BREAKING: Cingular Shuts Off TDMA Service

Starting today, Cingular is shutting off TDMA cellphone service in Toledo.

TDMA is an older system of carrying cellphone signals. Most countries, except the US, use GSM. TDMA phones will not work the new GSM network Cingular is pushing.

If you live in Toledo and your service goes off today, you can call customer service and they will turn it back on temporarily.

After November 13th, however, Cingular will shut off TDMA phone service for Toledo completely.

Undoubtedly, Toledo’s shutoff will prove a testing ground for other cities.

How current customers can protect themselves, or use this to Cancel Cingular, inside…

From our tipster:

    “Customers in this situation, can get a new GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) phone, or port their phone number to another carrier if they so wish, but regardless they absolutely will not be able to have TDMA service in the city of Toledo after the 13th.

    Those getting a new GSM phone will be offered good deals on low end phones if they wish to extend their contract and slight deals on high end phones for a contract extension. Customers migrating to GSM phones will be forced to use a current Cingular plan. The chances of these plans being anywhere near as good as the old TDMA plans is pretty much nill.

    The inference I made was that they would let you cancel under these circumstances without an early termination fee, however, I have to get that confirmed. Based on my knowledge of the terms and conditions, I am very confident this is the case. Cannot think of any of the many sleazy terms that would let them charge you for this one. However, it is a very sleazy contract, so do get the status of the early termination fee confirmed.

    Please remember, the only way to take your phone number with you is to start service with another carrier before canceling with Cingular.

    I highly recommend that folks in this situation call Cingular customer care, ask for the phone to be turned back on and ask what they would be charged if they canceled service right away. Advise you will not be canceling today, but you want it notated on your account what you were told about the cost of canceling today. Have the rep read the note back to you. Then, if you so wish knowing everything, call another carrier, start service and ask them to port your number to their service. Whichever company you choose will take care of porting your number from Cingular and canceling your old service for you.”