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NORTHEAST U.S. -- AT&T to discontinue GSM traffic as of 5/15/11?

Discussion in 'AT&T Wireless Forum' started by Mudsharky, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Mudsharky

    Mudsharky New Member

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    Just recv'd notice from AT&T that come May 15th my Treo 650 will no longer be able to access their wireless network.

    They write that due to network upgrades, "Unfortunately, a small number of customers will no longer be able to use their phones" after that date.

    Does that mean they will no longer support GSM?

    As long as they still support GSM can't I just tell them I bought a new phone?

    If I understand correctly this means that AT&T is discontinuing ALL GSM 850 - 1900 traffic and that just seems so unlikely.

    Then again it would mean forcing a bunch of cheapskates to choose to either spend more at AT&T (good for them) or making people reevaluate having a cell phone at all or switching carriers.
     
  2. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    That seems odd. They still have GSM only phones on their web site for sale with 2 yr contract, and GSM only prepaid phones as well. They probably want to make all smartphone users migrate to 3G so data traffic on the GSM network is at a minimum.
     
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  3. Mudsharky

    Mudsharky New Member

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    That's interesting... I can use that! The only way they knew I had a Treo 650 in the 1st place is that on the "My account " web page I set the "My phone" field to "Treo 650". All I need to do then is find out what other, same technology phones they are still selling and tell them that is what I have now!
     
  4. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    One of the phones on my account is a GSM only phone and I have not received any such notification, however it is unbranded and not a Smartphone.
     
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  5. spleck

    spleck Tool
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    There's a forum on HoFo about this. Some suggestions are that your SIM card is homed to the old system and doesn't support UMTS authentication. The real reason is that AT&T wants you on a new rate plan. What kind of rate plan have you stayed on for 6 years?

    Service Termination May 15th 2011 - Old Blue ATT Customer
     
  6. Mudsharky

    Mudsharky New Member

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    Yup. That's me, same letter and everything.
     
  7. spleck

    spleck Tool
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    I'm sure you could get a new SIM card and your phone would continue to work, but AT&T probably doesn't want to let you stay on the same rate plan. Do you have some kind of old-school data plan that was cheap? I don't remember what the plans were like 5-6 years ago, but it seems like voice rates are cheaper.

    Can you can get a new SIM card on a modern plan without signing a contract? I suppose none of the new phones interest you?
     
  8. Mudsharky

    Mudsharky New Member

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    For over 10 years I've had no contract and my old discount plan from being AT&T management. For over 10 years my cell bill has been about $36/month.

    In the letter they offer a free Palm Pixi Plus without the need for a contract BUT I do have to pick a new rate plan.
     
  9. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    From what I understand, after reading the HoFo thread, is that its only legacy AT&T Wireless (blue) customers that got this letter. Anyone on the Orange (Cingular / at&t Mobility) network get this letter, or was it just Blue customers?

    Oh, and I am on a data plan I'm sure they'd love to get rid of... Unlimited smartphone data for $19.99/mo, and I didn't get any letters.

    -Jay
     
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  10. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Haven't got any letters yet, so I guess I'll be finding out come May 15 :)
     
  11. worldsunman

    worldsunman New Member

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    Will a unlocked nexus one with a blue sim card work with data and voice
    after may 15?
     
  12. spdickey

    spdickey New Member

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    If you are on an old Blue plan (mMode $24.95 unlimited), no, they will turn you off. Apparently they are going to turn off the Blue plans and force you to "upgrade" your bill to a new, more expensive, voice/data plan that doesn't have unlimited data, free incoming text and as many minutes as you might have now.

    This has nothing do do with what phone you are using, but all do do about getting rid of the 60,000 or so blue plans still on the books so they can get more revenue.
     
  13. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    From what I read quickly here and at HoFo, it looks like AT&T is cleaning up their network a little, and that's kind of a normal thing to do. Some SIM cards people had from +10 years ago are in a permanent roaming state on the AT&T network because the MCC/MNC that it was issued on no longer exists.

    Also, if you have an old "grandfathered" plan, don't expect that you can keep it forever either. Normally, people ditch older plans on their own, as newer price plans usually have cheaper rates, or required as part of a phone subsidy, etc. Carriers sometimes let people hang onto their "grandfathered" plans as kind of a goodwill, but they usually are counting on them to drop it eventually.

    I worked in a billing/mediation department for a European carrier a few years ago, and some "grandfathered" plans literally had only 5-6 people using it, but that had to keep this billing code open as long as these customers were using them. I don't know what happened (I was only there a year or 2) but I could imagine they would have soon sent them a letter too, telling them their plan is being shut down and find a different plan. Maybe throw in a $50 voucher on a new phone or something to make the customer a little happy. But it's kind of a hassle to keep dozens of billing codes open when only a handful of people are actually using them.
     
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  14. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    I worked for Alltel whey it was purchased by VZW, in one of the Legacy Alltel call centers. We converted to VZW systems. After the first wave of conversions in the billing system (VZW converted Alltel customers to the VZW VISION billing system in three waves) many of us were tasked to start calling old Alltel customers to let them know their legacy Alltel calling plan would not last through the billing conversion.

    We gave them two choices: convert now to a plan that was as close as we could match in minutes/features to their old plan (however, at most likely a different price) or be placed on a default cheapy low minutes/no features plan at time of conversion.

    Some of these old legacy Alltel plans had, as mentioned above, maybe 6 people nationwide still using them. More often than not when we did the outbound call to them we either got no reply or their voicemail. About half the time when we did get through to a live person we would get cussed out royal for forcing a plan change on them, even though for the most part what was being offered was only maybe $5-10 more a month but gave them tons more minutes and features.
     
  15. spleck

    spleck Tool
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    Were these customers off-contract?
     
  16. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Anyone that's on an old blue plan has been out of contract for at least 5-6 years.
     
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  17. NearNova

    NearNova New Member

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    I also received the letter. at&t is forcing the remaining Blue SIM card customers to switch to more expensive rate plans. It is death by 1000 cuts. They turned off the mmode server in June last year - you can no longer receive text e-mails from computers - no United Airline announcements by e-mail for example. Now they are increase rate plan prices for old Blue customers by about 25%. Only in mobile phone speak is a customer of six years + called "legacy" and "end of life".

    This action is directly opposit of the testimony SWB gave to allow the FCC to approve the mergers.

    Now - many years later, they guess the regulatory enviroment is such that they can do anything they want.
     
  18. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    I don't recall, but it wouldn't have mattered. Service agreements (they are NOT contracts) don't include the calling plan and the plans can be changed. Look at the wording of those agreements sometime!
     
  19. spdickey

    spdickey New Member

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    Yes, every Blue customer is off their two-year contract by now. Its been several years since AT&T Wireless (Blue) was acquired by Cingular (Orange), who later changed their name to AT&T Mobility.

    Our problem is not necessarily a rate increase, but its a removal of a service (unlimited data), plan features (early nighttime, or free incoming texts for example) if we switch to a new plan.

    Most of us just want our old plans, same stuff, perhaps for a slightly higher price (if necessary) using whatever technology (SIM cards) AT&T needs to keep the network operating efficiently.

    What we don't like is being forced to accept only from their menu of "new plans" which don't have many of the features we've been enjoying (and paying for without asking for subsidized phones along the way) for many years. We also don't like being lied to by saying our phones won't work after their network upgrades, rather that they want us to change plans, and pay more money, which requires a new SIM and our old phones would work just fine.
     
  20. mjm

    mjm New Member

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    Hello Mudsharkey,

    With your time spent at ATT, can you suggest a site, (besides the FCC) to view what wireless signals are being propogated in an area? Specifically ATT's signals. Thanks
     
  21. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
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    Alhough this is a moot point now, shouldn't you be able to receive email by text using the following: phone_number@txt.att.net; you're on a Blue SIM, but the network is AT&T. YOu may want to verify the settings via OLAM.

    Answer Center | AT&T
     
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  22. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    How about "Hayes Compatible"?
     
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  23. spdickey

    spdickey New Member

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    If it were that easy. OLAM still shows that I get free incoming texts (and I do, from other mobiles) but they shut off any email to text gateway that would work for Blue SIM phones.
     
  24. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Contracts are usually on a 2-year basis, and are honored for that duration, after that you have to re-new it under whatever the new contract terms are. If you don't like the new terms, shop around and find a service provider that has a better deal. But you can't really expect a price plan that was offered to you 10 years ago, and maybe even by a different company, to remain valid forever.

    You're right, AT&T shouldn't be saying that "your phone will stop working", they should say that "your SIM card will stop working", but I guess alot of people won't understand that, or know what a SIM card is. If they say "your phone will stop working", the majority of people will perk their ears up and realize they need to do something if they want to keep a "dial-tone" on their cellphone.

    You can look at the crowd-sourced cellular coverage map I made Cellumap, click on the link in my signature.
     
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  25. spleck

    spleck Tool
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    What other service can you get year after year off-contract without a regular rate increase?
     
  26. Mudsharky

    Mudsharky New Member

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    OK - In the end, here is what happened:

    Went to ATT store where I was able to get 1) A new SIM (that does work in new phones as well as in my ancient Palm Treo 650), 2) a new phone (Samsung Strive), 3) Kept my old rate plan, No new contract, no new data or text mssg plan.

    If I would have allowed them to they were insisting on me adding a data plan (which was a required option to the Palm Pixi Plus they wanted me to have). The Strive 'requires' a mssging plan but I got the store mgr to delete it from the "new" account.

    As an AT&T customer for like 15 years that they should tell me to either pay more to stay or leave (that was the implication, wasn't it?) was wrong and the store mgr made it right.
     
  27. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Wow, kind of stunned. I figured AT&T was cleaning up their billing system, but seems that's not the case then, if they are letting people stay on old price plans. Looks more like it's just swapping out the old SIM cards is their main target then, and getting people off old plans is just an extra "while you're at it" kind of thing...

    Glad to hear AT&T kept at least one customer happy then ;)
     
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  28. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Got my letter, too. So Mudsharky, what kind of plan did you have? Were you able to keep free incoming messages?
     
  29. spdickey

    spdickey New Member

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    I was told I'd have to switch to a "currently offered" Orange Plan, but after some discussion they did offer me unlimited data.

    Walked in cold to a local AT&T owned store... had to talk to the manager who knew about the Blue migration. After much discussion got the following offer, which I turned down ($30 a month more, lose 300 minutes a month, gain rollover, lose free incoming text, the manager has to work the system to get me an unlimited data plan). No contract. Plus two Palm Pixi Plus phones. (and because of my address a femcell, actually a pretty nice deal). I turned them down for now, waiting for their plan B in May.


    Code:
    [B]BLUE [/B]
    400 MINUTES	39.99	
    600 BONUS	               0 
    2ND LINE	          9.99 
    Unlimited Data 1	24.99	
    Unlimited Data 2	24.99	
    TOTAL 99.96	
    
    [B]ORANGE[/B]
    700 MINUTES	69.99 2ND LINE FREE
    Unlimited Data 1 29.99
    Unlimited Data 2 29.99
    TOTAL                  129.97

    :(

    If this is the best I can do, selling the Palm's for about $180 each would only net me about one year's extra service charge at $360.00.

    How about paying for the FamilyTalk 550 plan and getting them to throw in bonus minutes? Its only $10 a month less, but that's $120 a year. Something to ask them next time.
     
  30. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Well, to be honest for me switching to Orange will probably be cheaper, considering I don't ever come close to using up my minutes, since my wife has a family plan and so to add me would be ~$30 (she'll have to go from the $59.99 family plan to $79.99 plus the $9.99 for the extra line). Don't have a smartphone, so the data will be cheaper, too although I think the FAN discount on the family plan doesn't apply as nicely as on the individual line—the savings there could be somewhat diminished. So the only thing I'll really lose is the messaging.
     

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