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AT&T GSM 850 Blamed For Police Radio Outages In Oakland

Article Comments  12  

Aug 22, 2012, 4:19 PM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome
updated Aug 22, 2012, 4:21 PM

AT&T has temporarily shut down GSM service in the 850 MHz band at 16 towers in Oakland, CA, after an FCC investigation found that they may have been a culprit in service problems with the city's new police radio system. AT&T's WCDMA and LTE networks are unaffected, as are GSM and WCDMA networks in the 1900 MHz band. The company has over 1,000 towers in the Bay Area. Most customers should therefore notice little impact. The FCC is also investigating whether some T-Mobile towers may be an issue. Although AT&T is licensed to use GSM technology in the 850 MHz band in that area, FCC rules require that public safety systems take priority.

more info at SFGate »

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Aug 22, 2012, 5:41 PM

This is crazy

So - If a new "public saftey" network, or radio (device) is created that interferes with a network that is already licensed and has already existed for years, That previous network is at fault, however if it happens the other way around (LightSquared) then they are SOL ?

I am clapping my hands now.

Shouldn't the government and whoever is in charge of public safety test these devices to ensure they comply with FCC regulations?
That is true, use the old equipment till the new equipment doesn't interfere.
Wow didn't Sprint have a similar issue a few years back with Nextel's band as well? I think they ended up refarming iDEN and in exchange the government gave them the PCS 1900MHz G block? Weird this happening on AT&T's 850MHz as it's been around for ye...
Exactly. It's the fault of the vendor that installed the new police network. No question.
That's the same thing I was wondering...someone else sets up a network on a frequency that has been assigned to at&t, and at&t is the one that has to move? What exactly is the point of the FCC assigning a specific frequency to you if someone else can ...

Aug 22, 2012, 8:30 PM

Moot at this point

While I agree with the planning ahead, it seems that OK has their reasons for doing it the way they decided to do it. However, being in law enforcement myself, I would much rather ATT shut down a few towers, than to have interference in communications, that could make all the difference in life or death situation. When I or any officer needs assistance, I don't want there to be a delay in communications or simply unable to communicate at all.

ATT, Oakland and the vendor of the new police communication system can work out those issues at some point in the near future. As far as we know, this could be what they are planning to do anyway. Besides, ATT has already stated that the shutdown of these towers shouldn't affect the overall usage of ...

Aug 22, 2012, 5:45 PM

Roaming Deals

This is when having a nation wide roaming deal would come in handy. I understand that only the GSM 850 band is shut off but it's California when every cell tower counts. But if they had roaming with T-Mobile and other GSM operators in that area they could use that to help that area from getting degraded to bad.

This of course is pure speculation going off the article.
It's just the GSM 850 band. I honestly don't see this effecting much of anyone. For someone to lose service completely, they'd need to be using a phone that only supports GSM in the 850 MHz band and not 1900 MHz. That pretty much pegs it as a foreign,...
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