May 24, 2005, 12:35 PM by Eric Lin
An in-depth look at the potential ESN crisis facing the CDMA industry.
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What if 1998 and 1999 came and went without a single news report on Y2K? Doubtless, there would have been mumblings on the web or at parties from the millions of programmers around the world, but imagine the millennium without media induced hysteria about computer systems grinding to a halt.
It's not that hard to imagine, because something not so different is happening right now. Engineers and programmers at handset manufacturers, base station equipment companies, backend service providers and carriers are all scrambling to fix a problem akin to Y2K before their clock strikes the proverbial midnight.
Like the Y2K bug, this problem is due to the poor planning of some short-sighted engineers and the efforts of those who came after them to provide backwards compatibility. Like Y2K, unless this problem is fixed systems will freeze and chaos, however minor, could ensue. But also like Y2K, it is likely that all systems will be upgraded before time runs out, and most people will look back and say "what was all the fuss about?" Only this time there's no fuss.
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Just another reason...
As for R-UIM, I do believe it is compatible with SIMs. I seem to think that Rogers/Fido users in Canada can use their GSM SIM in and R-UIM CDMA phone in Korea.
Now, imagine if Cingular and T-Mobile and the other GSM carriers in the U.S. were all CDMA...the problem would have accelerated out of control.
I do think it would be wise for CDG to standardize an R-UIM solution. The R-UIM would be used to authenticate the user to the network, and store information, while the MEID could be used to athenticate the phone to a working or restricted status.
However, if they opt for the easier solution now of just MEID, it will be a lot harder to change later.
Something tells me that those of us enjoying CDMA won't get anything equivalent to SIM cards, though... *sigh*
But of course using R-UIM is up to the carriers...
I'll try not to think about it
Kink in the proposed/planned system...
"Base stations would then need to be upgraded to query phones entering a cell for this code, which they never cared about before. If a phone responded with the code "on", then the cell would address all traffic to the phone using MEID, if it was still "off," the cell would continue to use an ESN"
Now, base stations, have to send/receive more information to the cell phones.
Now that there is more "communication" between the base and the handset, I see 2 (more) problems arisiing from this:
1. Much longer time for each handset to connect to and sync with the tower
2. (Resulting from #1) More dropped calls, fewer calls on the network, lower battery life, and higher prices. (Hey, let's go back to the mid-90s).
What About TDMA Carriers?
If we use the pseudoESN solution, we wouldn't be able to use our fraud detection system.
If we implemented MEID (and it's not clear from the article if it's being considered for TDMA), it sounds like an expensive HLR/VLR and billing system upgrade.
Very interesting topic, Eric! Thanks for bringing it up.
But what will happen is that manufacturers simply won't be able to make new TDMA phones. That's not a big deal, since production of new TDMA phones has already dropped off to pract...
They are certainly more prepared than Verizon. They have updated their back-end systems to deal with MEID, and they are ready for pESNs, unlike Verizon, who still has a lot of work to do before ...
Do they reuse the old esns
first, the TIA began assigning ESNs in the 80s, when computerized records weren't exactly reliable. and many of the companies they assigned blocks of ESNs to kept even worse records, so the TI...