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Thread: Future of Verizon GSM in New Hampshire

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    Future of Verizon GSM in New Hampshire

    What is the future of Verizon's GSM in New Hampshire (ex Unicel)? When are they allowed to shut it down? Are they going to shut it down, or is it going to stay around for roaming?

    About half of AT&T's so-called "network" in New Hampshire is actually VZW/Unicel. I've heard people say over and over that Verizon wants the roaming revenue, but the network is so big, would it be advantageous for Verizon to shut it down just to screw AT&T and get more subs from people dissatisfied with AT&T's coverage?

    My hope is that AT&T will buy out USCC and co-locate GSM/EDGE gear with their CDMA gear to cover NH with 850mhz coverage, but that has yet to happen.

    Now that I have roaming tags enabled on my AT&T phone, I sort of want to make a call on Verizon next time I'm up there just to say that I did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT
    What is the future of Verizon's GSM in New Hampshire (ex Unicel)? When are they allowed to shut it down? Are they going to shut it down, or is it going to stay around for roaming?

    About half of AT&T's so-called "network" in New Hampshire is actually VZW/Unicel. I've heard people say over and over that Verizon wants the roaming revenue, but the network is so big, would it be advantageous for Verizon to shut it down just to screw AT&T and get more subs from people dissatisfied with AT&T's coverage?

    My hope is that AT&T will buy out USCC and co-locate GSM/EDGE gear with their CDMA gear to cover NH with 850mhz coverage, but that has yet to happen.

    Now that I have roaming tags enabled on my AT&T phone, I sort of want to make a call on Verizon next time I'm up there just to say that I did.
    Verizon would be a fool to shut off GSM in any former Unicel/Alltel market that they're the only GSM roaming network. While Verizon would rather have only a CDMA network (at least the way I see it), they can earn some roaming revenue off the GSM carriers. Besides, the FCC might not allow Verizon to shut off the GSM network in markets that doesn't have a GSM carrier other than Verizon for roaming purposes. If AT&T and/or T-Mobile build out in areas where Verizon has a GSM network, then there's a chance that Verizon could turn it off.

    Depending on individual markets, this might make AT&T & T-Mobile build out their networks in those markets. That way, AT&T & T-Mobile would stop, or slow down roaming on Verizon. That's as long as they have licenses to build out those markets. Just remember that Verizon isn't expanding the GSM network beyond the buildout that took place under Unicel or WW/Alltel. So no 3G on the GSM side either.

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    Verizon shut some of Unicels network off in South AL because they needed the spectrum for its own CDMA network. Unless Verizon needs the spectrum, they won't shut it down.

    Also, your phone will say Unicel on it or "Off Network" I think. I know it won't show Verizon Wireless. haha
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    Quote Originally Posted by FCC 08-181
    88. The Commission has previously found that competition in the retail market is sufficient to protect consumers against potential harm arising from intercarrier roaming arrangements and practices. As discussed elsewhere in this Order, we find that the proposed transaction would be likely to cause significant competitive harm in a limited number of geographic markets, and that a package of divestitures of licenses and related network assets on which we are conditioning our grant of authority to transfer control of licenses from RCC to Verizon Wireless is sufficient to prevent competitive harm in those markets. Because the divestitures will protect competition at the retail level in those geographic markets, we conclude that the transaction will not alter competitive market conditions in such a way as to harm consumers of mobile telephony services, including roaming services. Accordingly, we decline to condition our approval of the transaction on any special requirements relating to roaming rates or arrangements, including a requirement to maintain RCC’s GSM network for a specified period of time in certain markets.
    There you have it! VZW is free to maintain or shut down the GSM network as they please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpatrick900
    I am a little confused. My Verizon phone was able to roam on GSM because they used TDMA. Tell it was shutdown. The phone recognizes it as Analog. If PCS has TDMA, It could be technically be used on GSM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XFF
    There you have it! VZW is free to maintain or shut down the GSM network as they please.

    Agreed... generally the carrier is required to divest some holdings or spectrum in other markets to satisfy the FTC during mergers like this. AFAIK there usually aren't any real conditions looming over them after the deal is complete. Verizon could likely shut down unicell GSM tomorrow if it made business sense.

    That being said, I have heard that they are pretty happy about the roaming income from this venture. There already is CDMA coverage in these markets. So unless they are really hurting to recycle that spectrum for CDMA use it's unlikely they will changing anything about unicell GSM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XFF
    There you have it! VZW is free to maintain or shut down the GSM network as they please.
    If VZW needs spectrum, assuming there's sufficient spectrum in those holdings, they could always run a cdma "overlay", taking 1.25MHz of spectrum each on the downlink and uplink, for cdma, leaving the rest for GSM TDMA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave73
    Verizon would be a fool to shut off GSM in any former Unicel/Alltel market that they're the only GSM roaming network. While Verizon would rather have only a CDMA network (at least the way I see it), they can earn some roaming revenue off the GSM carriers. Besides, the FCC might not allow Verizon to shut off the GSM network in markets that doesn't have a GSM carrier other than Verizon for roaming purposes. If AT&T and/or T-Mobile build out in areas where Verizon has a GSM network, then there's a chance that Verizon could turn it off.

    Depending on individual markets, this might make AT&T & T-Mobile build out their networks in those markets. That way, AT&T & T-Mobile would stop, or slow down roaming on Verizon. That's as long as they have licenses to build out those markets. Just remember that Verizon isn't expanding the GSM network beyond the buildout that took place under Unicel or WW/Alltel. So no 3G on the GSM side either.
    The thing is, AT&T and T-Mobile don't have CLR spectrum up there, and in the rural back woods of NH, PCS ends up making a network that has perfect service in one spot, and no service in another, and while you are driving, its impossible to hold onto a call. It would be better for AT&T service if they didn't have a network at all, and just roamed. Obviously, that would be a cost disaster for AT&T.

    The question in that market is if Verizon wants the revenue or wants to screw AT&T to gain subs. There is plenty of spectrum up there, as there aren't very many people, and with CDMA/EVDO in 1.25mhz chunks, it would be easy to use up 20mhz on their own network, and leave 5mhz for GSM/EDGE.

    I have the 4EON tag now so that my phone will show the roaming carrier, not just AT&T, next time I'm up there, I'll see what it says! I so want to make a call on Verizon on my GSM phone lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT

    I'll see what it says! I so want to make a call on Verizon on my GSM phone lol.
    It will say Unicel still. Verizon never changed it to say Verizon Wireless. I had a T-Mobile SIM card when I had the Tour and was roaming in AL and it shows Unicel USA or something like that I think.

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    I am from New hampton, NH. Exit 23 off I-93. GSM sucks in NH and always will. Most of the folks north of Concord use USCC. I would not be surprised if Verizon ignored the GSM network just like Alltel did out west.

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    As others have said Unicel is still alive as far as using your phone in northern or western NH goes. It's still 890 and the tag still says Unicel. Dialing *611 still gets answered by the Unicel lady. I have noticed some degraded performance in NW Maine when we were there a few months ago but I did not spend enough time to see if they dropped some of the 850 cells. Verizon has overlaid EV/DO throughout the areas I was in which is pretty impressive for being in the middle of no place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CellKrazeDude
    It will say Unicel still. Verizon never changed it to say Verizon Wireless. I had a T-Mobile SIM card when I had the Tour and was roaming in AL and it shows Unicel USA or something like that I think.
    I was actually roaming today on Unicel in south AL on both AT&T and T-Mobile and my T-Mobile said Unicel and AT&T showed Off Network. Same for Alltel, T-Mobile roaming on Alltel GSM it will say Alltel. AT&T always Off Network if you have the 4EON tag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CellKrazeDude
    It will say Unicel still. Verizon never changed it to say Verizon Wireless. I had a T-Mobile SIM card when I had the Tour and was roaming in AL and it shows Unicel USA or something like that I think.
    Yeah, I'll have to see if I roam, AT&T has a skeleton network up there on PCS, but fills the whole thing in with roaming... It's hard to tell exactly where one ends and the other starts, where I travel is right on the edge of the two, or are areas where AT&T has gaps that will probably roam.

    Quote Originally Posted by djjim
    I am from New hampton, NH. Exit 23 off I-93. GSM sucks in NH and always will. Most of the folks north of Concord use USCC. I would not be surprised if Verizon ignored the GSM network just like Alltel did out west.
    Yeah. I wouldn't say always will. There is a lot of speculation that in order to get low-band and to have the infrastructure to roll out LTE, AT&T is going to have to buy USCC, and overlay their network with GSM/EDGE. It would definitely help the northern states will cell service, as they would have to divest most of VT to VZW, so both companies would have a full set of CLR licenses in New England.

    All the people I know who spend time up there and down here have VZW, since its the only thing that works well in both places. Up until buying Unicel was VZW running on PCS too? Or were they relying on USCC CLR roaming? Or both? I could imagine they have/had excellent negotiating power for roaming on USCC, since USCC would be destroyed if they couldn't roam on VZW's nationwide CDMA/EVDO network.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmarkson
    As others have said Unicel is still alive as far as using your phone in northern or western NH goes. It's still 890 and the tag still says Unicel. Dialing *611 still gets answered by the Unicel lady. I have noticed some degraded performance in NW Maine when we were there a few months ago but I did not spend enough time to see if they dropped some of the 850 cells. Verizon has overlaid EV/DO throughout the areas I was in which is pretty impressive for being in the middle of no place.
    Verizon is very aggressive with EVDO, as far as I know, they are near 100% EVDO coverage on their native network, which is most of the country, as they rely on roaming a lot less than AT&T.

    Quote Originally Posted by locust43
    I was actually roaming today on Unicel in south AL on both AT&T and T-Mobile and my T-Mobile said Unicel and AT&T showed Off Network. Same for Alltel, T-Mobile roaming on Alltel GSM it will say Alltel. AT&T always Off Network if you have the 4EON tag.
    Is there any way to get AT&T to show the carrier? I thought 4EON did that? Does it matter for me that I have an unlocked/unbranded device or is that function still SIM-bound?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT
    The thing is, AT&T and T-Mobile don't have CLR spectrum up there, and in the rural back woods of NH, PCS ends up making a network that has perfect service in one spot, and no service in another, and while you are driving, its impossible to hold onto a call. It would be better for AT&T service if they didn't have a network at all, and just roamed. Obviously, that would be a cost disaster for AT&T.

    The question in that market is if Verizon wants the revenue or wants to screw AT&T to gain subs. There is plenty of spectrum up there, as there aren't very many people, and with CDMA/EVDO in 1.25mhz chunks, it would be easy to use up 20mhz on their own network, and leave 5mhz for GSM/EDGE.

    I have the 4EON tag now so that my phone will show the roaming carrier, not just AT&T, next time I'm up there, I'll see what it says! I so want to make a call on Verizon on my GSM phone lol.

    Verizon doesn't plan to keep most of the spectrum for GSM. Plus, it isn't being upgraded any further than the current buildout. I'm well aware that in New Hampshire, that Verizon & USCC hold the bulk of the spectrum. I'm not sure how many areas Verizon has built out in PCS, but they did it for select areas. Depending on a specific area, it might be more cost effective for AT&T & T-Mobile to build out their own network if there's a lot of roaming there. If it's just a few users, it would be cheaper for them to pay the roaming charges to Verizon. But only time will tell, but if the roaming charges are on the high side, and there are lots of AT&T & T-Mobile users roaming on Verizon GSM, then it might be worth the money to build out a network. There are some tourist attractions in Maine that Verizon built out a PCS network. That was because their users were doing a lot of roaming on USCC, and thought that they could save money by having their own network in those spots. It wasn't everywhere, but reduced roaming on USCC. Verizon also has PCS to fall back on. If they really wanted to, they could move GSM to the PCS band for where they have a PCS network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave73 View Post
    Verizon doesn't plan to keep most of the spectrum for GSM. Plus, it isn't being upgraded any further than the current buildout. I'm well aware that in New Hampshire, that Verizon & USCC hold the bulk of the spectrum. I'm not sure how many areas Verizon has built out in PCS, but they did it for select areas. Depending on a specific area, it might be more cost effective for AT&T & T-Mobile to build out their own network if there's a lot of roaming there. If it's just a few users, it would be cheaper for them to pay the roaming charges to Verizon. But only time will tell, but if the roaming charges are on the high side, and there are lots of AT&T & T-Mobile users roaming on Verizon GSM, then it might be worth the money to build out a network. There are some tourist attractions in Maine that Verizon built out a PCS network. That was because their users were doing a lot of roaming on USCC, and thought that they could save money by having their own network in those spots. It wasn't everywhere, but reduced roaming on USCC. Verizon also has PCS to fall back on. If they really wanted to, they could move GSM to the PCS band for where they have a PCS network.
    The thing is, AT&T has already built out in the areas where tourist attractions are, it's the roads in between and some of the more remote areas that don't have access to GSM service right now. A lot of vacationers go up there who should have decent cell service. Everyone who owns property up there has Verizon, as it's rock solid. I think Verizon should have been required to keep 5mhz of GSM where it was already installed so that GSM phones could continue to have CRL services up there.

    PCS is, IMO, a big safety risk in an area that can often place the user miles and miles away from an active cell site, and where locals and fighting towers extremely hard, making the lower frequency CLR even more important. In an area like that, it's physically impossible to build out even a halfway decent PCS network, especially why the co-location sites are spaced based on CLR for USCC and VZW (Unicel built).

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