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AT&T Starts Refarming EDGE Spectrum in NYC
New Yorkers Prepare for Improved Wireless 'Experience'
by Karl Bode 06:36PM Tuesday May 29 2012
One of the chief criticisms of AT&T's attempted takeover of T-Mobile was the fact that AT&T didn't really need to acquire T-Mobile, since AT&T sits on a wealth of spectrum already, including a significant amount just acquired from Qualcomm. Many noted AT&T wasn't using the spectrum they already owned efficiently, including the company's 2G or EDGE spectrum, which can be re-farmed. Back in March AT&T finally started sending notices to some 2G/EDGE users, informing them they needed to upgrade so AT&T can use that spectrum in their LTE build. AT&T recently noted they're now finally refarming some of this spectrum in New York City, which has historically been one of their troubled markets since their 2009 iPhone network performance PR fiasco.

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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

Some burglar alarms have EDGE communicators (according to an alarm hardware vendor's website) so that people who have older cellular alarm communicators will have to replace the communicator with a new one.

My alarm uses a phone line to communicate. I also use the phone line to make phone calls.

A few years ago, the analog cellular alarm communicators had to be replaced with the then new EDGE communicators which now have to be replaced with the now new 3G communicators. This is a win-win for alarm companies/contractors as they now get the $$$ from truck rolls to replace the outdated equipment.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

Well that's just the way it is. You don't hold onto old tech forever until the very last laggard decides to upgrade.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

mine uses 3g.

yyzlhr

@rogers.com
said by 88615298:

Well that's just the way it is. You don't hold onto old tech forever until the very last laggard decides to upgrade.

The thing is that even the newest and most advanced alarm systems today that communicate with cellular technology still rely on EDGE.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

said by yyzlhr :

said by 88615298:

Well that's just the way it is. You don't hold onto old tech forever until the very last laggard decides to upgrade.

The thing is that even the newest and most advanced alarm systems today that communicate with cellular technology still rely on EDGE.

at some point you need to move on. at&t needs that spectrum for 3g. The sooner these companies get off of 2G and re-use it for 3G/4G the better.

koolman2
Premium
join:2002-10-01
Anchorage, AK
I suspect that they are simply reducing the amount of bandwidth dedicated to the 2G network, not turning it off completely.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

Correct. The 850mhz spectrum is in 25mhz chunks, which still leaves 5mhz for GSM. It will work fine for GoPhone and Tracfone, but there just won't be enough bandwidth for EDGE to work well for older Blackberries and OG iPhones.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
You can bet the cost of 3g services will be more expensive than the 2g services.. because that will end up paying for 4g services for which there's an even higher pricetag associated with data. Just rethink greed.. you need a new word for telecom's rape of the consumer.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

No. Consumer plans are the same, and business stuff is negotiated anyways. The hardware is a little more, but considering there are $10 3G phones out there now, not sure that's a problem. But the reality is, 5mhz of GSM will be there for years to come. There's way too many Tracfone, GoPhone, laggard postpaid, M2M and international roaming customers still using that network, and there is currently no 850 LTE to replace that 5mhz of GSM anyways.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

maybe not right away, but you have a locked-down duopoly with AT&T and Verizon.. and if your head's been in the sand lately.. the wakeup call is prices will go higher sooner rather than later, after you dump some benjamins on this new equipment.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Some alarm systems may be rendered useless

Except that there is no new equipment, as they will be continuing to run the GSM network for the foreseeable future...

jchambers28

join:2007-05-12
Alma, AR

Improve Wireless 'Experience'

want to Improve Wireless 'Experience' drop the caps or make a 150 GB cap.
Telco

join:2008-12-19

Re: Improve Wireless 'Experience'

said by jchambers28:

want to Improve Wireless 'Experience' drop the caps or make a 150 GB cap.

This has worked wonder for Sprint, where 1MBit/s DL is the new norm.

TriForce

join:2008-05-27
Chico, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Improve Wireless 'Experience'

said by Telco:

said by jchambers28:

want to Improve Wireless 'Experience' drop the caps or make a 150 GB cap.

This has worked wonder for Sprint, where 1MBit/s DL is the new norm.

In many places, Sprint is unusable thanks to their generous unlimited plans.

JigglyWiggly

join:2009-07-12
Pleasanton, CA

Re: Improve Wireless 'Experience'

ur so full of crap

TriForce

join:2008-05-27
Chico, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Improve Wireless 'Experience'

Big comeback. You can look it up, many people have switched back to at&t because it was so bad. You may be in the very few spots where Sprint is decent. Unlimited comes at a steep price.

The Bay Area, where you are, is one of the slowest thanks to tech savvy customers.
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX
said by TriForce:

said by Telco:

said by jchambers28:

want to Improve Wireless 'Experience' drop the caps or make a 150 GB cap.

This has worked wonder for Sprint, where 1MBit/s DL is the new norm.

In many places, Sprint is unusable thanks to their generous unlimited plans.

very true, sprints 3g or 4g (not the lte but wimax??? i guess) is unusable in where I live, AT&T Verizon and t-mobile smoke it here, sprint needs to put a cap not 150 cause thats just impossible to substain, but somethin more on the lines of t-mobiles would be benificial for them

theirs alot of people out their running netflix on those devices from sprint and thats draggin the whole network
whiteyonenh

join:2004-08-09
Keene, NH
said by Telco:

This has worked wonder for Sprint, where 1MBit/s DL is the new norm.

You're being extremely generous here... in my area, I get less than 64kbit/s during the day, and lucky to get over 300kbit/s at night. Rendering it useless for more than push email. Loading CNN mobile can be a challenge at times. Good luck with the buffer-fest that is streaming radio of any sort.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by jchambers28:

want to Improve Wireless 'Experience' drop the caps or make a 150 GB cap.

You should know their( or anyone else's ) network can't handle that. If these companies had a 150 GB cap your 12 Mbps LTE would run at dial-up speed.
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: Improve Wireless 'Experience'

said by 88615298:

You should know their( or anyone else's ) network can't handle that. If these companies had a 150 GB cap your 12 Mbps LTE would run at dial-up speed.

Oh but I thought wireless could work magic and it'll be replacing wireline services any day now...
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX
said by 88615298:

said by jchambers28:

want to Improve Wireless 'Experience' drop the caps or make a 150 GB cap.

You should know their( or anyone else's ) network can't handle that. If these companies had a 150 GB cap your 12 Mbps LTE would run at dial-up speed.

no kiddin, not even LTE-Advanced can handle that, but in smaller areas sure

1gbps is somethin thats quite amazing in the wireless world, and in the future who knows what the next wireless gen will bring or what speeds, we are def not gonna reach a 150gb cap anytime soon, I cant wait to see LTE-Advanced rolled out and the caps for that (which will prob be reasonable for most people in the first place)

jchambers28

join:2007-05-12
Alma, AR
why cant they upgrade the network to handle high bandwidth.
ssavoy
Premium
join:2007-08-16
Dallas, PA
Reviews:
·Anveo

EDGE-only Phones

They sold my aunt an EDGE-only phone in Florida on her contract-based plan. She doesn't travel much but technically her phone that is less than two-years old will be rendered useless in many areas soon. I hope they offer free upgrades with no contract extension. All she does is make calls and texts, so technically EDGE was fine for her, but now they are intentionally shutting it down.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: EDGE-only Phones

EDGE data will be really slow in NYC, maybe not work at all, but calls/texts will be OK.
ssavoy
Premium
join:2007-08-16
Dallas, PA

Re: EDGE-only Phones

So they aren't shutting it down? Just giving it far less spectrum?

SHoTTa35

@optonline.net

Re: EDGE-only Phones

Correct, with not that many phones using 2G (ONLY) anymore it's a good move. on any tower of say 500 devices, i'd guess to say no more than 10% is using 2G only (i'd say more 1% but let's push it a bit). 50 People can use 5Mhz of frequency on 2G easy as it's split into 200Khz or so for GSM. Also what are the odds of all those 50 people per cell site all using the phone at the sametime? In somewhere like NYC, i'm sure that number is probably 1-10 people per site if not 0!
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Cellular spectrum is 25mhz, UMTS channels are 10mhz, so do the math, there's 5mhz that has nothing but GSM. They kicked NYC-local subscribers who use data off of EDGE, but others will still be able to use it. There are tons of subs who use it, but they are mostly light users who use little network capacity, and no data (data is 95% of AT&T's network traffic), so they just don't need a lot of capacity to serve them all. Even though they aren't very profitable one by one, the bulk of MVNO (Tracfone) and M2M customers are actually very profitable, as they pull in subs AT&T wouldn't otherwise have, and don't use much network capacity, unlike postpaid subs like me who are profitable but also use up a lot of network resources slurping down data like no tomorrow.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

When?

Have they already cut it down to 5mhz? I'm curious to see how a 5mhz GSM network works. I'll be in NYC on Thursday, if they have already cut down, I will speedtest EDGE and see what it looks like.
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

Re: When?

said by BiggA:

Have they already cut it down to 5mhz? I'm curious to see how a 5mhz GSM network works. I'll be in NYC on Thursday, if they have already cut down, I will speedtest EDGE and see what it looks like.

edge where I live (since last year when they rolled out 3g) is pretty fast sometimes faster than 3g believe it or not.., now i switched off my 3g on my iphone 4, and hog the whole thing up for my self
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: When?

Yeah, it's pretty sad when EDGE beats 3G!

vpsj

@snet.net

at&t, AT&T and NYC

at&t should love to aquire T-Mobile spectrum in NYC. Cingular, the major owner of at&t never had a system in NYC until it gained control of AT&T. (Note the cap and non-caps for at&t.) at&t is the re-named Cingular system with the AT&T inclusion.) The original AT&T system in NYC was designed for 800MHz. and not 1800MHz. Before at&t, Cingular customers roamed on T-Mobile in NYC! As for the Qualcomm spectrum (ex MediaFlo) the frequency they acquired is simplex and contains no paired channel for duplex. at&t will have to approach the FCC for a new frequency plan, currently not defined.