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OnStar going silent on millions of vehicles


Oracle of Delphi

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A decision by the Federal Communications Commission that allows all cell phone companies to turn off their analog networks beginning in February of 2008 means that nearly two million people, or half of OnStar's entire subscription base, will soon find the other end silent when they press that blue button on their vehicle's dash.

Link: http://www.autoblog.com/2006/11/20/onstar-...ns-of-vehicles/

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Speed and quality of the service.

This story is old news. Technology marches on. Get over it. :)

Old news, but bad news. How can a company spend millions to promote a system and then allow 2 million potential paying customers to just drop off?

Makes no sense to me. Anyone know if upgrades are being offered to 'analog' vehicles? Seems like a smart thing to do, as its a revenue stream that is unique in the industry.

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The analog to digital transition issue is much more complicated overall. What most people don't realize is that it didn't happen overnight, it's been a muddy issue that has been dragged out for years by the carriers and is even still in process. During this time, GM (and other manufactures) still had to implement the technology in their cars that provided the largest possible footprint based on the technolgy that the carriers were using for their networks. Don't forget that even the FCC ruling that takes effect on February 2008 is not a requirement to shut down analog but just gives carriers permission to shut it down if they want to.

To illustrate the point, most everyone who transitioned to a Digital phone about 2001 - 2003 was likely dissapointed because of the lack of coverage. They also have been forced to purchase 2 or 3 new phones since then to keep their phone compatible with the many changes made to their carrier's digital network. As you can see, it really didn't make sense to lock down the digital hardware in the car any earlier. GM, MB, BMW, and the others using the cellular network for telematics service are all in the same boat and have all followed the same timeline.

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