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The Guru Speaks #2: iDEN

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Disciple of The Watch, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

    Aug 20, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today, I am going to talk about another 2G standard, one that is considered obsolete but who actually is a good standard.

    I'm talking about iDEN, a vastly underrated standard. iDEN was invented by Motorola, and is build upon IS-136, also known as TDMA, and draws from some GSM standards as well, though modified to handle the additional features of an iDEN network.

    iDEN operates at 800MHz only. This means two things: 1- Better signal penetration in buildings than 1900MHz, which means it's easy to hold a conversation in the most unlikely of places -- within the smaller network footprint of iDEN, that is.

    Sound quality on iDEN is AMAZING. I expected nothing less from a TDMA-based standard, and iDEN delivers. The irritating background buzz of GSM is THANKFULLY absent, and you can hear the other end almost if they were right next to you. This is consistent with all iDEN phones I own/have used, which are the i315, i530, i560, i570, i576, i730.

    The one complaint I could have about iDEN is the low battery life. i530 and i315 are two of the biggest battery guzzlers I have seen in my life, the i560/570/730 all come about three-ish days, and the i576 makes it to six-ish days.

    Of course, I cannot write about iDEN without speaking about the feature that separates iDEN from CDMA/HSPA, I am of course talking about DC, or Direct Connect. In short, walkie-talkie. Both standards I mentioned above tried to emulate DC, but always come up short. DC is lightning fast, crystal clear, and DC anywhere in North America doesn't cost any LD at ALL.

    There is a software upgrade to iDEN, known as WiDEN for Wideband iDEN. WiDEN improves data speeds from roughly GPRS speeds to EDGE. This is a simple upgrade to deploy, and yet it was not upgraded.

    iDEN's days are numbered, though... LTE is coming, and if there is one standard that could take the reins from iDEN it could very well be LTE. Data speeds on the LTE network make a PTT option definitively possible.

    That being said, this wraps it all up, folks. I wanted to give a brief introduction to a standard, that IMO, has been vastly underrated. iDEN phone offerings have brought us phones light years ahead of the old uglyass bricks like the i315, and when taking in consideration the excellent, if smaller coverage, and a crystalline sound quality. The Voq better be one hell of a smartphone to topple iDEN.
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