Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Will Your Phone Die Next Week?

No, it's not a Blackberry warning, it's that analog thing. Most readers of this Blog have upgraded to digital by now, but you may have a friend or relative that just hasn't caught wind of the analog sunset that's coming. Except for Alltel, who has delayed deactivating their analog service for a few months, and a few other small carriers, most cellular companies have slated next Tuesday, February 19th as "D-Day", for De-activation Day for analog service. Some phones will go dead.

Even though you think that may not include you, some of us actually use analog more than we think, and just may get a surprise when the plug is pulled. For those of you who just crawled out of the cave, you have this weekend to get that old analog phone replaced, and we have provided a few suggestions as to what to do with that Old Phone.

And there are still a bunch of TDMA phones out there that will stop working at the same time. When the AT&T cell site tech heads up to pull the analog plug, the TDMA card will go out with it. Will they bring in a few extra customer service agents to handle the fun?


Anonymous said...

My experience today is a good example of why analog will be missed. While traveling on Amtrak between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo CA there are quite a few areas especially around Vandenberg AFB where the only signal that makes it to the train is an analog signal provided by Verizon. Tonight that signal ended up saving a life as it provided a way of communication in an area where even the Conductors Union Pacific radio did not work. A passenger began having a heart attack and it was that signal that started medical service on their way to intersect with the train. The analog gave EMS enough time to dispatch an ambulance and meet us at the next open road. Without analog the time would have been delayed by at least 5 minutes which in an emergency situation such as this one can be life or death. All I can say is that it's a good thing he had his heart attack this Friday ant not the next.

Oz Andrews said...

Absolutely! Analog was the common "default" in our cellular infrastructure that gave it nearly univeral availability. Services like TracFone and OnStar took advantage of this and served us well. Let's hope there won't be a situation like yours to demonstate the loss we've suffered.

Anonymous said...


911 service is still required. Analog can not be shutoff totally. FCC rules require this. Same applies to TDMA or any other wireless serive that can dial-out.