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Cell phone questions
#1
I figured there are techie members of this forum, who use smart phones to conduct business and communicate. May I ask some questions?

1. What's this 3G/4G stuff mean--Internet surfing speed over the wireless phone waves? Do you have to buy a specific phone to take advantage of 4G, or will current smart phones do, as 4G becomes more available?

2. Is there something special about Sprint since it's been the only carrier advertising 4G for some time now?

3. Do Android/Blackberry/iPhone phones basically serve the same function?

4. Since it's vital that my PC has virus protection (I use AVG), where's the virus protection, and other Internet security protection on a smart phone? (I recently heard a story on the news that since banking with a cell phone is so new, it's not as secure as it should be. If you loose your phone, in some cases someone could easily access your accounts.)

These are some of the things going through my mind as I consider upgrading my cell phone plan and device.
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#2
ajgannon Wrote:what's this 3G/4G stuff mean--Internet surfing speed over the wireless phone waves? Do you have to buy a specific phone to take advantage of 4G, or will current smart phones do, as 4G becomes more available?


The "G" is just "Generation" and marketing hype really. In ideal situations it gets faster. Sometimes it doesn't work at all and your back at 2G.

Whether a phone really supports 4G or not depends on the phone! Better, new ones, are 4G ready, but you can buy a whizbang brand new smartphone that doesn't.

Quote:2. Is there something special about Sprint since it's been the only carrier advertising 4G for some time now?

Here's one list of 4G providers in the US I found -

Xanadoo (Midwest)
Open Range Communications
Conterra (Columbia, Charlotte, North Carolina and South Carolina)
RazzoLink (Monterey and California)
Rapid Systems (Tampa Bay Metroo Area)
Zing Networks (Greater Metro Detroit Area)
Sling Broadband (Greater Miami)
T-Mobile
Towerstream (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Providence, San Francisco and Seattle)
Rainbow Broadband (New York City)
Vodafone
Verizon

Quote:3. Do Android/Blackberry/iPhone phones basically serve the same function?

Pretty much. Kind of like PC vs Macintosh

Quote:4. Since it's vital that my PC has virus protection (I use AVG), where's the virus protection, and other Internet security protection on a smart phone? (I recently heard a story on the news that since banking with a cell phone is so new, it's not as secure as it should be. If you loose your phone, in some cases someone could easily access your accounts.)

Yes you can get anti-virus/malware software for your phone.
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#3
ibofightback Wrote:
Quote:3. Do Android/Blackberry/iPhone phones basically serve the same function?

Pretty much. Kind of like PC vs Macintosh

.


OK - keep in mind that if the internet/computer stuff is like the ocean - then my knowledge of it would fill a thimble :blink:

But my daughter says that a Blackberry doesn't access the internet the same way an android or Iphone does. She has a Blackberry, and can access her email and select sites - but can't simply surf the web like my husband can with his Droid. Although it *might* be the age of her Blackberry (2 yrs old) - but it seems that Verizon offers a "blackberry access plan" and the Droid plan is more expensive because it goes more places?

On edit: daughter is threatening to get a Droid because her Blackberry can't act like a GPS and keep her from getting lost.....
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#4
It depends on the model of blackberry. More recent ones have full internet browsers, and yes, even GPS Smile
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#5
ibofightback Wrote:Here's one list of 4G providers in the US I found -

Xanadoo (Midwest)
Open Range Communications
Conterra (Columbia, Charlotte, North Carolina and South Carolina)
RazzoLink (Monterey and California)
Rapid Systems (Tampa Bay Metroo Area)
Zing Networks (Greater Metro Detroit Area)
Sling Broadband (Greater Miami)
T-Mobile
Towerstream (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Providence, San Francisco and Seattle)
Rainbow Broadband (New York City)
Vodafone
Verizon

That's weird. You mean you can get cell phone service from some one else besides Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T? This is getting confusing because there is so much merging of communications technology. Maybe some of those companies are primarily Internet service providers?

Is this a bad time to upgrade to smart phone technologies since there appears to be a lot of change going on at the moment: Verizon just acquiring the iPhone and 4G still new and limited to some carriers/devices?
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#6
Do the four major cell phone carriers use those other networks that you listed, when calls are made in those areas?
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#7
ajgannon Wrote:Do the four major cell phone carriers use those other networks that you listed, when calls are made in those areas?


that depends on agreements between networks.
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#8
If you have Sprint, most plans qualify for Amway's 18% discount every month.
Log in and go to More Products>Partner Stores & Services>"S">Sprint for instructions.
Only available to U.S. IBOs. The store doesn't show up unless you are logged in as an IBO on the Amway.com website.

(AT&T offers a 15% discount on select plans.T-Mobile offers 12%--again both only to IBOs)
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#9
Thanks Bridgett for tying the discussion to Amway. I've enjoyed the 18% discount with Nextel, then with Sprint for several years. I like how the partner store Wireless MarketPlus gives you the phone discount outright, instead of doing the mail-in rebates. I've neglected to send in several mail-in rebates over my lifetime, so I hate them (and my own disorganization).

I'm still unclear what 3G/4G is. If it's just marketing hype, does it really matter that much whether or not a device is designed for 3G or 4G? With a quick scan of smart phone specials available with 2-year contract extensions on the Wireless MarketPlus site, Sprint has the only 4G phone, an Android.

Edit: I found one 4G Phone with T-Mobile.
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#10
From a consumer perspective the main issue with 3G vs 4G is internet speed. 3G can offer speeds of up to 3-4Mbps. 4G can get over 100Mbps. That's fast enough for high quality video transfer.
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