The End of Analog Phones

The FCC is expected today to approve wireless carriers’ request to shut down their analog networks over the next five years. Currently they must keep the networks running to support the 15% of US wireless customers with analog phones. Carrier want to replace analog systems with new digital technology to make more efficient use of spectrum and offer digital services when roaming. I’m surprised that they are asking for this now given how extensive the analog networks are. AT&T and Cingular still have a lot to spend on upgrading existing TDMA networks to GSM. And they will lose roaming revenues from SprintPCS who has no analog network of its own.

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