1. redbeard's Avatar
    AT&T blames users for its lousy service

    While iPhone users complain about AT&T's "dropped calls, spotty service, delayed text and voice messages and glacial download speeds," according to a piece published last week in the New York Times, AT&T blames iPhone users. "Overnight we're seeing a radical shift in how people are using their phones," AT&T CTO John Donovan told the Times. "There's just no parallel for the demand." Donovan told Fortune magazine that "3G networks were not designed effectively for this kind of usage."

    And, as a BusinessWeek article makes clear, there's no way AT&T will be able to meet the traffic demands of iPhone users any time in the next few years. (The article also confirms that AT&T has deliberately delayed MMS and tethering because it simply can't handle the traffic.)

    An article in the Wall Street Journal last week even has AT&T complaining about the $400 subsidy it has to pay for each iPhone sold.

    Blaming users might convince some critics, but my questions to AT&T are: So why did you take the job? And why do you take my money? After all, it's not as if iPhone fans were clamoring for Apple to sign with you exclusively. You "won the contract" against the wishes of the iPhone user community. Now deliver!

    And although AT&T is fishing for sympathy now, the story just one fiscal quarter ago was that AT&T's profits were "boosted by iPhone," and that the iPhone was helping the carrier weather the recession better than most. "The base of iPhone customers is now large enough to offset the subsidies for new iPhone users," Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett said back in April. What happened in the past three months to change all that?

    Besides, AT&T acts like a company with money to burn. AT&T reportedly spent $8.2 million in the first half of this year lobbying Congress. The company is expected to spend more on lobbying this year than it did last year -- money that could be spent improving network performance.

    In fact, AT&T is the No. 1 political contributor in the nation, spending an incredible $43.5 million since 1989 to buy influence in government. AT&T complains that it doesn't have the money to service its iPhone monopoly, while at the same time spending more than every other company on currying favor in Washington. That doesn't make sense.

    Elgan: Even AT&T says AT&T can't handle the iPhone
    09-10-2009 03:12 AM
  2. Watcher's Avatar
    This is what I believe: ANY CARRIER would be suffering the same network congestion that AT&T is undergoing. As it's been stated, each year with the advent of the iPhone, the network has seen a usage increase of 300% a year which is unprecedented due to this new technology. I don't think there was a way to predict this sort of mass affect on mobile traffic initially as there wasn't a way to forsee it. Apple was never in the mobile phone business before and could not therefore warn AT&T about the potential affect to the network and AT&T never had that type of mobile phone on their network previously so they also couldn't predict the current outcome.
    09-10-2009 10:44 AM
  3. Jeremy's Avatar
    This is what I believe: ANY CARRIER would be suffering the same network congestion that AT&T is undergoing. As it's been stated, each year with the advent of the iPhone, the network has seen a usage increase of 300% a year which is unprecedented due to this new technology. I don't think there was a way to predict this sort of mass affect on mobile traffic initially as there wasn't a way to forsee it. Apple was never in the mobile phone business before and could not therefore warn AT&T about the potential affect to the network and AT&T never had that type of mobile phone on their network previously so they also couldn't predict the current outcome.
    This thread should be closed after this answer (no, I'm not going to close it). Nailed it. People who think any other carrier would hold up perfectly with the amount of traffic the iPhone brings is flat out wrong.
    09-10-2009 12:00 PM
  4. iModz3G's Avatar
    iPhone plan should be lowered like any other plan
    09-10-2009 12:55 PM
  5. Badshah's Avatar
    I have a question regarding this topic. Please help me if you can.

    About 3 days ago I noticed a substantial decrease in my 3G network speed. It's always been slow, but now it is almost unusable. Nothing has changed on my part. I still live in the same area and my usage habits are the same.

    Is this due to the topic at hand? And if so, do I have any alternative except to accept it? The change is comparable to Internet Cable VS Dial-up, if you get my meaning.

    Sincerely,
    Don

    "I'm just sitting here watching the wheel go round and round..."
    09-16-2009 09:38 AM
  6. Jeremy's Avatar
    I have a question regarding this topic. Please help me if you can.

    About 3 days ago I noticed a substantial decrease in my 3G network speed. It's always been slow, but now it is almost unusable. Nothing has changed on my part. I still live in the same area and my usage habits are the same.

    Is this due to the topic at hand? And if so, do I have any alternative except to accept it? The change is comparable to Internet Cable VS Dial-up, if you get my meaning.

    Sincerely,
    Don

    "I'm just sitting here watching the wheel go round and round..."
    Have you tried calling AT&T?
    09-16-2009 09:39 AM
  7. whmurray's Avatar
    Have you tried calling AT&T?
    That is a very bad joke.
    09-16-2009 10:57 AM
  8. Badshah's Avatar
    Have you tried calling AT&T?
    No, I honestly have not. We've had several days of rain lately and I was waiting, hoping this was the cause of the slowdown. Nothing has changed since the rain stopped.

    I can't imagine they will have any help for me, but I suppose out of fairness, I should give it a try. Maybe they will speed it up, since I asked...

    Bad
    09-16-2009 12:06 PM
  9. whmurray's Avatar
    No, I honestly have not. We've had several days of rain lately and I was waiting, hoping this was the cause of the slowdown. Nothing has changed since the rain stopped.

    I can't imagine they will have any help for me, but I suppose out of fairness, I should give it a try. Maybe they will speed it up, since I asked...

    Bad
    I am not very hopeful about this approach. The problem is that speed is a function of a lot of things, including location. So far you have only anecdotal data, easily dismissed. Even if it measures slow today, you do not have measurements that show that it has ever been better in that spot..

    That said, before you bother calling, take several measurements and record the coordinates of the location where you measure.
    09-16-2009 02:10 PM
  10. Badshah's Avatar
    Even if it measures slow today, you do not have measurements that show that it has ever been better in that spot..
    Right. I ought to have anticipated the sudden degradation of the speed and made some measurements preemptively. Then I'd have a leg to stand on. Maybe I will do some measurements now, in case it gets worse!

    At this point, it will somehow get better again for reasons unknown and I will be happy with it once more, or I will finish out my contract and explore other options. That Blackberry Storm looks interesting....

    Bad
    09-16-2009 03:29 PM
  11. whmurray's Avatar
    Right. I ought to have anticipated the sudden degradation of the speed and made some measurements preemptively. Then I'd have a leg to stand on. Maybe I will do some measurements now, in case it gets worse!

    At this point, it will somehow get better again for reasons unknown and I will be happy with it once more, or I will finish out my contract and explore other options. That Blackberry Storm looks interesting....

    Bad
    The best that you ever get is just barely adequate; anything less than that is intolerable.
    09-16-2009 03:36 PM
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