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AT&T Admits New York City iPhone Service Sucks

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-we-knew-that dept.

Communications 144

RevWaldo notes a post up at The Gothamist on AT&T's admission of its poor cell service in New York. "AT&T has realized that the first step towards recovery is admitting it has a problem. The phone giant has confessed that its New York City iPhone service is not up to par, according to a presentation slide published on Tom's Guide noting that the company's 3G Voice Composite Quality in the New York metro area — particularly in Manhattan — is below its performance objective. ... The slide does contain some good news for AT&T subscribers. Apparently, AT&T has had '[t]hree consecutive months of improvement'..."

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Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951398)

Now if only they had some of that Luke Wilson money to invest in infrastructure.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952186)

I'm glad chubby faced Luke Wilson and crappy phone company AT&T got together. With their powers combined they have created a fail more epic than either was capable of alone.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952556)

Trent Reznor called, he wants his face back.

In other news: water is wet (0, Troll)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951400)

The Pope is Catholic.
Goldfish like water

Re:In other news: water is wet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951490)

Macs are for fags especially the artsy-fartsy type with lame French accents.
Windoze is for luzers.
Your sig is dumb.

Re:In other news: water is wet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952076)

Take off every zig
You know what you doing
Move zig
For great justice

Twitter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951402)

Why won't anyone admit that the emperors new micro blogging site is absolutely pointless.

Get those muthafucking buttons of this muthafucking slashdot.

Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951424)

It's all them niggers fault!

Real Improvement? (5, Interesting)

ivogan (678639) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951426)

I am left wondering if the improvement stated is a result of consumers switching carriers from AT&T.

Re:Real Improvement? (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951662)

Probably. The sad part is that their network is at best mediocre everywhere else. Detroit or Chicago I also get lots of dropouts and keep dropping back to the Edge network instead of 3G. Even voice calls have problems everywhere on an AT&T network.

They need to upgrade and expand EVERYWHERE.

Re:Real Improvement? (1, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952180)

Or alternatively maybe the improvement was defined as narrowing the distance between their goals and the reality and they accomplished that by just lowering their standards.

Re:Real Improvement? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952256)

You mean the Verizon "There's a map for that" ads are accurate? But the AT&T guy says they have coverage (G-type not specified) everywhere!!!

Re:Real Improvement? (4, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952856)

No, they're not accurate. Neither is being particularly truthful, but Verizon is outright lying. They're comparing apples to oranges.

Verizon's 3g is more like AT&T's 2g (EDGE). AT&T's 3g (really HSDPA) is wicked fast (I've gotten a real-world 4.5mbps with 100ms latency). I don't think Verizon has anything that even comes close to that. So AT&T's HSDPA service is pretty limited, sure, but they have 2g (which is Verizon's 3g) over their *entire* service area.

There's a lot of things AT&T needs to improve on, but I don't think their coverage or technology is one of them. They just need to deliver what they're capable of more frequently.

Re:Real Improvement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30953156)

If I have an umbrella but I can't open it, am I really covered?

Re:Real Improvement? (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953232)

In my view, yes, Verizon is being rather disingenuous, but at the same time "Company creates advertisement that spins information in a way that makes them look better than a competitor" is hardly news. It basically comes down to the fact that "3G" doesn't actually mean anything, so Verizon can say pretty much whatever they want.

Re:Real Improvement? (2, Interesting)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953462)

It isn't an improvement from customers switching away. AT&T added more customers than Verizon last quarter and had a similar churn rate of 1.4%. So, no, AT&T has more customers than ever and customers are staying with AT&T at the same rate as Verizon and more customers are signing up for AT&T than Verizon.

It's a real improvement.

Chicago isn't any better (3, Interesting)

frinkster (149158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951486)

I rarely get 3G data service during the week. Usually it's EDGE and not very fast EDGE at that.

Weekends are much better.

Anyone thinking of getting an iPad should really think about the real value of the 3G option - will it be worth anything in your area?

Re:Chicago isn't any better (2, Interesting)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951934)

I was in Orlando last weekend, and 3G kept dropping the connection, and the calls were often dropped too.

Re:Chicago isn't any better (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952734)

Large tall concrete & metal structures interfere with radio signals. News at 11.

Re:Chicago isn't any better (2, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953318)

I wouldn't exactly say that Orlando has many tall structures.

Re:Chicago isn't any better (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953394)

I wouldn’t know, but what I do know is this: densely packed buildings of any size play havoc with radio signals. They block and reflect the signal, making it nearly impossible to get a strong, consistent coverage.

Good -- maybe they will start to improve (4, Informative)

soren100 (63191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951522)

Now if they can just admit their service sucks everywhere else too, then they can take some of all that iPhone money and actually improve the service.

What's really amazing about AT&T and the iPhone is that if you are in a large crowd of people (such as a festival), the service becomes overwhelmed and you can't even make or receive a call.

Even just going to LA can make the phone get pretty unresponsive as it waits for a signal from the overloaded tower, so you can't really use it for much.

Re:Good -- maybe they will start to improve (2, Interesting)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952402)

I went to a San Jose Sharks game while I was home visiting family at Christmas. My iphone did not work AT ALL in the arena. It took me 30 minutes to send a text message during the game. I had full signal strength. As soon as the game was over and I got a few blocks away, everything worked again.

Re:Good -- maybe they will start to improve (3, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952596)

Sounds like one more reason not to go to LA. Not that anyone needed any more.

Re:Good -- maybe they will start to improve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952852)

It doesn't suck everywhere... my house out in BFE for example has no trouble with AT my parents who are with Verizon keep dropping calls whenever they visit or just flat out lose signal.

Re:Good -- maybe they will start to improve (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953080)

GSM works through what's called "time-division multiplexing" over various fixed frequencies. What this means is that a set carrier frequency (let's just make up a number and say 403.123 MHz) can carry a certain number of callers at once, let's say 16. This means it splits time into 16 chunks, and then for a split second customer 1 can transmit and recieve whatever it wants, then the next split second customer 2 can transmit and receive whatever it wants, and so on until all 16 have gotten their split second of time, and this is repeated thousands of times per second. Once all 16 time slots are full, another carrier frequency is selected for more customers, and these frequencies are as finely split as can be without causing too much interference.

The point is that you've only got so many slots per frequency, and only so many distinct frequencies available in your FCC-allotted bandwidth. It makes perfect sense for a large gathering of people to use up all available slots, even if signal strength is excellent.

For comparison, CDMA works in such a way that everyone transmits and receives all the time, and your phone sees everyone else's signals as pure noise. Thus, the more phones connected at once, the more noise everyone has to contend with, and so the tower will artificially limit the number of phones connected to it at any given time to avoid this.

Re:Good -- maybe they will start to improve (1)

aca_broj_1 (1034904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953550)

Not quite true for CDMA. Code division multiplexing allows as many people to transmit simultaneously as there are codes to provide separation. The number of codes is limited as the longer the code length -- in time -- the lower the transmission speed, and the higher the code rate -- bits per second -- the more frequency bandwidth is used.

As an ATT customer in manhattan.... (3, Interesting)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951558)

Thanks for finally fucking noticing. I've called to complain to ATT numerous times over the years and every single time i was given the following bullshit excuses:
- You need a new sim card
- Your phone might be damaged
- We don't see any problems in the area

So when is ATT going to give me my money back for diminished service?

Re:As an ATT customer in manhattan.... (4, Insightful)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951694)

So when is ATT going to give me my money back for diminished service?

As soon as it makes business sense for them to do so.

Re:As an ATT customer in manhattan.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952490)

That statement objectifies the problem and hides the fault. It's a good example of something that is both "true" and "wrong".

Burn down their corporate office. :)

Re:As an ATT customer in manhattan.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952298)

LOL. Every carrier of any service has those excuses. My neighbors and I lost Comcast internet for about a day before. We were told there is nothing wrong in our area and he even claimed to have run some local diagnostic to verify that. The suggestion was to schedule a tech to come to my house which I declined. Coincidently, we all started working again after a Comcast dude was working up on a nearby telephone pole.

When questioned why it's iPhone service sucked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951566)

They responded M-o-n-o-p-o-l-y

Y axis? (4, Informative)

Flavio (12072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951602)

What's that graph supposed to represent without an y axis?

This is marketing disguised as an objective quality metric. Without showing the numbers, they've admitted to nothing, and promised nothing.

Re:Y axis? (1, Funny)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951968)

As long as we're using AA doublespeak here ("first step . . . admitting . . ."), might as well continue in that vein. "Progress, not perfection." The line just shows progress. And that's all that matters. Oh, yeah, and "fake it 'till you make it."

(No, I've never been in AA, but I was (am?) in recovery from anorexia, and eating disorders and the various addictions have a high degree of population overlap.)

(As an anorexic, I already know that I'm not *worthy* of good service, and so I never complained about AT&T's iPhone coverage . . .)

Re:Y axis? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952274)

"Voice Composite Quality" is correlated with the bandwidth available for voice calls. Voice in recent GSM takes 4.5 to 12.2 kbps; the AMR codec [wikipedia.org] can drop down to lower bitrates if the tower is congested.

Re:Y axis? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952634)

Without showing the numbers, they've admitted to nothing, and promised nothing.

Even if they gave us the numbers it wouldn't tell us jack. Numbers mean nothing w/o context of how they are getting the data they are charting. Is this a customer survey? If so, how is it administered and who is the population (people who call in to AT&T CSRs, random sampling via e-mail, what?)

I'm willing to bet that this is some sort of valid survey conducted on a regular basis by AT&T but the marketing team took it, stripped everything important, and threw it up there to say, "look at us we're trying," even though they've been trying to possibly years already and failing all the while.

Re:Y axis? (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952718)

What's that graph supposed to represent without an y axis?

The Y axis represents "3G Voice Composite Quality Index", duh! Don't you speak marketing robot? High fives all around, everyone, team meeting at the Sizzler!

Re:Y axis? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952770)

It has a y-axis. Don’t you see “Performance Objective”?

Whatever that is, the y-axis is the percentage of it achieved.

Re:Y axis? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952994)

They’re actually calling it the 3G Voice Quality Composite Index.

Found this on another one of their powerpoint presentations:

Composite Quality Index is an overall view of 3G network performance that measures call success as well as our customers’ ability to access and remain on AT&T’s 3G network.

Still no mention of how exactly it’s calculated, but in the 2010 AT&T Developer Summit’s Keynote Session presentation, the slide about the Voice Quality Composite Quality Index lists rates for “3G Dropped calls”, “3G Blocked calls”, and “Network-driven churn”. Presumably it’s a metric of those three qualities.

3 Months of Improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951620)

...is easy when you have 3 months of subscribers canceling their contracts.

Unpaid bribes or union patronage? (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951644)

I wonder if AT&T is having problems in New York and Chicago and some other large cities because they don't know who to bribe or what local bosses control what happens. There are fewer people standing in the way of upgrades like this in some places than in others.

Re:Unpaid bribes or union patronage? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952624)

AT&T is one of the oldest and most entrenched corporations in the country, if not the world (the British East India Company is older of course, but is a shadow of its former self). I doubt they don't know the right way to grease the right wheels.

Re:Unpaid bribes or union patronage? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952968)

Maybe they're not willing to do it. Or maybe they can't compete with the favors their competitors are offering in exchange for slowing AT&T down. Who knows?

Re:Unpaid bribes or union patronage? (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952920)

I wonder if you are just another right-leaning jagoff who will use the summary of any story to blame something lefty like "unions" without regard to the necessity of proof to level yet another of your accusations.

(checks Kohath's comment history)

Reasonable hypothesis.

Re:Unpaid bribes or union patronage? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953070)

I'm not accusing. I'm insinuating. No facts required for an insinuation. (You need to learn the rules.)

Are you claiming that unions never obstruct anything? Are you claiming that local governments never obstruct things? Are you claiming that every civic decision and permit in Chicago and New York is 100% honest?

Corruption in some large cities is well known.

That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951664)

why is the service in NYC so horrible :( and why is America so far behind in telecommunications :(

as an aside, I have no interest in the iPad until it has 4G connectivity. What is up with that?

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951780)

Mr. Anderson, what good is 4G connectivity if there's no way to connect it?

Seriously, the limit isn't the mobile devices - it's easy to build a $500 device with better b/w. It's much harder to upgrade tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure to support it. Especially when most* of the country has no data service whatsoever.

*by area

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951810)

Mr. Anderson, what good is 4G connectivity if there's no way to connect it?

Seriously, the limit isn't the mobile devices - it's easy to build a $500 device with better b/w. It's much harder to upgrade tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure to support it. Especially when most* of the country has no data service whatsoever.

*by area

what do you mean? we already have active 4G service in Stockholm. http://www.telia4g.se/om-4g [telia4g.se]

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951846)

Here in Chicago, too. http://www.clear.com/coverage [clear.com]

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951930)

that's kinda slow to be considered 4G isn't it. Seems more like Turbo3G, but I digress.

Download Really fast. CLEAR 4G is four times faster than 3G, with average download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps and bursts over 10 Mbps*. So make your downtime up time.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (2, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952064)

Yes. The U.S. is really a 2nd World country when it comes to broadband and high-speed telecom. We don't like to outright admit it, but that is the truth compared to places like Sweden or S. Korea.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952380)

2nd World? My iPhone worked better in the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya than here in San Francisco.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952552)

Oddly enough, the better thought "tech" areas in the U.S., like Manhattan and San Francisco, are more like 3rd World when it comes to wireless.

You'd figure, with Pac Bell's (now AT&T) HQ being in San Ramon, service in the Bay Area would be better than elsewhere. You'd figure wrong, sadly enough.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (2, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953074)

Yes. The U.S. is really a 2nd World country

Hoo boy are you confused. Let me make this easy for you:

  • First World: democratic capitalism, aka The US and its allies
  • Second World: dictatorial communism, aka the Soviet Union and its allies
  • Third World: everyone else (These countries were not allied with either of the above groups primarily because they were too poor to matter in the great struggle over property rights and liberalism.)

To say the US is "second world" is absurd, as being aligned with the US is the very definition of "first world."

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (2, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953248)

No, I'm not confused. You just didn't understand my use of the analogy.

I was talking about the state of telecommunications, specifically related to broadband availability, speed and cost. I was doing it using the same scale you defined, but in relation not to political-economic strata but telecom.

Thus, I was just breaking down the levels of telecom in the world into three segments:

The first world being marked by places like Sweden and S. Korea, where things like 100 Mbit data to your home or office is cheap and available. Where 3G or better wireless coverage is pervasive, including not only 90%+ of the population, but the majority of the landmass as well.

The second world is marked by places like the U.S. and Canada, where there are large stretches of open land where the best you can get is ISDN or dial-up. They aren't all that populated, but there are still a lot of them. The high-speed networks that are available are overloaded and overpriced (in comparison), if not a generation behind the 1st World (as defined above) in speed and latency.

The third world is where you're lucky to get a decent data connection, or they're restricted to major metro areas and priced well out of the range of the locals. Also, bandwidth to the greater Internet is in short supply, expensive and quite possibly restricted.

* * *

Your first clue should have been the phrase "Soviet Union" in your definition. Last I checked, they dissolved a couple decades back. And while there are plenty of dictators, the communist ones are fairly few and far between now.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953472)

The first world being marked by places like Sweden and S. Korea, where things like 100 Mbit data to your home or office is cheap and available. Where 3G or better wireless coverage is pervasive, including not only 90%+ of the population, but the majority of the landmass as well.

The second world is marked by places like the U.S. and Canada, where there are large stretches of open land where the best you can get is ISDN or dial-up. They aren't all that populated, but there are still a lot of them.

Allow me to speculate that there are more square miles that are covered by broadband or 3G in the USA than in either South Korea or Sweden, or probably both combined. You're really comparing apples and oranges.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953568)

No, really, you're confused. The fact that the Soviet Union does not exist does not mean you all of a sudden have the right to redefine any word which refers to the Soviet Union.

"Second World" has never been the accepted terminology to refer to "those countries with moderate wireless internet coverage." It has a specific definition which you were ignorant of until I educated you. You tried to invent a new phrase based on your misunderstanding of another phrase. There's no weaseling out of it.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30953372)

The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a new meaning that was more applicable to the times. Since its original definition, the term First World has come to be largely synonymous with developed and/or highly developed countries (depending on which definition is being used).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World

From it's inception it was used to describe the US and democracy/capitalism, but I think it's current usage has moved away from that some to describe social conditions, tech level, capital, etc. In this more expansive definition of the term, the US could slide into a second world position. For example, comparing US healthcare to many european countries, one could say that the US has "second world", and in some areas "third world" health care for its citizens. Excepting the wealthy, of course, as they have "First World" amenities regardless of country.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953636)

First World has come to be largely synonymous with developed and/or highly developed countries (depending on which definition is being used).

This is the case for the term "first world." It is not the case that the term "second world" has become "largely synonymous" with "slow internet access" as was claimed by that other bozo. "Second world" still means what it always meant.

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951792)

Shoot, why do you need 4G connectivity in a silly "large iPod Touch" device that can only run one application at a time? What will you download with that 4G - some DRM app from the apple app store or a DRM book?

Re:That's why we roll with 4G ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952410)

America stays behind so you Eurotypes have a reason to feel superior on the internet. We had to clean up the massive destructions and genocides you guys get up to when you start feeling inferior, so we do our best to let you feel like you're just peachy fucking keen.

that's a shame (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951736)

It's just New York, so who cares? Frankly if you live in NYC I figure you'd be used to your life sucking by now.

Just iPhone service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951804)

Because of course the iPhone is the only phone to use 3G voice. and of course non-iPhone type phones (those still exist!) are obsolete, old world and non-multitouch and therefore not worth acknowledging

They are only copping to Voice issues (1)

asteinmetz (994157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951866)

...while it's data that is giving people fits. When I say "people" I mean "me."

AT&T NYC service (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30951890)

I was in Downtown Manhattan /w AT&T service a few months ago - 3G service in general (Not just IPhone) wasn't just slow it was so slow that the effective result was it didn't work at all - don't waste your time trying slow. The experience was comparable to GSM data service (14.4k) of decades past. In contrast call quality was quite good and I never had any problems there.

Thankfully outside of the Metro area all was well in 3G land. At the time I suspected all of those massive Sprint displays in times square had some sort of magical influence over my data connection :)

Luke Wilson lied to me. Again. (1)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951980)

Fastest 3G network in the country... Sure, as long as you don't count major metro areas or any of those other peskly 3G networks.

Re:Luke Wilson lied to me. Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952344)

They never say faster..."a better 3G experience" wtf that means.

Those ads are full of lies dancing around the issue.

Did anyone else read this as... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30951992)

For the past three months more people in NYC are leaving AT&T than they are picking up as new subscribers?

Not just Manhattan, all of NY (2, Informative)

RiddleofSteel (819662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952002)

It sucks out on Long Island too! Hope they don't just focus on Manhattan. I mean it's ridiculous how bad AT&T service is in all facets. Sorely tempted to trade my beloved Iphone for a Nexus. I get so mad everytime I see what's his face from Old School talking about how fast their network is. Also so what if it's faster, you don't get any coverage anywhere! I mean really, I could have the fastest race car in the world, but if I can only drive it up and down my drive way it's pointless!

Re:Not just Manhattan, all of NY (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952400)

It sucks out on Long Island too! Hope they don't just focus on Manhattan. I mean it's ridiculous how bad AT&T service is in all facets. Sorely tempted to trade my beloved Iphone for a Nexus. I get so mad everytime I see what's his face from Old School talking about how fast their network is. Also so what if it's faster, you don't get any coverage anywhere! I mean really, I could have the fastest race car in the world, but if I can only drive it up and down my drive way it's pointless!

The Nexus One is a nice phone but I feel some of the UI features lack the polish/maturity of the iPhone. Specifically: multi-touch and the way it handles dropdown menus.

And while T-Mobile coverage isn't horrid by me, it is noticeably weaker than AT&T.

No, there actually has been no improvement (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952012)

As I still cannot get a 3G nor an Edge signal to sustain itself for more than literally 10 seconds...

Right in front of City Hall in Downtown Manhattan. They *say* they've upgraded their NYC network and added capacity, but my signal strength (as noted by decibel, not bars) has remained absolutely consistently horrible everywhere in the Financial District, Gramercy Park, all of the Village, and both the Upper East and Upper West Sides.

Lies and more goddamn lies.

Only a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952158)

It can only be a matter of time until AT&T admits that their service everywhere sucks. Right?

2 billion in announced capex increases (3, Informative)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952316)

If anyone was listening to the ATT earnings release you'd know that T has announced a 2 billion dollar increase in their capex for 2010. This will still leave them below 2008 capex levels but will but them significantly above 2009 levels (which were absurdly low given that it was the year of the iPhone). 2 billion may not be enough to really fix every problem but neither is it a trivial increase.

In short, they know there is a problem and have devoted all of their FCF from 2009 to try to address the problem. They aren't standing still hoping the problem will fix itself.

Stop bashing AT&T for this! (4, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952326)

I live in Manhattan, and I own an iPhone. Believe me, I know about all the problems. I complain a lot to my friends.

But they're clearly trying to climb on top of this. They're opening up about the problems, and they had that incident a month ago or so when they stopped selling iPhones. They're trying to figure it out.

I ran a dial-up ISP in the 90's. Tons of people came on to the net, and everyone in the business was trying like crazy to grow their phone banks and their networks to handle the new people. Back then everyone complained about their ISP -- it was hard to keep up.

That's what's happening now with wireless. Everyone is starting to use lots of data. Three years ago, almost no one used wireless net access. Three years from now, almost everyone in the city will want to be able to stream video to their phones at the same time. All of that infrastructure has to be built, and all of it has to be financed. Imagine if some other major chunk of infrastructure had to be built from the ground up -- electrical wiring, or roads, or whatever. It's a big job.

The transition is inevitably going to be bloody. We just need AT&T to be open about it, and to really step up and try to keep up with the growth. When they come clean like this, it's a very positive sign. And once everyone's online, and the growth stabilizes, things will get a lot better.

(I realize that no one will buy this. But I figured I'd put it out there anyway.)

Re:Stop bashing AT&T for this! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952932)

You're right, I don't buy this, and here's why:

Verizon has grown FASTER than AT&T since the iPhone was introduced. They sell roughly as many of the Data-heavy smart phones supposedly causing this.

And yet, their network is doing just fine.

Why should I be patient and understanding with AT&T when somebody else is around, with similar pricing, and a vastly better network? As soon as my iPhone contract was up, I ditched AT&T, and I haven't regretted it for a second.

Re:Stop bashing AT&T for this! (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952982)

it was hard to keep up.

Only if you over sell and never say 'we are at capacity and can not take any more subscribers at this time'

Re:Stop bashing AT&T for this! (2, Insightful)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953058)

I live in Manhattan, and I own an iPhone. Believe me, I know about all the problems. I complain a lot to my friends.

But they're clearly trying to climb on top of this. They're opening up about the problems, and they had that incident a month ago or so when they stopped selling iPhones. They're trying to figure it out.

I ran a dial-up ISP in the 90's. Tons of people came on to the net, and everyone in the business was trying like crazy to grow their phone banks and their networks to handle the new people. Back then everyone complained about their ISP -- it was hard to keep up.

That's what's happening now with wireless. Everyone is starting to use lots of data. Three years ago, almost no one used wireless net access. Three years from now, almost everyone in the city will want to be able to stream video to their phones at the same time. All of that infrastructure has to be built, and all of it has to be financed. Imagine if some other major chunk of infrastructure had to be built from the ground up -- electrical wiring, or roads, or whatever. It's a big job.

The transition is inevitably going to be bloody. We just need AT&T to be open about it, and to really step up and try to keep up with the growth. When they come clean like this, it's a very positive sign. And once everyone's online, and the growth stabilizes, things will get a lot better.

(I realize that no one will buy this. But I figured I'd put it out there anyway.)

If ATT had been honest about this of if they'd even shut up and not commented, nobody would be bashing anything. Everybody knows that building out a network takes time. But ATT has consistently been denying any issues whatsoever, claiming that its network was the fastest, most reliable, largest, most advanced, shiniest network on Earth, and that any customer who claimed otherwise was a lying, mentally retarded psychopath for suggesting so. Even to the point where its PR people were arguing openly with bloggers who had collected hundreds of reports from angry customers.

Didn't this basically happen last month? (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952446)

I remember reading in the consumerist that an AT&T consumer representative said "the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone." They (temporarily) stopped selling one of the best selling phones in the country's biggest market! Isn't this already an admission that their service sucks? I guess it could be interpreted as AT&T blaming the iPhone and New Yorkers instead of their own network, but I think we all saw through the rep's thinly veiled admission.

http://consumerist.com/2009/12/att-customer-service-new-york-city-is-not-ready-for-the-iphone.html [consumerist.com]

Re:Didn't this basically happen last month? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952978)

the question is why they started selling it again. did it really matter that they stopped selling the phone for a few days? all of those people that were denied on day one just went and bought it on day 3. what was the point?

Blackberry in NYC (1)

Vamman (1156411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952560)

My BlackBerry is on the Teleus carrier here in Canada. When I went down to NYC last summer my BlackBerry was a worthless POS. Just bringing up my email and replying was a challenge. Everywhere we went the signal was great but the service was horrid. The two places I noticed the biggest drops was at the MET on a Saturday afternoon and at a Yankee's game in the evening on the weekend. There was literally no service and I felt like when I used to try and dial into a busy ISP in the 90s. Even when you connect to a busy ISP you might not have any service. I paid alot of money to MY carrier so I could have bandwidth access in NYC and it was a waste of money. I wanted my money back but they refused. What a waste.

Are they sure it isn't the phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30952744)

My HTC phone has fantastic service on AT&T. I have never had an issue, while iPhone users less than 10 feet away from me can't get a signal. Are they really so certain its the network?

Works great up in the Boston area (3, Interesting)

PDG (100516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30952948)

I hear NYC and SanFran AT&T horror stories all the time, and then people jump on the bandwagon and say it sucks everywhere else too.

Well, works beautifully in Boston. Recent reports show that its faster and more reliable in Boston than Verizon as well. Believe me, I was a 12 year Verizon veteran and shied away from AT&T because of the 'stories' I heard. One day, work gave me an AT&T serviced BlackBerry and I swapped the sim card into an iPhone off EBay and was astounded that I got better and faster service than my Verizon account gave me.

Dropped Verizon and went AT&T within a week. Nary a problem since.

Re:Works great up in the Boston area (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953114)

Complaints one hears about a cellphone carrier are directly proportional to the number of customers said carrier has. All carriers suck some of the time in some of the places.

Deploy Ethernet?!? (1)

AllInOne (236413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30953242)

If you look at the full version of the slide, here:

http://media.bestofmicro.com/6/C/237396/original/att-q409-slide-1.jpg [bestofmicro.com]

One of the next 90 day fixes is "Deploy Ethernet to Cell sites to improve network backhaul".

As an NYC iphone customer I can almost forgive them for bad reception in the canyons of the city. So many tall buildings etc...

But come on, the bottleneck is also that they don't have enough bandwidth from the towers to the network?? WTF?

AT&T Corporate Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30953328)

More than their network and pricing, their corporate culture is rotten.

I was using instant chat to ask question about getting a land line, and the douchebag on the other side was repeatedly urging me to press "submit order" button instead of answering questions.

Don't do business with this scumbag outfit.

That's funny...I don't have any problems with ATT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30953350)

I live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and have never had any problems with my iPhone or ATT. I wonder if there are specific areas of Manhattan which get worse service from ATT. I'm guessing that downtown Manhattan may have more problems because that's where most people are during a work day (and are more likely to be using their phones).

Verizon to join them soon..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30953684)

Once Verizon starts selling IPhone and other high bandwidth phones you'll see their network slow there after. That's IF they catch the number of true smart phones AT&T is servicing.

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