firstname.lastname@example.org 1 Aug 2006 10:32:42 -0700 wrote:
> Unfortunately, customers who cancel won't be able to use their analog
> phones elsewhere. AFAIK, other companies don't honor them. Of
> course, some customers might change just out of principle.
No strictly analog AMPS accounts have been activated by any carrier
for years. Mark Cuccia was using an AMPS phone up until several
months ago and only changed because they were not making the batteries
he was using in his Moto handset and Cingular wil not activate any
analog only and now will not activate any TDMA (IS-136) handsets.
> If they believe in loyalty, they'll provide a nice deep discount.
> Since analog hasn't been around for a while, most customers have
> probably been long standing.
You'd think a reputable company would do just such a thing.
Unfortunately that's not Cingular's attitude. Former AT&T Wireless
subscribers saw this first hand. Initially Cingular would tell AT&T
Wireless subscribers if they wished to get a new phone for their AT&T
Wireless GSM handsets TS. You'll have to convert your account from
"blue" to orange meaning Cingular pay *$18* and force you to buy a new
handset since Cingular would not provide unlock codes for AT&T Wireless
handsets so they could be used on the Cingular network. Cingular's
attitude seems to be that "customers are expendable" and that they
don't mind if they lose customers because they got the shaft from
Cingular. In other words "we are Cingular, you will be assimilated."
>> Cohen said the quality of service on Cingular's GSM network is
>> better than on its TDMA and analog networks.
Of *course* they would say that! They wouldn't dare admit that the
network was deficient!
> How good is it in fringe areas -- both in rural and within built up
> areas? Have they eliminated all the tough dead spots that analog
> handles just fine. Digital signals have lots of dead spots.
In built up areas usually it's pretty good. In rural areas it's a
mixed bag and often not as good as what was available with analog AMPS
even though they might claim differently.
> I was on a train last year and my old analog phone worked just fine.
> But everyone else's died. That is ridiculous in this day and age --
> that ten year old "ancient" technology works better than 2005
Analog often works better in rural situations than do the digital
technologies. As far as the technology analog is really over
twenty-three years old since the first analog AMPS systems were put
into commercial use in 1983.
> Is GSM used on other US systems? Do their phones still have the old
> "A/B" switch to work between two carriers if one carrier is
No. There is no "A/B" switch as there was on analog AMPS. With GSM
the way it usually works at least on monthly billed accounts is your
home carrier (such as T-Mobile, cingular, Suncom, etc.) will be what
you will generally use. *If* your home carrier has a roaming
agreement with another carrier you can use that service if it is
available and a roaming agreement is in place. If no roaming
agreement is in place all you'll be able to do is call emergency
911/112 (if there's any GSM signal at all available.)
> (Is that A/B switch used by anyone anymore? In the early days, the
> idea was that phones could switch between the two pioneer carriers
> -- the Bell company and the independent.)
A & B were only used in analog AMPS never in digital technologies.
>> It is planning to shut down its TDMA network in early 2008 and
>> under Federal Communications Commission rules it must keep its
>> analog network in place until February 2008, Cohen said.
>> Interesting. I thought it was the FCC mandating to shut down analog to
>> steal its frequencies. But is it that the telcos want to shut it
Actually the way I understand it is that the carriers are mandated to
keep the analog AMPS system running through February of 2008. After
that date the FCC has given permission that the analog system *may* be
shut down. There is no mandate that the companies running analog AMPS
shut those systems down, but you can most likely be assured that they
will so it will free up that part of the spectrum that analog AMPS
uses so they can better use it for GSM or CDMA voice or data service.
Spectrum is very inefficiently used with AMPS and is used more
efficiently with TDMA/IS-136 but is nowhere as efficient as GSM or
The carriers will shut down analog systems as soon as they can.
TDMA/IS-136 also uses spectrum that GSM could use if TDMA/IS-136
wasn't using it so it's in cingular or any company running TDMA/IS-136
to get customers off it as expeditiously as possible. cingular chose
to do it in as unfriendly a manner as possible is the difference.
cingular could have offered incentives such as free handsets or
allowing former TDMA/IS-136 plans to be transferred to GSM. That's
why many people were keeping the older technology since they had
really good plans and cingular doesn't have anything that's close to
the benefits they get with their present plan so they have stuck it
out and decided not to go with a GSM plan because of the perceived
benefit they have with an older plan on 1st generation TDMA/IS-136