Coverage area IS the same, between the GSM and CDMA. I know that the GSM network is expanding.
I read on one of the cell phone forums that if GSM is so great then why is Japan or Hong Kong ( I think) using CDMA over GSM. Plus I still can't get over the sound quality difference between talking to Renee who is on GSM like I am , and my Father who is on the CDMA.
Here are a couple of articles that explain the difference. One thing nice about GSM is that you can usually get longer talk time since it transmits intermittent.
this link may not load, so I may have to save it on one of my servers.
Here is one thing that caught my eye on that last link.
Maximum talk range from a tower
GSM:35KM (stock cell) 70KM ER , EER 105KM possible with special towers
CDMA: Approx 110KM
Nice to see that 110km since I travel so much, there is a better chance of getting reception on the road.
I will have to keep searching from now till December to make my final decision, since that is when my contract is up.