In 2007, the Cingular Wireless brand name was replaced by the AT&T name in the United States, as a result of a series of purchases and mergers between AT&T, Cingular Wireless, SBC and BellSouth. AT&T and Verizon Wireless are competitors in the cellphone business, using different technologies and offering varied services.
GSM Vs. CDMA
Global System for Mobile Communications and Code Division Multiple Access are the two main technologies used for mobile communications. According to the market data summary published by GSM World in 2009, GSM is used by nearly 80 percent of cellphone users worldwide and is the system Cingular Wireless operates on. CDMA is used by Verizon Wireless and is employed by about 10 percent of cellphone owners. GSM users traveling outside the United States will often have better service than CDMA users, though CDMA boasts faster transmission speeds.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless offer similar phones, though the models and brands vary by company. Both companies have smartphone options like BlackBerry, Palm and iPhone, as well as less expensive selections from a wide range of manufacturers. Verizon and AT&T both have phones at a wide range of price points, ocasionally offering basic models as free with a new contract. The companies also list refurbished phones at a discount on their respective websites.
Both AT&T and Verizon offer individual, family and prepaid plans at a variety of price points. The included features, however, vary. AT&T has wireless rollover minutes, letting you keep your unused minutes from one month to use anytime within the next year. AT&T also offers A-List Unlimited calling with select plans, enabling you to select the numbers you call most and continue to call those numbers without using your minutes. Verizon Wireless has unlimited Mobile-to-Mobile minutes, which provides subscribers with free calling to any Verizon phone at any time. Verizon also offers Family and Friends calling with certain plans, which lets you add frequently-dialed numbers, either cellular or landline, to a list that then doesn't use your monthly minute allowance.
Both Cingular and Verizon will let you keep your phone number from a previous service provider and transfer it to you new phone and plan. Verizon Wireless also runs a trade-in program for old mobile phones, appraising their values and giving the former owner a Verizon gift card for the device.
- PCWorld; AT&T to Replace Cingular Brand Monday; Nancy Gohring; January 2007
- AT&T: Cell Phones and Mobile Devices
- Verizon Wireless: Products
- AT&T: Rollover Minutes
- AT&T: Unlimited Calling With A-List
- Geekosystem; GSM vs. CDMA: Or, How Dueling Mobile Standards May Get You a New iPhone; Kwame Opam; March 2010
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