Telus began turning off its older analog cellular network today. The complete shut down will take a number of weeks. Telus indicates that it was left with little choice as maintaining the network is not only not cost-effective but also that it is running out of replacement hardware and unable to buy new gear as it is no longer manufactured.
Telus still has a few thousand customers across Canada who still use the service. Telus will provide them with free digital replacement devices but acknowledges that some will lose service as digital signals do not travel as far as analog ones. A number of rural communities will be affected and have expressed concern over public safety. For some customers, the analog service is the only means of communication as they cannot get land-line telephone service due to their remoteness. Telus is looking at options for these customers (for example, phones with more sensitive antennas or ways of boosting the digital signal).
Those left without service after all is said and done will have to resort to more expensive alternatives such as satellite phones.