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Verizon doing away with Analog phones and Analog Roaming?

Discussion in 'Verizon Wireless Forum' started by Blaise, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member Junior Member

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    I was in a Verizon store today and the sales rep said Verizon is slowly doing away with their tri-mode analog phones and within 6 months the you will no longer be able to roam on analog!


    Is this true? Can anyone confirm this??
     
  2. Critic

    Critic The Digital Ruler Senior Member

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    To quote a great man, "You are CORRECT, sir." All mobile carriers will be phasing out analog over the next few years. (GSM doesn't have an analog counterpart, but some GSM carriers still have older towers running TDMA/analog - and those will be going away too.)
     
  3. danf100

    danf100 New Member

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    The FCC has mandated that carriers need to support some level of AMPS until February of 2008, so don't expect to see AMPS go totally away until then. However, since digital is FAR FAR more spectrally efficient than AMPS, you'll see the players do exactly that: support AMPS minimally until then.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    Verizon is doing away with Analog capable phones, but that doesn't mean you can't still get them. There's still a few phones in their lineup that have AMPS capabilites. You will be able to roam on analog systems even after the next 6 months. What Verizon is doing is changing their PRL lists to support the CDMA digital side before reverting to the analog side of their roaming carrier, not only so you are not using their analog, but also to make use of the roaming carrier's digital network before going to Analog, since digital has greater talk/standbye time and voice quality.
     
  5. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member Junior Member

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    So what is going to happen when they finally do away with analog?

    The Verizon service in my area is very heavily reliant on analog roaming. In a lot of spots, if there is no analog there is no signal unless you have a GSM phone!

    So basically when analog goes away the Verizon service will suck in my area unless Verizon adds new digital sites?
     
  6. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer Super Moderator Senior Member

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    Sounds like it. If you're roaming on analog then the carrier who owns the sites would need to upgrade them. If you're roaming on the analog counterpart of a TDMA network then you're screwed. Verizon would have to install towers in your area then.

    -Jay
     
  7. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member Junior Member

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    The carrier who owns the sites is Unicel and they are upgrading all there current sites to GSM. There current sites still have TDMA / AMPS capability.

    They have also added many new GSM only sites.

    So I guess I am screwed with Verizon.
     
  8. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru Senior Member

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    Rural Cellular does do CDMA on most of there wireless towers. If they don't see a reason for CDMA in your area then they might just do GSM. That same is true vicea versa
     
  9. BillRadio

    BillRadio Wireless Consultant Senior Member

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    I would not take the word of a retail store employee as final. What he is saying MAY have some truth to it, but the end of analog is not that near.

    First, since Verizon is required by law to maintain analog until at least until February of 2008, it is actually MORE efficient to allow users to access these analog channels. Customers actually using these channels are helping overall capacity.

    2nd, there are still systems that are still analog-only. Some of these are Verizon roaming partners. Why cut off customers who travel in these areas when it makes no difference to Verizon capacity?

    3rd, all pre-mid-2004 OnStar customers use analog exclusively. Does Verizon want to suddenly make these units not work? If they did, it would prudent to notify OnStar & their customers who have at least a 1-year contract for service.

    4th, it is true there are fewer analog-capable phones, but they are still being sold, because there are many of us who still want to buy, and use them.

    5th, there are still Millions of phones capable of analog roaming. What would be the financial implications of cutting off the revenue from these sources?

    Of course some of these imply logic, and not all businesses make logical decisions. But not one carrier has announced they will discontinue analog before the federally-mandated date, and none have announced it will even drop analog after that date, either. Cingular HAS announced they will drop TDMA at that time, and Alltel has dropped both TDMA and GSM from some newly-purchased markets, but they still have analog available.
     
  10. walkguru

    walkguru Wireless Guru Senior Member

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    There goes the so called verison advantize.
     
  11. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer Super Moderator Senior Member

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    :twocents: Here's my two cents worth:

    I don't see Cingular maintaining analog long after they shut down TDMA, as their analog service is tied into their TDMA network. Once the FCC allows them to shut it down I think they will. Yes, there may be some revenue for analog roaming, but Cingular has to pay for that bandwidth and maintain the analog equipment, and their customers are getting nothing out of it. Analog is a bandwidth hog. With the increasing cost of bandwidth carriers will be forced to make the best use of the bandwidth they already own. To me this means they will shut down analog & add more capacity to their current network technology, be it CDMA or GSM. Maybe some small local & regional carriers may maintain analog but I see the large, national carriers like Cingular, TMO, Verizon & Sprint shutting down their analog systems ASAP to use that bandwidth elsewhere in their networks.

    That's the way I see it.

    -Jay
     
  12. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    In urban areas where digital service is good I do see carriers dropping AMPS as soon as they can, because in some areas carriers can very well use that gained spectrum for other things.
    In areas where Verizon's roaming partners are switching from TDMA/AMPS to GSM, Verizon will either build their own sites or a different roaming carrier will start to cover those areas, because Verizon will not just suddenly leave people with no service whatsoever.
     
  13. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru Senior Member

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  14. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member Senior Member

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    I dont mind this in fact I probably wont even notice it is gone.
     
  15. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru Senior Member

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    98% of the VZW customers care less about analog today

    With my new phone the analog only signal when was in WY was very very little.

    I am sure the only people that truly care use there phone in a place where there is no CDMA network since both Cellular providers are doing GSM or one with GSM and the other is TDMA.
     
  16. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    Agent Hibby, did you ever give us a coverage report of your trip???

    Something like 98% of all calls made on the Verizon network are made on their CDMA network, so saying goodbye to analog even completely wouldn't really cause too much trouble, but I do see carriers keeping analog up in rural areas, especially since they have enough capacity there to support it.
     
  17. Fullstrength

    Fullstrength Junior Member Junior Member

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    I still wonder if there will be a cdma/gsm phone for the US. Even for those who have on-star. There isnt complete coverage for any technology except analog.
     
  18. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    Andy - I came over here to discuss the same issue, the relative lack of Verizon tri-mode phones. But the discussion raises another issue. If carriers are required to maintain some level of anaglog service until Feb 2008, why did Verizon in Fla tell me they were an "all PCS" network and why did my StarTac fail to work on either the high frequency CDMA band or the analog band? Somehow it seems strange that my tri-mode phone would have failed in two of its three modes and work perfectly well in the third.
     
  19. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    Verizon is all PCS in Florida, which means that Verizon does not operate an analog AMPS network there. PCS networks do NOT run AMPS networks, only Cellular networks, whether they run GSM/TDMA/CDMA have to have AMPS until 2008. Cingular owns both Cellular licenses in most of the STate, and I believe Alltel owns one of the two in some areas of the State. IF Verizon does not allow roaming on Cingular AMPS where you were, then that's why your phone would not have worked. Are you on an America's Choice Plan, vroberts?
     
  20. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well in Eastern FL, your Verizon phone should first look for a Verizon signal, then for a Sprint signal, both carriers are PCS there, and then for Cingular AMPS, and your phone did neither of that which is strange.
    In Western FL, your phone should first look for VZW, then Sprint, and then ALLTEL digital and Analog AFAIK so I have no idea why your phone didn't revert back to analog...something seems fishy.
     
  21. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    Yes, I am on the Verizon America's Choice Plan. I'm confused about "PCS." This is a term I associate with Sprint and must admit I have not bothered before to figure out what it is. I do understand AMPS, TDMA and CDMA and from my perspective all of these are "cellular" bandss since they are a portable phone system which relies on a grid of service provider antennas. I have always considered PCS to be a Sprint marketing term for some additional form of cellular service, but I see it is defined as any system operating in the 1900 MHz band.

    That being said, I thought my StarTac 7868W, which has always worked in Florida before, works on AMPS plus both the low and high frequency CDMA bands. The phone is labeled Dual Band, which I take to mean it operates in the 800 MHz AMPS band, the 800 MHz CDMA band and the 1900 MHz CDMA band.

    So, I guess the answer to my question about AMPS is that if you provide CDMA service at 800 MHz then you are required by the FCC to also provide AMPS service at 800 MHz at least for a while longer. However, if you provide CDMA service at 1900 MHz - which some people will call PCS - then you have no obligation to provide AMPS service.

    So - when did Floriday switch to all PCS service. I do remember using a Verizon AMPS bag phone there many years ago.
     
  22. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    vroberts, You do not have to provide analog service if you provide any service in the 1900 Mhz band, whether it is CDMA, GSM, or TDMA. Sprint's name used to be Sprint PCS because they are a PCS only carrier, meaning their whole network is at 1900 Mhz. T-Mobile is a PCS carrier too, they only use 1900 Mhz for their native GSM network.
    If your phone is labeled as dual-band, then it does not have three bands, meaning it cannot have the 800 AMPS, and 800/1900 CDMA, because my E815 is labeled dual-band and only has the 800/1900 CDMA bands.
    I have no idea why your phone has worked in FL before but not anymore- it has to be a phone problem since it cannot be a network problem.
     
  23. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    Andy - Back when my phone was made I believe that all 800 MHz CDMA phones also worked on 800 MHz AMPS. I believe the Dual Band designation means that the phone works in both the 800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. I brother has the same phone and it has also worked in the same region of Florida. We will know when my backup StarTac arrives in Florida and my sister can test it on the network.

    Name here is Vic - after so many messages I thought I should provide at least that :)
     
  24. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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    Vic- let us know what happens with the other phone you sent down there.
    If you decide to stay with Verizon, though, sooner or later they are going to contact you about getting a new phone that is GPS capable, then you can most likely get a good deal on a new phone too.
     
  25. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    Back to the basic issue. I just checked the Verizon web site for phones sold in Zip 12027. They list 18 handsets. (I excluded PCMCIA cards, PDAs and Blackberrys.)

    Of the 18 handsets, only 7 are listed as Tri-Mode, one is listed as Dual Band and 11 are listed as All Digital. So, more than half the handsets available, plus all the PDAs and Blackberrys will not work on the Verizon AMPS system, yet all customers are show the same coverage map.

    You would think that Verzon would have learned something from the V710 Class Action lawsuit. While the coverage maps do have a disclaimer about not being guarenteed, it seems like fraud to display coverage maps that they know do not reflect the coverage available for more than half the phones sold.
     
  26. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member Senior Member

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  27. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole... Senior Member

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    I suspect that your phone is the victim of changes to the PRL, the Preferred Roaming List, in your area. Verizon have been changing the PRL (it's a chunk of software that gets downloaded to your phone when it's reprogrammed, taken in for service, or when you do *228) so as to drop analog roaming in favour of digital roaming where available.

    The issue, of course, is that the digital roaming may not have such wide coverage as the old analog roaming, whether it's because the roaming carrier is being slow about upgrading, because the digital carrier is on the PCS frequency (which, to oversimplify, means you need more towers, spaced more closely together, to cover the same area), or because the digital carrier just has a deadspot where you're used to analog service.

    Since you have to choose a roaming method for the whole area (for example, Dutchess and Orange Cos. are one area), you'll have some people who will lose coverage, at least temporarily.

    If your replacement StarTac works on analog, it's probably got an old PRL on it.
     
  28. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    The Web map differentiates between Analog and Digital. However, the paper maps they hand out are more subtle. They use two shades of read and the key for both shades says America's Choice while the key for the darker red only says America's Choise All-Digital. It's hard to see the difference on the national map, but on the NE map you can cleatly see that most of Maine, and significant parts of New Hampshire and Vermont are in the area that is not All Digital. They never say "Analog only."

    Thanks for the phone link.
     
  29. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    I last updated the roaming databse in October 2005. And, I also don't understand why you say that AMPS would not work if I had the latest database. Verizon still seels tri-mode phones and shows a coverage area for their America's Choice network that includes AMPS-only areas.
     
  30. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member Junior Member

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    Andy - This Nokia is tri-mode plus it has both IrDA and Bluetooth. My dream phone if it has good reception! Now to see if Verizon has it...
     

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