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The Telecom Digest for July 08, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 184 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: Apple to replace false iPhone reception reading with another clever exaggeration  (Thad Floryan)
  NANPA PL #407 -- Introduction of Toll-Free 855                                      (Mark J. Cuccia)

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Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2010 19:05:53 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <thad@thadlabs.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Apple to replace false iPhone reception reading with another clever exaggeration Message-ID: <4C33E101.6090603@thadlabs.com> On 7/5/2010 7:55 PM, Monty Solomon wrote: > > Technology > > THE BUSINESS AND CULTURE OF OUR DIGITAL LIVES, FROM THE L.A. TIMES > > Apple to replace false iPhone reception reading with another clever > exaggeration > > Mark Milian > July 2, 2010 > > Months after an Apple employee left a pre-release iPhone in a pub, a > different kind of bar is giving Apple headaches. > > The fix for that first bar incident, when Gizmodo got its hands on > the never-before-seen breed of iPhone, brought in the lawyers and a > police task force. > > For this new issue, which had Apple on the legal defensive, the smart > phone maker admitted Friday -- a good time to get things off your > chest before the long holiday weekend -- that every iPhone sold in > the last three years has been overstating signal strength. Those bars > in the top left corner? Liars. > > The repair this time is to issue a software update in the next few > weeks that corrects the signal-strength reading. > > While that software update reduces the reading to an accurate level, > Apple will employ a sneaky design trick to distract users who may be > frustrated when seeing fewer bars at any given time. The shortest > three bars will experience a bit of a growth spurt, Apple said in a > statement, "so they will be easier to see." Because we probably won't > be seeing their big brothers as often. > [...] Sigh. In today's San Francisco Chronicle (and online at this URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?entry_id=67264) the "Tech Chronicles", a blog by Ryan Kim, is entitled "IPhone 4 display update not likely to fix reception problems" and there are some really interesting photos and a chart based on Ryan's tests. I cannot reproduce the chart to fit within the bounds of this posting, so feel welcome to view the page at the above SFGate URL. The article is fairly short so I'll copy'n'paste it below with each line prefixed with a double-quote: " While Apple is sticking to its software update as a solution for " its iPhone 4 reception issues, it's hard to see how that will fix " the problem. " " Apple said Friday the signal strength meter on the iPhone 4 and other " previous models was inaccurate and made people think that the normal " reception problems that occur when you hold a cell phone in the wrong " way was worse on the iPhone 4. A new software update will more " accurately communicate a user's signal strength. " " But I've been testing an iPhone 4 this morning without regard to the " signal strength bars and just focused on download and upload speeds " and the time it takes to open a website. The meter, which Apple says " is faulty, does fluctuate some. " " But the real issue is that performance drops off significantly when " you hold the iPhone while covering that left bottom corner, " specifically that gap in the stainless steel band where two antennas " meet. This is, by the way, how I often hold the phone when I'm " calling or surfing the Internet. " " Here are the results I got after a series of tests covering holding " the iPhone "correctly" and also holding it while covering the bottom " left hand corner. I also repeated the same tests while using a $29 " bumper case from Apple. " " { chart is in the article at the above URL } " " The good news is that the bumper solves a lot of the reception " problems. Download speeds were just slightly slower than if you " left the iPhone uncovered and held the phone without touching the " corner. Uploads speeds using the bumper, however, did seem to " suffer. In terms of opening a web page, I got a slightly faster " time using the bumper though the difference was negligible. " " And the phone overall is extremely fast. I knew the iPhone 4 was " speedy but when you hold the phone without cradling it, I'm getting " download speeds of almost 3 megabits per second. That's faster " than the iPhone 3GS. " " But when you hold the phone with your left palm rubbing against " the bottom left corner, that's when things go sideways. When " it's my skin covering that corner, the speeds drop to the point " where it can sometimes fail to load a page. I got an average " download speed of less than 20 kilobits per second. " " I did get one fast load time for the web page while covering the " corner but that was the only speedy result. In most cases, load " times were several times longer than when I did not hold the " corner of the phone. " " The upshot is that this problem, which plagues all cell phones " to some degree, is acute with the iPhone 4 because of its external " antenna design. Most phone have their antennas down toward the " bottom of the phone but when you create a layer of plastic or " rubber in between, as we see with the bumper case or with normal " phones with internal antennas, much of the attenuation or " detuning problems go away. " " But because the antenna is external, it is really vulnerable to " reception issues when your hand covers that bottom left corner. " A signal display software update will minimize the effect of " dramatically losing bars but it won't cure the reception issues " for many users. " " Apple can still try to ride this out by telling people to hold " their phone differently or buy a bumper case. But I don't see " how new display software will fix something that's baked right " into the hardware design of the phone. A bumper case would go " a long way in solving the issues but Apple doesn't seem " interested in going down that road, at least for now. " " Posted By: Ryan Kim, July 06 2010 at 01:28 PM
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 19:44:29 -0700 (PDT) From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <markjcuccia@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: NANPA PL #407 -- Introduction of Toll-Free 855 Message-ID: <615684.36303.qm@web31101.mail.mud.yahoo.com> Back in April 2010, I had posted that the 2010-1Q NANPA Newsletter made mention that toll-free 866 was approaching "exhaust" (estimated around 2011/12 time-frame), and that the North American telco industry would request that the FCC approve opening up the "next" toll-free special area code, 855, for assignment of actual numbers to actual customers. Today, Tuesday 06-July-2010, NeuStar-NANPA issued Planning Letter #407, regarding the opening up of toll-free special area code 855, this PL-407 can be downloaded from http://www.nanpa.com/pdf/PL_407.pdf which mentions that on (Friday) 25-June-2010, the Wireline Competition division of the FCC has authorized the opening up of 855 at "12pm" Eastern 01-October-2010. I assume that this means "12 Noon" (Eastern) on Friday 01-October-2010 and not 12:01am (right after midnight) starting on that Friday... NeuStar-NANPA does not "directly" assign ten-digit 8YY-nxx-xxxx line-numbers to requesting customers or carriers. That is handled by a couple of North American telephone industry consortium bodies, one of them being DSMI (Database Services Management Inc), the other being "SMS Toll-Free". At one time, Lockheed-Martin was involved with one of these two consortiums, known as the "800 NASC" (Numbering Assignment Service Center). This was several years before LM took over basic/overall/general NANPA functions from Bellcore in the 1997/98 timeframe. I don't know if LM still has anything to do with any "800 NASC" or "SMS Toll-Free" body anymore, but I think that DSMI and/or "SMS Toll-Free" is still "somehow" associated with Telcordia (formerly Bellcore). The specific recent (1st half 2010) procedural history regarding 855 with the FCC and various industry bodies is outlined in this Planning Letter. One thing that is not specifically mentioned, though, is that originally, both 866 and 855 were to have been introduced for toll-free numbering assignments "nearly" simultaneously, both in Spring 2000, a (few) weeks to a month apart from each other, 866 first followed by 855. I don't remember the exact planned implementation dates/interval though. However, the FCC postponed those dates. I seem to remember that the ultimate implementation of 866 for actual line-number assignments was in Fall 2000 (November?), and that 855 was "postponed until further notice". The note in PL-407 mentions that 866 was actually implemented in July 2000 (Summer). It was ten years ago, and I don't have immediate access to my notes from back then. There is no mention in today's Planning Letter about testing for the new toll-free 855 special area code... I do remember that the 250 office code within all toll-free area codes is reserved for "testing purposes" on the -0000 through -1499 line-number block. (I assume that 8yy-250-1500 through -9999 is available for assignment to regular customers though). Specific four-digit line-numbers or specific "blocks" of line-numbers within the -0000 through -1499 range are to be "duplicate assigned" to the same service providers regardless of the actual toll-free SAC, i.e., it is the same assignment on 800, 888, 877, 866, now 855, and future 844, 833, 822, etc. However, with mergers, name-changes, etc. and just the overall change in the telco industry over the past ten years, I don't know "exactly how" the ATIS-INC/NRRIC/OBF/etc. bodies which maintained the 8yy-250-0000 thru -1499 test-number assignments still hold today (2010). i.e., since VeriZon/NYNEX/NET&T no longer operates in ME/NH/VT, does FairPoint have any (new) 855-250-xxxx or range of -xxxx's for testing, separate and distinct from the legacy 8yy-250-xxxx(s) for VZ/NET&T? Same for Frontier in legacy BOC areas in West Virginia, now that this is no longer part of VZ/Bell-Atlantic which has its own legacy 855-250-xxxx(s), etc. Remember that "for the most part" the incumbent LEC maintains (copies of) databases for translations to determine "which" IXC (or even LEC/CLEC) to hand-off a dialed 8yy-nxx-xxxx call over to, the actual service provider(s) that route the dialed toll-free number being determined by the paying/called customer who has "purchased" that toll-free 8yy number/service. Ten years ago, 855 was originally to have been implemented almost simultaneously with 866, even though 855 has been postponed for ten years. The local, LATA, and interexchange carrier networks (landline and wireless, etc), were all to have been "readied" for proper database-dipping, translation, and routing of 866-nxx-xxxx AND 855-nxx-xxxx numbers as of Spring 2000. Thus, if nothing has changed, and all new switches implemented in the network since then have 855 opened up as "valid" along the same lines as 866, 877, 888, 800 are for routing/etc., then there "should" be no problem with opening up assignment of 855-nxx-xxxx numbers and their proper routing throughout the network regardless of which carrier/telco/etc. a call originates on, placed to an 855-nxx-xxxx number.... Well, considering how the telco industry is these days, I guess "we'll see"! (I do remember numerous routing problems with the introduction of 877 back in Spring 1998, mainly with origination from BellSouth Mobility) Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
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