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what does this Verizon/ATT deal mean?

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by powerdog, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. powerdog

    powerdog Junior Member
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    I've been trying to figure out the effect of this swap:

    AT&T- News Room

    In Vermont, we've had VZW and Unicel as our two main providers. If this deal goes through, would ATT basically take down the VZW CDMA infrastructure and replace it all? That seems like a huge and long process to me. It also would mean that buying a new VZW phone now for use in VT is pointless.
     
  2. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    You have it backwards.

    AT&T is going to acquire the existing Unicel network in northern Vermont.

    Verizon is retaining the existing Unicel network in southern Vermont, where they are not currently licensed. It is this southern network that will eventually become CDMA.

    I do not know how these changes will affect Unicel customers.
     
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  3. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    There is no loss to Verizon coverage, only improvements.

    In northern VT Verizon will retain its current CDMA network. The former Unicel network will go to AT&T untouched (Verizon can't monkey around with customers or cell sites). Granted the Unicel system is better than Verizon in NVT outside Burlington/I-89 areas, and that is the way it will stay.

    In Southern VT Verizon will take over Unicel's 850 MHz network and will immediately overlay CDMA. Verizon has a 1900 MHz licence currently but only Brattleboro has been built out to date. This will not give Verizon customers any additional capability at first (since they roam on USC's network there), but it does give them native coverage and hopefully 3G fairly quickly (if they can find a way to run GSM/EDGE/1X/EV all at once). Unicel customers in SVT will be converted to Verizon customers and given free / discounted CDMA phones.

    There is a slightly more complicated swap in central VT, where the two 850 MHz systems are currently Unicel and a hybrid Verizon/USC. The Unicel system will become Verizon and the hybrid will switch to AT&T/USC. In Rutland I expect the network swap to be purely acedemic with Verizon retaining its current equipment but switching to the Cell A band. The same will happen in the Verizon portion of the hybrid license. The interesting thing will be in Unicel section of the hybrid license, where the network would be swapped to the A band, the customers converted to Verizon and system overlayed with CDMA (the same as with SVT).
     
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  4. powerdog

    powerdog Junior Member
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    That's very helpful. So in northern VT, the coverage areas for CDMA vs GSM remain the same, though your monthly bill might have a different logo.

    I've read in a few places that ATT is only promising to support GSM for a limited time, and then we'll see what happens. They say that CDMA is their lifeblood. So might some early adopters in VT rush out to buy an iPhone, then discover in a year or two that it's useless within the state?
     
  5. clock3687

    clock3687 Cell Signal?????? Use it!
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    AT&T is the largest GSM provider in the US. Why would they stop using the service they have spent so much money investing in since the TDMA days? It's just not going to happen. Maybe much later in the future when 3G/4G have been fully overlayed on the GSM network and everyone has got a phone compatible with it, then they may shut it down.

    Im happy GSM is still going to stay in Vermont. It sucks that Southern VT is going to go all CDMA at one point, but you cant win them all.
     
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  6. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    I agree. I don't seem them discontinuing support for GSM devices for a very long time. Even when they overlay 4G, isn't LTE backwards compatible with GSM?

    -Jay
     
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  7. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    As Clock has said, AT&T is a GSM carrier so they will not get rid of it for CDMA which they don't use.

    I think your information is backwards? Verizon will only support GSM for a short time since they are a CDMA carrier & that is their lifeblood.
     
  8. powerdog

    powerdog Junior Member
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    Fire, yes I misstated my understanding. Thanks.

    Is the best strategy to stick with what works best now in your area, whether it's CDMA or GSM?

    And maybe the longterm expectation is that some Vermonters will be using GSM phones, others CDMA phones, and both groups will be able to make calls statewide?
     
  9. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Yes if your happy with what works best in your area then stick with it for now, until the carriers do their upgrades or swap overs & build out more it's usually safer to stay with who is working best.
    As for making calls statewide, that depends on their buildouts & how agressive they are, more rural area's I don't see that for a while & it also depends on buidling codes and approvals for towers it can take many many years for them to buildout a rural state like VT.

    Now with the concerns over lack of 9-1-1 calling on cells, this may help buildout area's more but again it depends on population and costs.
     
  10. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    Verizon gets all of Rural Cellular and gives some of it to AT&T

    AT&T recently got Dobson and part of this deal requires AT&T to gove some of its Dobsone area to Verizon

    AT&T also sold the Cellular One brand to a separate company
     
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  11. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    So they are going to essentially start from scratch, a network without any customers. Sounds like they'll be (for now) depending on roaming revenue.
     
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  12. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    No. Verizon retains its customers. AT&T gets Unicel's customers. Nobody starts from scratch.
     
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  13. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    yeah this is all just an exchange of licenses and coverage area......AT&T still gets all the Dobson customers as planned
     
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  14. scottmccracken

    scottmccracken New Member

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    As an apple-loving, verizon wireless customer living in Burlington, VT, I was really excited when I first heard about this deal. But with all these talks of networks and contracts, I'm concerned I got excited too quickly. I'm a little bit new to all this wireless talk, so maybe someone with more experience can help me with these questions:

    1) Will the AT&T network, and therefore the iPhone, be available to wireless customers in Burlington and other sections of northern VT?
    2) If I am a current Verizon wireless customer, will I have to cancel my current contract with them to make the switch to the AT&T/iPhone?
    3) Is the iPhone even worth it in VT? In other words, does northern VT have the infrastructure in place for the Edge network for data transfer?

    Any help or explanations would be much appreciated. Until then, I'll keep crossing my fingers for the iPhone in VT in mid-2008. Thanks everyone!
     
  15. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    First of all, the Unicel to Verizon sale has to go through, and that is still held up as far as I know.

    The iPhone will currently work in VT, AT&T roams on Unicel's GSM network.

    1. The northern VT Unicel GSM system will go to AT&T, but I don't think its going to happen in the next few months.

    2. Your Verizon contract will not change. Yes, you will have to cancel/port to go to AT&T.

    3. Unicel is running EDGE throughout its VT network. However, AT&T has already said it needs to upgrade the EDGE network before the iPhone will work adequately.
     
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  16. powerdog

    powerdog Junior Member
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  17. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    yeah......Verizon will buy Unicel and then it will get divested to AT&T...........sounds simple but it can take a really long time......especially when its all official paperwork like this......

    son't forget that after all this you are still a Verizon Wireless customer so if you dont live out the length of your contract you will have to pay an early termination fee.....
     
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  18. gsm4eva

    gsm4eva New Member

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    Ok, so I'm in Plattsburgh, NY and I've heard about this deal for a while now and I want details about it. I was told be rep. at the Unicel store that AT&T will take over Unicel without a doubt within the second quarter of 08. Now, i've called ATT, verizon, and Unicel about the deal and none of the people on the phone know a thing about it and its making me mad because I want my iphone ASAP. If anyone has more details on the deal (date, etc...) that would be wonderful
     
  19. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    no.................Verizon gets Rural Cellular....................AT&T gets Dobson...........and they trade assets.........
     
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  20. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    you know just out of curiousity is are Rural Cellular and Unicel one and the same or something??
     
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  21. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    Yes..................Rural Cellular d/b/a Unicel
     
  22. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    okay so i gathered that Verizon got Unicel customers and coverage..............AT&T got Dobson customers and coverage and they just did a swap
     
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  23. gsm4eva

    gsm4eva New Member

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    i wish someone from one of the companies would say something in more detail... i just want to know if and when i can get an iphone! lol i've been waiting all these months for att to come here
     
  24. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    well the networks probably have to be integrate first and as was specified earlier. the EDGE that is currently available there needs to be upgraded to handle the iPhones............so you might not see iPhones there for several months for the merger on paper to go through.....the the network integration and then the upgrades......and on and on and on
     
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  25. gsm4eva

    gsm4eva New Member

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    there are different kinds of EDGE? i didn't know that it would need upgrading, since it is a fairly new network, and has supported grps and edge since day one, which was only a couple years ago now
     
  26. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    thats what dmarkson said
     
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  27. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    Correct. Before the iPhone was released, AT&T "increased the capacity of its base stations to make sure its network is operating at optimum speeds for the EDGE standard". The same would have to be done to Unicel's network. I can't find that article right now.
     
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  28. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Mobile data is similar to that of Cable broadband in that the more people that are using it the slower it gets.

    The iphone being a data intensive devide that should have been 3G takes a toll on the 2.75G EDGE network. EDGE was fine when it was designed which was mobile email and browing the internet on generic mobile WAP devices. Now you have devices than can use regular internet browsers.

    Some EDGE networks can average 200-300 Kbs depending on network capacity, backhaul and number of EDGE timeslots that the network engineers have allowed.

    ATT puts more capabiltiy than normal for EDGE so you can get closer to peak speeds.

    Unicel areas wont see the iPhone for awhile, at least 90 days to 6 months after these areas are picked up by AT&T.

    Dobson was bought out over 90 days ago and most of those areas arent offering the iphone yet.
     
  29. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Like RFG said, if the network has GPRS (which it does) then the iPhone will work on it, but just not at maximum speeds. Sites that are not "tuned" for GPRS will have normal capacity for voice calls, and GPRS will ride on whatever timeslots are free, if any, meaning if the site is fully busy handeling voice calls you will get little or no GPRS data. If a site is "tuned" for GPRS, then not only is extra capacity added overall in the site, but also the operator will dedicate a few timeslots only for GPRS, that way GPRS will continue working even if the site is full of voice calls.

    There are different versions of EDGE also, but I don't think that's what ATT was talking about:
    Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You also need a really clean radio enviornment for 8-PSK to work, or be really close to the base station.
     
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  30. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    they're prolli talkn about the different classes of EDGE
     
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