Apparently digital signals used today aren't as "enrobing" as analog signals and are more easily blocked by buildings or terrain. After a big push to switch people to digital dead zone complaints soared. The wireless carriers have to put a lot more antennas in and study tricky locations to ensure continual service.
Public safety departments using new digital radios have had the same problem with dead spots. Their old analog sets were more reliable.
I was riding a train and the other passengers lost their signal. My old analog phone kept working.
In more remote areas people use older style "bag phones" with a higher powered analog signal to have service. Apparently there is no replacement for this yet, and analog is supposed to be retired in a few years, which will leave rural areas in big trouble.
As a user, I'm concerned that if I take a motor trip, and go a few miles off the main highway to an isolated area, that I'll lose service at a point where I'll need it the most in an emergency.
How far will today's tiny little phones work away from the antenna?[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think rural areas are _already_ in some trouble. Cingular Wireless is really trying hard to get all customers converted over to GSM and the flimsy little phones. On my older style Nokia phone which I used, quite successfully until a few months ago, I _always_ had a great signal. The local agent told me that the newer Nokia 6010 phone (GSM) would be 'much better'. I got it and turned it on, and only rarely does the signal strengh approach the level the old one does. GSM is _not_ a better deal at all. I suppose if you wanted to use it fo (very limited) Internet stuff, watch television or take photos, etc it would be okay, but how about those of us who just want to make/recieve good quality phone calls? PAT]