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Received a letter from Onstar today advising that the service may be over January 1st 2008 If Cell phone carriers elect to discontinue providing Analog service.

I have Verizon in our 1999 and would like to continue the service. Talked to everyone about changing to Digital but apparently they have no packages to upgrade the 1st Generation at any costs.

Granted their is aftermarket stuff I can put in the car but I would like to keep it OEM.

Perhaps in time someone will come out with a package to upgrade the older systems on the market.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks

Frank

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I can't help you on the hardware situation. And it is unfortunate that an upgrade path is not easily available.

Keep in mind that the analog network might not go dark on that date. What the various carriers choose to do with their analog frequency pairs will depend on how much revenue they can obtain from whatever service they make available. The bandwidth will still be licensed to them.

You might find you still have a Verizon signal after 1/1/08. What does Verizon tell you? It might take a letter to their Chief of Engineering to get an answer; folks in the retail outlets will not know or care.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Received a letter from Onstar today advising that the service may be over January 1st 2008 If Cell phone carriers elect to discontinue providing Analog service.

I have Verizon in our 1999 and would like to continue the service. Talked to everyone about changing to Digital but apparently they have no packages to upgrade the 1st Generation at any costs.

Granted their is aftermarket stuff I can put in the car but I would like to keep it OEM.

Perhaps in time someone will come out with a package to upgrade the older systems on the market.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks

Frank

So which years of cars does this affect?

Jim

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I think the first onstar units up to 2003 where the transition began to digital.

I was told to hold on to my service with Verizon as none of the cell carriers will provide new service to Analog systems.

Frank

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I've been struggling with the analog vs. digital phone issue since 2000, when I moved to S. Jersey from the L.A. area. It seems that since the late 1990's the phone companies want to drop analog service because they don't want to maintain two sets of transceivers on every cell. The problem is that this will orphan all the analog phones out there, and the FCC won't let them. The cell phone companies counter by offering "free" phones, and lately most won't offer service unless it's one of their phones, effectively ruling out older phone technology. Analog phones are just about extinct now.

The problem is that the first digital cell technology, I95, wasn't robust enough to handle picket-fencing (the flutter you sometimes hear on a weak radio station while driving) and I95 coverage was slow to spread to areas such as open-road Interstates and national parks, so car phones remained analog until GSM came out, or about 2002. So, just about all car phones for model years 2002 and before are affected by the discontinuance of analog phone service.

Dropping analog service is already going on, and has been for some years now. The coverage of analog service keeps getting thinner, to the point that I don't have service most of the time and I don't give out my car phone number anymore because I can't count on being in a service area when a call comes in.

A couple of years ago I called OnStar and asked them and Cadillac about what to do. They said that they would offer retrofits to cars of model year 2002 (or so; I don't recall the exact year) but not for older cars. Older cars will just be SOL when analog service goes away, although you can always buy a new OnStar system. For my 1997, they don't offer one with hands-free cell phone service, although my car has had that since I bought it new.

About a year ago I looked into getting some OnStar manuals so that I could look into modifying the phone module to have a GSM RF unit. I got some manuals off of eBay but they don't have schematics, even with the modules as black boxes, just troubleshooting charts and service procedures. Re-engineering the phone modules would probably be easier as a project that services the CAN bus for the DTCs and operates the lines to the stereo, which is right next to the phone module in the trunk compartment electronics bay. I'm still toying with that. But, I need the specifications of the phone module as it interfaces with the CAN bus and the stereo unit.

I think the simplest solution is to get a TomTom on a Palm Treo 700p and BlueTooth, add LoJack, and forget the automatic alert on air bag deployment.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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This coverage site may help..

http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2006/04/27/a...st-network-nah/

I remember going into Canada maybe back in 2002. Zero digital coverage after about 5 miles past Port Huron. That phone happened to be a dual mode...so I had analog coverage with about 3 hours of phone charge. You could watch that phone go dead in hours in analog mode...30 minutes if you answered a call...

Most OnStar commuincation is by analog/digital cell phone. No, you are not talking the the GM satellite.

Anyway...couple of pics...

Old cell phone and old cell phone..

post-2-1171692227.jpg

post-2-1171692251.jpg

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Actually, if you haven't rolled over your phone in a couple of years, your cell phone may well be analog. Check your online web site for your carrier, and look up your phone. If you can't tell, it's analog. The most common digital cell protocols are GSM and TDMA2000, which is frequency-agile GSM. We bought a new Nokia 6140 (?) a few years ago and thought that it was digital, but it was TDMA -- which sounds digital but is the old pre-I95 analog cell phone standard. We started getting increasing coverage problems and dropped calls to the point that its usefulness was questionable and found out that it was analog when I tried to roll over my car phone account. We retired it and now have a Motorola Razr.

The coverage maps are a good guide for figuring out where you have no service at all with different carriers, which is important if you plan to travel with the phone or move to another area. If you tour by car, and you have a car phone or OnStar, it's important to know whether or not your phone will work in an area that you plan to be in soon.

When you are in a coverage area, it doesn't mean that you won't see NO SERVICE on your cell phone. Dead spots, busy cells, and simply holes caused by cell tower placement and topography happen all the time. This is why we have dropped calls. The more the cells overlap and the more channels that the cells have available relative to the number of users, the better your service will be. They've been dropping analog cell transceivers and the thinning of the analog network has made this problem worse for analog cell phones than it has been since the 80's. What OnStar's input tells us is that the cell phone companies have negotiated an end date of December 31, 2007 for mandatory analog cell phone service.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The end is in sight for just about analog *anything.*

Unless the date gets pushed back once again, U.S. analog television broadcasts will end February, 2009. Just something to keep in mind if a television purchase is on your horizon.

Regards,

Warren

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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I'll give up my analog watch when you pry it from my cold dead wrist.

That's funny! :lol:

I feel same way about my digital watch. In my business I need to know the time to the exact second; analog doesn't do that for me.

Regards,

Warren

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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You mean there is still analog out there! :blink: I should get my bag phone back out if I can use it for another year or 2. :D I miss analog, at least you could still hear the other person through the static. ;)

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I miss analog, at least you could still hear the other person through the static. ;)

That would be funny if it weren't so true.

My personal cell phone carrier provides service I consider "pretty good." The Blackberry I carry at work uses a different carrier. Calls border on "unintelligible." What a difference!

No static, though. :lol:

Regards,

Warren

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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The problem that I have with the analog phone situation and my 1997 Gen 1 OnStar is that there is no way to upgrade my car phone. Apparently no one at GM has figured out that it is a good idea to make a pop-out module for the phone transceiver, they way they do with the knock sensor module in the PCM. The attitude I got when talking directly to Cadillac over my OnStar situation on this occasion and an earlier one about oil burning was that I should trade for a new car, not maintain or update my 1997 model year Cadillac.

Uh, what about those who buy these cars after trade? According to a poll I once saw here (not in the Polls forum right now?), about 75% of the people here bought their Cadillac used. The fact that I ate the showroom depreciation on my Cadillac many years ago doesn't make me or my car any different from any other 1997 model year Cadillac or owner, and I feel that we all want to keep our cars up to date.

The main reason that I bought OnStar was the theft recovery angle -- the theft deterrent system will automatically disable the phone and notify OnStar if the car is stolen, and OnStar will contact you. You can then authorize OnStar to provide GPS tracking information to whatever police jurisdiction is appropriate. So, I'll be getting LoJack later this year. I would rather be buying a new phone module from GM at about the same price, between $500 and $1,000. In fact, I would buy a complete replacement phone module, with or without replaceable pop-out transceiver module, if it had the same integration with the car and stereo as my present phone. One that simply works with a handset has no advantage over a regular phone with a car charger, and is at a disadvantage when compared to a regular phone with a Bluetooth car kit or even a cheezy plug-in-the-phone headset kit designed for car use.

GM, are you listening? Make it, and I will buy it.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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According to dealer no upgrade available at any price. For Generation 1

Think that in the future someone will come up with a retrofit.

I like the security of airbag notification in case of accident as well as stolen vehicle notification.

Frank

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Saw this during a TSB bulletin search..

Subject: Information on OnStar Analog-Only Systems #06-08-46-007 - (12/13/2006)

Models: 1996-2001 GM Passenger Cars and Trucks

Plus:

2002 Buick LeSabre, Rendezvous

2002-2003 Buick Century, Regal

2002-2005 Buick Park Avenue

2002 Cadillac Eldorado, Escalade Models

2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Venture

2002 GMC Denali, Denali XL, Jimmy, Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL

2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue, Silhouette

2002-2003 Oldsmobile Aurora

2002 Pontiac Aztek, Bonneville, Montana

2002-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

with OnStar® (RPO UE1)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All vehicles equipped with OnStar® listed in this bulletin were built with Analog-Only OnStar® Hardware. OnStar® equipped vehicles with analog-only equipment were designed to operate only on the analog wireless network and cannot be upgraded for digital network compatibility.

Vehicles with this equipment will no longer be able to receive OnStar® services beginning January 1, 2008. At that time, service will be available only through Dual-Mode (Analog / Digital) equipment. Analog-Only vehicles cannot be upgraded to digital equipment.

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GM, are you listening? Make it, and I will buy it.

Long story short, GM has NO CLUE what it is selling with On-Star. Most of us have been packing digital and "tri band" cells since the mid 90's and yet GM was installing Analog ONLY systems as late as 2001/2002 (?). If you are going to play in the High tech telecom space you need to get new product to market in 6 months -- not 6 years.

GM sells the Onstar system as a go anywhere "AAA" "Help Centre" attached to a cell network... Maybe that's how it started, but that's not how to sell it. This is a wireless network. Pure and simple... GM should be selling it as such.

BTW Onstar "as is" is neither cost competitive with "AAA" service or any national cell services.

No-one in GM management seems to see what On-star is, how to sell it and how to make money with it. Looks like their latest plan is to use it to force us to upgrade our cars... This might work with a $200 cell phone... It won't work with a $50,000 Caddy...

GM.. Want to make money with Onstar? Install and activate the system for FREE in every car you sell and then (like cell companies) charge for air time. One plan, one hourly rate... say 10¢ a minute... Doesn't matter who they call (in North America) or what they use it for... If they call your call center to unlock the car; 10¢ a minute. Directions to a restaurant/gas; 10¢ a minute. If the local police use it to find a stolen car; 10¢ a minute. Send/Receive Email.. You get the idea.

Compete head to head with "AAA" and the cell phone companies and you will make money... I would love to know what percentage of people with Onstar enabled cars actually are using the service... probably less then 5%... Of the people I know with Onstar cars the number is 0.00%

Thank for letting me rant

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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I would love to know what percentage of people with Onstar enabled cars actually are using the service... probably less then 5%... Of the people I know with Onstar cars the number is 0.00%

quote]

That's true in my case as well. We've had it on 3 cars so farand I'venever made a call or even thought about it. My girlfriend talks aboiut having On Star all the time never actually uses it.

It's safety aspects are commendable and should be part of every car made.

Scott

1996 El Dorado

2006 STS

2000 Corvette

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I will not rush to remove anything.

Someone is bound to come up with a retrofit that will keep the car original. Their area lot of cars out their. Talking mega $$$$

Frank

You will be waiting a long time. If I were Motorola, LG or Ericsson, etc. this would be WAY down my to do list. First, they have to figure how to get the system to talk to the BCM and PCM of each different car... And we all know how open GM is with this information. :rolleyes:

Next, these manufactures make most of there money selling these phones, in bulk, to the carriers who (like drug dealers) basically give them away and "hook" us on the air time. This could happen if GM sold air time... GM doesn't...

Long story short... It might happen, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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I have a 2002 STS with onstar. It is expensive in Canada (approx $280 Canadian per year) I am one of the few from the sounds of things that subscribes to the basic package. I travel alot and feel a little more secure with the airbag deployment notification to Onstar. I also use the Onstar hands free phone option. The minutes go on sale often for $25 US for 100 minutes. No long distance or roaming charges. I love it. I agree with Onyx though that GM seems to be shooting themselves in the foot with this soon to be obsolete technology.

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Compete head to head with "AAA" and the cell phone companies and you will make money...

After speaking to a Onstar rep the other evening I came to the conclusion its nothing more than a cell phone, using the same cell towers everyone else is using. Certainly a suprise to me.

Granted they have options the cell phones don't have (air bag deployment, turn-by-turn directions and so on) but their technology is no different than anyone elses. I just always had this thought their technology was different.

Personally, I don't use it as my cell phone suffices and I don't have to worry about "Big Brother" ease dropping in on my conversations.

Jim

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Jim,

I couldn't have said it better, In the late 90's Onstar had a massive technological advantage over other wireless technology. One of the first with GPS, one of the first with remote email, etc, etc... GM never really pitched this, or priced it way out to lunch.

Instead they pitched remote key unlock and the 9-1-1 call when your air bag goes...

The sad fact about the air bag thing is that most 9-1-1 call centers are not set up to take calls from out of state/country. Depending where you are... When On Star calls they are most likely calling a "non-emergency" back door number. You will get better service calling with your local cell.

And, at least in my city... we can tell when any accident happens as everyone is really active in calling in accidents to 9-1-1... Maybe the airbag thing is useful if you drive remote highways at 2:00 AM... Otherwise... not so much...

IMO

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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It is a f**cking cell phone. Been tryin to tell that for years...

"OnStar: Current GM onboard subscription communications device. Technically a car based analog cell phone. Future versions will have both analog and digital coverage. Onstar will attempt to call you if there is a deployment or near deployment event, typically about 15-20 seconds after the deployment event or near deployment event. See 'Advanced Automatic Crash Notification.'"

Try www.airbagcrash.com

You should more be more worried about the crash data..

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Couldn't resist to add to the rant....

Even GM's advertising plan for Onstar makes no sense. The commercials in my part of the country have someone calling Onstar to call 911 to then connect with the police or fire department or call for an ambulance. How stupid is this - I can dial 911 quicker directly on my cell phone! Also, the much advertised remote door unlocking sounds cool, but when is the last time you locked your doors without your key fob? In 1980?

Like Greg said - so much potential - so little follow-through!

Tom R.

1998 Cadillac STS with 102K Miles

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