Nearly two million people or say half of OnStar's entire subscription base will find the other end silent when they press that blue button on their vehicle's dash due to the decision by the Federal Communications Commission that allows all cell phone companies to turn off their analog networks beginning in February of 2008. General Motors' OnStar service built on an analog network owned by Verizon Wireless as digital networks then didn't provide enough coverage to outlying and rural areas where many OnStar subscribers are located.
For two years General Motors continued selling vehicles equipped with analog equipment although they knew would become obsolete. Not knowing which way the FCC was going to rule General Motors wasn't ready to pull the switch on its suppliers, and equipped many vehicles with analog/digital-ready hardware that could at least be upgraded to dual-mode when the time came. At the end of 2007 is exactly the time, as all analog networks will be shut off on January 1st, 2008. Any OnStar subscriber with a vehicle before 2002 and some with vehicles between 2002 and 2004 will find themselves all alone in the driver's seat.