AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Analog OnStar to shut down by February 2008

updated 04:15 pm EST, Fri December 21, 2007

Analog OnStar to close

Some car owners and other users of General Motors' OnStar service may find themselves in trouble this February, the Associated Press notes. As of February 18th, the FCC will allow GM to halt the analog version of OnStar, in a bid to make its network all-digital. The difficulty is that while the approximately one million OnStar cellphones can be replaced, some cars built as late as 2005 can only access OnStar via analog signals, and have no support for GM's $15 digital upgrade. Meanwhile, some home alarm systems with OnStar must default to a backup connection without analog.

OnStar service is actually set to stop before the signals do, with the turn of the new year. This has caused some consternation, as while OnStar began warning its customers through its website in 2006 -- and directly, in recent months -- people have been left scrambling to find alternatives, particularly as the network's digital coverage is still smaller.

The OnStar closure is part of a larger trend though, as the FCC is allowing shutdown for conventional analog cellular services as well. Alltel, Verizon and AT&T will all phase out analog in 2008, Alltel finishing as late as September. The only analog networks likely to remain intact will be local ones, generally those that serve rural regions where bigger companies have not invested.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jittery Jimmy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Analog cell service ends?

    Just last week I was talking to a friend at a Christmas party, and she said couldn't go with an iPhone because it didn't have something she needed: "Verizon's emergency analog backup".

    I found that funny that Verizon's ancient marketing strategy kind of lives on, although the "fact" that my friend talked about was all messed up - Her modern phone simply didn't have an analog chipset, being all CDMA. And in any case, Verizon's Analog network dies at the same time as OnStar - in two months.

    I set her straight, but now she's stuck - she has another 18 months on her contract.

  1. ScrewedByOnstar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Onstar Lawsuit

    IF WE ALL STICK TOGETHER AND JOIN THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT THEY WILL COME UP WITH AN OPTION FOR US. Here is the address of the law firm that filed the class action suit in March 2007:

    For more information contact: Ronald Jay Smolow, Esq. Smolow & Landis Two Neshaminy Interplex Trevose PA 19053 215-244-0880

    Please go to the website and enter your information to participate, we all deserve to be represented in this egregious fraud that Onstar and GM have created by selling us a critical feature that now we will not be able to use on our cars.

    We need to teach Onstar & GM a lesson here!

  1. lklarson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not interested in lessons

    I am not angry, not accusing anyone of fraud, (we all knew OnStar was analog.... all cell phones were analog then), and not interested in a class-action lawsuit filed, not to get my OnStar upgraded, but to generate legal fees.

  1. lklarson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and Jittery, I talked on my analog-capable Verizon phone yesterday, in the hinterlands of Idaho, where I suspect things might remain analog for some time. The call sounded terrible. I had kinda forgotten that part.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented