Portland Wireless Data & Cell Phone Providers

March 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

It is unfortunate that the wireless industry has gravitated towards stupid marketing gimmicks (“More bars in more places”) to sell service rather than fundamental service offerings.  It is my hope that I can shine a bit of insight into the underlying network technologies at play here:

Your options for service in Portland Oregon are as follows:

  • ATT (previously Cingular) – They own the “A” side 850mhz license in this market as well as 1900mhz licenses.  Their main service offerings are GSM phone service and UMTS/HSDPA based high speed data access.
  • Verizon Wireless – They own the “B” side 850mhz license as well as 1900mhz assets.  Their phone service is based on CDMA and their data service is EVDO (also a CDMA technology).
  • Sprint/Nextel – They have a block of 1900mhz licenses in this market and they provide CDMA based phone and data service (data is EVDO).  Nextel also has it’s iDEN network which it is in process of doing frequency re-banding which will eventually give it 900mhz and 1900mhz licenses in exchange.
  • T-Mobile – Also has a block of 1900mhz licenses, they use this to provide phone and data service, though their primary focus has been phone service as they only recently launched 3G data.
  • Cricket Wireless – They are the newest cell provider in town.  Their claim to fame is unlimited service and very reasonable rates.  Their network is based on CDMA and EVDO technology in the 1900mhz PCS band.
  • Clear – They offer both mobile and fixed data (Internet) service using 2.5ghz MMDS spectrum – they can also offer home phone service with their fixed wireless offering.

There are some other fixed based wireless operators that provide data service from towers high up on the west hills and other outlying hills, however, I have not covered them here as they are not really mainstream.  They service more niche markets.

I should also note that there are a number of other branded phone services that ride on top of one of the above listed networks.  Sprint is the king of this, they basically resell their service to a number of other providers.

These include:

  • Boost Mobile
  • Jump Mobile (Cricket) – prepaid
  • Virgin Mobile


  1. corbeze
    September 14th, 2009 at 18:44 | #1

    Virgin Mobile is being acquired by SprintNextel.
    SprintNextel owns Boost already.


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