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ATTWS in upstate NY - what's going on?

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by Guest, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I am an attws customer living in Philly. I travel a lot to Buffalo and Rochester. There is an up and running ATT 1900 mhz B-band system in both cities which collectively has probably about 100 towers. There is an ATT switch for Buffalo "BF1" or CHKTNYHZCM1. This system has been up and running for many months, but there is no promotion for it, and ATTWS doesn't list upstate NY as a service area. What could be going on? I called customer support, and they told me that ATT didn't have a license to operate in that area, and that there was no way ATT could provide service to that area. (Mind you, this was when I was in Rochester and dialed 611!) I'd like to get an ATT plan for my sister in Buffalo, but apparently ATT is denying the existence of of their network.

    Why might this be?

    totally confused.

  2. dobby10

    dobby10 Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Oct 8, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Your phone could of been working off of a cingular tower there.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    According to the provider list on WA, ATTWS has a PCS license in BOTH Buffalo and Rochester. If I understand the rules correctly, they have 5 years from the date of grant to have an operational system.

    If they say they don't have a system there, believe them and go Verizon.

    How do you know they've got 100 towers and what the switch ID is, anyway? It sounds like you are way ahead of their own people already. Not that that's surprising....
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    As far as the cingular tower hypothesis - that's definitely not the case. When I'm on Cingular in Rochester/Buffalo, my phone is on a band 800 mhz, when I'm on ATT, my phone is on 1900 mhz B band pcs.

    As far as knowing about the towers and switches, I will confess that cellular infrastructure is a pastime for me when I drive around. I have found pretty much all of the ATT towers (around 500) in the Philadelphia market and have located about 1500 more across the northeast. If anyone is interested in anywhere specific, I'm happy to share.

    The other reason I know that the towers belong to ATT is that they have the att network ops phone number on the towers. If they belonged to Cingular, they probably would have a different number listed.

  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In several parts of the country, AT&T allows their users for other markets to roam on these 'unpublished' towers. It saves AT&T money instead of paying roaming fees to companies like Cellular One. However, the local network is not good enough to market it to local users who would most likely complain about such a small coverage area.

    In cases like this, the first place they serve is the airport and downtown. This is what AT&T has done in Albuquerque, although they don't 'hide' their service, there (but they don't detail it on their web site, either). But for the last year, AT&T has had a smaller coverage area in ABQ than Cricket! But if you were an AT&T customer from, say, NYC, and you flew in to conduct business in ABQ, you would have AT&T service when you got off the plane, and on the road to a downtown appointment, and then back to the airport.

    Other networks have done this lately, specifically VoiceStream in Dallas and Chicago. It was available there for roamers, long before locals.

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

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
    Senior Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Central Valley NorCA
    My Phone:
    Samsung S7-Edge
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T & Verizon
    Bill, I don't quite understand how this works.

    1. In what sense is the tower "unpublished"?

    2. I was under the impression (wrongly??) that when a user hits an roaming tower, that network owner knows it. That is how they are able to bill back the subscriber's carrier.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I use the term "unpublished" as a way to describe a cell site that works, but AT&T customer service is not aware of its existance as a local system. i.e. an "unpublished" landline phone number: it works, but you just can't find any listing for it.

    -Bill Radio
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    BTW, AT&T does indeed have licenses for 1900 MHz in upsate NY, as listed on the wirelessadvisor Search page.

    Look for AT&T to eventually market this system locally.

    -Bill Radio

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