TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cingular Plans to Raise Pries on Older Phones

Re: Cingular Plans to Raise Pries on Older Phones
1 Aug 2006 10:32:42 -0700

Reuters News Wire wrote:

> Cingular, which hopes to create savings by converging to a single
> network, said last month on a conference call that it would risk an
> increase in customer cancellations for the rest of the year as it
> works to eliminate the older technology.

This sucks.

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.

> Customer discounts on new phones will depend on issues such as how
> long they have been customers at Cingular.

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.

> Cohen said the quality of service on Cingular's GSM network is better
> than on its TDMA and analog networks.

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.

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

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
unavailable? (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.)

> 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 down?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I can tell you my personal experience:
When I migrated here to live I had a *Chicago area-based* (a/c 630)
phone from AT&T Wireless.The old AT&T quit serving Independence and sold or
traded this territory to Cingular Wireless. In fact, the AT&T Wireless
store downtown one day converted into a Cingular Wireless, but all the
same people working there; just the sign in front was changed. They
made a 'suggestion' that I would be better off changing my service to
the Cingular network (although AT&T continued to work just fine at
that time). I took their advice and became a Cingular TDMA customer. The
new phone was an _identical_ Nokia, and it worked fine. Then they
started their present GSM campaign. I did not want to throw away all
my accessories so in addition to the Nokia 6010 they insisted I had to
have, I bought on E-Bay a phone sort of similar to the one I had been
using quite successfully for a couple years, thus was able to keep on
using (mostly, but not entirely) my accessories. GSM works just fine
here, although I get a little nervous seeing the 'signal strength' bar
being very low most of the time (with the old system, the signal bar
always hit the top all the time.) But frankly, I do not care for the
'attitude' of the two guys who work in the Cingular store here, and I
think when renewal time comes around I will swap out for either
Cellular One (Dobson around here) or U.S. Cellular or _possibly_ Alltel.
I do not see anything particularly special about GSM. PAT]

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