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CDMA FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Note: as of 7/2000, there will be no changes to this page until further notice

Dangers and Fears

Is there any danger associated with using a CDMA phone? Not much. (5/1999, updated 3/2000)

Is it dangerous to leave my QCP-2700 (or other Qualcomm phone) connected to a charger? No. (5/1999)

I've read about cases which decrease the radiation generated by the phone. Is this a good idea? They're a complete waste of money. (2/2000)

Operational questions

Does my CDMA phone drain the battery faster when it says it is "searching"? Yes. (5/1999)

Does my CDMA phone drain the battery faster if I'm operating in a fringe area? Maybe. (9/1999)

I have a phone from service provider XYZ. Service provider ABC sells exactly the same phone. Can I use the one I already have? Probably not. (5/1999)

Can I use two phones on the same phone number? If the carrier allows it. (5/1999)

Why doesn't an incoming call automatically switch to voicemail if the cell I'm in is overloaded? Because the cell system doesn't actually know. (9/1999)

Phone 1 shows 4 bars and Phone 2 shows 2 bars in the same location. Phone 2 is worse, right? Nope. (2/2000)

I just got my service switched to a new phone. Can I keep using my old phone? Except for 911 calls, no. (4/2000)

My new phone shows the battery at half charge. What should I do? Fully charge it once, and fully discharge it once. (4/2000)

Technical questions

Is there a single master security code which will permit me to make changes to my phone? No. (9/1999)

Can I use a normal modem with my CDMA cell phone? No. (5/1999)

What are the differences between NiMH and LiIon batteries? Size and weight. (5/1999)

Is it possible to jam CDMA? It's possible but impractical. (5/1999)

What is a PRL? "Preferred Roaming List" (5/1999)

What is the phone doing when it's idle? Quite a lot, actually! (5/1999)

How easy is it to eavesdrop on CDMA cellular? Harder than your wireline phone. (5/1999)

Antenna questions: Does it help to raise the antenna? Can I make it even longer? There's an ideal length for the antenna. (2/2000)

How does my phone know what time it is? The network tells it. (2/2000)

How is CDMA superior to TDMA? Spectrum efficiency (5/1999)

What is "Soft Handoff"? It permits the phone to use 2+ cells at once. (5/1999)

Is it possible to update the firmware of a phone over-the-air? No. (5/1999)

Other sources of information? The inevitable links page (updated 2/2000)

Glossary Definitions of key terms (2/2000)

Captured by MemoWeb from on 9/16/2004