A new self made Y2K?
December 24, 2007
Y2K (year 2000) was really not a big deal as predected, I remember, people were standing by at work at midnight while waiting for the bomb which never happened to drop. Amazingly enough we did get through it as I saw so many gaps in technology and so called analysist/consultants analyzing systems who didn't have a clue what they were even looking at!
In 2008 the United States of America has created it's own technology shutdown! The least known is the shutdown of Analog cellular networks! You say what's the big deal? Who uses Analog cell networks? How about OnStar equipped cars made only a few years back? One estimate puts the total Onstar effected people at a half million users many of which do not have the ability to upgrade to digital! Manufacturers have known this change was coming for a while yet continued to produce equipment that would be obsolete in a short time. You must go to www.onstar.com and check your VIN number to determine if your onstar system will function or not at the start of 2008 however, it would appear some cars as old as 4 years old will no longer function and as late as 2005 some Onstar systems will no longer function!
Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Alltel still have analog networks and will be shutting down over time in 2008. The FCC indicated that starting in February 2008 the analog networks could start shutting down but as far as I can tell it is a voluntary shutdown by networks, the FCC isn't saying you must shut down but that you can shut down. According to one estimate as many as 1 million cell phones will loose service! A few rual cell providers may keep their analog networks running since it may be the only coverage.
So you don't have Onstar, then who cares? How about the wireless in your alarm system? Only in 2006 were true digital modems for alarm systems available! Estimates are nearly a half million alarm systems will loose their radio backup systems and those with radio only will loose all their communication. Perhaps a million other devices will loose communication such as communications for trucking companies, manufacturers and utilities like remotely readable meters...
Sure dropping the analog networks will provide more radio spectrum for digital which can operate with 10 times more traffic than on an analog network in the same space. However, this was a surprise to many!
For more information read the following bits of information:
FCC consumer advisory: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/analogcellphone.html
Alltel advisory: http://tinyurl.com/3x53gz
Verizon Wireless advisory: http://tinyurl.com/2bg628
Central Station Alarm Association: http://www.csaaul.org/