TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Roaming Charges

Re: Roaming Charges

Isaiah Beard (
Fri, 23 Sep 2005 13:51:43 -0400

Joseph wrote:

> Quite the contrary. GSM service was functional as early as January of
> 1996 for VoiceStream which is now T-Mobile.

While that is true, I do remember looking at a Nationwide GSM map
provided by VoiceStream, and NONE of the GSM systems that one could
roam on at the time were adjacent to each other. All were very
distant from each other, in major metropolitan areas (and a couple of
second-tier locations where PCS spectrum was cheap back in the
day). So, unless you made a call in El Paso, Texas on the VoiceStream
network, and then instantaneously transported to, say, New York City
on the Omnipoint network, there was no chance you were going to be
able to test intercarrier handoffs. As such, I would bet real money
that no intercarrier call handoffs were set up between the GSM
carriers back in '96 ... it just wasn't physically possible to do until
much alter, when the networks expanded.

Now, AMPS providers there were plenty of in '96. Some did do roaming
handoffs, and some didn't. It all depended on how amicable the
relationship was between the neighboring cellular companies.

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