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☛ A cheaper way to talk 8-18-17

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

A CHEAPER WAY TO TALK!

 

ALL CELL PHONES ARE NOT THE SAME

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
August 18, 2017

As a businessman, the most important tools of my primary trade are: 1) my vehicle, 2) my computer and 3) my cell phone. The same goes for horse owners and trainers. Over time cell phone communication has evolved from objects that looked like bricks to the phones we use today, which are easily placed in our shirt pockets.

However, along with evolution also evolved the costs of these mobile devices as well as the cost for their service capability with a cell carrier’s ever-increasing costs. Cell phone bills have graduated over time to eliminate cost-per-minute values, roaming charges, including connection fees and opting instead for monthly charges comprised of packages or bundled costs.

Today, cell phones basically are either Android or Apple I-phones. These phones come in different sizes – from small to large – and have enough functions and storage to be considered a handheld computer that can talk. As the old adage goes, “There’s an app for that.”

Then there are the basic models that only allow texting and talking. However, the most advanced models can be used to type and send an email or a complete letter using the correct word processor app.

Whether your using the voice control to find directions to a local eating place or directions for an over-the-country trip, the modern cell phone will do it all.  However, along with modern advances also comes advances in pricing.  The cell phone industry has evolved into a comfortable multi-billion dollar industry.  Today, cell phones are used to talk on, take photographs and video, wake up to, remind us when to go to sleep, keep track of important meetings, conduct business with clients, count our steps, stay in touch with our families, contact emergency facilities in case we need them as well as ordering and purchasing items over the internet.

In fact, “do-it-all” cell phones have virtually replaced our land-line phones, our cameras, our video recorders and in some cases our computers. Technological engineering advances have produced cell phones with state-of-the-art video recording devices and photographic documentation that rivals the best-known cameras. Essentially, cell phones have become indispensable in our daily lives.

THE TECHNOLOGY:

Today, there are four main cell phone carriers operating in the United States: Verizon Wireless, AT&T Communications, Sprint and T-Mobile. The first three companies are American owned with T-Mobile being owned by Deutsche Telekom.

However, the leading cell phone systems in use today are: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a channel-access method used by various radio communications technologies.  CDMA is an example of multiple access, where several transmitters can send information simultaneously over a single communication channel. This allows several users to share a band of frequencies (bandwidth). To permit this without undue interference between the users, CDMA employs spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme, where each transmitter is assigned a code.  CDMA is used as the access method in many mobile phone standards.  IS95 also called “CDMAONE”, and its 3G evolution CDMA2000 are often referred to as CDMA, which is also used to control the speed of data transmission. Verizon Wireless and Sprint use the CDMA cell-phone technology.

Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is the second technology in use today by cell phone carriers in the United States.  GSM is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA), (GSM), and (CDMA). AT&T and T-Mobile utilize this technology.

In my research I determined that unless you purchase an unlocked version of your favorite phone it will not work on a dual basis, e.g., each specific carrier has the cell phone manufacturer engineers design a phone that works on either the (CDMA) of (GSM) system.

However, unlocked cell phones are generally designed to work on either system which negates having to purchase a new cell phone when you change a carrier for better pricing or reception requirements. A cell phone that I’ve used and is designed to work on either cellular concept, from inception, is Motorola. In fact the cell phone provider advertises their unlocked phones will work on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. I Interviewed representatives from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and determined there were two specific reasons major carries sold cell phones locked and specific to their carrier brand.

1) It provides the carrier with a market base that’s hard to get rid of unless the owner of the cell phone decides to take an enormous loss in trading in or selling their existing cell phone, which guarantees the carrier recurring revenue and 2) the carrier maintains control of the cell phone and its owner if the phone is financed by the carrier for a specific amount of time. Essentially, you’re being punished for moving your service. The main drawback to some cell phone users is: Unlocked cell phones require a cash purchase versus purchasing a cell phone from a major carrier using the locked-and financed-basis, which is essentially signing a contract with the carrier until the phone is paid off.

Recently, I ran into an issue with my cell carrier whom I’ve been with since cell phones were invented and marketed.  After a long debate, I decided to shop my existing phone on the open carrier market. To my surprise, my phone would only work on AT&T and perhaps T-Mobile and Straight Talk Wireless which is sold at Walmart.  I also learned my existing cell phone I purchased on December 4, 2016 for $769 from AT&T was only worth $375 in August 2017.

After counseling with several cell phone retailers and wholesalers, I learned the cell phone is one of the fastest depreciating electronic devices you can purchase.  My (I-Phone 7) 128 GB (gigabyte) phone actually depreciated $53 per month to date. Therefore, in order to leave my carrier I would take a huge loss on my cell phone and perhaps the coverages at T-Mobile and Straight Talk which is exclusive to Walmart and utilizes the TracFone System that wouldn’t provide me with adequate coverage since I’m a national and international traveler.

ON THE HUNT FOR A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE

So off to Walmart I went in search of a cheaper alternative.  Upon arrival I was enlightened by the vast array of cell phones carried by this marketing giant.

In the electronics department was a vast assortment of cell phones, represented by a myriad of cell phone carriers.  One item in particular brought my attention.  Walmart has joined forces with Verizon in their pre-paid division. A pre-paid phone is one whereby the monthly bill is paid in advance using either a pre-paid card or a direct withdrawal from your bank account.

I needed some phones and services to experiment with so I purchased an I-Phone 5S 16 GB on the Walmart-Verizon Network and an LG Model on the Straight Talk Network. The curious nature of this affair is that I learned the Walmart Straight Talk System buys air time from all of the major carriers and sells it to the consumer at a reduced cost, along with matching phones.

A number of newer unlocked phones, such as the Moto G (4th Gen) are universal and; therefore, compatible with all major U.S. carriers in addition to most overseas carriers. You can choose almost any carrier or plan and all you need is a SIM card. Common U.S. carriers include: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, AT&T Go-Phone and TracFone

THE EXPERIMENT BEGINS

After arriving home, I began the process of installing each phone’s SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)  card and charging the phone. Once the phone was completely charged I followed the activation directions and acquired my telephone numbers. The I-Phone 5S cost me $49.95 and the LG Model cost $79.00.  Afterwards, I carried both cell phones in addition to my $769 I-Phone on the AT&T Network.

For the record, the I-Phone 5S was on the Verizon-Walmart circuit or the (CDMA) system and the LG was on the AT&T-Walmart System or the (GSM).  For three weeks now I’ve been carrying the phones to compare how well they functioned against each other. The following is the outcome of the cell phone trials.

1) The Verizon Walmart I-Phone 5S functioned flawlessly.  If my AT&T I-Phone 7 had one bar of coverage, my I-Phone 5S had three (3) to four (4) bars. The camera is excellent in this little phone. The video worked excellent. Reception was outstanding with no dead zones and data speeds were lighting fast.  If I kept this phone it would cost me $40 per month for a 3 + 1 GB of data, exclusively at Walmart.  In some cases this phone had service when the AT&T I-Phone didn’t.  All of the individuals I spoke with on this phone said the sound was excellent.

2) The Walmart LG Straight Talk phone functioned flawlessly.  It’s comparable to the AT&T I-Phone 7, except when the former didn’t have coverage the LG did.  This little phone’s camera and video functioned flawlessly and there were no dead zones during testing.  If I kept this phone my cell bill would be $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and data.

FINAL ANALYSIS

In the end, if you’re not looking for the latest cell phone, there are cheaper alternatives out there besides the ones mentioned in this article. If you’re like me and you use your cell phone for your business, one of these models may suit you perfectly. That way, if you break it or lose it, you won’t be out a month’s mortgage payment on your house.

Along with this analysis, I also performed an analysis of my insurance for my phone through AT&T.  I was very unhappy to discover the replacement cost would be a $225 out-of-pocket deductible expense.  For that amount I can buy 5 I-Phone 5S’s from Walmart.  As with all I-Phones, this little model comes with fully functioning I-Cloud storage.  The same picture storage is available for either phone free of charge from Google Photos.

In my final analysis, I learned that cell coverage is predicated on cell-tower availability. I also learned the main cause of malfunctions with cell carriers is horrible customer service.

So if you’re in the horse business and you constantly are in need of a replaced, broken or wore-out phone, there are cheaper alternatives out there that function fine.

Since then I have returned to Walmart and purchased their Verizon-Walmart I-Phone 32 GB SE to use as a spare phone until I can sell my AT&T I-Phone 7.  Porting your existing cell number is easy – except if your phone is locked due to owing the carrier money.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

 

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