Free Internet for AT&T, WAS: New Flex 6700 - anyone at Dayton?

Chip Fetrow tacos at
Sat May 26 22:29:18 CDT 2012

Try?  They already are!

In our case is is particularly bad.

I had an analog Verizon phone.  It worked better than any phone does  
today, and it worked places where people with D-AMPS and CDMA only had  
no service.  D-AMPS is "Digital AMPS, a TDMA method.  GSM is another  
form of TDMA, so it was unwise for Cellular One and the handset  
manufacturers to call it TDMA.  Oh, well. Of course a lot of those  
early digital phones would revert to AMPS (analog).

AT&T built a GSM PCS system which never had a analog component.   
Cingular wanted to move to GSM for many reasons, which included  
handset costs, world phones, and entering into roaming agreements with  
AT&T.  AT&T built a "low" system in highly urbanized areas which had a  
lot more capacity because the cells were much smaller.  The first AT&T  
originally had no service much beyond the DC Beltway at the time.

Anyway, we were getting raped on the Verizon phone, $25/month for 20  
minutes of talk time per phone.  My wife's phone was a 3 Watt car  
phone with the same plan but she didn't go over 20 minutes.  So we  
wanted phones, but we wanted them to work.  I also had the requirement  
that the phone work in Pahrump, NV and at Front Sight.  The single  
carrier in Pahrump, and for that matter, NYE County, the second  
largest county in the country, was analog only, and mostly sold bag  
phones.  The Cingular switch from D-AMPS to GSM was staged, and they  
could not dynamically allocate channels to the two (or three)  
different systems, so we were stuck, waiting for GAIT phones which did  

Finally they were accepted by Cingular and I bought two.  We got less  
expensive service on phones that actually worked everywhere.  In fact,  
people at Front Sight would approach me about my satellite phone,  
because no one had phones which worked on AMPS..

Somewhere in this time period, Cingular bought AT&T's mobile service,  
but had to sell off some spectrum.

Sony made one phone, it may have been the T-61, and Nokia made the  
6340, which they replaced with the 6340i.

Now, finally, closer to the point.

The phones worked like a champ at my house.  Nine bars out of nine IN  

Then AT&T formed AT&T Mobility, and bought Cingular.

One night about a year later, my wife's phone woke us up at about 3:45  
AM with a text message:  "Welcome to the new AT&T,"  the display on  
the LCD screen was switched from Cingular to AT&T, and her phone's  
signal strength display went from nine bars out of nine to four.

About four months later, AT&T woke us up in the middle of the night  
again, but a little earlier, with the same changes.  Keep in mind  
Kathy's phone had 4/9 while mine stayed at 9 out of 9.

A year or so later, we bought iPhones to replace the Nokia 6340is.  We  
had three, or sometimes two bars out of five on our iPhones, though  
AT&T/Apple re-calibrated the signal strength "meters" a few times.

Then, not quite half way through our contract, or iPhones stopped  
working at home.  They might sometimes work on the second floor from  
time to time.

Of course, I complained.  They offered to let us out of our  
contracts.  I wrote a letter to the President of AT&T Mobility.  Stuff  
rolls down hill, and I had several conversations with AT&T engineers,  
then they gave up.

I wrote another letter.  This really stirred up the hornets' nest.   
They put an engineer on fixing it.  She did coverage studies and they  
drove a signal monitoring van drive around my house.  She had a PR/ 
hight level CSR type call me to explain the problem.  He was not an  
engineer.  He explained the problem is a hill between the nearest cell  
site and my home.  Yep, someone removed hundreds of houses, 60 year  
old trees, and roll up the streets.  They brought in a whole lot of  
earth, they put the houses, trees and streets back.  Hey, it used to  

So, when those were approved, they gave me a Microcell.

It annoys me that they use my Internet bandwidth and don't give me any  
discount.  At least T-Mobile doesn't charge for minutes when you use  
their Wi-Fi enabled phones on your network.  In fact, there is a flaw  
in their system.  If you start your call on Wi-Fi and move out of  
range, it will switch the phone to PCS and not charge minutes against  
your account.

At least I can use my iPhone at home, as can my wife, RS and a few  
other friends.


On May 19, 2012, at 1:00 PM, tacos-request at wrote:

> -----Original Message----- From: Mike O'Dell
> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 7:50 PM
> To: Tom Azlin N4ZPT
> Cc: tacos at
> Subject: Re: New Flex 6700 - anyone at Dayton?
> [...]
> so be prepared to supply your Internet connectivity
> free of charge to the Picocell your carrier will try to
> foist on you in the name of "better service".)
> -mo

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