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[aprssig] APRS and dstar (why)

Gregg Wonderly gregg at wonderly.org
Wed May 30 14:11:42 UTC 2012

On May 29, 2012, at 5:08 PM, Randy Love wrote:

> On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM, Gregg Wonderly <gregg at wonderly.org> wrote:
> In many rural and hilly areas, it is often easier to get APRS traffic out via a cellular data path, than through the marginal, and many times non-functional APRS RF network.
> Eh, what rural and hilly areas are you talking about that have better cellular coverage than a well-planned APRS digipeater system?
> Oh, yeah, I forgot, let me rephrase.  What cellular company is going to put 100's of thousands of dollars into covering a hilly, rural area ( that doesn't have an interstate running through it ) that can't be covered by a couple hundred bucks worth of APRS equipment?
> Cellular is infrastructure dependent, no and-if-or-buts. An APRS network on 144.39 isn't so much, unless you're only accessing it via APRS-IS on a cell phone or other consumer device. And local APRS coverage and effectiveness can be greatly increased without large amounts of capital expenditures by a major service provider

Randy, the Cellular industry is prompted to provide service to their customers.  Ham radio operators do what they can do based on money, infrastructure and other resources they have.  Like it or not, the commercial networks provide much more usable and dependable infrastructure, in rural (30 miles or less from suburbs), hilly areas, in my  experience any way.

It is possible for HAM radio to trump that coverage (but not bandwidth). But, only when people have enough time, money and infrastructure available to them, to make it happen.  In general, until we make HAM radio infrastructure our business, instead of "just a hobby", there will not be viable infrastructure for digital data networks that are better than cellular networks.

Overloaded cellular networks are a different story, and are right in line with the problems we have today with Alligator like APRS digipeaters.

Gregg Wonderly

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