GSM Coverage Outside US Leaves Me Drooling

I am in one of the session rooms at the Westin Taipei, on floor B3 (as in the 3rd level basement) and on my cell phone. The phone shows 5 bars, and the reception and call quality is better in this subterranean hall than just about anywhere in the US. I was even on a call that started in my room on the 8th floor, continued into the hall, in an elevator, out into the lobby, and then on 3 sets of escalators into the basement, and never a problem.
Each time I use GSM in Europe or Asia I can’t help feeling dismayed at just how far behind the US lags when it comes to cell technology and deployment.
And that is just coverage, don’t even get me started on devices …

5 responses to “GSM Coverage Outside US Leaves Me Drooling”

  1. PaulH Avatar

    yeah and that you can keep your coffee warm near their cell towers is an added benefit 😉

  2. Gatzby Avatar

    Radiation levels near or underneath transmission towers are actually surprisingly low. Signal radiates out from the antenna on a parabolic plane, starting off almost horizontal. Your coffee would probably stay warmer a few hundred meters away from any antenna.
    Yes, that’s meters, I’m European (Dutch) and can’t remember the last my phone’s signal dropped below 2 bars 😉

  3. Damien Avatar

    This kinda thing usually happens where a country takes one current technology (TDMA et al in the US), implements it across the board then when the next generation comes out (GSM) they’ve invested so much in the old technology that they don’t want to upgrade. The same thing happened in Ireland with the phone system – it had one of the best quality systems (though most expensive) in Europe during the early nineties but now it sucketh verily.

  4. Doug Avatar

    u still have that v400 with A$$ Wireless? Was it locked? I got one and I’m heading to China soon and fully expected it to not work. u just get a SIM card thar for it?

  5. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Doug, I had the v600, not the v400, and no, I returned it a while back.
    Right now I have an SE T637, it is tri-band (not quad-band), but worked very well over here.
    If you have a US only GSM phone then yes, you’ll need a device that supports 900/1800 and you just drop the SIM card in (you’ll also need to have AT&T turn on international use). If your phone already supports 900/1800 (or 1800, as mine does) then all you need to do is have AT&T activate the service.

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