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AT&T's City-By-City Plan To Up Wireless Coverage

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the hockey-stick-gone-vertical dept.

Cellphones 158

alphadogg writes "AT&T has created different mobile calling models for every major city in America as it tries to improve a network that has come under fire for poor performance as the data-friendly iPhone has proliferated, an executive said Thursday. Other carriers just use one nationwide calling model to plan for all cities, claimed CTO John Donovan, speaking at the Open Mobile Summit conference in San Francisco. The nation's second-largest mobile operator has had a hard time planning for bandwidth needs in the rapidly changing mobile world, Donovan said. AT&T has seen rapidly growing mobile data usage — and much criticism over its 3G coverage — as the exclusive iPhone carrier in the US. 'If a network is not fully loaded, it's hard to know exactly how much demand is out there,' Donovan said. 'You put all you can in the ground, and they eat it all up, and then you put more in there, and they eat it all up.'" The story notes that mobile data at AT&T has grown 4,932% over the last 3 years.

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Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007062)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Umm, what? (3, Informative)

lalena (1221394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007064)

If a network is not fully loaded, it's hard to know exactly how much demand is out there.

Re:Umm, what? (3, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007098)

Yeah, from the rest of his comment it seems he meant the exact opposite.

"If the network *is* fully loaded, it's hard to know the demand, because you have 100% usage, add more capacity, and quickly hit 100% usage"

Re:Umm, what? (1, Redundant)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007460)

The argument still doesn't make sense. They know they need more bandwidth because their network is constantly at 100%. The only thing to do is add more bandwidth. The only question is "do I spend a little and add 100% extra or do I spend a lot and add 1000% extra?" Since the past three years have seen over 4000% growth and more smartphones which make heavy use of data services are coming out all the time it seems reasonable to expect that 100% is probably not going to be enough.

Even if you find your 1000% extra is only 50% utilised it will be 100% within 1 year.

Bottom line: you need more bandwidth and probably can't add it fast enough. It's not a hard question to answer.

Re:Umm, what? (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007786)

It's a telco monopolist mentality.

Gosh, we build, then it's at capacity. That's not what we had with landlines!

Remember: this isn't the AT&T of old, with wizened scholars. This is Southwest Bell that sucked up the other Baby Bells, then chose GSM as their infrastructure and got in over their heads. They're still clueless as to what success they've had as a result of Apple's business models. Apple, OTOH, could have 5x the customers if they simply shipped a (w)CDMA/GSM world phone.

Re:Umm, what? (1)

Brikus (670587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007910)

Apple does make a WCDMA/GSM world phone. It's called the iPhone. Although WCDMA does have CDMA in the name, it is actually the 3G air interface used in GSM phones.

Re:Umm, what? (1)

fireslack (1039158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008526)

I think what he means is that they have no way of knowing how much extra bandwidth they need in certain areas. There's no way to measure how much more you need, the yard stick is clipped at 100%. You can only add more incrementally until your cell sites are no longer saturated. Only then would you be able to determine how much you need.

Re:Umm, what? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008362)

He means that if all of the customers have not been signed up. He does not mean that all of the bandwidth is used up. You have to understand that he is speaking from a sales point of view, not a network admin's point of view.

Re:Umm, what? (2, Informative)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007102)

That's what I thought too, but I think it's poorly worded. I think he means, if we haven't fully loaded our towers with equipment and they're still maxed out, it's hard to know how much demand is out there.

Still a cop out.

Re:Umm, what? (1)

Angeliqe (1390757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007956)

Parent is correct. From the rest of the paragraph "You put all you can in the ground, and they eat it all up, and then you put more in there, and they eat it all up." He means it's impossible to know ahead of time how much bandwidth total you need until you have already installed it. It's a guessing game and trial and error. You install equipment. Monitor results. If monitoring reveals the bandwidth is still maxed, return to step 1.

Re:Umm, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007458)

If people keep buying, why not keep selling? I don't blame AT&T at all for being successful.

Re:Umm, what? (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007582)

If a network is not fully loaded, it's hard to know exactly how much demand is out there.

Remember, ISPs (of which AT&T is one) take a bet that their users will never use 100% of their paid for bandwidth.
Thus they base the network capacity on the usage demand, and try to provision only as much as they absolutely have to.
This is why ISPs hate Net Neutrality - b/c they wouldn't be able to continue playing these games and get away with it.
In this light, where demand determines how much actually gets provisioned, it makes sense. If max demand is 100, but only represents 10% of paid for demand, then that's all you need. If all of a sudden the bet that 10% of paid for demand is not longer good enough - and you need 20%, you have a major problem. B/c the equations tell you that the 10% is good enough, but now users are asking for 20%. You don't have all your users on the network but your demand and provisioning looks okay, until they all jump on.

Honestly, they just need to provision 100% of what users are paying for; and figure out the growth rate and provision accordingly.

Re:Umm, what? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007894)

>>>they base the network capacity on the usage demand, and try to provision only as much as they absolutely have to. This is why ISPs hate Net Neutrality
>>>

Net neutrality has nothing to do with underestimate of user demand. Net neutrality is about ensuring all websites are treated equally (i.e. no extra fees to access youtube, or no discounts to watch att.com). As for estimating demand, I would build 1000 times current capacity, figuring that demand has grown from 50k to 50 meg during the last ten years, and will probably keep growing at that rate upto 2020 at least.

Aside -

Wow. Arab TV doesn't censor much! I'm watching some news program (al-Alam), and they just showed a dead guy's swollen decaying body laying on the mortician's slab. Wow. We'd never see that stuff here on U.S. news

Re:Umm, what? (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008376)

Net neutrality has nothing to do with underestimate of user demand. Net neutrality is about ensuring all websites are treated equally (i.e. no extra fees to access youtube, or no discounts to watch att.com).

It has a lot more to do with Net Neutrality than you would imagine. What have the ISPs biggest reason for filtering networks and no longer maintaining neutral networks? P2P, BitTorrent, Video Traffic, etc. Why? B/c they eat a lot of bandwidth. Why is that a concern? B/c the ISPs don't provision enough bandwidth. They don't provision what is paid for (which is what users expect), but provision some arbitrary amount of it based on some bets they take against the user. In both cases, how is this easily resolved: Force the ISPs to allocate each user 100% of what they pay for (e.g. get rid of the bets the ISPs currently make), and allow ISPs to rightfully limit each user connection to only what they pay for - data from anywhere but only as much as they are paying for, e.g. a subscriber for a 10Mbit line would be allowed to use 10Mbps of P2P traffic if they so desired, or 10Mbps of websites, video, etc. But only 10 Mbps, not 11 Mbps, not 10.5 Mbps. The two go a lot more hand-in-hand than you realize. Though you are right that NetNeutrality goes far beyond just this - I'm primarily talking about the quot;last mile", while you also have to maintain a backbone connection big enough to service that level of demand.

As for estimating demand, I would build 1000 times current capacity, figuring that demand has grown from 50k to 50 meg during the last ten years, and will probably keep growing at that rate upto 2020 at least.

The problem is cost. ISPs make the bets the do - e.g. provision 40% of what users pay for instead of 100% - b/c of cost. Bandwidth from their POV (laying lines, etc.) is very expensive, and they don't want to lay more lines than they have to. So they bet that users won't use as much as they pay for - they bet even though you're paying for 26 terabits per month, you'll be happy with just 250 gigabits (or 1% of what you are paying for). God forbid you want even 2% of what you pay for.

For example, Akamai cancelled Al Jazeera contract (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008716)

Speaking of Arab TVs, the king of content delivery Akamai has took off Al Jazeera "from the air" (web) because of Sep. 11. That website of TV paid for the contract and they ended up without having a hosting provider. The TV, no matter what you hear about it is extremely mild, run by TV professionals, especially British (Ex BBC) and it is off the web just because it is "Arabic Owned" (UAE BTW) and they possibly had some mails from some idiots connecting that TV Network to Al Queda. (hopefully not @whitehouse.gov) It can't be financially motivated since Al Jazeera is considered as a very rich media company, run by some Arab Prince. These guys use Ikegami HD Cams as ordinary things while other TV stations (including CNN etc) struggle with Betacam SD in some cases.

http://news.cnet.com/1200-1035-995546.html [cnet.com]

If I was an American, I would be extremely alerted about the "net neutrality" discussions. That is Akamai doing it, imagine the rest... Like Murdoch buying some financially unstable Tier 0 network. Check the Tier 0 network owners, they are still recovering from dotcom crash...

4932% Growth - Imagine That (2, Insightful)

Technomonics (970384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007068)

And if they didnt sign the exclusive deal with Apple, what do you think that growth would have been? Just saying they are complaining all the way to the bank on this one.

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007290)

Still, this whole network thing has hurt their image. If and when Apple ends the exclusivity, there will be people clamoring to leave AT&T in droves.

I look forward to the day (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007468)

Still, this whole network thing has hurt their image. If and when Apple ends the exclusivity, there will be people clamoring to leave AT&T in droves.

If and when Apple allows TMobile to also have iPhones, I will happily stay on AT&T while all the suckers go and collapse TMobile's network, while AT&T's finally has some breathing space...

AT&T needs to get as many network upgrades in as fast as possible, especially now that they understand people are actually going to use mobile data. But I have some sympathy for them as they have seen a level of growth no-one predicted.

Re:I look forward to the day (2, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007776)

That's cool. Let's us Android users enjoy the new 7Mbps HSPA they're rolling out:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/04/t-mobile-7-2mbps-hspa-rolling-out-now/ [engadget.com]

Re:I look forward to the day (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007900)

From the report it seems exactly as much as the current TMobile network, since people are not seeing faster speeds...

3G is plenty fast enough for me, if they make it more reliable and increase coverage which I would prefer over a much faster network in a handful of showcase cities. Frankly even EDGE is not too bad, it is poor for browsing but it works well enough for maps or other light data use.

Re:I look forward to the day (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007778)

I don't think TMobile will be the only choice.

By the time iPhone exclusivity ends, it's very likely that both AT&T and Verizon will have at least started rolling out LTE [wikipedia.org] , meaning that the top two carriers will have a common wireless "platform."

Re:I look forward to the day (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008386)

But I have some sympathy for them as they have seen a level of growth no-one predicted.

IMO that particular prediction should have been a no-brainer. I'll stick to Boost Mobile and my i776, and get an iPhone when I can use it on Boost's network. I had Cingular and was happy with them until AT&T bought them out and my monthly bill shot from about $40 per month to over $100.

With Boost I'm paying a flat fifty bucks a month. I get unlimited voice, long distance, text, voice mail, and internet, and I'm completely anonymous; there's no contract, I bought my phone with cash and pay my bill like putting minutes on a Net10 phone.

My only complaint with Boost is their sucky web site, but I can live with that.

Re:I look forward to the day (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008652)

As a new Verizon customer who managed to get AT&T to waive the ETF due to their increasing constipation, I pray Verizon never gets the iphone. Let it stay on GSM and not clog my tubes.

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (5, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007480)

As someone who just signed up for two years with AT&T, I can't wait for the iPhone exclusivity to end. Not because I want to jump ship, but because it should make things better for everyone.

The people who are the heaviest users and the most dissatisfied with the service will pretty quickly cough up the ETF and switch to the first competitor that offers it. After a few months, this alone may very well have a noticeable effect on network performance.

More importantly, though, as AT&T actually begins to feel the financial effects of fleeing iPhone users, they're going to have no choice but to ramp up the infrastructure upgrades to compete. In other words, the market will actually start working like it's supposed to.

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007860)

There's one thing about the iPhone situation that really annoys me:

AT&T has tiered pricing for data plans for phones based on its capabilities (i.e. estimating just how much of that "unlimited" data you will actually use depending on whether the phone is a PDA phone, or just a dumbphone, etc.) Tethering users, of course, get hit the hardest ($60/mo and they actually have a specifically documented usage cap). PDA users with keyboards get hit second hardest (formerly $40/mo, now down to $30/mo).

iPhone users, despite being probably the heaviest data users on the network, are in the second least expensive data pricing tier ($20/mo I believe, with "dumbphones" with basic WAP browsers the only thing lower on the list at $15 I think.)

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30008464)

iPhone 3G/3GS = $30/mo
Original iPhone was $20/mo, but it was also 2G-only

I agree with the sentiment, though. They should charge based on speed tiers, but they can't because you're frequently on 2G speeds anyway

BTW, Verizon prices the same way -- $10/mo for dumbphones, $30/mo for smartphones, $45/mo for "business" smartphone users, and $60/mo for tethering

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008488)

iPhone's data plan is $30/month. I think that, technically, it has a 5gb monthly cap on bandwidth.

It does not include tethering, though I wish it did.

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008590)

The data plan for the iPhone is still showing up as $30/month for the normal version. Officially ActiveSync requires an Enterprise data plan, which is $40/month (though ActiveSync runs fine on either).

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007456)

Err, Verizon has been making advertising gold out of it. Note that I'm not a fan of Verizon, but the "there's a map for that" commercials have to be striking a bad chord over at AT&T headquarters right about now...

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Deosyne (92713) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007686)

Very true. It was one of the key reasons why I took back an iPhone about a month ago and waited for the release of the Droid instead. Quite a few people have told me great things about Verizon's network while AT&T has been miserable on my company Blackjack. I figured it was just a crap phone only to find the same level of service on the iPhone, which is a pretty good hardware platform otherwise.

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008260)

the "there's a map for that" commercials have to be striking a bad chord over at AT&T headquarters right about now...

You missed that whole lawsuit thing [slashdot.org] a couple days ago, huh?

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007486)

"he story notes that mobile data at AT&T has grown 4,932% over the last 3 years."

3 years ago mobile data traffic was probably nearly zero, so putting this in relative terms means nothing to me.

I wonder how much traffic their feeble network is actually dealing with? Imagine it was only 100 MB/s off each cell site and they are whinging like this...

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007566)

With the last firmware update, even a Nintendo DSi can be used to upload photos to a Facebook account. I know the DSi is not 3G, but the title of the summary only says "mobile data".

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007788)

Urban cell towers usually get fiber backhauls, but rural and sometimes even suburban towers usually have either T1 backhauls or microwave back to an aggregation point.

Re:4932% Growth - Imagine That (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007532)

It's like complaining that you need to buy more wheelbarrows to carry the wads of cash to the bank. I really don't pity them.

TFA has nothing to do with coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007078)

It talks much more about AT&T's push towards IPv6 to accommodate more devices.

However, it's very true that people keep eating up the wireless bandwidth. These companies need to realize that unless something changes, mobile is the new "last mile."

Re:TFA has nothing to do with coverage (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007516)

Thankfully we don't have this "last mile" problem in Canada. We use metric!

Re:TFA has nothing to do with coverage (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007620)

Last Mile's a Last Mile, but they call it "Le Last Mile".

Re:TFA has nothing to do with coverage (1)

jayspec462 (609781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007796)

"Le Last Mile."

What do they call a hogshead?

Re:TFA has nothing to do with coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007890)

Don't know, I didn't go into a Burger King.

First Post! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007086)

This would of been the first post, but I'm in new york and posting from my iphone

Re:First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30008374)

would *have*

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007120)

"You put all you can in the ground, and they eat it all up, and then you put more in there, and they eat it all up"

This is the typical, in this case subtle (but in other cases not subtle) blaming of the consumer for overusing network resources beyond some mythical "reasonable/predictable" amount that service providers cling to in rationalizing their retarded infrastructure expansion plans.

News flash: your network and every other corporate network is at capacity already and you're overselling subscriptions. Don't add one tower and then complain that those data-hungry fiends are using the new bandwidth so quickly. Either think big and grow some balls about expanding your network, or quit complaining and admit that you've resigned to mediocrity.

Re:Bullshit (5, Informative)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007376)

I do have some (very small) sympathy for a company that has seen a 5000% growth in data traffic. Who can realistically plan for that kind of growth?

But, this is not the customer's fault either. Plan better. And how about you stop laying more people off? If you are growing at these record levels why are there lots of articles about layoffs in the last 3 years? I don't understand this. I'll admit that data growth != customer growth but why the huge layoffs?

http://www.techworld.com.au/article/269777/t_cut_12_000_employees_through_2009 [techworld.com.au]

Apparently AT&T has 12000 unemployed former employees from just this year. Sounds like bad planning across the board. Maybe this is a good indicator that the top executives are totally clueless to the actual situation of their company.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007528)

Who can realistically plan for that kind of growth?

A whole lot of us in the 1990's watched ISPs face exactly that kind of network growth (and worse...)

Now to be fair, I think the only saving grace back then was that the tech and infrastructure were relatively slow to catch up, let alone exceed the expanding capacity (that is, most folks had a crappy 14,4k modem, then a crappy 28,8k modem, then their phone lines wouldn't give them the full 56k, etc). Also, the bigger your home pipe, the more expensive it got - ISDN was hovering at around $160/month (IIRC) minus the various carrier connect fees, T1s cost you at least $3k to install (if you were lucky and very close to a CO) and then cost at least $300/mo, just to keep it warm.

By the time DSL showed up and the Cablecos jumped in, there was enough backbone to handle it (well, most of the time), and kept growing like crazy right up to the dot-bust.

(could be wrong, and hopefully someone will helpfully point the wrong bits out, but that's how I semi-remember it...)

/P

Re:Bullshit (2, Interesting)

sohp (22984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007540)

No sympathy from me. If the spokesdroid was being honest, he'd say "You take all the money you get from the government to put all you can in the ground, spend that money on executive bonuses and lobbyists, and then implement bandwidth restrictions to cover up your incompetence and greed. Oh yeah, you also use that as an excuse to kick your competitors off your incumbent network."

Re:Bullshit (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007608)

I do have some (very small) sympathy for a company that has seen a 5000% growth in data traffic. Who can realistically plan for that kind of growth?

Yes, when you order millions of iPhones, your subscriber base grows SUBSTANTIALLY and you offer unlimited data as a requirement it is to be expected. You are talking about the most hyped device in recent history, people were all over it long before it launched. We're not talking about Android which is really still a geek target and not something the general public cares about (yet) or Pre which really isn't impressive to anyone.

You know your blackberry users USE data and they don't have unlimited plans. There is no valid excuse for this condition. Its not 'some overloading in a few locations that grew faster than expected' its 'the entire network is overloaded, and was overloaded on the day of release'. Its 'We didn't plan for our 3G release, even after having a YEAR of the older model getting high data usage.

You can plan for it rather easy. You give some phones out in advanced and see how they get used. (We'll call this the original iPhone which was give out a YEAR before the 3G model) Find the average usage (Mine is roughly ~200MB/month and I'm a light user), multiply that by the number of phones that were expected to sell, or AT LEAST by the number YOU BOUGHT TO SELL FROM YOUR OWN STORES ON THE FIRST DAY (which they did pre-orders so again, plenty of data to work with), and thats at least a starting point, but they didn't bother to do that.

Re:Bullshit (0, Flamebait)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007738)

So if they have a redundant (say) janitor, they should re-train him to do high-capacity networking instead of cleaning toilets? Is that what you're getting at?

Here's a pro-tip: employees aren't interchangeable cogs.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008012)

Yup. I know of a company out West that's laying off 800 employees, meanwhile in certain departments, they're hiring employees. (General thing seems to be MechEs/general support staff are getting laid off, EEs with RF experience are getting hired.)

Sometimes layoffs are less about downsizing than about skillset readjustment. Many of those 12000 may have been in AT&T's broadband and landline divisions with no possible place in AT&T Wireless.

Also, as others have said, bandwidth doesn't necessarily scale with employees, in this case the limiting factors are:
1) Sites where new towers are permitted. People bitch about coverage and network performance but scream even louder when someone wants to put a cell site nearby. Even if it's "pretty-ized", people bitch about that evil RF that might possibly give them cancer, even though 1 minute in sunlight is going to increase your chances of cancer more than a lifetime of RF exposure at any reasonable distance from a cell tower. (Reasonable distance being defined as "you weren't a dumbass that broke the lock on the fence surrounding the tower and climbed the tower".)

2) FCC licenses for new towers take a lot of paperwork and time

3) Equipment costs - this is nowhere near as much of a problem as 1) and 2) are though, especially 1)

Re:Bullshit (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008044)

Actually, the article linked that provoked this discussion pretty much says it:

"The company tried to soften the blow by saying it will add employees in some areas, such as wireless, video and broadband, in order to meet customer demand. Many non-management employees who are affected will have a guaranteed job offer as stipulated in union contracts, AT&T said."

Looks like AT&T's layoffs were in divisions OTHER than wireless. Probably the oldskool long-distance telephone market - not a good place to be nowadays.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007816)

"I do have some (very small) sympathy for a company that has seen a 5000% growth in data traffic. Who can realistically plan for that kind of growth?"

Just ask the AT&T, not AT&T mobility: remember the internet circa 2000? Broadband was just taking off, the networks got congested and AT&T laid more pipes. Nothing different from "increased data usage" being talked in this post (didn't broadband usage go up 5000% as well back in 2003?)--the trend has been there (read WIFI) that people prefer wireless surfing than desktop surfing...if it's just as fast.
Did AT&T Mobility not do their homework? They could have went to AT&T (parent) and looked at the broadband trends and marketing research and planned accordingly on the wireless side. Well, they likely did, but went with the gamble that the iPhone wasn't going to do so well and saved some cash. They got called on that gamble and had no plan B, and now spending that cash to build up on-demand. If the build up is done right, that may save them some money at the expensive of customers! That my friend deserves no sympathy--and hence consumers go where it's better (Tmo or VZW)...

Note on T-Mo's network, with a few million sidekick, G1 and Hero users and its network is holding up just fine--and they're rolling out 7.2HSPDA currently (rumor has it that it was the cause of the outage earlier this week) and HSPDA+ by next summer, so I think it's moot to ding them as worse than AT&T.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008690)

AT&T's land-line revenue is shrinking at a fantastic rate. The people who work in the land-line divisions are simply going to continue to lose their jobs. It's inevitable, and it's not T's fault. You can't take someone from the land-line billing department, stick a shovel in her hand, and tell her to go build cell towers.

Re:Bullshit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007394)

This has always been how these communications companies act.

Read newspapers from the late 1890s. We see the same attitude coming out of Continental Telegraph, Union Telegraph & Transmission, and the other big players in those days.

Instead of improving their telegraph networks, some of them would impose a limit of no more than 10 words per telegraph when the load got too high.

Different companies, different technology, same fuck-the-customer business attitudes.

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007568)

This is the typical, in this case subtle (but in other cases not subtle) blaming of the consumer for overusing network resources beyond some mythical "reasonable/predictable" amount that service providers cling to in rationalizing their retarded infrastructure expansion plans.

Indeed, it's telling that THEY HAVEN'T STOPPED ADVERTISING.

Car metaphor: you're a car dealership. You run some ads in which you say "Buy our cars: we have them to sell", and then you sell all the cars you have. Do you
A: Order more cars to sell
B: Stop running the ads, since, no, you don't have cars to sell
C: Complain about customers buying your product faster than you expected while still running the ads and not buying more cars

Re:Bullshit (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008388)

Part and parcel of choice C, though, is in this case continuing to sell cars you don't have.

Unless some sort of SLA is built into the standard consumer contract, which I highly highly doubt, the real kicker is that cell phone service isn't guaranteed at all, and in fact the only thing preventing AT&T from not providing any bandwidth for data is the possibility that people will jump to another carrier. AT&T would love to be in the business of selling nothing to people, because nothing is extremely cheap to produce.

Same argument used in highway construction (2, Insightful)

w3woody (44457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007628)

The exact same observation is made with highway construction--but it has led transportation authorities to the opposite conclusion: if the more you build, the more people use the resource--then clearly the answer is to not build any because you'll never fix the congestion, and you'll just encourage more people to use the resource.

Hard to know demand? (2, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007368)

Take any area on Earth where you are not at max capacity and then model data usage per phone. Done. In what way is this difficult for a multi-national megacorp?

Re:Hard to know demand? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007438)

The way I undestand it, before the iPhone the used data bandwidth was negligible. How the hell where they supposed to plan for a nearly 5000-fold increase in demand?

Re:Hard to know demand? (3, Insightful)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007748)

It isn't a 5000-fold increase, its 5000% increase, which amounts to 50 times more data usage. They used that data representation to make it seem overwhelming when in fact it could have easily been projected with the first 6 months of iPhone usage. I usually play the devil's advocate, but I will never give AT&T that benefit. They are one of the sleaziest companies in the US. Getting angry because you are spending your customer's money on frivolous bullshit rather than increasing capacity in what they paid for is pathetic.

Re:Hard to know demand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007810)

It didn't come all at once, you know. It's not like the iPhone adoption skyrocketed overnight. If you look at the numbers and graphics in the fucking article, it's been a rather gradual adoption curve.

It just comes down to them not planning very well. Wouldn't be surprised if it's because they have managers with absolutely no technological experience making critical technological decisions.

That's often what happens when you get people with a background in finance, commerce, law, economics, "management" and "administration" trying to run a technology company. They underestimate usage, or resort to fucking over their customers instead of making capital improvements.

Re:Hard to know demand? (2, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007812)

That's a nearly 5000 percent increase, not a 5000 fold increase. Yes, 5000% is still a lot of growth, but it is two orders of magnitude less than you perceive it to be. (5000% increase = 50-fold increase)

In answer to your question of how to plan for huge growth, there were several factors they should have paid better attention to.
1) Exclusivity. they knew getting into this deal that iPhones would grab a huge user base, which is why they negotiated an exclusive contract. Conclusion: More users = more traffic.
2) Design. The iPhone is designed to leverage a 3g data network. Conclusion: More iPhones = more traffic per user than other cell phones.
3) History. IPhones have been out for what, 2 1/2 to 3 years? Presumably, they are able to look at traffic on a per-user basis and conclude that average iPhone users consume X mbits of bandwidth. Multiply that by your sales figures, and subtract that from your current capacity. Project your results out a year or so. Wherever you have a deficit, you need to ramp up your coverage. Conclusion: Someone's not paying very close attention in the Planning Department while Sales is still cashing customers' checks.

Re:Hard to know demand? (1)

curunir (98273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008394)

That would be all well and good, except that we're talking about mobile phones. Pretty much by design, they tend to move around a bit. So it may be easy to tell how much overall capacity you'll need on your network, but it's not as simple as arriving at that result and deploying that amount...you need to figure out the property capacity for each location covered by your network.

And because of this, if you want to have the capacity to handle all traffic on your network, you'll need more capacity than the total that will be used by users. For instance, you'll need a lot of capacity in the financial districts of cities that will be largely unused at night. Also, you'll need a ton of capacity at ballparks and stadiums that will be almost entirely unused when there's no event taking place. And what do you do when everyone goes home for the holidays? Airports will almost certainly have to have greater capacity to handle the onslaught of travelers and I'm pretty sure more people go back east for the holidays than go west, so you have to account for the increased network usage caused by that temporary migration.

And, worse yet, things are in a constant state of flux. Buildings get built that block the signal from a tower to a certain area. Every day new customers are signing up and old customers are leaving so the distribution in the location of subscribers can change. And the demographics of your customer base can change too. Imagine you're in charge of planning the roll out of AT&T's towers and come into work one day to find that your company has signed an exclusive deal with a trendy hardware manufacturer to sell a phone which is really the first mainstream internet tablet even though it doubles as a phone. Suddenly the demands on your network have shifted significantly towards data from voice.

None of this is meant to suggest that a company the size of AT&T shouldn't be able to solve the problem, but only that the problem is much more difficult than you make it out to be. When you think through the problem, there's a lot more variables than you're realizing. Companies with fewer resources than AT&T solve harder problems all the time, so the fact that the problem is hard isn't an excuse.

Shame on ATT for blaming anyone but themselves... (4, Insightful)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007370)

This guy's quote is BS, if you as the owner of your traffic don't know how much demand there is either by system monitoring and/or usage patterns for specific type clients (with demograhaphics tagged along with it, because ATT sure as hell knows its clients profiles and/or can buy such data from 3rd parties) then they need to get out of the business. Either way ATT has slacked on its network, let Verizon (good for them) to compete and do it well and then blame poor performance and oversell on its lack of knowledge. That is just BS, they know, don't care until it hurts in the pocket... And exclusive contracts with big hardware vendors does't help the public, its own customer base, as well as its image. Shame on ATT.

Re:Shame on ATT for blaming anyone but themselves. (1)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007502)

I wonder how verizon would fare if they were able to offer the iPhone with unlimited data as well...

Re:Shame on ATT for blaming anyone but themselves. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007856)

This guy's quote is BS, if you as the owner of your traffic don't know how much demand there is either by system monitoring and/or usage patterns for specific type clients (with demograhaphics tagged along with it, because ATT sure as hell knows its clients profiles and/or can buy such data from 3rd parties) then they need to get out of the business.

No, what's he's saying is that since the network is already full to 100% of capacity, it's impossible to tell how much more capacity they need in specific areas. Which is true; since every tower is 100%, there's no place that's obviously worse than any other place. They have "capacity clipping", to coin a term.

Not a network admin, is he? (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007420)

'If a network is not fully loaded, it's hard to know exactly how much demand is out there,' Donovan said. 'You put all you can in the ground, and they eat it all up, and then you put more in there, and they eat it all up.'"

You've never done any kind of network administration, have you Mr. Donovan? You designed your network for average use, not peak use. As anyone who designs networks for a living will tell you -- it will function perfectly well until it reaches close to or at 100% utilization, at which point it'll choke and die horribly. Had you excercised proper engineering methodology, you would have known to test each product/application being put on the network in test markets and used the use data to predict what the peak would be, and then only deploy it when you had a 20-50% greater capacity than what the data suggests.

But alas, you eschewed best practices to save a few bucks -- all those profitable quarters and executive kickbacks, all the while your towers were backhauled on 512kbit DSL and fractional T1s. Your infrastructure's been rotting for a long time, sir, and the iPhone has nothing to do with your failure as an executive to execute a proper deployment plan that accounts for growth. You should be ashamed: The chinese mobile phone network has over 500 million subscribers, and their plans are cheaper, have better options, and their infrastructure is far more modern. China has similar problems to the United States in terms of rural development and rugged terrain for deployment -- and yet you've abjectly failed to not only do your case studies, but even do exploratory research within your own market.

It's amazing that this level of incompetence is rewarded by our society.

Re:Not a network admin, is he? (5, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007552)

It's amazing that this level of incompetence is rewarded by our society.

Unfortunately it's not amazing. It's so common and so frequently noticed that we've become blasé about it. The system of cronyism between rich people has utterly eliminated accountability and actual performance incentives (rather than fake ones), to the point where their precious "free market" in labor doesn't work at all.

It used to be that when you scrambled your way to the top, you had to keep scrambling because someone young and hungry was coming up behind you. Nowadays the gap between the rich at the top and the next layer down has become such a vast gulf, there's no worries that any hard scrambler can ever cross it. Even if he scrambles REALLY hard, the odds he'll ever scramble hard enough to be able to afford to get into your precious country club are slim to none. The membership fee rises faster than his piddly "fortune".

I used to think it was possible to scramble hard enough, until some helpful soul on Slashdot pointed out the folly of my optimism. I believed in the American Dream, until Slashdot very unkindly pointed out that class mobility in the United States has never been lower, and it's REALLY low. Thanks Slashdot. You killed my dream. Bastards.

Re:Not a network admin, is he? (1)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008392)

I used to think it was possible to scramble hard enough

Well. Here's the thing. See how the recession's ending? That's because of the new budding tech bubble. This one does have rather a lot more substance than the .com bubble did, though.
Retrain yourself in the newest, most fashionable technologies out there, and be adaptable enough to pick up new tech in a week or two. Focus hard on your specific business area, then get a couple of employees - someone to boss around and a pro sales person. Then expand as rapidly as possible (better get started soon, good techs are gonna be much harder to hire in half a year).
Or even better, start a business doing something you really believe in and work 12/365 for a few years. I'm pretty sure you'll get there if you scramble :-)

Re:Not a network admin, is he? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008606)

It used to be that when you scrambled your way to the top, you had to keep scrambling because someone young and hungry was coming up behind you.

It's worth noting that one of the factors in making it possible to "scramble to the top" that is no longer true is that executives were once nearly always people who had been promoted up through the ranks at the company that they worked for throughout their careers, whereas now it is quite common for people to be hired in at the VP or CxO level. This has a lot of implications, a few of the more important ones being:
  1. Executives are more likely to be identify with other company's executives than lower-ranked employees at their own firm. For instance, John Sculley owed his career to executives at Pepsi, not engineers at Apple.
  2. Executives are more able to jump ship or be pushed out and expect to land in a similar position to the one they previously held. So, say, Carly Fiorina could trash HP without worrying about her future career there, because if she got fired from HP she would have a good shot at getting a CxO-level job at another company. Without the pattern of hiring outside people in as executives, she'd be taking a much larger personal income hit at her next job.
  3. If an executive screws up big time, they're likely to be replaced not by their possibly more competent subordinate but by someone who screwed up at a similar level in another firm.

All of these serve to insulate current executives from the consequences of their decisions while making it harder for more competent employees to move up. It also enables people with poor job skills but very good networking and interviewing skills to "fail upwards", because they could go from being an incompetent VP at company A to an incompetent CxO at company B (because company B doesn't know about the incompetence at company A).

What is peak of 4600% average increase? (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007716)

You've never done any kind of network administration, have you Mr. Donovan? You designed your network for average use, not peak use.

I think what he is saying (badly) is that you can't find the peak if your network is constantly at peak.

Not to mention it's hard to figure out what the real peak will be in a few years with 4600% growth in average use.

To put it simply, that level of growth caught everyone flat footed because people just did not use data plans that heavily before. AT&T is still trying to figure out how to adjust. I know they are building out because service in my town (Denver) has improved, but obviously they are struggling to have improvements match growth rates. And they probably will for some time... hopefully they are starting to realize they need to lay down new network capacity at a far greater rate, whatever that takes.

Re:What is peak of 4600% average increase? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008442)

I think what he is saying (badly) is that you can't find the peak if your network is constantly at peak.

If he'd been doing case studies from the start and deploying products in test markets on a schedule -- this wouldn't have become a problem because there would have been leading indicators of a sudden upward rise in demand. But they disregarded that in order to release the iPhone nationwide all at once as part of a huge marketing campaign, rather than in select markets in a phased deployment. They made a grave miscalculation in doing so and now have no idea where they sit. In this situation, the solution is to find parts of the network that aren't saturated and make an educated guess from that data about what the rest of the network "should" look like. Then do a pilot upgrade in, say, twenty locations where the network traffic is at its most dense and see if the those projections hold. Rinse, wash, repeat.

The problem is, it costs more to rush a deployment after a problem like this presents than to do a phased upgrade, when there's opportunities to cut costs by careful selection of distribution channels, contracting during periods of reduced production, etc. This executive, by procrastinating and delaying these upgrades, will now wind up costing the company more (possibly considerably more) because they're behind the curve than would have been necessary had proper engineering practice been followed from the start.

The bottom line here is that sooner or later, you have to pay the piper.

Re:Not a network admin, is he? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008530)

Sadly, he works for AT&T who created the ultimate scalable state of art OS (and philosophy) UNIX. That AT&T in 1970s were doing things like that and now they whine about something which even a basic home user these days have knowledge about. Even home users started to do bandwidth planning especially for contract based subscriptions. If guy only cares about Youtube, Mail, Web, he gets 1Mbit line instead of 4-8+ MBit.

That's not much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007424)

Come on, 4.932% isn't even 5%. Shame on you, AT&T!

it's hard to know... (1)

nick357 (108909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007426)

"If a network is not fully loaded, it's hard to know exactly how much demand is out there"

If only there was an app for that!

Poor justifications... (1)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007450)

As a large corporation, AT&T should have LOTS of people working on demand analysis and usage trends. If it didn't upgrade the coverage is not because it didn't see the Train Headlight on the other side of the tunnel.

what a shock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007482)

...you offer something useful to people and they use it?

My brother is in mngmnt with AT&T, he tells me the greatest tales of folly, and he's a just a local repair supervisor.

Even more shocking... (2, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007790)

...offer something that is your core competency and people want to use it. This is what AT&T DOES. They sell data transit. Move the bits from here to there. That's their job. Their ONLY job. And they suck at it. If that's not a damning indictment against monopoly/duopoly, I don't know what is.

If only my employer had this problem. People beating down their door to obtain the service they most like to offer. Oh what a terrible fate. And they fumble it and practically fail at it. It would be unbelievable if I didn't already know they're more than half of a duopoly.

Worse, they got a giant government handout a decade ago, before giant handouts were quite so common, and they STILL fail. How much of the free broadband money (tax credits) did AT&T née SBC née Bell South née AT&T get from the gub'ment? Billions. And here it is 2009 and they're having trouble moving data from a few million phones. It's crap like this that is the reason why Third World countries tend to stay Third World. We truly have become a banana republic, and we're going to destroy ourselves if we keep up that habit. It does not work.

If you build it... (2, Interesting)

kawabago (551139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007572)

If you build it, they will come. In this case they're coming anyway, you better build something quick!

Just another group of clueless execs (1)

Vermyndax (126974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007580)

Sounds like just another group of clueless executives in the communications/IT industry. All they saw was dollar signs with this agreement with Apple. They had no idea of the impact on their network.

Just another day in the IT industry.

Simple plan.... (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007604)

Don't sell what you don't have.

If you want to sell more, build more before selling it.

If this were any other industry, I would bring up "if you can't, someone else will" but the market providers are so few that it's not true.

There Will Be Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30007718)

Does this:

"You put all you can in the ground, and they eat it all up, and then you put more in there, and they eat it all up."

Remind anyone else of this:

"Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake... I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up."

Ahh the good old days ... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30007844)

What I wouldn't give to go back to when 'Its hard!' was not a valid excuse for not doing your job.

Its our own fault for not demanding better service. 2 year contracts let them get by with murder since you can't just jump ship and go to the better provider. While its not enforcing a monopoly, its certain promoting bad service and limiting consumer choice.

People: stop linking to "print this page" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30008070)

I realize people are pretty much free to do what they want... But it's really rude to link to a "print this page" article instead of the actual page, as this summary does. What this does here is tells the target website, you're going to absorb the bandwidth cost of having Slashdot readers view an article, but you're not going to able to show them ads. On a small scale it probably doesn't mean much (just as it probably doesn't mean much if a small percentage uses ad-blocking software), but I still feel this is disrespectful, especially on something that is going to receive high volume.

screw at&t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30008312)

They're a bloated company that needs to be split again. I hate saying something like that, but my recent experiences at two different locations with their phone/internet service leads me to believe theyre bumbling idiots that cant get the different depts of their company to work together.

When you pay for a phone line to be reactivated, it needs to be reactivated, not sit idle for a week. The line is_only_ used for DSL purposes. I waited a week for my DSL provider to reactivate the line, cause they say it takes that long to send the disconnect / reconnect orders to AT&T. I waited. And found out the line wasnt going back up, because AT&T screwed up. Got it taken care of, but thats just annoying..

At another location, a sales rep called and said the "contract" needed to be re-negotiated. It was learned a week and a half later, after internet services on that line -- which have two active voice lines, its a BUSINESS -- slowly degraded, and they tried running the poor woman through some lame steps, I got there and talked to a rep myself and they said "Oh, you've got some sync issues, we'll send a tech out" and then promptly gave me the "If its external, its free of charge, if its internal, you pay" b.s. line... Turns out the idiot AT&T sales rep sold a speed upgrade that ISNT AVAILABLE in the area this client does business...

San Francisco... (1)

alexfeig (1030762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008384)

Wow, if this is true "AT&T is in the midst of leveraging its prime 850MHz radio spectrum for 3G in San Francisco, a step that is 90 percent complete, Donovan said." then they have a long way to go.

I just actually canceled my AT&T service after a few years of having absolutely godawful service in downtown SF, and I can tell you that from my perspective NO improvement has been made PERIOD.

This is the biggest load of BS I've read in a long time. They have no clue on how to fix this, and people in my office (including myself) have been able to cancel contracts without an early termination fee because they KNOW their service sucks.

Pathetic (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008438)

What is truly pathetic is that the old AT&T would have handled this without problem. The company the built the first non-blocking electronic switch (the 1ESS) in 1965 and invented Shannon's law is now sadly but a faint memory.

The only things left are a legacy of Nobel Prizes (still growing [harvestimaging.com] ) and water towers shaped like transistors.

Their rival not acting sane too (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30008454)

By targeting Apple iPhone and AT&T together, Verizon lost way too many potential customers. Industry rule is, never ever specifically target Apple since it is something like a cult. I know lots of people around me asking "So what the hell is Verizon and why they hate Apple?". I am thousands of kilometers away from USA, now that should be some real alerting thing.

AT&T could advertise involvement with UNIX (which many don't know), Verizon could inform people about why they have the largest coverage, why their speeds are so higher than the competition. All they do is childish "I do that, I do this" competition with lots of drama. iPhone is a damn UNIX device which is a fairly advanced smart phone in its own right, they should stop treating iPhone users or other smart phone/device users like bunch of rich morons.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30008498)

Or you could just purchase the iphone outright with no plan and jailbreak it, put it on your verizon plan and have 3G coverage all over the country and laugh as you do things twice as fast as the phone next to you for less a month.

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