Today is the day when AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and a handful of rural cellular companies officially shut off their analog (“AMPS”) networks. While there are very few analog users out there, I wanted to pass this across simply because a LOT of phones from Verizon Wireless, as well as all of the “old style” (sometimes called “TDMA”) AT&T digital phones, still have the capability of providing analog backup. Starting today, that capability is dead.
This also means that if you know someone who carries around an old bag phone or other analog cell phone in the trunk of their car “just for 911”, you should help them upgrade to a newer phone. Since carriers will be shutting off the analog networks completely, the old analogs won’t even work for emergency usage.
Finally, if you have an alarm system that has cellular or wireless backup, check with your alarm company to find out what type of wireless system you have. Most of these systems use the analog network, so after today, you will no longer have wireless backup service. A small handful of these systems use county communications towers or digital cellular service (such as CDMA or GSM-based networks); these will be unaffected. Your alarm company should be able to upgrade you if necessary. In fact, now would be an excellent time to consider installing your own system from scratch and/or going with a less expensive monitoring company (I’ve used NextAlarm for years and couldn’t be happier).