What is analog roaming?
Analog roaming is an obsolete mobile phone feature that allows users to connect to a service provider's network using Advanced Cellular Service (AMPS). Analog roaming was once the best way to stay connected in rural areas. However, the technology behind it was inefficient and expensive and has since been replaced by digital networking.
In the early days of cell phones, devices were connected using the analog AMPS system, which was a first generation cellular technology that used separate frequencies for each conversation. To enable multiple conversations at the same time, AMPS required a lot of bandwidth.
AMPS systems became obsolete with the discovery of better technologies such as CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). However, networks running on these advanced systems were not immediately available in all areas. To ensure cellular communications in rural areas, governments required that operators continue to provide analog roaming where other systems were not available. Although analog transmissions had poor audio quality, they were better than having no signal at all. However, as digital networks spread across the country, maintaining these analog networks became obsolete.
The last AMPS network service was discontinued in 2008. Some of the last few phones to support analog roaming were the LG MM-535, the Sanyo VI-2300, the Motorola V265, and the Kyocera KX444.