TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Residents Fight to Keep Analog Cell Phones

Re: Residents Fight to Keep Analog Cell Phones
27 Jul 2005 11:49:13 -0700

Chet Brokaw wrote:

> Johnny Smith has a new digital cell phone, but he relies on an older
> analog bag phone when he travels the wide open spaces in the western
> part of the state to line up cattle for sale at a local livestock
> auction.

I understand the older 'bag phones' can send out a much stronger
signal. There are plenty of fringe reception areas even in
"developed" states all over the U.S. If one looks closely at a
carrier's map, they'll find lots of places with the different shade to
indicate no or limited service.

Clearly there is a need for such higher powered phones.

There are also those of us who have plain vanilla cell phones and
call-plans who have no need or desire for fancy phones or services.
Yet we are being pressured to spend our money to upgrade to stuff we
don't want by forced obsolescence.

Years back GM got hammered by its "planned obsolescence" of
automobiles. At least an automobile would physically wear out and had
a limited life. Telephones, especially when not used often, don't
wear out.

> In rural areas where cellular towers are far apart, analog phones
> often work when digital models can't get a signal. With the Federal
> Communications Commission pushing the move to all-digital phone
> service across the country, Smith and others in rural areas are urging
> the agency to wait until more towers are built to improve service.

Why is the FCC pushing this? Is it really good for the country or
actually good for the carriers to make more money selling replacement
phones and fancier services and plans?

> According to current timelines set up by the FCC, wireless companies
> can phase out analog service by 2008.

I get offers from my carrier to "upgrade" to digital. They'll sell me
a crappy phone and double my monthly charge and give me LESS than I
have now!

> The National Emergency Number Association, whose aim is to implement a
> universal emergency telephone number system, opposes a blanket delay
> in the move to the new digital phones, said Rick Jones, director of
> operations issues for the organization. However, the group is also
> willing to consider requests for waivers by individual companies in
> areas where a delay might make sense, he said.

Who the heck are these people?

So my cell phone won't pinpoint me. (Actually I kind of like that.)
But I'm pretty good with geography and know where I'm at.

[public replies please]

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Our local Cingular Wireless agency here
in Independence tells me that all they are allowed to sell now for
use in the 620 area (that is, local service) are the newer GSM
phones. If a person _insists_ on having one of the older style phones
it has to be in the 316 Wichita area; 620 is now strictly GSM. She
told me I can continue to use my older Nokia 5165 phone (either the
Cingular Wireless one or the AT&T Free2Go phone 'for maybe another
year or two' until they are eventually phased out. PAT]

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