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Old July 28th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Connecting the dots. Of Samsung, verizon, and radios

Curiosity got the best of me and I did some digging around. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that big red, ehhem, Verizon, is not all its cracked up to be, well, I guess they are, but due to their backend and samsungs choice of radios = problems.

I have heard that samsung radios suck, something from the droid charge era, I think. Since the nexus was my first samsung phone and was pretty much a disaster from a phone and data connectivity stand point, it left a bad taste in my mouth. I am not posting this to slander or what not, its just some dot connecting I have done and thought I would share.

For a while now I have heard, even from verizons CSRs that samsung has some bad radios, I guess they switched to the VIA Telecom CDMA chips, which, from my understanding have a weak signal to start with. Couple this with the chip needs to dual broadcast to make the signal work!

Lets start here:
Samsung Drops Qualcomm in Favor of Via Telecom for Droid

The Nexus (CDMA) also uses this chip:

This article really help me put the dots together here: The Radio Performance Disparity of the Galaxy Nexus on GSM and CDMA - Mobile Central - Binary Outcast

I thought ifixit would have a teardown of the verizon CDMA version of this phone, but I could only find the GSM. Doing a bit of googling it seems the verizon s3 also has the same VIA Telecom CDMA chip in it.

Going back to the mobilecentral page, I find it really interesting that:

Quote:
Well, the truth is, CDMA/LTE devices require both radios to be active and connected.
So, when one don't work, they both don't work. But the most interesting thing I read on that article?

This:

Quote:

The bridge between CDMA2000 and LTE is rather brittle and is prone to failure, because LTE wasn't designed to be bridged with CDMA2000 like that. It was intended to be installed alongside GSM and WCDMA networks, and it handles it a lot better with those networks. So when something goes wrong in the rather terribly buggy CDMA system, the whole phone can and usually does fail. If Verizon Wireless had upgraded the CDMA2000 system to UMTS HSPA+ like most other CDMA2000 carriers across the globe, it would have avoided dealing with this problem.
Now, once again, I don't have any direct proof, but to me, it seems there is an issue between verizons LTE CDMA backend, and samsungs choice of radios.

More info: Galaxy S III vs Galaxy Nexus vs Razr Maxx radios

Well, the SIII here seems to be doing a decent job, well, yeah, so do some CDMA Gnexs. Mine does a fine job when its near a tower but at home and work, yeah, it don't work so good and struggles to maintain a constant connection, just as other users in the sIII verizon signal thread have mentioned. Fringe area? No way.

I guess the VIA telecom CDMA chips are good provided you are near a strong signal since they seem to be weak, otherwise.

The fact that the VIA chip has to be connected to both signals? One goes out, they both go out = signal flipflop if either signal is not there. Modulation issue from the tower? Something out of synch? Im not sure, but this kind of explains a lot to me.

Once again, not trying to start anything, I just found this interesting and thought I would investigate and maybe figure out all the inconsistencies from all the verizon samsung devices.

EDIT: I forgot to add in a link, so here it is:

http://rootzwiki.com/topic/25921-this-is-why-your-verizon-nexus-signal-sucks/

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Old July 29th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good stuff, very informative. Tough call, but I've elected to put this in the Verizon forum - I think that these particular issues are unique to Verizon and Sprint, so, let's start here.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just as a correction (I believe) to the OP's post, it's my understanding that Samsung abandoned the Viacom chipset in the S3 in favor of the Qualcom chip. This would explain the overall favorable trend in reception of the S3 vs the GNex.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Now that would explain a lot! Great info. So basically it boils down to a crappy CDMA chipset? That would make sense, since it seems I have a harder time holding a full strength 3G CDMA signal than an LTE one (ironically).

Fortunately, at least locally, I have had very few game breaking signal issues, so I'm not giving up on the Nexus yet.

Its stuff like this though that makes going to a GSM carrier more enticing every day. I love Verizon coverage, but I hate all the bull that they pull and get away with along with being very expensive.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken7 View Post
Just as a correction (I believe) to the OP's post, it's my understanding that Samsung abandoned the Viacom chipset in the S3 in favor of the Qualcom chip. This would explain the overall favorable trend in reception of the S3 vs the GNex.
I was looking for info about this before. Even with the qualcom chip Verizon still has the fragile backend. Users having s3 issues may be in a fringe or dead zone.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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People are skiddish with Samsung since I think the original Galaxy S (Fascinate) days. Mostly it was because the lack of updates (which I think was 2.2), and when it finally did arrive, it made a lot of phones perform worse. I know a lot of people blame Verizon for that, but it seems to have been the case with the Captivate and Vibrant as well.

The one major gripe people here had with the Charge is that it uses the same file system from the GS1 which was considered old and slow while the GS2 was in production with the new file system. I can def say that rooting the Charge and flashing a new file system changed that phone immensely.

Thanks for compiling all that info, I'll def have to check it out. This is my first Samsung smartphone (I honestly can't remember owning a Samsung myself, but I'm probably missing one after one of my Nokias lol), after two Motorolas in a row. Without intending to, I now have 3 Samsungs active on my plan, and two Motorolas.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 06:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am in one of those said fringe zones, and what the OP said (and the article) makes a lot of sense. Every once in a while I will get a 4G connection at my desk, and it isn't a horrific signal strength, in fact is much better than my 3G connection. If it does require both, it might explain the problem, because my 3G connection is so fragile, it kills the 4G one too. From a coworker's experience, the S3 is the same way.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well that is a question in itself; will sprint have the same issue ?

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Originally Posted by EarlyMon View Post
Good stuff, very informative. Tough call, but I've elected to put this in the Verizon forum - I think that these particular issues are unique to Verizon and Sprint, so, let's start here.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Since Sprint uses CDMA, it wouldn't surprise me.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well that's part of the question; from the original description this did not sound like an issue specific to CDMA but rather how verizon choosed to validate that you can use LTE.

Is that correct ?

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Since Sprint uses CDMA, it wouldn't surprise me.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 02:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you2 View Post
Well that's part of the question; from the original description this did not sound like an issue specific to CDMA but rather how verizon choosed to validate that you can use LTE.

Is that correct ?
Maybe.

Implementation info on the Sprint phones has been slow going.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 11:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeDudeL View Post
People are skiddish with Samsung since I think the original Galaxy S (Fascinate) days. Mostly it was because the lack of updates (which I think was 2.2), and when it finally did arrive, it made a lot of phones perform worse. I know a lot of people blame Verizon for that, but it seems to have been the case with the Captivate and Vibrant as well.

The one major gripe people here had with the Charge is that it uses the same file system from the GS1 which was considered old and slow while the GS2 was in production with the new file system. I can def say that rooting the Charge and flashing a new file system changed that phone immensely.

Thanks for compiling all that info, I'll def have to check it out. This is my first Samsung smartphone (I honestly can't remember owning a Samsung myself, but I'm probably missing one after one of my Nokias lol), after two Motorolas in a row. Without intending to, I now have 3 Samsungs active on my plan, and two Motorolas.
I know for me....it goes back the the Omnia 1 days....Win Mo 6....lol. The u740 too, but that was a regular cell phone.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 01:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
If Verizon Wireless had upgraded the CDMA2000 system to UMTS HSPA+ like most other CDMA2000 carriers across the globe, it would have avoided dealing with this problem.
I know the OP only quoted this statement, but I'd like to attack it. First, CDMA2000 has it's advantages for an expansive country like the US. CDMA, in general, has also allowed Verizon to have arguably the best network and coverage for nearly a decade, long before data services became overwhelmingly popular. Within the last handful of years, any commitment to upgrading to UMTS/HSPA would have meant right here and now, AT&T's current LTE network would be the nation's largest, because Verizon would still be putting effort into a GSM conversion. It makes far more sense to build out LTE, live with the incompatibilities, and race to an all-LTE network that handles voice as well. We're now at 75% coverage and that's nothing to sneeze at. Let us not forget that no other country, let alone just the countries with a CDMA2000 carrier, has the expansive coverage requirement. Any other country that rivals the US in size (China, Russia, Canada) has a concentrated population that doesn't require the vast majority of their land area be blanketed with signal.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 02:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Verizon as a company is also more profitable than their rivals (circa 2011) which is no easy trick to pull off with a network that size
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