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  1. #1
    MrPepper11
    Guest
    One out of three cellphone calls had quality problems last year.

    May 25, 2005
    Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now
    Mergers, Years of Investments Fail to Fix Dropped Calls;
    Silence on Lake Shore Drive
    By LI YUAN
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    In an attempt to eradicate the dropped calls and dead zones that plague
    cellphone users, wireless companies have spent small fortunes trying to
    improve their networks. As part of a telecom mergers boom, last fall,
    Cingular Wireless bought AT&T Wireless for $41 billion, in part to get
    access to additional network capacity.

    But billions of dollars in investments later and several mergers
    further -- and at a time when some 11 million customers have ditched
    their traditional phone service and become more reliant on cellphones
    -- the long-promised improvement still hasn't come. This is an enormous
    source of bafflement and irritation to consumers, whose patience has
    begun to run out as evidenced by a continuing high volume of
    complaints.

    Roughly one out of three cellphone calls had quality problems of some
    kind last year, according to an online survey by J.D. Power &
    Associates of 21,700 wireless customers. The result was essentially
    unchanged from the 2003 survey, the first year it was conducted.
    Besides dropped calls and an inability to connect, callers constantly
    experienced interference, echoes and voice distortion.

    Deadcellzones.com, which lets consumers post locations where their
    calls are routinely disconnected or fail to go through, lists scores of
    well-known places: from the intersection of Interstates 80 and 55 in
    Chicago to the campus of the University of San Diego.

    Wireless companies contend that if they spent the money required to fix
    all the problems, their customers would have to pay more for service.
    They also cite local opposition to building new cell towers, which are
    the primary means of connecting wireless calls.

    But there is still plenty the industry could do to improve service.
    Wireless carriers, for example, rarely let their customers roam onto
    another carrier's network in a large market where they already have
    their own infrastructure. This lack of cooperation inhibits better
    service.

    Also, the mergers haven't necessarily led to better connections. It has
    been seven months since Cingular Wireless acquired AT&T Wireless,
    becoming the nation's largest wireless company. Since then, Cingular
    has been trying to push former AT&T Wireless customers from an old
    network to a newer network. As part of that, it has been spending next
    to nothing to maintain the old network, leaving customers who don't
    upgrade in the lurch. Cingular Wireless had the highest rate of
    consumer complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission
    in the fourth quarter of 2004, its first quarter as a combined company.

    How reliable are cellphones these days? Don Fenstermacher needs two
    cellphones to stay connected. A lawyer based in Albuquerque, N.M., Mr.
    Fenstermacher has to travel to small towns in the sparsely populated
    state to file lawsuits. Because his T-Mobile BlackBerry phone doesn't
    work most of the time on the road, he keeps a Verizon Wireless phone as
    well. A T-Mobile spokesman says its network "is strongest where the
    large majority of Americans live, work and commute."

    But coverage problems affect customers of all the major cellphone
    providers and encompass many well-trafficked areas, according to
    deadcellzones.com.

    In New York, for example, some Sprint PCS subscribers say they have
    trouble making calls on the campus of Columbia University, while
    Cingular subscribers have reported choppy coverage in the heart of
    Central Park. In Chicago, Nextel customers have experienced problems in
    a 10-block stretch of Lake Shore Drive near the Museum of Science and
    Industry, while Cingular subscribers say calls made on highways near
    O'Hare International Airport can easily get dumped.

    In New Orleans, service can be spotty for Sprint PCS customers along
    the popular lakefront. Coverage for Verizon Wireless customers in Los
    Angeles can be patchy near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and
    Pacific Coast Highway, two of the city's major arteries.

    Most call problems are traceable to gaps in the quality of the network,
    including the number of cell towers and the number of radios connected
    to the towers. Lack of proximity to cell towers -- and the insufficient
    number of radios in the towers -- can also lead to service problems
    because callers are unable to get a signal.

    Wireless companies have made some strides in improving coverage over
    the past few years. In places where it's more difficult to install cell
    towers, U.S. wireless companies have been deploying micro-cell sites,
    or antennas that provide coverage in very local areas. These have been
    added in tunnels, airports and some neighborhoods to improve overall
    network quality. Some carriers also use repeaters -- devices that
    amplify cellular signals -- to improve indoor coverage in office
    buildings, shopping malls and convention centers.

    As a result, Verizon Wireless customers can now use their cellphones in
    the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, for example, and in the Lincoln and
    Holland tunnels in New York, says Dick Lynch, chief technical officer
    of Verizon Wireless. Cingular says it has improved coverage at a number
    of sites in the greater New York City area, including the train
    platforms at Grand Central and Penn stations, the Port Authority Bus
    Terminal, and baggage claim in one terminal of Newark Airport.
    Cingular, meanwhile, says it has improved coverage in Chicago -- around
    O'Hare Airport and Wrigley Field, among other places.

    But in other areas, progress has been slower. Cingular continues to
    push former AT&T Wireless customers to move from their old TDMA network
    to Cingular's newer GSM network, which requires those customers to
    upgrade their phones.

    Although 28% of aftermerger Cingular subscribers are still using the
    old TDMA network, the company is investing close to nothing in that
    infrastructure, says Ed Reynolds, Cingular's network operations
    president. The TDMA network is "emptying out," and handles only 16% of
    Cingular's total air minutes, he says. Cingular says the combined
    network will ultimately improve coverage, but the integration will not
    be finished until June 2006.

    Wireless companies are also investing heavily in developing more
    advanced -- and potentially lucrative -- third generation or "3G"
    services. Eventually, such networks will be more reliable, analysts
    say.

    But the new features could end up competing with voice services for
    room on the network. For their part, the carriers say investment in the
    3G network will also increase their ability to handle more phone calls.

    Verizon Wireless is investing altogether $1 billion in its 3G network
    in 2004 and 2005. Cingular Wireless declined to disclose its
    investment, but said its spending on 3G network over the next two years
    will be comparable with that of Verizon Wireless.

    Wireless companies say they have designed their networks so that 98% of
    the time calls can go through. But in many bigger cities, the success
    rate often feels a lot lower than that.

    During the 40-minute commute to his office in Oak Brook, Ill., Adam
    Kriger uses the downtime to make cellphone calls to his business
    partners. Or, at least he tries to.

    Like clockwork, his calls consistently get disconnected along the same
    10-mile stretch of highway, about halfway into his commute. "I can't
    start a call and expect it to last through," says Mr. Kriger, an
    executive at McDonald's Corp.

    Mr. Kriger says he has complained about a dozen times to his provider,
    AT&T Wireless and now Cingular. He says he is often told that the
    problems are the result of heavy cellphone traffic volume from
    commuters. Why then, he wonders, doesn't the coverage get any better
    over the weekend when the traffic is light.

    Cingular says: "We have those highways well-covered in Chicago, as you
    may imagine, but that's not to say everything is perfect. We are
    working hard in Chicago and elsewhere to continue to improve our
    network coverage."

    By the end of last year, some 182 million Americans had cellphones, up
    14.7% from 2003, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade
    group. In Europe and Japan, where wireless growth has long been brisk,
    there is now some evidence of saturation.

    In the U.S., the number of people with cellphones will continue to
    grow, despite the service snafus, analysts predict. But, as they have
    in the past, customers will continue to express their frustration by
    switching carriers, the analysts say.




    See More: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now




  2. #2
    bamp
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now


    "MrPepper11" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > One out of three cellphone calls had quality problems last year.
    >
    > May 25, 2005
    > Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now
    > Mergers, Years of Investments Fail to Fix Dropped Calls;
    > Silence on Lake Shore Drive
    > By LI YUAN
    > Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    >
    > In an attempt to eradicate the dropped calls and dead zones that plague
    > cellphone users, wireless companies have spent small fortunes trying to
    > improve their networks. As part of a telecom mergers boom, last fall,
    > Cingular Wireless bought AT&T Wireless for $41 billion, in part to get
    > access to additional network capacity.
    >
    > But billions of dollars in investments later and several mergers
    > further -- and at a time when some 11 million customers have ditched
    > their traditional phone service and become more reliant on cellphones
    > -- the long-promised improvement still hasn't come. This is an enormous
    > source of bafflement and irritation to consumers, whose patience has
    > begun to run out as evidenced by a continuing high volume of
    > complaints.
    >
    > Roughly one out of three cellphone calls had quality problems of some
    > kind last year, according to an online survey by J.D. Power &
    > Associates of 21,700 wireless customers. The result was essentially
    > unchanged from the 2003 survey, the first year it was conducted.
    > Besides dropped calls and an inability to connect, callers constantly
    > experienced interference, echoes and voice distortion.
    >
    > Deadcellzones.com, which lets consumers post locations where their
    > calls are routinely disconnected or fail to go through, lists scores of
    > well-known places: from the intersection of Interstates 80 and 55 in
    > Chicago to the campus of the University of San Diego.
    >
    > Wireless companies contend that if they spent the money required to fix
    > all the problems, their customers would have to pay more for service.
    > They also cite local opposition to building new cell towers, which are
    > the primary means of connecting wireless calls.
    >
    > But there is still plenty the industry could do to improve service.
    > Wireless carriers, for example, rarely let their customers roam onto
    > another carrier's network in a large market where they already have
    > their own infrastructure. This lack of cooperation inhibits better
    > service.
    >
    > Also, the mergers haven't necessarily led to better connections. It has
    > been seven months since Cingular Wireless acquired AT&T Wireless,
    > becoming the nation's largest wireless company. Since then, Cingular
    > has been trying to push former AT&T Wireless customers from an old
    > network to a newer network. As part of that, it has been spending next
    > to nothing to maintain the old network, leaving customers who don't
    > upgrade in the lurch. Cingular Wireless had the highest rate of
    > consumer complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission
    > in the fourth quarter of 2004, its first quarter as a combined company.
    >
    > How reliable are cellphones these days? Don Fenstermacher needs two
    > cellphones to stay connected. A lawyer based in Albuquerque, N.M., Mr.
    > Fenstermacher has to travel to small towns in the sparsely populated
    > state to file lawsuits. Because his T-Mobile BlackBerry phone doesn't
    > work most of the time on the road, he keeps a Verizon Wireless phone as
    > well. A T-Mobile spokesman says its network "is strongest where the
    > large majority of Americans live, work and commute."
    >
    > But coverage problems affect customers of all the major cellphone
    > providers and encompass many well-trafficked areas, according to
    > deadcellzones.com.
    >
    > In New York, for example, some Sprint PCS subscribers say they have
    > trouble making calls on the campus of Columbia University, while
    > Cingular subscribers have reported choppy coverage in the heart of
    > Central Park. In Chicago, Nextel customers have experienced problems in
    > a 10-block stretch of Lake Shore Drive near the Museum of Science and
    > Industry, while Cingular subscribers say calls made on highways near
    > O'Hare International Airport can easily get dumped.
    >
    > In New Orleans, service can be spotty for Sprint PCS customers along
    > the popular lakefront. Coverage for Verizon Wireless customers in Los
    > Angeles can be patchy near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and
    > Pacific Coast Highway, two of the city's major arteries.
    >
    > Most call problems are traceable to gaps in the quality of the network,
    > including the number of cell towers and the number of radios connected
    > to the towers. Lack of proximity to cell towers -- and the insufficient
    > number of radios in the towers -- can also lead to service problems
    > because callers are unable to get a signal.
    >
    > Wireless companies have made some strides in improving coverage over
    > the past few years. In places where it's more difficult to install cell
    > towers, U.S. wireless companies have been deploying micro-cell sites,
    > or antennas that provide coverage in very local areas. These have been
    > added in tunnels, airports and some neighborhoods to improve overall
    > network quality. Some carriers also use repeaters -- devices that
    > amplify cellular signals -- to improve indoor coverage in office
    > buildings, shopping malls and convention centers.
    >
    > As a result, Verizon Wireless customers can now use their cellphones in
    > the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, for example, and in the Lincoln and
    > Holland tunnels in New York, says Dick Lynch, chief technical officer
    > of Verizon Wireless. Cingular says it has improved coverage at a number
    > of sites in the greater New York City area, including the train
    > platforms at Grand Central and Penn stations, the Port Authority Bus
    > Terminal, and baggage claim in one terminal of Newark Airport.
    > Cingular, meanwhile, says it has improved coverage in Chicago -- around
    > O'Hare Airport and Wrigley Field, among other places.
    >
    > But in other areas, progress has been slower. Cingular continues to
    > push former AT&T Wireless customers to move from their old TDMA network
    > to Cingular's newer GSM network, which requires those customers to
    > upgrade their phones.
    >
    > Although 28% of aftermerger Cingular subscribers are still using the
    > old TDMA network, the company is investing close to nothing in that
    > infrastructure, says Ed Reynolds, Cingular's network operations
    > president. The TDMA network is "emptying out," and handles only 16% of
    > Cingular's total air minutes, he says. Cingular says the combined
    > network will ultimately improve coverage, but the integration will not
    > be finished until June 2006.
    >
    > Wireless companies are also investing heavily in developing more
    > advanced -- and potentially lucrative -- third generation or "3G"
    > services. Eventually, such networks will be more reliable, analysts
    > say.
    >
    > But the new features could end up competing with voice services for
    > room on the network. For their part, the carriers say investment in the
    > 3G network will also increase their ability to handle more phone calls.
    >
    > Verizon Wireless is investing altogether $1 billion in its 3G network
    > in 2004 and 2005. Cingular Wireless declined to disclose its
    > investment, but said its spending on 3G network over the next two years
    > will be comparable with that of Verizon Wireless.
    >
    > Wireless companies say they have designed their networks so that 98% of
    > the time calls can go through. But in many bigger cities, the success
    > rate often feels a lot lower than that.
    >
    > During the 40-minute commute to his office in Oak Brook, Ill., Adam
    > Kriger uses the downtime to make cellphone calls to his business
    > partners. Or, at least he tries to.
    >
    > Like clockwork, his calls consistently get disconnected along the same
    > 10-mile stretch of highway, about halfway into his commute. "I can't
    > start a call and expect it to last through," says Mr. Kriger, an
    > executive at McDonald's Corp.
    >
    > Mr. Kriger says he has complained about a dozen times to his provider,
    > AT&T Wireless and now Cingular. He says he is often told that the
    > problems are the result of heavy cellphone traffic volume from
    > commuters. Why then, he wonders, doesn't the coverage get any better
    > over the weekend when the traffic is light.
    >
    > Cingular says: "We have those highways well-covered in Chicago, as you
    > may imagine, but that's not to say everything is perfect. We are
    > working hard in Chicago and elsewhere to continue to improve our
    > network coverage."
    >
    > By the end of last year, some 182 million Americans had cellphones, up
    > 14.7% from 2003, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade
    > group. In Europe and Japan, where wireless growth has long been brisk,
    > there is now some evidence of saturation.
    >
    > In the U.S., the number of people with cellphones will continue to
    > grow, despite the service snafus, analysts predict. But, as they have
    > in the past, customers will continue to express their frustration by
    > switching carriers, the analysts say.


    Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls. Worked
    for me.

    bamp





  3. #3
    bamp
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now


    "Joseph" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:51:39 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls.
    >>Worked
    >>for me.

    >
    > You are under the false assumption that dropped calls are only the
    > result of a substandard handset. That is not always the case and in
    > fact can just be influenced by *where* you are and whether radio
    > reception in a particular area isn't strong enough to maintain a call
    > connection. It's a combination of things including which handset you
    > use along with ambient conditions for where you use your handset. And
    > also each person's experience is different if only because they are
    > not in the same location you are! Just because
    > Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile/cingular/Nextel etc. works great for you it
    > may not for someone else.
    > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



    Did you say that dropped calls are not the fault of a substandard handset?

    bamp





  4. #4
    The Real Bev
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    Joseph wrote:
    >
    > On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:51:39 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls. Worked
    > >for me.

    >
    > You are under the false assumption that dropped calls are only the
    > result of a substandard handset. That is not always the case and in
    > fact can just be influenced by *where* you are and whether radio
    > reception in a particular area isn't strong enough to maintain a call
    > connection. It's a combination of things including which handset you
    > use along with ambient conditions for where you use your handset. And
    > also each person's experience is different if only because they are
    > not in the same location you are! Just because
    > Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile/cingular/Nextel etc. works great for you it
    > may not for someone else.
    > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    A Nokia 5160 and a Motorola V60i get minimal signal in my house about half the
    time; the other half of the time they get no signal. If I walk 50 feet into
    the front yard I get usable signal. There is a tower 1/4 mile away and
    another one 1/2 mile away.

    Dumb question: are the towers branded (AT&T only, for instance) or does each
    tower pass on any signal it gets?

    --
    Cheers,
    Bev
    ==================================================================
    "I used to be convinced that MicroSquish shipped crap because they
    simply didn't give a flying **** as long as the sheep kept buying
    their ****. Now, I'm convinced that they really do ship the best
    products they are capable of writing, and *that's* tragic."
    - John C. Randolph, about MS quality control.



  5. #5
    Steve Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    bamp wrote:
    > "Joseph" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:51:39 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls.
    >>>Worked
    >>>for me.

    >>
    >>You are under the false assumption that dropped calls are only the
    >>result of a substandard handset. That is not always the case and in


    > Did you say that dropped calls are not the fault of a substandard handset?


    He said not ONLY. Sometimes the phone isn't involved at all. I was just
    outside VZW's Victor Valley coverage at my house in Apple Valley,
    California, and couldn't generally make or receive calls even though I
    had a Kyocera 2325, a phone which I knew to be a superb performer in
    areas with weak signals. At my house, I'm simply too far from the tower
    for the phone to reach it most of the time.

    I've switched to Sprint and have incredible coverage - we're on the edge
    of nowhere, as I like to say (almost all the way to the middle of
    nowhere), but amazingly, Sprint has a tower two minutes from my house, a
    little further into nowhere (As well as one down on the major highway
    less than ten minutes away). But with my original phone, a Samsung
    VI-660, I couldn't hold calls out near the cement plant at US 66 and Air
    Expressway in Victorville - many people on several different carriers
    have problems out there. I now own a Samsung VGA-1000, and the
    difference is like night and day. The VGA-1000 can pick up a signal just
    about anywhere, including being able to hold calls by the cement plant.
    So in THIS case the phone DID make a difference.

    (BTW, coverage is not the reason I switched from VZW to Sprint; it was
    network repair issues that made me switch. The enhanced coverage where I
    usually use the phone is just icing on the cake.)

    --
    JustThe.net - Apple Valley, CA - http://JustThe.net/ - 888.480.4NET (4638)
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / [email protected] / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED

    "The wisdom of a fool won't set you free"
    --New Order, "Bizarre Love Triangle"



  6. #6
    Curtis CCR
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now



    The Real Bev wrote:
    > Joseph wrote:
    > >
    > > On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:51:39 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > > >Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls. Worked
    > > >for me.

    > >
    > > You are under the false assumption that dropped calls are only the
    > > result of a substandard handset. That is not always the case and in
    > > fact can just be influenced by *where* you are and whether radio
    > > reception in a particular area isn't strong enough to maintain a call
    > > connection. It's a combination of things including which handset you
    > > use along with ambient conditions for where you use your handset. And
    > > also each person's experience is different if only because they are
    > > not in the same location you are! Just because
    > > Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile/cingular/Nextel etc. works great for you it
    > > may not for someone else.
    > > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    >
    > A Nokia 5160 and a Motorola V60i get minimal signal in my house about half the
    > time; the other half of the time they get no signal. If I walk 50 feet into
    > the front yard I get usable signal. There is a tower 1/4 mile away and
    > another one 1/2 mile away.
    >
    > Dumb question: are the towers branded (AT&T only, for instance) or does each
    > tower pass on any signal it gets?


    The tower itself (the physical structure that holds the antennas) MAY
    be shared, but in most cases they are exclusive to one carrier. They
    are usually only shared in areas where local conditions require it -
    for example a town might only be willing to permit one tower. Or the
    tower may be owned by a third party (owning towers and leasing space is
    a huge business) and multiple carriers lease space on it.

    Even if the towers are shared, the antennas and radio-network equipment
    are not. So even if Cingular and Verizon (or whoever) are sharing a
    tower, one may have better antenna positions, more directional sectors,
    and/or more channel capacity.

    And what you think is a cell site may not be. There are several sites
    in my old neighborhood (I just moved a couple of weeks ago so I'll
    refer to the city I left as my "Old Neighborhood") that many people
    think are cell sites, but they are actually radio sites for the local
    rapid transit system that carry operations and police communications,
    as well as telemetry from trains and track controls/signals.




  7. #7
    Rod Speed
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now


    "The Real Bev" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Joseph wrote:
    >>
    >> On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:51:39 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls. Worked
    >> >for me.

    >>
    >> You are under the false assumption that dropped calls are only the
    >> result of a substandard handset. That is not always the case and in
    >> fact can just be influenced by *where* you are and whether radio
    >> reception in a particular area isn't strong enough to maintain a call
    >> connection. It's a combination of things including which handset you
    >> use along with ambient conditions for where you use your handset. And
    >> also each person's experience is different if only because they are
    >> not in the same location you are! Just because
    >> Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile/cingular/Nextel etc. works great for you it
    >> may not for someone else.
    >> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    >
    > A Nokia 5160 and a Motorola V60i get minimal signal in my house about half the
    > time; the other half of the time they get no signal. If I walk 50 feet into
    > the front yard I get usable signal. There is a tower 1/4 mile away and
    > another one 1/2 mile away.


    > Dumb question: are the towers branded (AT&T only,
    > for instance) or does each tower pass on any signal it gets?


    Nope. And it aint just the 'brand' that matters, there's different technology
    too.





  8. #8
    The Real Bev
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    Curtis CCR wrote:
    >
    > The Real Bev wrote:
    > > Joseph wrote:
    > > >
    > > > On Wed, 25 May 2005 09:51:39 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
    > > > wrote:
    > > >
    > > > >Horsefeathers! Get a V400 on Cingular and do away with dropped calls. Worked
    > > > >for me.
    > > >
    > > > You are under the false assumption that dropped calls are only the
    > > > result of a substandard handset. That is not always the case and in
    > > > fact can just be influenced by *where* you are and whether radio
    > > > reception in a particular area isn't strong enough to maintain a call
    > > > connection. It's a combination of things including which handset you
    > > > use along with ambient conditions for where you use your handset. And
    > > > also each person's experience is different if only because they are
    > > > not in the same location you are! Just because
    > > > Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile/cingular/Nextel etc. works great for you it
    > > > may not for someone else.
    > > > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    > >
    > > A Nokia 5160 and a Motorola V60i get minimal signal in my house about half the
    > > time; the other half of the time they get no signal. If I walk 50 feet into
    > > the front yard I get usable signal. There is a tower 1/4 mile away and
    > > another one 1/2 mile away.
    > >
    > > Dumb question: are the towers branded (AT&T only, for instance) or does each
    > > tower pass on any signal it gets?

    >
    > The tower itself (the physical structure that holds the antennas) MAY
    > be shared, but in most cases they are exclusive to one carrier. They
    > are usually only shared in areas where local conditions require it -
    > for example a town might only be willing to permit one tower. Or the
    > tower may be owned by a third party (owning towers and leasing space is
    > a huge business) and multiple carriers lease space on it.


    I've seen several "disguised" towers -- and can't tell which looks sillier,
    the pine tree or the palm tree. I wouldn't mind having one in my back
    yard...for a price...

    > Even if the towers are shared, the antennas and radio-network equipment
    > are not. So even if Cingular and Verizon (or whoever) are sharing a
    > tower, one may have better antenna positions, more directional sectors,
    > and/or more channel capacity.
    >
    > And what you think is a cell site may not be. There are several sites
    > in my old neighborhood (I just moved a couple of weeks ago so I'll
    > refer to the city I left as my "Old Neighborhood") that many people
    > think are cell sites, but they are actually radio sites for the local
    > rapid transit system that carry operations and police communications,
    > as well as telemetry from trains and track controls/signals.


    Hmm. I guess the towers I see could be for the Gold Line light rail, they're
    very close to the station and perhaps 1/2 mile apart.

    --
    Cheers, Bev
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey
    and car keys to teenage boys." -- P.J. O'Rourke



  9. #9
    Don Klipstein
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    In article <[email protected]>,
    MrPepper11 wrote:

    >One out of three cellphone calls had quality problems last year.
    ><SNIP>
    >In an attempt to eradicate the dropped calls and dead zones that plague
    >cellphone users, wireless companies have spent small fortunes trying to
    >improve their networks. As part of a telecom mergers boom, last fall,
    >Cingular Wireless bought AT&T Wireless for $41 billion, in part to get
    >access to additional network capacity.
    >
    >But billions of dollars in investments later and several mergers
    >further -- and at a time when some 11 million customers have ditched
    >their traditional phone service and become more reliant on cellphones
    >-- the long-promised improvement still hasn't come. This is an enormous
    >source of bafflement and irritation to consumers, whose patience has
    >begun to run out as evidenced by a continuing high volume of
    >complaints.
    >
    >Roughly one out of three cellphone calls had quality problems of some
    >kind last year, according to an online survey by J.D. Power &
    >Associates of 21,700 wireless customers. The result was essentially
    >unchanged from the 2003 survey, the first year it was conducted.
    >Besides dropped calls and an inability to connect, callers constantly
    >experienced interference, echoes and voice distortion.


    The companies expand their capacity and deploy improved technologies,
    and get more customers to take up most of the added slack. Meanwhile,
    I have noticed that my signal quality is better than it was a few years
    ago, although is still not perfect.

    Most cellphone transmissions use some sort or another of digital
    technology at least part of the way, apparently with the signal going in
    "packets" the way internet communications work, although with need to do
    what they can in real time if any packets get lost or delayed in a traffic
    jam or on a leg where the signal is weak.

    The ratio of transmission capacity to demand will have to go up an order
    of magnitude or two in order to make cell phone quality like that of
    landlines. So will signal/noise ratios, and will the people living near
    cell towers not complain if their output power increases 10x, and what
    will people think if their phones put 10x as much radiation into their
    brains (regardless of actual degree of health threat), and need for 10x as
    much battery weight and size? Otherwise increase the number of cell
    towers a good order of magnitude - what will people say then?
    I think cell users are actually getting a pretty good deal. My phone
    works fully with no lost or garbled words or severe noises or dropped
    calls or calls not going through about 99% of the time and usably for most
    of the other 1% of the time. I do expect the situation to improve over
    the years, although far from everyone will have an improvement every year
    - in many locations in many years expect that year to be one where the
    capability is not outpacing the demand.

    - Don Klipstein ([email protected])



  10. #10
    Rod Speed
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now


    "Don Klipstein" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > MrPepper11 wrote:
    >
    >>One out of three cellphone calls had quality problems last year.
    >><SNIP>
    >>In an attempt to eradicate the dropped calls and dead zones that plague
    >>cellphone users, wireless companies have spent small fortunes trying to
    >>improve their networks. As part of a telecom mergers boom, last fall,
    >>Cingular Wireless bought AT&T Wireless for $41 billion, in part to get
    >>access to additional network capacity.
    >>
    >>But billions of dollars in investments later and several mergers
    >>further -- and at a time when some 11 million customers have ditched
    >>their traditional phone service and become more reliant on cellphones
    >>-- the long-promised improvement still hasn't come. This is an enormous
    >>source of bafflement and irritation to consumers, whose patience has
    >>begun to run out as evidenced by a continuing high volume of
    >>complaints.
    >>
    >>Roughly one out of three cellphone calls had quality problems of some
    >>kind last year, according to an online survey by J.D. Power &
    >>Associates of 21,700 wireless customers. The result was essentially
    >>unchanged from the 2003 survey, the first year it was conducted.
    >>Besides dropped calls and an inability to connect, callers constantly
    >>experienced interference, echoes and voice distortion.

    >
    > The companies expand their capacity and deploy improved technologies,
    > and get more customers to take up most of the added slack. Meanwhile,
    > I have noticed that my signal quality is better than it was a few years
    > ago, although is still not perfect.
    >
    > Most cellphone transmissions use some sort or another of digital
    > technology at least part of the way, apparently with the signal going in
    > "packets" the way internet communications work, although with need to do
    > what they can in real time if any packets get lost or delayed in a traffic
    > jam or on a leg where the signal is weak.


    > The ratio of transmission capacity to demand will have to go up an order
    > of magnitude or two in order to make cell phone quality like that of
    > landlines.


    Wrong.

    > So will signal/noise ratios,


    Wrong again. Irrelevant with a digital system, stupid.

    > and will the people living near cell towers not
    > complain if their output power increases 10x,


    Thats not what its about with a digital system, stupid.

    > and what will people think if their phones put 10x as much radiation
    > into their brains (regardless of actual degree of health threat),


    Thats not what its about with a digital system, stupid.

    > and need for 10x as much battery weight and size?


    Pathetic, really.

    > Otherwise increase the number of cell
    > towers a good order of magnitude -


    Not necessary either.

    > what will people say then?


    Taint gunna happen. No need for that.

    > I think cell users are actually getting a pretty good deal.
    > My phone works fully with no lost or garbled words or
    > severe noises or dropped calls or calls not going through
    > about 99% of the time and usably for most of the other
    > 1% of the time. I do expect the situation to improve over
    > the years,


    It already has, most obviously with cdma, stupid.

    > although far from everyone will have an improvement every year


    You quite sure you aint one of those rocket scientist stupids, stupid ?

    > - in many locations in many years expect that year to
    > be one where the capability is not outpacing the demand.


    That should just result in an inability to initiate
    calls with a properly configured system.





  11. #11
    SoCalMike
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    Steve Sobol wrote:
    > He said not ONLY. Sometimes the phone isn't involved at all. I was just
    > outside VZW's Victor Valley coverage at my house in Apple Valley,
    > California, and couldn't generally make or receive calls even though I
    > had a Kyocera 2325, a phone which I knew to be a superb performer in
    > areas with weak signals. At my house, I'm simply too far from the tower
    > for the phone to reach it most of the time.
    >
    > I've switched to Sprint and have incredible coverage - we're on the edge
    > of nowhere, as I like to say (almost all the way to the middle of
    > nowhere), but amazingly, Sprint has a tower two minutes from my house, a
    > little further into nowhere


    i was out there a few months ago with a friend, who likes to ride his
    YZ250. brought my virgin mobile phone, which uses the sprint network.
    excellent signal, literally in the middle of nowhere.



  12. #12
    Steve Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    SoCalMike wrote:

    > i was out there a few months ago with a friend, who likes to ride his
    > YZ250. brought my virgin mobile phone, which uses the sprint network.
    > excellent signal, literally in the middle of nowhere.


    Where? In the Victor Valley proper, and probably also in Barstow, you
    should have solid coverage. North of Air Expressway between
    Victorville/Adelanto and Barstow on Route 66, there is none; you'll roam
    analog (most likely on Verizon, but if not, probably on Cingular - I
    haven't checked). I don't think there's a whole lot of coverage north of
    the Valley on 395 either, but I've only been as far north as Shadow
    Mountain Road on 395.

    The place where I had trouble is extremely hilly and is at the northern
    edge of Sprint PCS coverage in Victorville.

    --
    JustThe.net - Apple Valley, CA - http://JustThe.net/ - 888.480.4NET (4638)
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / [email protected] / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED

    "The wisdom of a fool won't set you free"
    --New Order, "Bizarre Love Triangle"



  13. #13
    George Grapman
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    In San Francisco we have two underground transit systems downtown.
    Muni Metro is two levels beneath the street and BART is one more level down.
    On both systems my phone works when the train is in the station but
    loses signal as soon as it leaves the station. It is amusing to see the
    cell junkes try to make a 45 second call, lose it and repeat the
    processs a minute later. Other grab t hone at each station just to check
    for missed calls.


    To reply via e-mail please delete 1 c from paccbell



  14. #14
    SoCalMike
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    Steve Sobol wrote:
    > SoCalMike wrote:
    >
    >> i was out there a few months ago with a friend, who likes to ride his
    >> YZ250. brought my virgin mobile phone, which uses the sprint network.
    >> excellent signal, literally in the middle of nowhere.

    >
    >
    > Where? In the Victor Valley proper, and probably also in Barstow, you
    > should have solid coverage.


    not sure, since i wasnt driving. got off the 15, ate at some mom n pop
    burger joint on the main drag, then went off into the suburbs to where
    it was sparsely populated. there were other people riding out there too,
    but i probably described most of apple valley



  15. #15
    George
    Guest

    Re: Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now

    Rod Speed wrote:


    >
    > Wrong.
    >
    >
    >>So will signal/noise ratios,

    >
    >
    > Wrong again. Irrelevant with a digital system, stupid.
    >
    >
    >>and will the people living near cell towers not
    >>complain if their output power increases 10x,

    >
    >
    > Thats not what its about with a digital system, stupid.



    I can't think of anything involving the use of radio waves where the S/N
    ratio is not an important consideration. S/N ratio has a lot to do with
    the ability to make and carry a call even on digital systems. One of the
    key things that is measured when doing system quality tests is S/N ratio.






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