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WSJ Analog capablity slowly disappearing

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by rich6880, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. rich6880

    rich6880 Senior Member
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    WSJ Article
    Wireless Carriers Leave
    Many Callers in Dead Zone

    Fancy Digital Handsets
    Come With Coverage Gaps
    In Busy Cities, Rural Areas
    By MARLON A. WALKER and JESSE DRUCKER
    Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    August 9, 2004; Page A1

    U.S. cellular carriers are aggressively promoting a new generation of phones that have everything from built-in cameras to Web surfing. But there's another, less-welcome wrinkle to the latest phones: Many are missing their old analog gear, and that can make it harder to place and receive calls in many areas.

    As wireless carriers make the transition from analog to digital networks, many consumers are discovering that their fancier digital phones simply can't complete a call in a lot of places where their old phones worked just fine. Problems with blocked calls and dead zones are afflicting callers in big cities, including New York and Los Angeles, but they are especially pronounced in rural areas.
     
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  2. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    That is true, I talk to a lot of customers who only could get signals at their farms and such with bag phones and now, with less and less analog signal available they can't get service at all. Also, with the bag phones getting older and older they are breaking and there aren't any replacement parts, etc.
     
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  3. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Bronze Senior Member
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    Analog coverage may be shrinking without equivalent replacement with digital technologies, but there is also the case where a) the consumer switches to the "cool" digital technology without adequately researching the coverage footprint and b) reps push the latest GSM plans on people who may be better off with their current plans, leading to disappointment and frustration.

    I have seen plenty of instances in Portland where folks have switched to GSM and then wondered why their phone doesn't work when they head to central or eastern Oregon where their local/regional TDMA phones used to work just fine (may have been analog but I don't think the average phone user knows the difference).
     
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  4. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    Yes, people always want the latest gadgets, etc. and don't usually take the time to research anything, let alone coverage... but I don't see why carriers don't take more time to make sure the digital coverage footprint is almost the same as the analog footprint. I think carriers could make customers more satisfied by either issuing coverage maps which display the actual coverage and limitations of the coverage (highlighting fringe coverage areas, spotty service, etc.) so that customers could get a real picture of where they can and cannot use their service and if they spent more money filling in the coverage gaps. Personally, I would not have a problem paying more/having less minutes than one carrier or another if my carrier had nearly spotless coverage. CellularONE, who I am currently with has coverage in the places I need to use it so I have no complaints about them but one of the reasons I haven't "upgraded" to a CDMA phone is that my TDMA handset is tri-mode and gets very good signal when analog is the only signal available. When analog disappears this isn't going to help me and I'll have crappy coverage in some areas just like everyone else. :mad:
     
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  5. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Bronze Senior Member
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    Agreed completely. Recently, we were shopping for a new service for my wife. What we told him was that she wanted service with free M2M so that she can call her family in CA. The rep was all over us plugging the GSM service without even checking to see what her calling and roaming patterns were, etc. Just 10 minutes of time from the rep would have saved a lot of trouble if she had been a less knowledgeable customer. Maybe these guys lose sight of the fact that one way to reduce churn is to ensure that customers get what they think they are getting.
     
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