Two types of network technology are commonly used in the United States: CDMA and GSM. These will vary by carrier.
The network technology used by popular carriers such as Sprint PCS, Verizon Wireless, Nextel, Alltel is called CDMA. CDMA is an acronym for Code Division Multiple Access. This network is limited in who can and cannot access it so it does not provide for access outside of designated CDMA areas. I t should also be noted that CDMA cell phones are not transferable from carrier to carrier therefore if the user desires to switch carriers a new phone will need to be purchased and set-up.
The second common network technology is GSM or Global System for Mobile Communications. This network is the most popular worldwide with international carriers such as Cingular and T Mobile. This network allows cell phones to be used to place calls worldwide by accessing other carriers’ networks. Although the charge per minute to use other carriers’ networks may be large, this technology ensures a connection can be made and is ideal for the international traveler.
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