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Can someone explain the difference between a GSM phone and a GSM capable phone?

erict

Feb 15, 2012, 5:34 PM
I spent 45 minutes trying to comprehend the Verizon employee who seemed to be making stuff up as he went along. I told him that I want a phone that I can use in Europe and the US. He said that I need a GSM phone.

I asked him if he had any GSM phones. He said that they have Global and World Ready phones but no GSM phones, I would have to go to AT&T.

I asked if the Global and World Ready phones would work in Europe. He said that they would work ok.

I asked what he meant by "ok". He said that the phone was primarily CDMA but it had some GSM functions.

I asked him what GSM functions it was lacking. He said none.

I asked him, If it's not missing any GSM functions, then it's as good as a GSM phone, right? I'll be able to us...
(continues)
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Jellz

Feb 17, 2012, 12:56 PM
What he was trying to say, most likely, is that there are a few Verizon phones that support GSM. They have a SIM card slot and everything for when you want to use it elsewhere, since CDMA is only available in about 45 countries around the world while GSM is available in over 200.

For instance, this phone, the BlackBerry Curve 9370:

http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=3370 »

See how it has both CDMA and GSM? The GSM portion isn't used in the US, but can be used when you're roaming in a country where only GSM is available. I don't know how Verizon/Sprint or other CDMA carriers handle unlocking the GSM portion, but I think they will do it if you're going to be traveling internationally or moving to another country.
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erict

Feb 17, 2012, 4:56 PM
Thanks Jellz,

Since I was having such a tough time getting a straight answer from him, I rephrased my question like this: "If I'm in Europe and I have my choice to have an AT&T GSM phone with me or a Verizon phone that supports GSM, which one will be better?" and he responded that the AT&T phone would be much better. When I asked him why, we started going in circles again... so I'm not actually sure he knew what he was talking about... but if he IS right that the AT&T phone would be better to have, then I want to understand what I gain with a native GSM phone that I don't get with a CDMA phone from Verizon that supports GSM.
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Jellz

Feb 18, 2012, 10:29 AM
Well, AT&T GSM phones tend to be quad-band GSM and either tri or quad band WCDMA, which is 3G. If you look at the phone I linked, it's quad-band GSM, but doesn't support WCDMA; so you wouldn't get 3G speeds in a country that only has GSM, though it would work in most countries since carriers in other countries will have at least one of those frequencies supported. And Verizon world phones that do support WCDMA may only support one or two frequencies, so that would limit how many countries it would work on 3G with.
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tacmus

Feb 18, 2012, 7:29 PM
so, the big diference is in data, if the phone is just fort talk, no problems.
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erict

Feb 19, 2012, 5:45 PM
Wow. I get it. Thank you both, that was extremely helpful.
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mat jonson

Mar 6, 2013, 4:22 PM
Hi, thank you for sharing your valuable updates on this blog. I was surfing the internet for quite some time to find this information. Your input/experience/suggestion has provided a valuable insight.
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Downscripting

May 28, 2013, 12:00 PM
Your welcome Sir Necro Wink
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PootyTat

Aug 8, 2013, 4:16 PM
Downscripting said:
You're welcome Sir Necro Wink
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Downscripting

Aug 25, 2013, 11:27 AM
SHANKS!
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PootyTat

Aug 26, 2013, 1:33 PM
You're welcome!
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Rich Brome

Aug 13, 2012, 2:45 PM
erict said:
...
I asked if the Global and World Ready phones would work in Europe. He said that they would work ok.

I asked what he meant by "ok". He said that the phone was primarily CDMA but it had some GSM functions.

I asked him what GSM functions it was lacking. He said none.

I asked him, If it's not missing any GSM functions, then it's as good as a GSM phone, right? I'll be able to use it in Europe? ...

Correct. That's really all you need to know. Your suspicions are correct and this guy didn't know what he was talking about.

There are phones that are just GSM and not CDMA, such as AT&T phones, most of which work fine overseas

Then there are CDMA phones that only work on Verizon.

...
(continues)
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Trismegistus

Sep 24, 2012, 10:38 PM
Man, no thanks for getting the official word of Rich?

Well, thank you Rich.
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Haggard

Oct 14, 2012, 10:58 AM
IKR? Poor Rich..
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Trismegistus

Oct 14, 2012, 1:14 PM
Even though he gives me warnings. This is remarkably like my actual relationships, which involve warnings called "Restraining Orders".
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Haggard

Oct 14, 2012, 1:17 PM
Being banned is officially getting the restraining order. He seems to win every argument. Sad
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Trismegistus

Oct 14, 2012, 5:45 PM
It helps that he is the Officer and the Victim.
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Haggard

Oct 15, 2012, 10:43 AM
Sheriff Brome?
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