GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

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sawhorse
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GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by sawhorse » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:24 pm

I got a message from Verizon to this link about "GPS week number rollover". It says that GPS may no longer work on older phones starting Nov 3. It affects all carriers. The link has a list of affected phone models, and mine is on there.

https://www.verizonwireless.com/legal/n ... ng-system/

Should I be worried, or is this a ploy to get me to upgrade?

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bluquark
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by bluquark » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:33 pm

It's not a ploy. There's been lots written about this and an official DHS announcement, see e.g. https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/8/18255 ... s-affected

I'd assume your GPS will probably stop working on Nov 3 as claimed. If you don't expect to need GPS in early November, I suppose you could wait until then and see if it really happens before upgrading.

In theory, Verizon or your phone manufacturer could develop a software update for all affected phones but they're too cheap to do so for older devices.
Last edited by bluquark on Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Miamilaw35
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by Miamilaw35 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:34 pm

So you have a phone produced between 2006 and 2016. They are no longer going to provide GPS updates to your phone so your GPS will lose accuracy in navigation. If you use your navigation often, obviously this will be a problem for you and you will need to upgrade. If you don't use your GPS, it will not affect you.

Katietsu
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by Katietsu » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:41 pm

I knew about the reset but not the possible impact on some phones. After looking at the links, I think it is both real and a ploy. For instance, the iPhone 5 is on the list. But if you just make sure you have the latest update available for that phone, Apple says it will be fine. I see that Verizon has included manufacturer links. I think I would start there for more specific information for your phone.

kevinf
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by kevinf » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:58 pm

Be aware that most phones that aren't ancient have the ability to use GLONASS as well as GPS to maintain accuracy. Newer phones may be able to use GLONASS, Galileo, and GPS.

For example, my old Galaxy S2 (released 2011) can use GPS and GLONASS.

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sawhorse
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by sawhorse » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:08 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:41 pm
I knew about the reset but not the possible impact on some phones. After looking at the links, I think it is both real and a ploy. For instance, the iPhone 5 is on the list. But if you just make sure you have the latest update available for that phone, Apple says it will be fine. I see that Verizon has included manufacturer links. I think I would start there for more specific information for your phone.
I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and there are no updates available because the last edition of Android it supports came out several years ago. The Samsung page is no help.
kevinf wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:58 pm
Be aware that most phones that aren't ancient have the ability to use GLONASS as well as GPS to maintain accuracy. Newer phones may be able to use GLONASS, Galileo, and GPS.

For example, my old Galaxy S2 (released 2011) can use GPS and GLONASS.
Can you explain what this means? I have a Samsung that is a little more recent.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by kevinf » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:43 am

GPS isn't the only satellite navigation system up there. Russia has GLONASS, Europe has Galileo, China has Beidong. Most older phones can use both GPS and GLONASS for navigation. Most newer phones will be able to use GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Very new International phones might be able to use all four.

So most phones aren't completely dependent on GPS for precision and navigation and may not be affected very much.

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sawhorse
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by sawhorse » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:15 am

kevinf wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:43 am
GPS isn't the only satellite navigation system up there. Russia has GLONASS, Europe has Galileo, China has Beidong. Most older phones can use both GPS and GLONASS for navigation. Most newer phones will be able to use GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Very new International phones might be able to use all four.

So most phones aren't completely dependent on GPS for precision and navigation and may not be affected very much.
Is there anything you have to do to get your phone to switch from using GPS to another system?

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nisiprius
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:25 am

Miamilaw35 wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:34 pm
So you have a phone produced between 2006 and 2016. They are no longer going to provide GPS updates to your phone so your GPS will lose accuracy in navigation. If you use your navigation often, obviously this will be a problem for you and you will need to upgrade. If you don't use your GPS, it will not affect you.
If you need to call 911 in an emergency it might well affect you.

I've called 911 a few times under low-stress situations. Once, it was a big cardboard box in the middle of an interstate highway; another time, I was walking and saw a man running, following a car driving at low speed down a city street, screaming incoherently at the top of his lungs and pounding with his fists with all his strength on the driver's-side window. I couldn't give an exact location right away, either time.

There was a horrible story in the paper about a woman who was standing outside the door of a hospital emergency room. The door was locked, she couldn't get anyone's attention, she called 911, there was the usual tragedy-of-errors confusion, they arrived late, and she died. One element in the complicated tragedy-of-errors story was
Her cellphone call had been relayed to a regional operator 18 miles away. After explaining where she was, her call was sent to the local police department where she had to tell her story all over again. By then, she could barely speak.... A ping of her cellphone was inaccurate, a dispatcher warned. It showed her at the hospital’s mailing address, not at the ER’s front door." Whether that was a GPS issue or something else isn't clear from the news reports.
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kevinf
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by kevinf » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:14 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:15 am
kevinf wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:43 am
GPS isn't the only satellite navigation system up there. Russia has GLONASS, Europe has Galileo, China has Beidong. Most older phones can use both GPS and GLONASS for navigation. Most newer phones will be able to use GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Very new International phones might be able to use all four.

So most phones aren't completely dependent on GPS for precision and navigation and may not be affected very much.
Is there anything you have to do to get your phone to switch from using GPS to another system?
Nothing needs done, if it's capable of receiving the signal it will be used. There are apps that will show you what constellations are visible to your phone and what signals are being received and their strength.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... o&hl=en_US

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VXcWs ... viQIpxV17w
Last edited by kevinf on Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

livesoft
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by livesoft » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:21 pm

I read some of the links. They are unhelpful because the question I wanted to know:

Where will my old phone's GPS tell me (or actually: google maps) where my phone's current location is? If it tells me within 50 ft where I am, then I would have no problem.

Location service of my phone uses GPS, nearby wireless networks that it can detect, and probably a few other things.

The idea of "stop working" means something else entirely in my opinion. It would be nice to know what "stop working" really means. In the meantime, I am not worrying about November 3.
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mrmass
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by mrmass » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:30 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:25 am
Miamilaw35 wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:34 pm
So you have a phone produced between 2006 and 2016. They are no longer going to provide GPS updates to your phone so your GPS will lose accuracy in navigation. If you use your navigation often, obviously this will be a problem for you and you will need to upgrade. If you don't use your GPS, it will not affect you.
If you need to call 911 in an emergency it might well affect you.

I've called 911 a few times under low-stress situations. Once, it was a big cardboard box in the middle of an interstate highway; another time, I was walking and saw a man running, following a car driving at low speed down a city street, screaming incoherently at the top of his lungs and pounding with his fists with all his strength on the driver's-side window. I couldn't give an exact location right away, either time.

There was a horrible story in the paper about a woman who was standing outside the door of a hospital emergency room. The door was locked, she couldn't get anyone's attention, she called 911, there was the usual tragedy-of-errors confusion, they arrived late, and she died. One element in the complicated tragedy-of-errors story was
Her cellphone call had been relayed to a regional operator 18 miles away. After explaining where she was, her call was sent to the local police department where she had to tell her story all over again. By then, she could barely speak.... A ping of her cellphone was inaccurate, a dispatcher warned. It showed her at the hospital’s mailing address, not at the ER’s front door." Whether that was a GPS issue or something else isn't clear from the news reports.
Yeah 911 is why I keep a POTS line. Not apples to apples but I don't have full confidence in a cell phone or Magic Jack for that matter in an emergency.

prd1982
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by prd1982 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:35 pm

kevinf wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:43 am
GPS isn't the only satellite navigation system up there.

So most phones aren't completely dependent on GPS for precision and navigation and may not be affected very much.
I'm not sure about this. The problem isn't that GPS is no longer being received. The problem is that the calculations the phone does to compute the location based on GPS is wrong. So the phone calculates the wrong position. If the phone picks GPS over another system, the fact that other location methods are working is immaterial. At least that is how I interpret the description of the issue.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by livesoft » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:37 pm

prd1982 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:35 pm
.... The problem is that the calculations the phone does to compute the location based on GPS is wrong. So the phone calculates the wrong position.
How wrong is wrong? 1 foot? 5 miles?
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:45 pm

If I am reading the linked Verizon announcement correctly, my iPhone 6 will continue to navigate successfully with GPS despite it having been manufactured in early 2015.

Afty
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by Afty » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:48 pm

If click through to the more detailed links from the Verizon page, it looks like some of the phones on that list will continue to work as long as you have the latest updates. The iPhones for example.

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sawhorse
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by sawhorse » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:01 pm

Afty wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:48 pm
If click through to the more detailed links from the Verizon page, it looks like some of the phones on that list will continue to work as long as you have the latest updates. The iPhones for example.
Not my phone :annoyed

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by kevinf » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:41 pm

prd1982 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:35 pm
kevinf wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:43 am
GPS isn't the only satellite navigation system up there.

So most phones aren't completely dependent on GPS for precision and navigation and may not be affected very much.
I'm not sure about this. The problem isn't that GPS is no longer being received. The problem is that the calculations the phone does to compute the location based on GPS is wrong. So the phone calculates the wrong position. If the phone picks GPS over another system, the fact that other location methods are working is immaterial. At least that is how I interpret the description of the issue.
Your phone doesn't pick one or the other, it uses every satellite it can see and has a receiver for. GLONASS capable phones should greatly mitigate accuracy issues. Or just upgrade, you can get REALLY nice phones for cheap these days. A Moto G7 power is $219.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by GrowthSeeker » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:44 pm

What about automobile built-in GPS (e.g a 2011 Acura)? That GPS hardware in the car is certainly old enough; is it all GPS or just the GPS in phones?
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by fru-gal » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:56 pm

GrowthSeeker wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:44 pm
What about automobile built-in GPS (e.g a 2011 Acura)? That GPS hardware in the car is certainly old enough; is it all GPS or just the GPS in phones?
Also interested to know this.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by bluquark » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:22 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:21 pm
I read some of the links. They are unhelpful because the question I wanted to know:

Where will my old phone's GPS tell me (or actually: google maps) where my phone's current location is? If it tells me within 50 ft where I am, then I would have no problem.
I think the resources aren't giving a straight answer because it's a complicated bug and the symptoms will vary depending on which exact phone we're talking about. Just like how nobody was able to predict the overall symptoms of Y2K precisely.
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MtnTraveler
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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by MtnTraveler » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:12 pm

From my understanding your phone's GPS isn't going to work because the time tag in the message will be way off so your phone will not use the signal to determine where you are. No signal = no location. While I don't know for sure my guess is phones manufactured for the US probably only uses GPS. GPS is the most widely available navigation signal in the world and no other country comes close as far as I know.
Last edited by MtnTraveler on Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by MtnTraveler » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:30 pm

GrowthSeeker wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:44 pm
What about automobile built-in GPS (e.g a 2011 Acura)? That GPS hardware in the car is certainly old enough; is it all GPS or just the GPS in phones?
Anything that uses GPS will be affected if it is unable to be updated to include the new equation(s).

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by sciencewhiz » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:18 pm

The actual rollover took place in April. It sounds like these phones have an algorithm that build in some

The immediate effect is that the date calculated from GPS would be 19.7 years in the past. However, phones also get the time and date from the cellular network so you might not see any effect, or they might cross-check dates and shut down.

There are other functions that could be affected. For example, the magnetic North Pole moves over time. The compass might be off by a few degrees based on where it was 19.7 years ago.

It's hard to guess what all might be affected and it probably differs phone by phone.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:43 am

Here is a good article on the problem.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/06/gps-r ... get-wacky/

Sounds like Y2k all over again but for GPS systems. I don't think I would be worried in the slightest unless my livelihood depended on using a GPS system.

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Re: GPS to stop working on older phones Nov 3?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:56 am

Miamilaw35 wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:34 pm
So you have a phone produced between 2006 and 2016. They are no longer going to provide GPS updates to your phone so your GPS will lose accuracy in navigation. If you use your navigation often, obviously this will be a problem for you and you will need to upgrade. If you don't use your GPS, it will not affect you.
To be clear - although "2006-2016" is mentioned by verizon its with a "may" statement - most devices (at least in the Samsung and iPhone line-up) released starting in 2014/2015 aren't impacted - you need to look at the device list.

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