Items Affected By The Cellular Analog Network Shutdown

The analog-to-digital TV revolution is still a year off, but the country’s oldest cellular network will be shut down in February. Wired and Associated Press provide the following list of what kinds of items will be affected.

Cell phones
“In particular, check phones that are kept around as 911-only phones. Such phones, which don’t have a phone number and aren’t initialized with a carrier, were given out by some donation programs that collected old phones.” Less than 1% of cell phones currently in use are analog, but the article points out that that still counts for over a million devices. Anything less than 5 years old or that can text message isn’t analog.

Car communication systems
Generally, cars from the 2003 model year and older with OnStar from General Motors Corp., TeleAid from Mercedes-Benz or Lexus Link are affected, and most won’t be upgradable. Upgrade kits are available for most OnStar systems from model years 2004 and 2005.

Home burglar and fire alarms
“Homes that have them will lose wireless backup alarms, which kick in if someone cuts the phone line.”

“Gadgets Affected by Analog Shutdown” [Wired]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. hardisonthefloor says:

    Zack Morris is gonna be PISSED.

  2. Alvis says:

    So are scanners going to be sold unblocked again?

  3. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    Nice to know the ladies at the battered womens shelters will be totally screwed by this.

  4. Buran says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: I suspect that with all the millions of phones being thrown away all the time by upgrade-happy yuppies, there’ll be more where those came from.

  5. doormat says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: So why not have a donation drive for more phones? Apple is probably going to annouce that they’re going to pass 5M iPhones – now just get those folks to donate their old phones to a shelter.

  6. cde says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: A brand new phone that can be used for 911 only can be bought for 15 dollars at a grocery store or walmart (tracphone or tmobile or etc). The same mass consumerism that forces technology, provides a refuge :D

  7. popeye_doyle says:

    @Buran: The term “Yuppie” has worked hard and wants to be retired, along with its friends “Generation X” and “boomer”. If you look at the people around you upgrading their possessions, throwing away perfectly useful appliances for new improved appliances and accessories, etc., you will see that they are not necessarily young, upwardly mobile, or professional. Except they are professional consumers.

  8. quail says:

    I thought that there would be more things affected than just that stuff.

  9. stuny says:

    I believe remote devices that dial in for updates, like vending machines, also use analog systems.

  10. chersolly says:

    Sadly, there are women who cannot spare $15 to have a phone ready to call 911 when they are in fear of abuse.

  11. Quellman says:

    It’ll be like Y2K all over.

  12. Buzz Lightyear says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: A less-widely known fact is that 9-1-1 Centers cannot call back uninitialized phones (phones without active service). Shelters are much better served by providing “pay as you go” or disposible phone as @CDE suggested.

  13. badgeman46 says:

    @Buran: I respectfully disagree, I’d say the most churn will come from 21-30 year olds. Out of everyone I know, that group is the most likely to pay upwards of 10 percent of their income on cell phones.

  14. Opie says:

    No. Contrary to all the reportage, not all Analog networks will shut down. The change taking effect will just mean that carriers are no longer required to support them. Many analog carriers will remain into the next decade.

  15. MYarms says:

    Thank god that I won’t have to buy yet another phone. I recently broke my last 2 motorolas and have reverted back to an old Nokia which I had thought was analog because of the awesome crystal clear signal I get on it.