roam outside the Orange network onto the Telstra CDMA network the costs do change. Check with Orange for the exact rates, as I'm not sure exactly what the roaming rates are.

The call rates whilst on the Orange network are somthing like 30c for a ten minute call to ANY landline in Australia! 24hrs a day seven days a week. I think my mobile to mobile call costs are about 18c per 30 seconds which is also very cheap.

Since switching from Optus GSM to Orange CDMA I've found coverage to be far superior, and without changin my call habits I'm saving between $30-$60 a month!

The ONLY downside that I can think of to switching to CDMA is that the handset choices are somewhat limited as you have to get a CDMA phone. Although unless you absolutely need the latest Nokia with built in camera and games this isn't an issue. The Hyundai handset I have is very functional, very small, and has a few handy built in functions like calendar/scheduler/calculator/stwopwath/WAP etc. My only negative thought about the handset is that the battery life of around 2-3 days between charges could be a little longer, alhtough this issue is largely alleviated if you van get them to throw in a free car charger to keep it topped up :)


FollowupID: 15400

Follow Up By: Johnad - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 00:09

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 00:09
Luke, whats the coverage like around Melb, especially in the suburbs with Orange. Mate at work reckons his drops out all the time in the city and cant get coverage in buildings.
FollowupID: 15447

Follow Up By: Luke - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 00:14

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 00:14
I've found the coverage around Melbourne to be great.

I never have in building issues...maybe it could be a handset issue?

I often have coverage even in Melbourne where my GSM friends haven't - good examples are fishing in Port Phillip bay/Western Port, and around the northern suburbs - esp near Yarrambat.


FollowupID: 15449

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