Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

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Thread: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC ragingfish's Avatar
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    Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    TECHNOLOGY
    Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    By KEN BELSON
    Published: November 19, 2006


    FOR the last decade, OnStar has promoted itself as a paragon of convenience and peace of mind for car owners. Best known for its ability to bail out customers in a jam — and even make an automatic call for help when an air bag has been deployed in an accident — the service has about four million subscribers.

    OnStar service in the GMC Yukon of Michael and Vickie Farris may be cut off in ’08.

    OnStar makes its pitch in a series of alarming radio advertisements that use recordings of actual emergency calls to demonstrate how operators in an OnStar call center are standing by to summon an ambulance, open a car with a child locked inside or track a vehicle that has been stolen. At the push of a button, the operators are available to give directions or to act as concierges, pointing subscribers to the closest gas station or Chinese restaurant.

    But the operators will soon be signing off for some of OnStar’s longstanding customers. The dropped connection is a result a little-known decision by the Federal Communications Commission in 2002 that allows cellphone companies to shut down their analog networks beginning in February 2008.

    The decision will affect not only mobile phone users in rural America and other places where digital networks have yet to be built, but also hundreds of thousands of subscribers with older cars whose OnStar systems rely on those analog networks. Some subscribers with 2002 model year or newer cars can have their cars converted to digital equipment, or their cars may already be equipped with the needed hardware.

    OnStar, which was a $199 option when they bought their vehicles, will become largely obsolete in 15 months in some 2002-4 models, as well as all models before 2002, because the OnStar electronics cannot be upgraded. Some Acura, Audi, Subaru and Volkswagen owners will also be affected.

    Verizon Wireless, the network of choice for OnStar, has not said how or when it will dismantle its analog network, though it has not ruled out shutting off the service all at once. More likely, industry analysts say, the networks will be turned off in stages.


    Veronika Lukasova for The New York Times

    OnStar service in the GMC Yukon of
    Michael and Vickie Farris may be cut
    off in ’08.
    Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/au.../19ONSTAR.html

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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 rhvfd10's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    That's a shame. My mom's 2003 Olds van has on* and I'm pretty sure that that is one of the models affected. It's no suprise though that the technological dinosaur that is analog phones will die. I just wish that GM might offer an upgrade of the on* service in those older cars.

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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    At least we can blame it on the government. I wonder how much does it cost to upgrade the OnStar system in the older cars.

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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Quote Originally Posted by ragingfish
    The truck has about 40,000 miles on it and runs well, so Mr. Farris wants to keep it beyond 2008. He must now consider whether to sell it, find one of the few aftermarket alternatives, or go without. “This thing we paid for is going to turn into a pumpkin,” Mr. Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., said.
    Cry me a river. This pompous guy seems to think GM is somehow obligated to continue providing him with an obsolete service for the rest of eternity. If he's so obsessed over the fact that most high-tech devices have a way of eventually becoming obsolete, he should either get a new car every year, or give up altogether and trade his Yukon for a nice bicycle.

    That said, it was incredibly stupid of GM to design OnStar in a way that it can't be upgraded.
    Last edited by ChevroletRevived; 11-19-2006 at 08:19 AM.

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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    go to on-star web site enter vin to see if upgrade is available or contact a dealer to look at bulletin 05-08-46-006i. if upgrade is available GM supplies hardware all you have to do is pay for 1 year in advance,used to be 3 years.

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    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 01cavalier's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Quote Originally Posted by Butz
    At least we can blame it on the government. I wonder how much does it cost to upgrade the OnStar system in the older cars.
    Last time I heard anything Onstar required a 3-year prepaid subscription to have the entire cost of the conversion paid for.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 logansowner's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    So many people say that it's a useless feature and get all paranoid that someone gives enough of a damn to be tracking their every more. But when they threaten to shut it off those same people think the sky is falling.

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    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 mike's 01ws6's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Quote Originally Posted by rearden82
    Cry me a f---ing river. This pompous jackass seems to think GM is somehow obligated to continue providing him with an obsolete service for the rest of eternity. If he's so obsessed over the fact that most high-tech devices have a way of eventually becoming obsolete, he should either get a new car every year, or give up altogether and trade his Yukon for a nice bicycle.

    That said, it was incredibly stupid of GM to design OnStar in a way that it can't be upgraded.
    This is something verizon is doing, not GM.

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member TaHoE's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Quote Originally Posted by Butz
    At least we can blame it on the government. I wonder how much does it cost to upgrade the OnStar system in the older cars.
    Actually we can' blame the government:

    allows cellphone companies to shut down their analog networks beginning in February 2008.

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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    I'm patiently waiting for Dell to upgrade, free of charge, the P.O.S. computer I bought from them in 2004...

    No word yet from Austin, TX.

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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Actually I do blame GM - When it came with my '02 Tahoe I couldnt believe it used the Analog network - Digital networks were the default by then - IIRC '99 is when Digital networks were pushing Analog to the back seat. This was a cost issue for GM since Analog equipment was prob cheaper.
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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 AndrewGS's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    The thing that really sucks here is that the digital OnStar units better be tri-band (1900Mhz digital, 800Mhz analog and 800Mhz digital) because there are some areas there is not any digital service still. I know my grandparents will be dissapointed that the OnStar in their '01 Suburban will no longer be useable if they start cutting analog.
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Shutting off analog service in rural areas would seem to be the more serious issue here. At least OnStar users do have other options available.

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    5.3 Liter Vortec V8 Slack's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    I guess its time to replace the old Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. It has served me well for the last 20 years. Somebody owes me a RZR.

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Quickening's Avatar
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    Re: Mayday! Some Cars Will Lose OnStar Link

    Yep I have argued with Onstar many times on this subject. My 04 Saab 9-3 Aero has the analog system and they aren't offering an upgrade or anything. I'm pissed as I use my Onstar quite frequently for hands free calling.
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