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Splintering Wireless Landscape?

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by TKR, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Splintering Wireless Landscape?

    Is it just me or is not the wireless landscape in the U.S. becoming more and more splintered technology/compatibility wise as far as roaming coverage goes?

    Not so long ago we had 850 cellular and 1900 PCS. Most platforms other than the handful of GSM operators and iDEN were CDMA or TDMA with backup capability on AMPS, which was universally available on 850 nationwide.

    Now, we mostly have a mix of CDMA and GSM that not only don't mingle, but AMPS is going away as well. In addition, we have a proliferation of new bands (800 ESMR, 1700/2100 AWS, 700 Mhz, 2500 MHz.....) that will not be common to all carriers and devices, nor will they have compatible technologoes deployed on them in most cases. The combination of supported bands and corresponding technologies will be unique to each carrier's phone lineup.

    I don't know, but are we moving into an era where universal roaming coverage will be worse than it was not that long ago? Or do we put our hopes in multimode chipsets and hope that phones with those chipset make it to market?
     
  2. Simon5282

    Simon5282 Senior Member
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    I always thought that different frequency's were easy and only required one chip set, but different technology's required different chip sets. But now I am not so sure. Can someone please let me know?

    I kind of wish that this was better planned, but many years ago when all this was being figured out, there was no way for them to imagine the technology, or even plan correctly. I guess it has evolved into this SNAFU system we are about to have. It still would have been nice to have all UMTS on 2100 like the rest of the world, and no AWS to deal with.
     
  3. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    I just wish all the bands would be common to all devices and carriers again. Once the 700 bidding is done, it's almost to the point where it would be appropriate for the FCC to force a re-group of the 700/800/850 bands into one big group, and the 1700/1900/2100 into another, and to re-allocate spectrum among all players according to their current share of holdings among those bands. Get rid of separate 700, ESMR, Cellular, PCS, and AWS classifications and instead group it all as mobile-low and mobile-high bands. Require all mobile devices support all of the new bands. Personally, I would like all carriers with existing holdings in the current bands to be granted spectrum in both bands proportional to their overall slice they now hold. Otherwise, carriers wih high bands channels only will always be at a competitive disadvantage. While I am more a fan of open market competition over regulation, I do think there is an appropriate role for the FCC to dictate a minimal amount of commonality when it comes to the bands, just as with TV and AM/FM radio. I would not require a single standard (GSM, CDMA, etc) be deployed, but perhaps the FCC should require carriers to deploy multi-mode devices capable of roaming on other technologies, supporting at least a minimal functional set (voice and basic data). The technology in today's chipsets can easily support that.
     
  4. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    In the past it was much more necessary to have good roaming capabilities among all carrier's. Now that there's been a bunch of consolidation in the industry and the fact that most carrier's have had time to greatly improve their native coverage I don't think this will be much of an issue. For CDMA I think having Sprint, Verizon, Alltel and US Cellular and a few other small carriers here and there is good enough. Even though analog is phased out. Same for GSM. I think they have enough footprint now to not have to worry much about lack of coverage either. However I'm not sure how the new frequencies are going to come into play. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
     
  5. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    It's an ever-changing landscape. New technologies come up, old ones die out. New frequency bands become available. That's just how it goes.
     
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  6. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    I find it interesting that it sesms GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile don't like to play together much in certain areas of the country in terms of roaming coverage. Goergia is an example where T-Mobile customers are often Emergency Only in well covered AT&T areas. You rarely see that in the CDMA world.
     
  7. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    As Verizon has shown, coverage is king. If a company can provide coverage or better coverage that's to their benefit. Perhaps the income from roaming isn't enough to convince AT&T (or T-Mobile) to have roaming agreements in those areas.
     

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