31 July 2005

Analog is better than digital, sometimes

Residents of sparsely-populated areas of the US are fighting to keep their analog cell phones, as the digital network in those areas doesn't have the coverage necessary to reach them.
"If we phase those people out, they may be in a situation where they have this brand new, state-of-the-art digital phone with all sorts of bells and whistles, but they're not going to be able to complete the call in the first place," Sahr said.
With all the focus on the features that you can provide to consumers with digital, it's easy to forget that digital has a major problem. Digital doesn't fail gracefully. With an analog phone, as you began to go out of range, you might get some static, things might get a little distorted, but it was often still possible to quickly conclude a conversation as the signal died.

With digital, however, it's much more of an all-or-nothing affair, so we just get cut off with little warning, leaving us telling the air that the connection is breaking up.

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