Nemont Presses On With 3G Upgrade
By Samar Fay
Published: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Nemont is doing its part to bring the latest, fastest wireless service to its customers in rural northeast Montana. It has been performing extensive network upgrades since Oct. 27 to supply 3G speed and the multimedia features demanded by smartphone users.
In a press release, the company stated, “Our goal is to complete the network upgrade which will allow us to provide mobile data services across our footprint while minimizing the impact to our cellular service.”
A new generation of cellular standards has appeared approximately every 10th year since 1G systems were introduced in 1981/1982. Each generation is characterized by new frequency bands, higher data rates and non-backwards-compatible transmission technology. Analog cellular technology was generation one and digital/PCS was generation two.
3G stands for "third generation." 3G technology is intended for the true multimedia cell phone – the iPhone and Android – and features increased bandwidth and transfer rates to accommodate Web-based applications and phone-based audio and video files. These phones are like mini-laptops and can handle video conferencing, streaming video from the Web, downloading e-mail messages with attachments, secure mobile ecommerce, location-based services, mobile gaming and audio on demand. For example, using 2.5G ( a slightly better version of second-generation wireless), a three-minute song takes between six and nine minutes to download. Using 3G, it can download in 11 to 90 seconds.
Giving birth to the next generation is never without pangs, however. There have been interruptions of Nemont’s wireless services, due to the complexity of this conversion.
“The majority of the disruptions are due to complicated technical issues associated with the migration from the old platform to the new platform,” said Nemont CEO Mike Kilgore, in a letter to Nemont’s wireless customers.
The company says they are working around the clock and have resolved some issues while addressing those remaining. They are also optimizing the network to eliminate the problem of dropped or poor voice quality long-distance calls that rural telephone companies across the United States have been experiencing. In its November/December newsletter, Nemont said this calling problem is not caused by Nemont and cannot be “fixed” by Nemont.
“The problem calls, which move from one telephone network to a second network and perhaps a third or fourth network along the way, are not even reaching the Nemont network,” the newsletter article said.
Kilgore acknowledged customer frustrations with the upgrade problems, apologized for wireless service interruptions, thanked customers for their patience and understanding, and sent a voucher for 15 percent off any in-store purchase or the monthly wireless bill.
“The new, upgraded 3G service will be here very soon and we believe it will be worth the wait,” the company said in the news release.
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