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Moving Closer Together

Moving Closer Together
by Gary Woods

You may be aware that there are different systems that cell phones use to transmit voice and data. Two of the systems that are widely used are GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and CDMA (Code division multiple access). The major proponents of GSM are AT&T and T-Mobile while CDMA is used by several smaller cell providers and one monster, Verizon Wireless.

The only reason I bring up this alphabet soup of systems is that the difference in these 2 protocols is at least one of the reasons that we on Verizon have been unable to avail ourselves of the awesome iPhone. But, as we move into 2011 both AT&T and Verizon are going to a system called LTE (Long Term Evolution).

LTE will be labeled 4G but really it is not quite 4G speeds so some folks have labeled it 3.9G. While LTE is not as fast as 4G it is still substantially faster than 3G. Los Angeles and New York will receive LTE shortly after the start of 2011 and it should start moving down and up the coast as well as East and West relatively shortly.

What LTE means to us is that with things like online gaming, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) like Skype event with video and Vonage and other demanding applications really start working.

With Verizon starting to sell the iPad bundled with their MiFi 2200 there's definitely a thaw going on between Apple and Verizon. All this gives me hope that we may see an iPhone on Verizon sooner rather than later and when that happens I'll be the older gentleman standing on State St with my nose pressed against the Apple Store glass going, gimme, gimme, gimme that iPhone NOW!!!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc