Why is it so "impossible" to upgrade analog OnStar?

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cufliflox wrote:


and I remember a case in Louisiana, where OnStar helped find a stolen vehicle.... sent coordinates to PD, and there it was, safe and sound
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According to GM's website, OnStar was first put in GM cars back in 1996. There are 3 different types of OnStar in GM vehicles. Analog Only, Analog/Digital Ready, and Dual Mode (Analog/Digital). The first one, Analog Only will expire in 2008, however, the Analog/Digital Ready models can be upgraded to still be used after 2008. From the GM website: "The Dual-mode (analog/digital) upgrade kits are now available for many GM vehicles. Eligible OnStar subscribers who purchase a prepaid, non-refundable, non-transferable 1-year OnStar subscription (plus applicable subscription tax) will receive an equipment upgrade for $15."
Not bad, seeing how a cell phone upgrade is usually over $100.
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Really? I've never paid a penny for a phone upgrade.
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wrote in message

You must have a really nice cell phone provider. I am with Bell (In Canada) and they gave me a credit to start up my account, but only because I signed up for a 3 year contract. In a year, when my Razr is out of date (it actually kind of is already), Bell only offers discounts on upgrades, not free phones. Who are you with?
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Cingular. They offer a selection from seven "free", a bunch of $9.99 on up to about $200. IIRC, there would have been a $79 charge for the Razr, but a Motorola Bluetooth phone was a freebie. ,
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wrote in message

Very interesting. When do you get these phones? As in, how long must you be with them to get the freebie? Like I said, with me and Bell, when I first signed up for a 3 year contract, they gave me a credit to get my Razr, and the credit would have been enough to buy a cheaper phone (the Razr was over $300 CDN), but after being with Bell for say, 2 and a half years, they will only give me a certain percent off the regular purchase price should I decide to upgrade.
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Which year, make, and model of car do you have OnStar in?
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2001 GMC Yukon Denali

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Are you certain your Denali is Analog only? Like I said in another post, some vehicles are Analog/Digital Ready, where as an upgrade is possible, and only cost $15.
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That would be nice, but I have been reading that all of the pre-2002 vehicles are analog, and the analog/digital were made from around 2002-2004. Also I received a letter from GM about cancelling the service in 2008, which I guess they mailed me based on my VIN number.

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Probably true, though there is a number on GM's OnStar site you can call just to double check. As for now, I would suggest getting a good cell phone, with GPS built into it. My Motorola Razr has GPS in it. I can't really use it as a navigation system, but should I ever need 911 assistance, the phone transmit's my location to the 911 operator. I guess the only other thing you can do is try to find a forum that deals with Yukon's. They may have found a way to convert your Analog system to Digital, and if the price is right, you may want to look into that. I use the BonnevilleClub all the time for all my Bonnie's needs.

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Yes I confirmed it is analog only... I connected to OnStar and the rep confirmed this. A lot of analog-only subscribers will be in for a surprise one year from now.

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cufliflox wrote:

Yep, it is crazy how long GM kept installing analog only hardwired sets into vehicles. They were doing this many, many years after the cellular companies had stopped offering analog only handsets or any hardwired sets.
I've read all of the arguments about the inevitability of technology obsolescence that some have posted here and it doesn't add up. GM was well aware that analog cell phone systems were being phased out and chose to wait longer than any other cell phone hardware company in the business to adapt.
John
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So true John.
All GM would have to do to keep 2001-2002 OnStar owners happy is to find a way to remove just the cell phone dialing components of the analog unit, and replace it with a digital circuit/wiring/antenna in the replacement design. Give us an option to upgrade for a couple hundred bucks.
Why can't they do that for us? I have not heard a single logical answer to this question. Hello, anyone out there from GM listening? If so, forward this entire thread to your senior management please.

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Oh for .... sake...
You people want some cheese with your never ending whine?
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and
design.
It would not surprise me to see something hit the market that does this before the cutoff of the analog systems. Maybe not from GM, maybe from the aftermarket.

to
I'd be willing to bet that even if this is not being considered at this point, it has at least, already been considered.
--

-Mike-
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I think it probably has already been considered and they nixed it.
We have a Chevy Impala '01 with analog only OnStar. For the past 2 years we have been informed that we will lose service in 2008, but analog only providers would be contacted for more information as the time nears. More information - that I won't have service. Well, they could have told me that 2 years ago. Why didn't they? They made it sound like there would be something done. Could it be they didn't want people to drop them 2 years ago?
A posibility being that wireless companies will still keep the analog running and we would continue to have service. I even spoke to an On-Star representative who stated that this was a very good possibility.
The letter we recieved notes that this was an FCC mandate that required the copmanies to go digital. I remember reading an article that stated the government wanted the analog network for themselves.
You konw there are those pockets where only analog will still be available. As well as the wireless companies still having analog around as they convert everything over to digital. There is a phase out process that the companies have yet to state.
As stated above, the letter states FCC mandate that the wireless companies are not required to support analog. Doesn't say that they won't. Yet Onstar (owned by GM) has decided to not provide service to those vehicles with analog only as of 2008. This was a GM choice. And I think the reason being was at the end of their notice stating "and we want you to know that there are many 2006 and 2007 GM models available with the digital network". So they want me to buy another $30,000 or more car.
Also, they are not giving me a year renewal, but monthly - which if I remember correctly costs more.
We purchased the Impala for the safety of the car, good mileage and because of OnStar. Onstar was the deciding point between the Impala and a few other manufacturers. My husband uses for commuting 100 miles round trip, 5 days a week. We have it for the air-bag deployment and anti-theft only. When we were looking to purchase a house here 6 years ago, we saw an accident. Man had a heart attack and he crashed off the road into some trees. No-one saw it and he was there for hours. Died because of it. If he had OnStar, his airbags would have deployed and he would have had help and still be alive. We purchased with this in mind and that when it was time for our son to start driving we would have OnStar available. Well now we won't. We have this piece of crap in the car coming from the ceiling into the mirror. You can see the wires if you look closely at how it comes down to the mirror. And we no longer have it for our piece of mind for our son who is a new driver. I know, I know - what did people do years ago. But years ago there weren't as many cars on the road. And all cars were pretty much the same size. People weren't driving around in Hummers and Avalanches while others in a compact car. We didn't have all the illegals driving around without licenses and insurance. Of course you always had people driving around without a license and insurance, but not at such a rate as today.
Technology doesn't change that much in 5 years. It was already there and the BIG companies continued to use the old cheaper methods.
GM knew this was going to happen, yet even after the FCC mandated they continued to install analog only.
Yes, companies aren't responsible for outdated technology, but they should be when in such a short time frame. You were able to relpace 8 Tracks with a cassette player in your car. Or you were still able to use your 8 track deck because you had the tapes to play still. So its not like you had equipment in the car they you weren't able to use. Our Impala still has a cassette player. Granted you don't see many cassettes being offered in the stores anymore, but I do have a good amount at home that doesn't render the casette player useless. Same with VHS tapes. You don't see many around any longer, but you have enough at home that doesn't render the equipment useless. Unlike OnStar.
GM made OnStar directly into the car (or so it seems) so that it could not be replaced. I now have something in the car I cannot use.
GM should replace or give a nice discount to those analog customers to have OnStar replaced with digital equipment. I can't see OnStar being hooked up to every single part in the car. It has to be hooked to the computer chip somehow and obtain readings from there. Just like your technician in the dealership reads the chip, so can Onstar. We had an issue with the car 2X, and contacted on-Star while driving, and they read us a code that they diagosed. Same code the dealership obtained when reading the computer chip. So like someone mentioned in the thread, I think just the cellular portion needs to be changed.
Do we have any wireless techs out there who might know anything?
I wonder if there is going to be a class action suit?
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Excellent post! I'd suggest printing this out and sending it to GM management. They could design an upgrade kit if they wanted to. They might have assumed that 2001 customers don't really care. If we speak up maybe they will listen.

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No, they won't listen, they want you to buy a new car. To auto maker executives, a 2001 is very old and you should buy a new one to keep the economy going. After 6 model years, you are not worth helping.
My local dealer is the same way. Any time I had any sort of problem, even minor, they suggested trading it in for a new car. Do you think the CEO of GM will suggest a way to keep it longer? What do you think keeps his company going, new car sales or retrofits for older models?
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Good point Edwin. However the executive should also consider loyalty to the brand. This might be the last time I buy from GM. Before this I had a Silverado truck, and before that a C/K truck. I also have a 2006 GM Pontiac GTO. I have been very loyal to GM products, but when they screw me with the OnStar system I will go to some other automaker where the safety features don't expire.

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