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A- and B-Bands

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by KevinJames, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    This link provided an explanation of the "bands" on wireless phones. Truthfully, as an ATT customer, this concept is foreign to me. It wasn't until I started service with Verizon that it even became a necessary discussion item.

    I am curious how this idea of "bands" was developed. If the link's explanation is true then I am really confused about it. If the B-Band is the local Bell's Wireless subsid, then in my area, that is Pacific Bell and they operate a GSM network. Yet Verizon (CDMA) instructed me to keep my phone on the B-Band.

    A logical/factual explanation would be appreciated.
     
  2. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    Kevin,

    I'm not sure if I'm going to answer your question but here it goes. Originally the A-Band was desiginated for the non-wireline company and B-band was for the wireline carrier. This was when the law restricted only 2 cellular carriers in any given area. Since that time you can have multiple carriers in a market and you have a plethora of buyouts in the wireless industry. You will find that Cingular, for example, might be the A-Band in one area and the B-Band in another due to mergers and buyouts.

    A side note, back in the "old" days you could tell by the sid which carrier (band or side) you were on. Odd # Sids meant A-Band and Even # Sids meant B-Band. This isn't the case anymore but it is a good guideline however, there are times where it doesn't apply. I don't know if this is what you were asking or if I went on a tangent.

    Tom
     
  3. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    I think you answered it. In essence, the definition as provided by the link, is an over-generalization that no longer applies. Because it is impossible to accurately define A- and B-band usage today, they used a definition from the original scenario.
     
  4. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    You got it.
     
  5. Uwdsr

    Uwdsr Member

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    I think I'm stupid, I still don't get it. Verizon had me on the A-band on their 1900mhz PrimeCo system in Wisconsin, but on the B-band on their 800mhz Bell Atlantic system in Philadelphia. Or maybe it was Vice Versa. Anyone have a more clear explanation?
     
  6. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Hi Uwdsr,

    You are <u>not</u> stupid, it is just plain confusing.

    Lets first go back to the basic definitions. Per the link I originally provided:

    A-Band cellular: In the U.S., the alternative carrier to the regional Bell operating company's cellular subsidiary (see B-Band cellular).

    B-Band cellular: In the U.S., the regional Bell operating company's cellular subsidiary.

    Tom's Post: Originally the A-Band was designated for the non-wireline company and B-band was for the wireline carrier. This was when the law restricted only 2 cellular carriers in any given area.

    Now lets look at the two markets you mention. (I am using your identifications of A- and B-bands as the basis of the following. You wrote: &quot;Verizon had me on the A-band on their 1900mhz PrimeCo system in Wisconsin, but on the B-band on their 800mhz Bell Atlantic system in Philadelphia.&quot;)

    Market: Wisconsin. Band: A. Network: Primeco
    Market: Phili. Band: B. Network: Bell Atlantic

    In Wisconsin, the A-band &quot;alternative carrier,&quot; &quot;non-wireline&quot; aka wireless company is Verizon, so they had you on that band because in Wisconsin, they are not the regional bell operating company.

    In Phili., the B-band &quot;regional Bell,&quot; &quot;wireline&quot; company was Bell Atlantic, part of which Verizon now owns, so they stuck on there because, in that market, they are the &quot;Bell&quot; operating company's cellular subsidiary.

    (Now watch someone tell me I am full of blue mud.)
     
  7. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    Kevin,

    Give yourself a Gold Star, that's right.

    Tom
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Oops!

    Tom, Kevin, and others,

    You are essentially correct .... BUT, you are confusing the A &amp; B &quot;cellular&quot; (840MHz) bands with the 7 (I think it is today -- and counting!) bands assigned in the 1900MHz PCS systems. They are NOT the same. The PCS frequencies were assigned by AUCTION, with some specific reservation for &quot;minority owned companies&quot;, &quot;locally owned companies&quot;, etc. No one was assured a frequency slot, although ATT and Sprint did manage to obtain a 'national' distinction and thus were eligible for frequency spectrum everywhere. There is a restriction that no single carrier can control more than 'X' total bandwidth -- usually defined as one of the 840MHz bands and one PCS (1900) band. Thus the sales and mergers and rearrangements as the cellular companies buy and sell each other.

    The A &amp; B bands discussed above for Verizon and others (&quot;Uwdsr&quot;) is the cellular system. The Primeco 1900MHz system is NOT part of the 840 MHz system. If Uwdsr had PrimeCo/Verizon service in Wisconsin and then moved to Philadelphia, he did exactly as stated. I suspect that Verizon 840MHz service (roaming agreement! since Primeco had no 840 spectrum) in Wisconsin was NOT with Ameritech (who would have been the wireline or &quot;B&quot; carrier). They probably had an agreement with GTE (who would have been the &quot;A&quot; carrier in that market, but that was a LONG time and many mergers ago! In Phiadelphia, Verizon (then Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, or NewJersey Bell -- depending on how long ago this was) was the wireline carrier and thus would have been the &quot;B&quot; carrier. Thus, when UWDSR moved to Philadelphia, he changed from using the non-local-telephone company to using the local telephone company as his cellular provider.
     
  9. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Thanks. It was Uwdsr who threw the frequency into the discussion. In my reply, I concentrated on the original issue of A- and B-band, irrespective of frequency.
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Kevin,

    Continuing my post from just above you:
    I believe you will find that in most areas the A &amp; B band wireline/non-wireline distinction is still noticeable.
    For example, in those areas where Verizon (or one of its recent acquisitions such as GTE) also provides the wireline telephone service, THEY are the &quot;B&quot; carrier (Honolulu, for example). In those areas where they never provided wireline telephone service, they are the &quot;A&quot; carrier.
    I would use the Charlotte NC market as an example. The wireline company there (ALLTEL) does provide wireline services to some of the surrounding area -- thus they originally qualified for the &quot;B&quot; license. Verizon also serves that market as the &quot;A&quot; carrier. (Bell South -- the dominant wireline carrier in the region, and now part of Cingular -- lost out on the original spectrum assignment and now operates a GSM/PCS network.)
    The same is true in Connecticut where SBC/SNET is/was the wireline carrier and is the &quot;B&quot; carrier. The same appears to be true in your area of California.
    Verizon, as one of the original wireline carriers, has traditionally &quot;roamed&quot; on other wireline carriers (the Bell's always stuck together!). So it is not surprising that they roam B_side in your area (analog no doubt) where they do not directly provide service. If you look through the several PRL's that have been published for their phones, you will notice a predominance of &quot;B&quot; side roaming...
     
  11. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Thanks. Now join the group, pick an icon and handle and be a regular here. Your knowledge would be very helpful to others.
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Ok, Kevin!
    Here I am -- against my better judgement I might add.
    What sort of knowledge do you really think I can impart to this group??
     
  13. FlyBoy

    FlyBoy New Member

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    Let's try that again!
    One of these days I'll get the hang of these newfangled computer thingees!

    And in case you wonder, I blew this one above :::

    Date Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2002 8:39 PM




    Ok, Kevin!
    Here I am -- against my better judgement I might add.
    What sort of knowledge do you really think I can impart to this group??
     
  14. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Hi FlyBoy (former pilot or am missing yet another music group?)

    Just continue to impart the info you've been giving. You seem to have an understanding of the technical side--if so, read other such posts and offer your insight. When it comes down to the bottom line, I'm really nothing more than an opinionated, articulate and somewhat informed subscriber. And though I am a PC tech, I am still learning alot about the technical side of wireless communication. (I know enough to be dangerous.)

    Kevin
     
  15. FlyBoy

    FlyBoy New Member

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    Kevin,

    Private ticket only! Instrument rating. The handle is a school nickname from way back. Needed something for here quick and it came to mind. I was into model airplanes and biked to the airport to take flying lessons.

    I'm retired Air Force. Electronics Tech. Currently work for a firm that maintains avionics for corporate jets. Sometime get to fly along as &quot;crew&quot;. Sometimes officially to retrieve or repair some plane down somewhere. (Every once in a while if there empty, they let me take the wheel. &quot;Testing the autopilot&quot;, we call it.) Worked for a while for a firm that built cellular towers. Didn't like climbing them in the winter!

    Don't know what I can contribute to this bunch. You seem to have the situation well in hand without me. But I'll hang around and heckle every once in awhile.
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Back to the original statement about Primeco. The FCC added to the confusion by calling the new PCS bands, A,B,C,D,E,F. And since then they have been further divided as A1, A2, A3, etc. Just what we need when you are trying to figure out what &quot;A and B&quot; refer to.

    Primeco, in that particular area, uses PCS channel &quot;A&quot;, not Cellular channel &quot;A&quot;.

    The term &quot;band&quot; refers to the group of frequencies as they appear on a frequency assignment chart. Example: TV stations are assigned on one of several &quot;bands&quot;, all defined by their frequency limits. There are 3 VHF bands, and 1 UHF band. Within those bands are &quot;channels&quot;. A (analog) TV station has 1 channel. A wireless phone network has many channels within their assigned band.

    And the band played on...

    -Bill Radio
    -www.mountainwireless.com
     
  17. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Bill,

    I have followed your posts with much appreciation. I have directed people to your site on more than one occasion (usually in private emails).

    I've seen the chart you speak of but never put 2 and 2 together.

    In short, &quot;U da man!&quot;
     
  18. Jackstar

    Jackstar Junior Member
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    a/b thought it was gone

    The a/b settings in my Nokia(Verizon) phone were confusing to me also. I have used and helped others use Qwest, Sprint and At and T and do not remember the A/B issue. But now I remember that when Qwest was USWest and UsWest was advanced pcs, the network settings did have a/b side settings but those were never explained by the company. Today I read at www.howstuffworks.com that a side was analog and b side was digital service? This website does have some very good info on cell phones and how they work, but I think some of the information is outdated. They even show pictures of the inside of the cell phone and what cell towers look like.

    Are Verizon and Cingular the only two digital carriers where a/b side can be set?
     
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    a/b thought it was gone

    Jackstar,

    Howstuffworks is WRONG! At least in this case. Look through these forums for the "Ignorance abounds" thread.....

    A and B has absolutely nothing to do with analog or digital. See the several comments above this post. A and B cellular (840MHz) bands are stirctly a "who owns it". An A or B carrier is perfectly free to adopt digital transmission. Indeed, Verizon, as the perfect example, is the A carrier in some markets and the B carrier in others but is CDMA digitial everywhere...
     
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    PRL List for Cingular (800 TDMA/AMPS) Milwaukee

    Does anyone have the PRL for Cingular Milwaukee (800 TDMA/AMPS)?

    I called Cingular and they will not give it to me!!!

    Thanks

    HK
     

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