All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Computers | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Festivals | Flying | Halloween | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Monuments | Museums | Outings | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Solar | Tfsf | Trips

>>> Back to post index <<<

2005/10/30 The sad state of the US GSM cell phone network
π 2005-10-30 08:49 by Merlin in Public

Current Music: Les enfoir├ęs - 2000 - La Bombe Humaine
Current Mood: Fair

I spent a fair amount of time yesterday with Cingular/AT &T; yesterday, for the 5th or 6th time.
This all started with me being an AT &T; customer, which was fine, until the day they got bought by Cingular. In theory, that means a bigger and better network to roam on, so that was good news.
In real life, this meant two networks that my phone could see, but this also meant that AT &T; turned off their closest tower to my house, leaving me with a far away tower with bad signal.
This turned out to be because Cingular Wireless had their own tower down my street with great signal. This was all great except that my old phone would not use the Cingular tower since it wasn't its 'home network' unless the AT &T; tower totally disappeared, which it seldom did (i.e. I had enough signal to get one unusable bar). Solution to that was to reconfigure my phone to manually lock to the (otherwise inferior) Cingular network. That worked for home, until I went out of Cingular coverage, and my phone wouldn't pick a working AT &T; tower until I put it back to automatic mode. Lame...

Solution from AT &T; : "you have to get a new phone with a new 64K Sim, along with cingular service". For quite a while, I just didn't bother since I was still using the old and reliable TDMA service on my Siemens S46 dual mode tri band phone, and one day they sent me a letter that they were going to turn that service off.
All, right, great: at this point I didn't have a choice anymore and bought a new Nokia Communicator 9500 (unfortunately it only did 1900Mhz in the US, no 850). Cingular asked me why I didn't buy one of their 850/1900 pre-programmed phones instead, and that's mostly because they were crap, like the Palm based Treo 650 (the Palmsource engineers, some of them I know personally , have since then fled the said company, confirming that that phone and its OS has no real future).
Anyway, the Nokia Communicator 9500 is a great phone, I went to Cingular to migrate my service from AT &T; to Cingular, went through more work to get everything working again, and ended up with a more expensive plan I didn't really need.
I then go home, and end up with the same exact problem: phone locks in on AT &T.; Grr!!!

More time with support on the phone, eventually I get a knowledgeable person from tech support who sends a reprogramming to my phone's Sim card to tell it to prefer Cingular over AT &T.; That was yesterday, the phone accepts the programming, I turn it back on, and still the same thing!
More time with support, more explaining why I didn't want to use their crappy phones, and eventually the support person tells me that my phone must be overriding the Sim's preferred network (i.e. Cingular) and that I should talk to Nokia to see if I can disable that.
I do so, and Nokia tells me that there is no such setting, and it must be a problem with the provider.

Y'all suck!

Anyway, I'm back to locking my phone on one network, and having to change that every so often when I get out of Cingular coverage. It sounds that my only hope at this point is to wait for Cingular to actually merge both networks so that they only show up as one. With a little luck, that'll happen in a few months...

Of course, I could switch to T-Mobile, the other GSM provider, but they just have an inferior network and don't offer EDGE, just GPRS...

I'm so glad I live in a technologically advanced country.

More pages: November 2023 October 2023 September 2023 May 2023 August 2022 March 2022 November 2021 February 2021 June 2020 May 2020 March 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2018 July 2018 May 2017 September 2016 May 2016 September 2015 May 2015 April 2015 December 2014 July 2014 April 2014 March 2014 October 2013 May 2013 April 2013 January 2013 October 2012 September 2012 July 2012 May 2012 April 2012 December 2011 November 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 May 2007 March 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 June 2006 May 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 October 2004 August 2004 June 2004 May 2004 March 2004 September 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980

>>> Back to post index <<<

Contact Email