No More Analog

by Christa Lollis

Most people know what their cell phone can do. Texting, pictures, even e-mail are popular features on today's phones, but if your phone doesn't do any of those things, you'll be looking for a new phone next month. "Analog is basically a sign wave communication and some frequency and pitch. Digital is one's and zero's and it's the new standard that your cable television is going to and it's the standard that your satellite has always been and it's the standard that your cell phone's going to," Chris Thornton at Best Buy explains.

On February 18, analog lines, those that don't have those hi-tech features, will shut down. Experts say the upgrade will make it less risky to make a call. "Digital phones prevent things like number cloning where someone has a special piece of equipment and walk by your cell and pull your number while your making a call. That's a several billion dollar a year crime. Digital phones are harder to clone," Thornton said. The problem is anyone with an analog phone has to upgrade and even then if you're too far from a tower your new phone won't work. Chris explains that, "You will run into areas where you used to be on network, you'll be roaming or you may end up with areas where you have no service at all. The good news is though, is once the digital service arrives to your location you can expect a clearer signal with fewer dropped calls and fewer interruptions."

The new service will bring clearer calls and faster connections but it could be months before the rural areas get the digital towers that make it work. If you want to find out if your phone is digital ready or want more information on the switch, contact your service provider.