Did you know that wireless audio (voice) telephone is ending with the change from low frequency audio 3g to the digitized 4g LTE wireless data streaming networks?
"Deutsche Telekom puts sale of T-Mobile US on hold: sources
Reuters By Peter Maushagen
1 hour ago (11:50a 01 Mar 16 /kj)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom has put the sale of T-Mobile US on hold to deal with an upcoming auction of radio airwaves, giving potential suitors time to wait for a more favorable political environment toward telecoms mergers, two sources said.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is due to start an auction for low-frequency airwaves at the end of this month, which industry observers expect could last for months."
As noted above, the FCC has consolidated the low frequency audio radio and wireless telephone band and will auction* the spectrum to the major data transmission sales corps (ATT, Verizon, Sprint and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile) in the coming months.
By the way, the 4g LTE phones are virtually "obsolete" as the FCC.gov website has announced that the wireless equipment contractors (Samsung for example) are at FCC headquarters in DC this week, 7-11 March 2016, displaying 5g AWS* equipment.
Similar to the digital TV changeover 10 years ago which has resulted in the regulated "free" TV networks becoming infotainment advertising interupted by inoccuous content** and the necessity for a monthly subscription to a cable or satillite digital transmission service for access to an occasionally interrupted digital video signal, the human voice audio (3g* wireless cellphone) transmission is quietly ending without a whimper.
The 800Mhz Emergency Communication spectrum will remain available
I became aware of this sad end to mostly reliable, low-frequency 3g cellphones when the local paper had a front page article in mid-February on the "necessary installation" of 8 to 10 lattice radio towers about 350 feet tall to provide emergency communication services "with the upgrade" from the 800Mhz (National emergency broadcast system) to a digital system. This is in addition to the existing monopole and lattice towers the county has. "If the county puts the new digital technology on its current lattice towers, there would be 10-20% less coverage" than now.
Actually, as I discovered at FCC.gov, the 800Mhz spectrum will continue to be reserved for emergency radio (audio) communications. The $20 million 8 to 10 lattice 350-foot-radio towers are "necessary" to "mostly" provide coverage for this county to send and receive on the 4g LTE (high frequency spectrum) via a monthly data subscription to a data streaming network corporation on the spectrum it "owns" by purchase at an FCC auction.
Very much like the television frequencies that were once "Public Airways" for local broadcasting only limited by the height of the TV tower and it's amplification equipment with reception quality easily improved by home antennas, your "wireless" phone and 3g wireless computer data reception will deterioriate*** and become "unsupported" by the data streaming corps around the end of 2017 -- probably when the reallocated low frequency spectrum in this year's FCC auction becomes propriatary to the "winning" data streaming corps.
Is "crowd funding" the answer to saving audio phone service?
Personally, I am alarmed at the end of 3g wireless audio telephones -- let alone reliable, stand-alone emergency communications. With the continuing demise of wired phone service,**** I fear the lack of a reliable human voice and radio network on the low frequency audio spectrum (that penetrates buildings unlike high frequency data streams; hence the necessity of more and taller antennas for less data streaming coverage) and the relinquishment of human communications to data streaming corps just as we lost television to them.
A feature of wired phone systems and shortwave communications is the necessity of having a human install and disconnect phone service as well as having human owner/operators of shortwave equipment. Just as digital TV service has eliminated human investments in local broadcasting and content that human communities require,** data transmission corps have eliminated any human control over local phone service in favor of an easily disrupted subscription data service to individual humans, businesses, local governments, areas of the country; and with the accelerating changeover to digital receivers including radios and cellphones, the coming inability to receive audio broadcasts on the National Emergency frequency even if Federal access to the data network stream is not disrupted.*****
I wonder if we humans could "crowd fund" enough money* (T-Mobile plans "up to $10 billion")* to bid against the corps for a portion of the PUBLIC low frequency spectrum at the FCC auction to be used for community radio and phone services --perhaps even enough for local television broadcasts. Maybe Counties that have $20 million to spend on antennas could be persuaded to chip that in for purchase of spectrum for a community system.
Among the many informative articles I read at https://charge.co/blog that answer questions about cell phone service, terminology (LTE = Long Term Evolution) and understanding frequency and spectrum, I saw an illustration of the original allocation of data networks. They were very small -- it looks like dozens in a county, hundreds in a state. That means that frequencies could be different in adjacent areas to prevent interference with one another, but reused outside that area.
In other words, the public low frequency spectrum was allocated on a community-size basis in the past and it could be done again with the same template, equipment and people familiar with low-frequency audio.
Isn't it shameful that I'm writing about raising funds to buy back some of the "public airways" that have been hijacked by the mega corps.
*(from above article Reuters By Peter Maushagen) "T-Mobile US, which is 65.4-percent owned by Deutsche Telekom, has said it could spend up to $10 billion in the auction. An auction of AWS-3 airwaves, which ended early last year, raised a record $44.9 billion."
**note that the opportunity to see the candidates for public office in forums and debates is now restricted to cable or satilite data subscribers eliminating access to the people who need the information the most. I just learned yesterday (7 march) on Nicole Sandler's radioornot.com (where she live webcasts 9 to noon est with "reruns" available 24/7 -- check it out!) during her conversation with John Ellis who is producing bernie2016.tv live noon to 9 p.m. (? last night) that he has been livestreaming Bernie Sanders events from volunteers using webcams. He talks about his u -tube channel being shut down on several occasions due to Cable corps claiming their cablecast is propriatory. Go to the radioornot.com 7 march webcast for more detail.
***the high frequency spectrum is inaudible to humans. Remember the actual "dog whistles" you could buy and how you could only determine whether they worked by your dog's reaction, or lack of, in my dog's case.
I have experienced repeated "disconnects" on my 3g phone and dropped my 3g wireless computer data connection service due to increasing "disconnects" over the past year.
Digitized audio also explains why the "phone" part of my 4g LTE (3g capable) has been so disappointing. I have dificulty hearing human speech from it and the "speaker" function which is great on my 3g phone is completely inaudible. Digital "speech" such as "press 1" etc. works fine on speaker. I'm guessing the problem is the phone's operating system has difficulty digitizing, transmitting, and decoding to .wav (low frequency audio) voice "on the fly."
**** wired phone service continued uninterupted during the 10-day power outage in south Florida after Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and enabled my dial-up computer connection as well. I was also able to access television on my portable TV as well as radio -- listening to the portable radio now although I'm wondering if it will work after the spectrum is sold and the stations I listen to that are 30+ miles from me go completely digital.
*****Have you noticed that new portable radios have eliminated AM reception? AM broadcasters that are unable to purchase FM licenses are disappearing and now FM broadcasters are "going digital" which is encouraged by the FCC by "buying back" their licensed low frequency audio spectrum to sell at auction. It will not be long before FM receivers will be replaced by digital receivers and local radio stations will go the way of TV broadcasters.