TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cingular Analog/TDMA Surcharge

Re: Cingular Analog/TDMA Surcharge

Mark Crispin (mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Sun, 6 Aug 2006 16:45:08 -0700

On Sat, 5 Aug 2006, TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response
to Steve Sobol:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: 'Dobson Cellular One' is what we have
> here in our town. Dobson also has an 'antenna farm' southeast of town
> in a rural area called Liberty, Kansas, and quite a few carriers are
> out there on his 'farm', where he leases space to them. PAT]

Dobson Cellular One is also the GSM carrier in Alaska, and is phasing
out their TDMA and analog. Until recently, Dobson was the only choice
if you wanted digital service outside of the major cities.

However, ACS Wnireless is now aggressively building out their CDMA
network; I found CDMA service in the Copper River Valley (Glennallen,
etc.) this year when previously there was none. ACS also has some

Although ACS is actively touting the advantages of CDMA ("every GSM
carrier in the world today is upgrading their network to CDMA", "CDMA
has a noticably better voice quality than GSM and TDMA", "CDMA has
fewer dropped calls"), neither carrier seems to be unconditionally
"better" in performance. With both carriers, either "it works" or "it
doesn't work"; there seemed to be no in-between state. There are many
places where there was no CDMA service but full bar GSM service, or
vice versa.

ACS Wireless roams with Verizon in the USA but not with Telus
Mobility; in fact, ACS seems to be on the Telus PRL forbidden list
since Telus phones go into analog mode in ACS land.

-- Mark --
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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