> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Our local Cingular Wireless agency here
> in Independence tells me that all they are allowed to sell now for
> use in the 620 area (that is, local service) are the newer GSM
Only the newer phones meet two FCC requirements -
-- The ability to handle Wireless Local Number Portability, meaning
the phone actually has to have a number unique to the carrier in
addition to the directory number. For example, I ported my
760-217-xxxx number from Verizon to Sprint last year. Before I ported,
my Sprint phone had a temporary number in a Sprint exchange,
760-486-xxxx. After I ported, Sprint still associated that number with
my phone's serial number, so that calls to me could be completed, but
only for call routing purposes. 760-217-xxxx came through on other
people's caller ID, and calls to my 217 number rang my phone.
This past month I ported out again, to T-Mobile. Since I had InPhonic
activate the phone and port my number at the same time, I have no idea
what T-Mobile uses as the MSID (Mobile Station ID -- Sprint's 486
number in this example, the number the carrier uses to ID the phone
for call routing purposes). But calls to my 217 number now ring my
-- GPS capabilities, which are supposed to be used on calls to 911,
although I'm not sure how many 911 call centers have upgraded to
handle the GPS info. A couple carriers, Sprint and Nextel, are also
offering location-based services that find you through GPS.
Older analog-only phones don't have these capabilities. Nor do some
older TDMA/analog phones. So since Cingular is now focusing on GSM,
what you were told is essentially correct.
> If a person _insists_ on having one of the older style phones
> it has to be in the 316 Wichita area; 620 is now strictly GSM.
Interesting. Are you talking about analog-only phones here? Some newer
TDMA-only and TDMA/analog phones do have these capabilities and
Cingular wouldn't get spanked by the Feds for allowing them to be
used. None of the analog-only handsets have these features. It sounds
like Wichita is still largely TDMA and Cingular has not completely
migrated over to GSM there yet... This is not an issue with T-Mo; T-Mo
has been GSM worldwide from the start, and the US carriers bought by
Deutsche Telekom to form T-Mo USA were GSM-only.
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