Analog Service Hanging Up on Customers
Digital networks soon only option, but service has its kinks
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 3:01 AM CST
General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner speaks about GM's OnStar service at his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008. Older versions of OnStar, the communications...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Phone customers still dialing up using old analog networks will be out of luck—and service—beginning Feb. 18 when the nation’s wireless companies shut down the outdated technology and switch to digital. Of the quarter-billion American cell phone users, the vast majority use digital networks, but some 1 million people still phone the old way, reports the Washington Post.

Many of them, located in thinly populated regions, are worried about the switch because digital signals aren’t strong in remote areas. “Digital is like a highway with potholes and analog is the tar that patches the holes," said one backwater resident. Even some OnStar tracking systems, sold in car models as recently as 2005, are digitally challenged, the Post notes.