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By: Everyone At BizNet

Testing 1,2,3...
For 12-97

This month we take a closer look at PCS phone service by Pacific-Bell, Mobile Services.

The good folks over at Pacific-Bell, Mobile Services have been nice enough to allow BizNet Magazine the opportunity to do some long-term testing of their services.

All True PCS phone work on a pure digital network. Pure digital means: the system is totally digital with no analog components. I use the term true PCS because some Cellular phones are called PCS, but are in fact running off the traditional cellular network, so parts are still analog. PCS stands for Personal Communication Service. When I was a kid, my PCS phone was two tin cans and a string. When Shopping for wireless phone service, ask questions! Is it a totally digital network? For more information, look at this (and past months) "
Hello Column."

The PCS service from Pacific-Bell, Mobile Services comes with call waiting, call forwarding, three way calling, voice mail, and a pager function.

The phone displayed any pages sent to it on the LCD display. If a new voice mail message was left, a notification appeared on the phone. Pages and new voice mail notifications always took under 60 seconds to show up on the phone. A nice feature of the phone was that if someone paged you with a phone number, you could call the number without having to re-inputting it into the phone. All you had to do was push the yes button to dial the number.

The phone also had caller ID. If I knew the number showing up, I knew who was calling. The phone also saved a record of incoming numbers, making calling them back very easy.

Pacific-Bell, Mobile Services has an interesting directory assistance (411) service. It does not matter what area code you’re calling from or what city the phone number you’re looking for is in. You just dial 411 on the phone to get nation-wide directory service. After giving you the phone number you are automatically connected to that number. No need to hunt for paper and pen to write the number down.

Having the phone for extended testing is nice. This phone has been used in the greater Los Angeles area. It was also taken to Comdex to under go what I would call torture testing. At Comdex (in Las Vegas) the phone had to function in large convention halls (lots of concrete, and metal) filled with electronic equipment. By any standards, this is not a friendly environment or wireless devices.

In the greater Los Angeles area, phone service was general good. But areas of no coverage was on the strange side. I could be outside a building and have a great signal. Walk five feet into the building and bam! No service. But it was nice to be able to shop for clothes in the garment district, take a call from my lawyer and put that call on hold and quickly take another call about a change in plans. In short, this phone gives you the freedom to get out of the office and still be able to get important calls.

In Las Vegas, the phone would not work at the Hilton Hotel or the Convention Center, but worked great any where in the Sands Convention Center.

I have been a Wireless phone user for over ten years. My personal phone is an Analog phone on L.A. Cellular. I have also used Air Touch over the years. I’m not saying this to make you think that L. A Cellular is the best — it’s just the one I like at this time for my needs. REMEMBER your needs may be different then mine. Anyway back to my point. Using the Pacific-Bell, Mobile Services phone with it’s strange areas of no service reminds me of when L.A. Cellular and Air Touch were just getting started. Service was good in one spot, lousy in the next, but things got better. I have no doubt that as time goes on, Pacific-Bell, Mobile Services coverage will also get better.

In asking yourself, "is this service for me?" you need to look at your planned usage. Ask questions of the service provider and go with the one that best meets your needs and your budget.

I look forward to continued testing of this phone and reporting on the improvements in coverage.

Visit PacBell At:

Up Coming Tests

Color Printers
Laser and Ink Jet
Software to take advantage of all the above.

Visual Presentation Equipment
Large screen monitors and projection displays

Digital Camera's And Photographic Equipment
From the basic point and shoot to professional Digital imaging systems

From stand alone to multi-function

Ergonomic Office Necessities
From mice to office chairs

And Any Software That We Can Find That Will Make Your Day Go Easier

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Copyright 1997 ~BizNet OnLine Magazine
Last modified: December 30, 2003