Feature Group 2A [telecom]

The recent discussion of cell phone rating missed an important detail. In the 1990s, rate centers literally Did Not Matter in many areas because cell phones did not have regular phone numbers with rate centers attached to them.

The ILECs had tariffs -- at least in NYNEXland it was called Feature Group 2A -- which cell phone companies could subscribe to, in getting their connections to the ILEC tandems. FG2A took prefix codes and made them "oddball" -- local to the whole LATA. So my cell phone number, when assigned to me by NYNEX Mobile, was technically in the Saugus rate center (not local to squat) but since it was FG2A and in my area code (617), it was offered as a local number.

One summer in the 1990s, we rented a house on Cape Cod. It had a NYNEX phone that was allowed to make local calls only; toll calls required a calling card. Our home phone could not be called. Our mobile numbers (both 617, nowhere near there) could be called on that line.

When mobile number portability took effect, this all ended. The ILECs were aghast at the possibility that a wireline phone could be a local call FROM the whole LATA. So FG2A went away, and mobile rate centers counted again. This made my cell phone a +1 call from home, though fortunately we had a plan that still made it no charge. But I suppose there are some people who would pay a toll to call me. Had I known fifteen years ago that this would happen, I would probably have asked for a nominally-local number.

But then the whole rate center thing is totally obsolete anyway. The telcos are just holding onto it for the sake of some intercarrier access charges (not applicable on calls to or from mobiles, for which any call in the Major Trading Area is wholesale-rated as local) and retail toll (to off-plan subcribers).

-- Fred Goldstein k1io fgoldstein "at" ionary.com ionary Consulting

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Fred Goldstein
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I was at Mt. Desert Island, Maine last week: the phone in my chalet was "null pic'd" so that any long-distance call gave a recording saying I had to choose a long distance carrier. I have a phone card that I can access via an 800 number, but when I tried to use it with AT&T's access code (1010288), I got the same recording. I tried

1010110, but got the same result.

For future reference is there a way around this issue? Will I have to know which carrier transports that particular 800 number?

Reply to
Telecom digest moderator

You can't use an access code with a toll-free number. Sounds like the toll restriction is broken.

One thing that sometimes works is to dial 0 and say (quite truthfully) that you're having trouble calling this 800 number so could she dial it for you.

R's, John

Reply to
John Levine

I was under the impression that toll-free numbers did not require a long-distance PIC. I have none (631 area code) and make 1-800 calls every month. Did you try dialing the 1-800 number without _any_ PIC prefixes?

***** Moderator's Note *****

Yes, I did.

Reply to

Back in around 1998 I had what was then an Omnipoint phone. It was on


phone without depositing money.

You know I just had a T-Mobile phone (Cancelled it since I wasn't trekking to Boston and Back) and I never throuht to try it, mostly because almost all the remaining pay phones are COCOT.

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