TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: GAIT vrs. GSM and Other Cell Phones

GAIT vrs. GSM and Other Cell Phones

TELECOM Digest Editor (
Wed, 23 Nov 2005 22:43:52 EST

Some of you may recall last week here I made some inquiries about my
original cell phone (Nokia 5165) and my new cell phone (Nokia 6010). My
complaint was that (a) none of my accessories from the 5165 would fit
on the 6010, and (b) when using the 5165 I generally got a stronger

I mentioned my complaints here, and John Levine suggested trying to
purchase a Nokia 6340-i on E-Bay or wherever. I did get one on E-Bay
for the grand total of $15.00 (fifteen dollars), in very good
condition I might add. Not knowing that much about these things my
next inquiry was about the SIM card. If I inserted the SIM card which
came with the 6010 into the newer 6340-i would I need to report this
to Cingular, or just use it as is? Everyone said it will work fine,
no hassles, Cingular does not care what you use, etc. So when the
E-Bay purchase showed up a couple days ago, first thing I tried were
my various accessories, car kit, headphone, Cell Socket, etc.
Everything fit togehter okay, and it all worked fine _with the
exception of Cell Socket (6340-i fit in it okay but something was
different about the pin outs so it would _not_ charge the 6340 nor
allow the other main function of cell socket (use of regular phones
around house in place of cellular). But not so bad, two out of three
accessories worked fine.

Then I tried making an actual _phone call_ on the 6340. By coincidence
I guess I was within range of a GSM tower, the phone call worked fine,
although the signal strength was much less than usual. Later in the day
I went outside and it worked fine on a call there also, but again, very
poor signal strength.

Turned off the phone, went to bed, went outside today over in the
direction of Walmart, the other side of town. Tried to make a call to
get the cab driver to come pick me up to go back home. Tried several
times; kept getting the little jingle and the message, "We do not
recognize your cellular number, if this is an error or you are a new
customer, please call us, etc.

Got back home, called Cingular and asked them what was up. YES, they said,
put the SIM card in your phone and it should work fine, but you should have
called us to let us know and change your ESN, etc on our records, that
is, if you want a _wider_ coverage area.

Why? Well because, she said, what you have is a GAIT phone (which I
think means [G]SM, {A]mps [I]teroperability [T]eam. For those phones,
and considering the area you are in (mostly rural), you are still quite
frequently going to get the 'older style' service. Instead of having a
phone good for only one class of service or the other, the phone you
bought is good for all kinds of service. She then launched into a
discussion (and make a reference to a web site to look at yet!) to
read about these GAIT phones. She discussed how this type of phone
will 'seamlessly' go between 800-1900 and work 'wherever you are at'.

I asked her, is this phone, the Nokia 6340-i that I got on E-Bay in
essence then a 'world phone'? Well, not quite, she said, but it does
insure that _anywhere_ you go in North America you will always get
someone's tower, either Cingular or whoever. And she said it would
work in many other countries as well, 'just not everywhere'. The map
she referred me to on the net was for North America and it showed
coverage _everywhere_ except a couple of tiny 'no coverage' areas in
Idaho and British Columbia. She said the GAIT style of phone was
intended to be a 'transitional' thing between GSM and AMPS. I said I
must have scored pretty well, gettng an unlocked one for fifteen
dollars. She agreed that was true. I mentioned that my old Nokia 5165
always got great signal strength, why not this new GAIT phone. She
said to give her my ESN as well as my IME number and the phone's
serial number. I did so, and presto, about a minute later my phone
chirped at me and said in a screen message to 'recycle power'. I did
so, and the signal strength shot up quite high and has been there

She did mention that with 'regular' GSM I got wireless internet at no
additional charge on minutes because they measured it by the kilobytes
used rather than in minutes, but with GAIT it would cost me $3.99 per
month _and_ the minutes of usage as well, but 'considering you have
5000 minutes of overnight usage, you could stay on internet all night
long for the $3.99 per month.'

I guess my question would be, are you familiar with this GAIT thing
as a 'transitional' thing between GSM and other types of cell service
and do you have any experience with it?


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