Cellular Services in India and United States

In India you can purchase any handset and work with any carrier. For example, you can purchase the iPhone and choose Reliance, Vodafone, or Airtel as the carrier. Switching between prepaid and post-paid phone plans is also relatively easy.
In United States many phones work only with one carrier. For example, if you purchase the iPhone you have to sign a contract with AT&T. If you prefer Verizon or Sprint you will have to purchase another handset. This means the choice of your handset will dictate what carrier you will use and vice versa. The leading carriers use either CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) or GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communication) technology. Verizon and Sprint-Nextel are leading CDMA-carriers while AT&T and T-Mobile are leading GSM-carriers.


Cell phones and Smart phones supported by each carrier

If you are in the market to choose a cell phone, consider the following issues before making a purchase decision:

  • What is the battery life of the phone?
  • What is the voice quality and overall ease of using the phone?
  • What features do you care about in a phone?
  • What is the price of the phone?
  • How well is the phone rated on the following features: battery, keyboard, camera, GPS/Bluetooth, music player, etc?
  • What is the broadband speed supported by the phone?

If you are looking at smart phones, you can compare different models on the following basis:

  • What are the web browsing capabilities (includes Wifi) of the phone? What is the operating system of the phone? How well is the phone rated for email capabilities, attachments, SMS, and overall usability?
  • What is the price (including rebates) of the phone? Do you have to sign a contract with the provider?
  • What is the battery life of the phone?
  • What is the voice quality and overall ease of using the phone?
  • What features do you care about in a phone?
  • What is the price of the phone?
  • How well is the phone rated on the following features: battery, keyboard (touch screen/slide out), camera, GPS/Bluetooth, music player, etc?
  • Does the phone have all the features that you care about?

Conclusion

Choose a cellular service provider on the basis of one simple question: ‘how much phone do you use?’ You can get a simple phone with no bells and whistles and get a prepaid card to keep the cost low. You can also get a sophisticated smart phone with many applications to make your life easier. Most cellular carriers have competing data plans. The key factor for you can be the use of your phone outside U.S. Most CDMA phones cannot be used in other countries but have better voice quality. Many GSM phones can be unlocked to use in different regions. It is best to choose a carrier that supports the phone you’d like to purchase and has competitively priced plans.