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84 comments

AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (3, Informative)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247534)

Do they think people are really that unaware of the problems with their network that they'll believe that AT&T LTE will work any better than AT&T as it is?

Well.... (1, Interesting)

jra (5600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247558)

They think that people are unaware of the fact that LTE *is not 4G*, according to the international organzation who hold that namespace (ITU) ... and they're *right*. So...

Re:Well.... (-1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247588)

Yup. [gizmodo.com]

But, people who require being connected to the internet at all times by their mobile gadgets, especially on their own personal time, are generally considered to be friendless idiots anyway.

Film at eleven.

Re:Well.... (2)

CTU (1844100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247600)

That is correct and it is not 4G officially. Although, I believe LTE is the correct standard that can reach the specifications to be call 4G (If I remember correctly). So as long as LTE is developed further it will get that title officially.

Re:Well.... (5, Informative)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247642)

ITU relented. LTE is now officially 4G [pcmag.com] , according to them.

Lame, but what can you do? Their 4G definition would be nice, but it is impractical to have the next network naming standard be for a technology that is years off, and with at least one level of interim network speed technology between them.

Re:Well.... (1)

CTU (1844100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247700)

I can't believe I missed that. Tho I guess it makes sense to make that change

If i had some mod points I'd used it for your post :)

Re:Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247814)

If i had some mod points I'd used it for your post :)

No, because you had already posted before him, so you would not have been unable to mod his post.

Re:Well.... (1)

CTU (1844100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247998)

True, but still that post deserves to be modded up :)

Re:Well.... (2)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250432)

The ITU got it half right. What is 4G if not the fourth generation of cellular networks? To me, LTE and WiMax, both coming after 3G networks and being both faster and newer technology are a fourth generation. Anything HSPA-derived is not, it's just evolved 3G technology, so call it 3.5G or 3.9G, whatever. Unfortunately, when changing the terms to allow the current incarnations of LTE and WiMax to count as 4G the ITU basically gave in to T-Mobile's marketing team and allowed HSPA networks to be called 4G as well if they're fast enough. AT&T was rightfully fighting this behavior before the ITU allowed it, then immediately changed course and jumped on the "oh yea, we have '4G' too!!!!" bandwagon.

I wonder what AT&T and T-Mobile plan to do to differentiate their LTE-equipped proper 4G devices from the pile of current 3G devices their marketards have labeled as 4G. The average consumer is likely to be very confused.

Re:Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249654)

You do realize that the term 4G was used well before the ITU tried to make a 4G standard, right?

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247560)

What happens when a Jew with a hard-on walks into a wall? He breaks his nose.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247634)

People will believe anything if it's marketed well enough... or they have no other option.

LTE is looking promising as there's been trials here in Australia at over 100km ~80mbps connection. I'm just concerned that mobile providers are on the one hand loading their customer endpoints with gear that has lightening quick speeds, but refuse to upgrade their network to support it. Then they have the balls to cry foul when consumers say their service is shit.

We have the same problem here in Australia with Vodaphone/3/Hutchinson (dunno how you are supposed to say that). 2 networks merged and it's worse than ever. Class actions all over the place and they want to introduce 4G. Just makes me facepalm.

MELANIN ENHANCED AFRICAN NIGGERS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247978)

People will believe anything if it's marketed well enough... or they have no other option.

LTE is looking promising as there's been trials here in Australia at over 100km ~80mbps connection. I'm just concerned that mobile providers are on the one hand loading their customer endpoints with gear that has lightening quick speeds, but refuse to upgrade their network to support it. Then they have the balls to cry foul when consumers say their service is shit.

We have the same problem here in Australia with Vodaphone/3/Hutchinson (dunno how you are supposed to say that). 2 networks merged and it's worse than ever. Class actions all over the place and they want to introduce 4G. Just makes me facepalm.

The blacks. It's their fault.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247742)

What problem do you have, exactly, with AT&T? I have boatloads of problems with how they run their business, but the tech is solid (in my not-so-humble experience).

I just tested my 3G speed - 5Mbps/600Kbps and 100ms latency. This is pretty consistent across all areas I have HSDPA service (most of the places I go to). As for consistency, I only ever drop calls in tunnels or the thick-walled (bomb-shelter) basements of some buildings.

I keep hearing about the terrible quality of AT&T's tech - what, exactly, is it?

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247764)

I get that too in Phoenix, living 16 blocks from downtown right now. But then, all day long downtown, I get maybe 250kbps down, 128 up?

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249512)

I just ran a speed test, in Gilbert to Phoenix, yesterday on my Thunderbolt and got this...Download: 19514 kbps, Upload: 5164 kbps

Keep in mind, this is on the slow to moderate end of current LTE speeds on Verizon. I friend in Charlotte gets 25mbps+ down and 15mbps+ up regularly.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

Krojack (575051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36253490)

My speed test average results. Ran 6 times on each device.

iPad
  - AT&T (3/5 bars) = Ping: 340ms UP: 46kbps DOWN: 574kbps

HTC Thunderbolt
  - Verizon (3/4 bars) = Ping: 171ms UP: 75kbps DOWN: 436kbps

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247818)

No offense, but it's pretty convenient that you list all these supposed speeds and the great service you get, Without saying where you get it. I'm willing to bet for your one positive encounter, there are twenty people in that area who would say exactly the opposite. My problem with AT&T? Sure, out in the less populated areas, I'll get good speeds. Go anywhere where there's more than 5 people using a cell, and I'm basically back to dialup days. Switched to Verizon and guess what? No matter where I go, I get maximum, or near maximum speeds (never less than 80%.) I don't think Anyone can say this for AT&T. Oh, and the last time I had a dropped call, including a bomb-shelter type basement, on Verizon? Hmm, not once in the last 6 years I've been with them.

This is why I would rather pay my cell phone bill out of pocket ($90 and change a month) rather than get a completely Free phone, Free service, and Free data plan through AT&T at work. They understand this, and gave me a slight raise instead after realizing why I chose to do this. Long story short, I get the better service, and even got a raise that covers the plan and a bit extra. Thanks Verizon, this wouldn't be possible without you.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

pthisis (27352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249026)

No offense, but it's pretty convenient that you list all these supposed speeds and the great service you get, Without saying where you get it. I'm willing to bet for your one positive encounter, there are twenty people in that area who would say exactly the opposite. My problem with AT&T? Sure, out in the less populated areas, I'll get good speeds. Go anywhere where there's more than 5 people using a cell, and I'm basically back to dialup days. Switched to Verizon and guess what? No matter where I go, I get maximum, or near maximum speeds (never less than 80%.) I don't think Anyone can say this for AT&T. Oh, and the last time I had a dropped call, including a bomb-shelter type basement, on Verizon? Hmm, not once in the last 6 years I've been with them.

This is hugely dependent on exactly where you are. Our office recently moved about a mile up the road in the well-populated Washington, DC metro area (from northern Alexandria, VA just into the south end of Crystal City). In the old office, AT&T dropped signal in the elevators and was sketchy in the server room, while Verizon was rock solid everywhere. In the new building, Verizon drops calls all the time in bad weather while AT&T is rock solid even on the 3rd level of the below-ground parking garage. Both locations are in urban locations well within the coverage zone for both providers, and service is fine on both networks on the sidewalk right in front of the building.

Likewise there are dead zones for each around town--at least as of a year ago, there were a couple of notorious restaurant/bars in Alexandria. In Vermilion, AT&T works fine but Verizon is dead in the back half of the building. In Chadwick's, Verizon works fine but AT&T is dead in the back half of the building. Exactly how big those dead spots are varies with the weather, time of day, and seemingly at random.

Data's similar, though a couple of the worst problems were fixed in the past 3 months: coming out of Old Town Alexandria north on Rt 1 you used to hit an AT&T "deadish" spot where you'd drop back to Edge service, and around the 800 block of N. Fairfax St Verizon got no data service whatsoever. Both appear to be fixed now, but there are still some cool spots for both networks in less-trafficked areas.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249386)

All too often, people ignorantly forget there are two sides to the equation and only ever go out of their way to hold one accountable. You have the network, which everyone always blames, and then you have the device which is accessing the network. Very frequently I've found when people blame the network its actually their device and/or location at fault. For whatever reason, people want to believe their choice of device is always perfect and the problem can only, ever, be the network.

That's not to say networks never have problems. Of course they do. Some obviously have more than others. But people never seem willing to blame what should always be the first suspect - their own device and/or location.

I remember well a coworker who would daily lament his network. He constantly bitched about dropped calls. One day, after him noticing the successful completion and yet another phone call he turns to me and asks which carrier I have. Before I could answer he then proceeded to tell me how lucky I was to have such a good carrier who never dropped calls and provided such good service for the area. He was embarrassed to learn we had the same carrier. The only difference was the device in question. He was pretty pissed when he found out his device cost roughly four times what I paid for my own.

Simply put, devices makes a HUGE difference. Even differences in DSP firmware on the exact same hardware can make huge, night and day differences in quality and performance. Paying more for a device frequently means paying for a brand name and/or features. The price may have little bearing on the quality of performance. If you spend time looking at device performance and do nothing to evaluate a device's primary function, by far, YOU are to blame moreso than any device and/or network. Sadly, this is the defacto standard. Sadly, few people do any research into a phone's primary function but will research the hell out of battery life and tetris playing capability.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36273148)

Whoever moderated this down is literally a complete fucking idiot. Sadly, that's the norm on slashdot these days. Really miss the days when smart people could come here without being surrounded by complete fucktards who are not qualified to pick their nose then moderate based on their own closed-world stupidity rather than actual knowledge and facts.

Holy shit you are fucking stupid moderator.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (2)

SirMasterboy (872152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248268)

I agree, I think ATT provides great service.

I've been with them for 4 years now and I only have good things to say about them. Examples?

1. Their plans are cheap.

My iPhone 4 runs me $50 a month with unlimited 3G, texting and plenty of minutes with rollover.

2. Their customer service.

I upgrade my iPhone after every 12 months and they have always allowed me to do so with the full discount of $199 for the latest model. When I do the upgrade, the system automatically applies a $18 upgrade fee to my bill. I simply call customer service and ask them if it can be waived and they always have without any problem. Also when my father started using my old iPhone 2g which I unlocked for him to use on a non-iPhone SIM card, he was accidentally sipping KBs of data which incurred a charge on my bill. I just called up customer service again and explained that he doesn't use data on that line and they happily removed the data charge from my bill and offered to put in a data block on the line so it wouldn't happen again by accident or anything.

3. Technology and service quality.

Well, after using them for 4 years I can count the number of dropped calls with my fingers so not very many. Since about 2 years ago I don't think I've dropped out of 3G service more than a few times. Speed is about 3Mbit down 1Mbit up which is faster than any of my friends using Verizon or sprint around here.

4. General things

I get an electronic bill each month and it's never been confusing or had any hidden costs. My bill is exactly the same to the penny each month and I can easily account for each dime in cost.

Overall, I've been happy with the network performance, and never had a problem customer service couldn't fix and have never felt that I was charged unfairly for anything. So I just don't see how some people can seem to have so many problems with them.

I wont say that there aren't any network holes in their service (and if you live by one then by all means go with a provider that works better in that area) but I can't imagine Verizon or sprint doesn't have similar holes in some places. the USA is a large landmass to fill with cell towers. I haven't had any extensive service problems when I go on vacation or anything so it doesn't seem to me like a very big problem.

From my point of view, ATT has the cheapest smartphone plan, no problems with customer service and no problems with network service. So why would I complain about them?

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36250210)

| My iPhone 4 runs me $50 a month with unlimited 3G, texting and plenty of minutes with rollover.

Eh, careful here. I'm grandfathered in on the unlimited BES plan, and when I tried to buy an iPhone 4 with the discount but without activating it, I was warned that if I ever buy any discounted phone directly from AT&T again, I will lose that plan. Now, yes, you are on an iPhone plan and I have a BES plan, but just sayin', they will do anything to rid themselves of all of us lucky ones with true unlimited. That being said, if you're a grown up and pretty much have wifi wherever you spend long stretches of time -- work, home -- you'll be all set even if you do lose your unlimited 3G the next time you upgrade.

Unfortunately for me, that means all Craigslist phones from now on. My employer distributes software that makes Android phones a suitable alternative to Blackberry in terms of protecting corporate data, so I was very happy to dump my Bold 9000 for a Nexus One.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249348)

The problem is that, for me, they label their service as HSPA+, when it's really just HSDPA, and nowhere near a reasonable speed to be called such. You get 5Mbps/600Kbps, yet I get 970Kbps/160Kbps and 270ms latency. It technically might use the HSDPA protocol, but those aren't exactly acceptable speeds.

And don't forget their deceitful advertising. Just check their network map [att.com] .

AT&T has deployed HSPA+ to virtually 100% of our nation's fastest mobile broadband network, which enables 4G speeds when combined with enhanced backhaul.

This is either an outright lie, or intentionally deceitful considering they mention that the "Map depicts current and future 3G coverage. 4G coverage not depicted."

People have some bones to pick with AT&T and rightfully so.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250572)

It's brilliant deception through marketing.

AT&T has deployed HSPA+ to virtually 100% of our nation's fastest mobile broadband network, which enables 4G speeds when combined with enhanced backhaul.

Translation:

AT&T has enabled your phone or wireless modem to connect to the tower at HSPA speeds. Good luck using that speed when most of the towers still use a small number of T1s to get to the internet.

It's like having a 512/128kbit entry-level DSL internet connection and upgrading your WiFi access point from an old 802.11b unit to a new MIMO 802.11n device. Sure, the air link is faster, but the internet connection is still the bottleneck. Those lucky enough to have towers with upgraded backhaul connections may be able to get interesting speeds, but most won't.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250824)

If they claim to be using HSPA+ protocol for mobile-to-tower communication, why does my phone say it's only HSDPA? And why do they list an 'H+' symbol on the status bar?

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249704)

My area is full of coverage holes where calls are dropped or develop static that won't go away until I hang up and try again. Many areas on my commute have HSDPA one day, EDGE only the next, and sometimes no signal. It's even worse for a friend who has a GSM only phone (no 3G), as they seem to be reducing GSM coverage to make the spectrum available for 3G.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36252406)

I'm sitting in my office in Sunnyvale, in Silicon Valley. Literally (the real kind of literally) a 60-second car ride from AMD world headquarters.

On my 3G connection from AT&T I'm getting ~500ms ping times around ~2.5mb down and ~220kb up. And that's to a server about 15 miles away as the crow flies, and an average over a few tests.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (2)

ya really (1257084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247854)

Considering LTE is a direct upgrade for ATT (since it's the next generation of GSM) and verizon uses CDMA, I would say ATT will have far less problems. Verizon basically uses a bridging technology called eHRPD to hand off connections between LTE (GSMv4) and EVDO (CDMA). Their network problems with LTE were from a failure in eHRPD. Since ATT wont need this, they wont have that problem. LTE handoffs are a bit laggy on Verizon as well from my experience with having the HTC Thunderbolt since March. Generally when you switch from a CDMA area to LTE, it takes 10-20 seconds for the handoff to occur.

From wiki:

3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE), is the latest standard in the mobile network technology tree that produced the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies.[1][2] It is a project of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), operating under a name trademarked by one of the associations within the partnership, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_Advanced (what will come after initial LTE we have now and be the true 4g before standards revisions) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_Mobile_Broadband (att's current network) article on what eHRPD is [4ginfo.com]

Verizon has decided to use eHRPD as their upgrade path to 4G, which allows them to update their existing HRPD packet core using SAE/EPC architecture. The primary benefit that eHRPD offers is the handoff between cellular towers - you maintain the same private IP when you move from location to location. With this new protocol operators will be able to optimize cellular handovers, which should reduce dropped sessions and decrease the handover latency.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247918)

No, they're selling soda water.. They have to keep it tightly capped, to keep it from going flat...

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36248166)

Do they think people are really that unaware of the problems with their network that they'll believe that AT&T LTE will work any better than AT&T as it is?

Do you really think that moving to 4G has anything to do with offering better speeds? hahahahahahaha

No, the move to 4G is so they can tell you "Sorry, in order to use a 4G phone you'll need to have a minimum data plan of Rape My Ass."
This allows them to force people off of grandfathered plans (for example, my Unlimited data from their recent purchase of Alltel). It also forces them off of plans that charge data for the whole account, and onto plans which charges it per-device.

They don't actually plan on making your speeds any faster until they have everybody on a high-priced, limited data plan. Then they'll quietly turn up a ton of capacity and rake in the profits as people suddenly start blowing through their data caps.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

guttentag (313541) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250542)

Do they think people are really that unaware of the problems with their network that they'll believe that AT&T LTE will work any better than AT&T as it is?

No, and this is why the Northeast Corridor, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area are not among the places they are launching LTE. I have both Verizon LTE and AT&T 3G and using them in those areas is like watching a race between a semi-pro cyclist and paraplegic retiree. After the retiree falls off his bike for the third time you think, "Is this considered a form of schadenfreude because I paid to watch?" Putting the retiree on a new, super-light carbon fiber racing bike isn't going to be good advertising for the new bike.

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36261316)

Do they think people are really that unaware of the problems with their network that they'll believe that AT&T LTE will work any better than AT&T as it is?

I happen to be working on a project for ATT wherein the backhaul is being upgraded to fiber optic transport. This will help immensely with the over burden of the network, and make LTE be stupid fast as well. Also, I know for a fact that LTE is present and live in at least one market that is not mentioned in the announcement, which tells me they art under hyping the push they are making to roll it out. Point being, they've taken the iPhone money and intelligently reinvested it into their network. I think people will be very pleasantly surprised with the changes coming down the pipe from ATT.

And LTE is 4G. The 4G org changed their def to accept the specs.
Speed tests of active networks have shown speeds of up to 100 mbps in low mobility and 10mbps in high mobility

Re:AT&T Has a Bridge to Sell You! (1)

cccerberus (1494231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261610)

Do they think people are really that unaware of the problems with their network that they'll believe that AT&T LTE will work any better than AT&T as it is?

I happen to be working on a project for ATT wherein the backhaul is being upgraded to fiber optic transport. This will help immensely with the over burden of the network, and make LTE be stupid fast as well. Also, I know for a fact that LTE is present and live in at least one market that is not mentioned in the announcement, which tells me they art under hyping the push they are making to roll it out. Point being, they've taken the iPhone money and intelligently reinvested it into their network. I think people will be very pleasantly surprised with the changes coming down the pipe from ATT.

And LTE is 4G. The 4G org changed their def to accept the specs.
Speed tests of active networks have shown speeds of up to 100 mbps in low mobility and 10mbps in high mobility

intersting

Competitive? (0)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247544)

Gee, an open competitive market and still AT&T is dragging their feet on bringing out competitive and innovative technologies, playing catch up with newer companies. So much for the theory that competition sparks innovation.

Re:Competitive? (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247576)

It's a government mandated oligopoly, so innovation is going to be stifled. They aren't worried about some new upstart coming in and stealing their business.

Re:Competitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247812)

How is AT&T playing catch up? In the US there's the HSPA+ and WiMAX 4G imposters, and on paper those have always been a generation behind LTE.

Re:Competitive? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248496)

Because in major cities they still can't implement the technology needed to provide 3G throughout entire cities. I'm sure they do fine in areas where there aren't any hills, or tall buildings or a large population, but around here they suck. Supposedly they're working on their network, but it still sucks as bad as ever and I doubt that they're ever going to change.

Re:Competitive? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250272)

Because in major cities they still can't implement the technology needed to provide 3G throughout entire cities. I'm sure they do fine in areas where there aren't any hills, or tall buildings or a large population, but around here they suck. Supposedly they're working on their network, but it still sucks as bad as ever and I doubt that they're ever going to change.

I'm in a minor city. Few hills, no tall buildings, not a large population. And still sucky 3G. Had to go with another carrier -- at least I can get 3G reliably on the second floor of my house with them.

Re:Competitive? (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249538)

Your definition of open and competitive must be different than mine,

LTE? (2)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247566)

I'd be happy with 3G speeds. 1 mbps is all I ask.

Re:LTE? (2)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247720)

Who would ever need more than 1mbps, right?

Re:LTE? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248512)

Obviously not people who use AT&T. If they couldn't get 3G right, I'm genuinely curious as to what makes folks expect that they'll get this right.

Re:LTE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249160)

Symmetric...
How else will low resolution video calls work?

Re:LTE? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36253020)

Indeed. The problem with AT&T's networks isn't that they're 3G, it's that their backhaul is underdeveloped and overloaded. Upgrading the last mile won't do a thing help. Moreover, most of their geographic coverage is *still* limited to EDGE. They should upgrade that to 3G before bothering with LTE.

Reducing my exposure to AT&T (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247578)

I am in the process of reducing my exposure to AT&T.

.
In my experience, as a customer, AT&T's customer service is nothing short of horrific, only slightly better than Comcast's customer service..

AT&T's corporate strategies look to me to me to be not in the favor of AT&T customers.

Wow (3, Insightful)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247582)

Five whole cities?

Seriously though, why didnt they do this when VZW started doing it, instead of spending so much on advertising about how awesome their network was (when it wasnt). If they would have taken the advertising dollars and actually spent it on the network to make it do what they claimed it could, maybe people wouldnt constantly rate them the lowest in customer satisfaction.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248552)

Seriously though, why didnt they do this when VZW started doing it, instead of spending so much on advertising about how awesome their network was (when it wasnt).

Eh, AT&T's LTE roadmap (rollout starts in 2011, but most of it happens in 2012) is super-hyper-extra-old news, it's been set for years. As for why they didn't try to compete more with Verizon... I figure they plan to have an LTE network ready about the same time there's an LTE iPhone to use it. And as someone who grew up with Hell Atlantic, I can attest that there are plenty of people out there whose loathing for AT&T is matched, if not exceeded, by their loathing for Verizon.

The flip side of the question is why Verizon jumped on LTE so early that there weren't even handsets available. Trying to get away from the dead-end of CDMA? :)

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249580)

Verizon going with LTE early in the game is actually a very smart move.
Right now what most of the others call 3G is an HSPA+ network which is a max of around 56Mbit/sec.

LTE hits around 100Mbit/sec-300MBit/sec depending on the spectrum used (theoretical of course under ideal conditions) and LTE to LTE Advanced is a minor upgrade and gets you true 4G at a max rate of 1Gbit/sec. The other carriers with HSPA+ networks still have to do the painful upgrade to LTE/LTE Advanced. Once they start Verizon could roll out LTE Advanced out to all their towers and leapfrog them, especially if they prearrange the the handset manufacturers to have a lineup of LTE Advanced phones.

Re:Wow (2)

Solandri (704621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36251054)

Trying to get away from the dead-end of CDMA?

Sigh, not this again. CDMA [wikipedia.org] won. The TDMA [wikipedia.org] used by GSM's voice lost. It doesn't scale well with multiple simultaneous users. To put it in computer terms, TDMA is like multitasking by giving each process on your computer an equal slice of CPU time, regardless of how much CPU the process actually needs. CDMA is like multitasking by giving each process only as much CPU time as it needs. The only reason GSM still uses TDMA is to maintain backwards compatibility, and it's limited to voice.

This is why the CDMA carriers rolled out 3G so much quicker than the GSM carriers. It's also why you can't do simultaneous voice/3G data on CDMA carriers. CDMA scaled so well they could use the same radio for both voice and data. But due to different communications protocols between voice and data, the CDMA radio couldn't do both at once.. On the other hand, GSM carriers had to engineer an entirely new broadcast standard from scratch to achieve 3G data speeds. This necessitated an entirely new radio just for 3G data traffic, but with the fringe benefit of being able to do both voice and data simultaneously - they were on two separate radios. Most of these used a form of wideband CDMA for their data network (UMTS, which eventually became the HSPA family).

GSM networks would have had little pressure to overhaul their data networks like this if CDMA hadn't spanked it so badly at data, so you can thank CDMA for cellular data speeds being where they are today. CDMA is being superseded by OFDMA [wikipedia.org] in LTE.

Re:Wow (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36252806)

It may be a fringe benefit, but it is extremely valuable to work with calendars, email, etc while talking on the phone.

I hope this works in LTE.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36253950)

You can indeed browse and talk at the same time. (Actually, the current verizon LTE implementation still uses the CDMA network for voice)

Re:Wow (1)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266506)

Except that CDMA is only used by a handful of carriers worldwide, while everyone else uses GSM. While I know that that doesnt make GSM better, it means that if you cant use your CDMA phone when you travel abroad unless you go to the few countries that use it. (Which for a lot of people is a non-issue, but for the people it affects, its kind of a big issue)

Re:Wow (1)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266574)

They may not have had handsets available, but they had the mobile access points and usb dongles.

Kind of off topic but I dont understand the need for speeds that fast on a phone, unless you are tethering. But a couple of mbps is enough to stream video to your phone. Hell, the 22mbps offered by LTE is faster than most peoples home wired connection. (Not saying they shouldnt offer it, I just dont see why so many people are so excited about it)

Marketing (2)

iinlane (948356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247598)

4G shoudl get you 1Gbps when stationary and 100Mbps when on the move (in car or bus). Here, in developing Estonia, we get 21Mbps everywhere and in some areas (towns) 42 Mbps from 3.5G networks. It seems unfair, that you pay more to get less.

Re:Marketing (3, Interesting)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247658)

The problem is that in Estonia, you only need a network that can handle 2 million people (which gives room for 30-35% population increase/tourists over total population in the country). Just covering Chicago alone has more than double the population of your entire country....

Re:Marketing (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248542)

Yes, but that doesn't really explain how it is that AT&T manages to fuck up service so bad in places like Seattle. I'll believe that they've got 4G when I see it, for now, they still haven't managed to get 3G coverage over the entire city. And the phones tend not to degrade very gracefully. Ultimately, I ended up turning the 3G off in many places because it wasn't worth the battery drain when the signal was so spotty.

Re:Marketing (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250402)

There is part of me that is wishing I hadn't left AT&T. I complained about it left and right when I had it - spotty service, slow speeds, etc. I switched to another company that supposedly offers 3G and 90% coverage of the US. Turns out what they call 3G is actually SLOWER than AT&T's Edge network was (several speedtests were done, on both carriers), I get really low signal most of the time (and this is where the company's headquareters are located), and probably a quarter of the time when I try to make a call, I get Verizon error messages even though I am not on Verizon (technical support was of no help whatsoever on this, and were completely confused. Although this may be due to the tech support people not even knowing what Verizon was - they could hardly speak English).

As much as I loved to hate AT&T and the astronomical prices I were paying with them, I have to admit that their service was WAY better than my current company. I would go back, but I would rather put up with my spotty service, slow download speeds and piss-poor customer support than to go back to AT&T's $100+ a month (after taxes) plans.

Re:Marketing (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250716)

Wait... doesn't cramming the population together make it easier and more cost effective to provide service?

Every time someone gripes about the good networks in Japan, etc. compared to here in the US, someone says, "but people are too spread out in the US."

Now it's the other way around?

The real reason is that upgrading costs money, and they have no reason to do it when they can continue to sell the same crap for more money instead. In developing areas, current generation tech is being installed. Here we're stuck with existing old stuff until it's so crotchety it HAS to be upgraded.

Re:Marketing (1)

iinlane (948356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36251840)

In developing areas, current generation tech is being installed. Here we're stuck with existing old stuff until it's so crotchety it HAS to be upgraded.

Nope, we had 3G before 3.5G and EDGE and GPRS before that.

Promises, promises (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247646)

I place a very high value on the ability to access the Internet via the service provider of my choice but that does not mean I am willing to let the Robber Barons, aka Spectrum Barons, fleece me with promises of data rates they can only deliver on their best day to an extremely sparse user base located smack dab in the middle of the highest of population densities. This carrot is simply not enticing enough to bear the associated stick.

Even worse than not quote 4G LTE in some cases (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247666)

A significant portion of this new "4G next gen network" is gonna be HSPA+ which is a total joke to pretend is even worth bragging about. There are tons of networks using it since early 2008. Even so it hardly matters considering AT&T's insane caps.

Re:Even worse than not quote 4G LTE in some cases (2)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247962)

Strangely enough, my cable internet was dropping connections, so on my Atrix I disabled my wireless and watched Conan in HD using a 3 bar HSPA+, and it actually started fast and ran smooth (no buffering).

Of course, I wonder how much content I can even watch with the 2 GB plan. Would be useful if I could see the bitrate of what I'm watching...

Real problem is that AT&T's 3G signal doesn't travel through walls very well.

Switching from an iPhone to an Atrix 4g though, I'm seeing that the iPhone definitely made AT&T's network seem crappier than it really was. The atrix even handles Edge data a bit faster than the iphone 3G on a purely throughput perspective.

AT&T Free (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247694)

Considering that I ported out my landline and cancelled DSL which were both AT&T, I could just say a "Whoop de do!"

So what? FUCK them. (1, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247714)

AT&T is one of the worst companies: brain-dead tech support, high prices, a website that barely works, and bills that run for pages with hidden charges.

"Rethink Possibilities." Yeah, rethink all the possible ways those bastards can screw you. Because just when you've had enough, they find a new way.

(Yes, I dealt with AT&T for too long and I'm in the middle of switching to other companies.)

Re:So what? FUCK them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36247858)

I think Verizon stock is one of the surest best going right now. AT&T is losing ground daily and is completely dysfunctional.

Re:So what? FUCK them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36248058)

brain-dead tech support

Yeah, I didn't pay my bill so the internet and landline got shut off. I said to hell with that and wanted the land line dropped, as I think it's time I move on to a cell phone, and maybe a magic jack.

So I call ATT and said something like "hey I don't want a landline anymore, but I want to get my internet back up."

THEY DID THE OPPOSITE! Instead of activating my internet and getting rid of my phone, they did a "hard disconnect" and turn my landline on. Now I had to wait a week and some odd days to get my internet back on. After 4 separate calls I'm pretty furious so they just send me to "retention" AND HE WAS THE SMARTEST GUY I TALKED TO ALL DAY. Why couldn't I talk to him first? I got a $60 credit but god dammit ATT you fucking suck.

Conspicuously bypassing NY (2)

srealm (157581) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247860)

New York City was one of their biggest Achilles heel after they released the iPhone. A city with millions of people and a network nowhere NEAR able to cope with it. Pretty much everyone I know in NY who had an iPhone basically said it was unusable if you were not at a WiFi hot spot.

It is conspicuous that they have chosen not to roll out to such a large market in the first wave (which Verizon did). I guess they really don't want to get another black eye like they did with the iPhone roll out.

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248914)

AT&T is Southwestern Bell. Southwestern Bell is headquartered in Dallas. Dallas, San Antonio and Houston are in Texas. NYC is so far away from Dallas it might as well be in another country. Dallas, Houston and Chicago are huge, international cities. Not everything has to premier in NYC these days, and the rapid population growth of the west (and midwest) are making this more clear.
 
So yes, NYC will eventually get it, but a large chunk of the telcom industry is in Dallas (google "phone prairie") and it's easier to do things on your home turf. Dow Jones, NYSE etc are in NYC where the financial firms are; technology innovation occurs in California where semiconductor and tech companies are; phone rollouts occur in Dallas.
 
You don't see Boeing announcing the manufacture of the new 787 in Maine or Georgia. You won't see AT&T roll out new cell technology in New York City.

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249444)

You don't see Boeing announcing the manufacture of the new 787 in Maine or Georgia

.

No, you don't, because they already announced that they will be running a second production line in South Carolina [nwsource.com] .

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249574)

You don't see Boeing announcing the manufacture of the new 787 in Maine or Georgia.

Nope, Boeing's making the 787 in South Carolina. It's Gufstream and Lockheed that build planes in Georgia.

Remind me how this analogy makes sense again?

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (2)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249786)

NYC is so far away from Dallas it might as well be in another country.

Translation: NYC isn't in Texas, therefore it's in another country.

Dallas, Houston and Chicago are huge, international cities.

Unlike, of course, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. What's going to be the second wave of the rollout --- Des Moines, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Cleveland?

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250554)

Hmmm, or could it be number of towers needed to reach a certain number of people? Urban areas such as NYC would need more towers and bandwidth to reach a said number of people, plus repeaters installed inside of buildings and skyscrapers to provide any fair amount of coverage.

Cities such as San Antonio, Dallas and Houston (in addition to two of the three being headquarters to AT&T - AT&T is either in the process or just finished moving headquarters from San Antonio to Dallas) have much lighter population densities, and while we do have some tall buildings here and there, most of the population is spreadout in the suburbs. Atlanta is the same way. Not sure about Chicago, but I imagine its similar.

This means that the technology roleout will affect a large number of people, while being able to be relatively easy to roleout. DFW, San Antonio, and Houston all have VERY good infastructures with AT&T (compared to other cities), so its the idea test bed.

Only a self-absorbed New Yorker would assume that New York is the center of the world, and any new roleout must come to them first. As you guys are so quick to complain about the network, wouldn't it make sense for them to role it out in another city and TEST it first, and work out the bugs, before they go rolling it out on you? You will get it in a few months, and then you will be complaining because you need a new phone to take advantage of it. And I am sure when it DOES eventually role out in NYC, it won't be the whole city at once - but rather certain areas will get it before others. Remember, your CITY is larger than many countries!

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (1)

Big Jason (1556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36254826)

DFW, San Antonio, and Houston all have VERY good infastructures with AT&T (compared to other cities), so its the idea test bed.

I live in Downtown Dallas, less than 3 blocks away from AT&T Headquarters. I used to have AT&T and the service was atrocious, dropped calls were a regular occurrence. I now have an iPhone with Verizon and the service is stellar, no dropped calls even in the CBD tunnels. So if the infrastructure is great here, I shudder to think how bad it is elsewhere...

Re:Conspicuously bypassing NY (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249354)

It's because they are not willing to install more towers to make 3G work, they have no interest in trying to put in spotty 4G that will also not work there. They have to spend a LOT of money to fix it, they simply would rather spend that cash on executive bonuses instead.

All just a prelude to the last big telecom merger (2)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247898)

...after which VerizATT will rewrite their contracts to forbid the end user from disseminating negative comments regarding their service reliability and then finance the purchases of the judges required to enforce said contract by charging you by the bit transmitted or received in their only available service plan...a service plan that makes accepting unsolicited advertising mandatory.

Although come to think of it, one or two more telecom mergers and monopolization will mean that it won't matter if the remaining corporation(s) have a bad rap for service. It will be like it, or leave it...at least until an equally well-paid Congress passes a law requiring you to purchase their service in order to give law enforcement the ability to track you via GPS. For the sake of America's security, donchaknow.

lollll...I'm kidding...

Probably.

Good (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248006)

So this means that the relative honesty and straight forward billing practices of At&t will be available in the 4g space.
Clear users will be thrilled to know this. I've been using Clear for three months. Shoot me, please.

This fits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36248160)

The AT&T network has always pioneered in Low Tech Electronics.

No thanks.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249340)

Anything that will knock me off of the grandfathered "unlimited plan" I have no interest in. Plus if it's anything like how they run their 3G, in dense places like NYC, it will be as slow as a 56K modem.

$39,000,000,000 on T-Mobile stilfles LTE expansion (1)

dicobalt (1536225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249424)

If AT&T hadn't locked up $39,000,000,000 they could have rolled out LTE in more than a mere 5 cities.

Re:$39,000,000,000 on T-Mobile stilfles LTE expans (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36250382)

Moreover, maybe ATT thinks the T-Mobile acquisition may not get approved (has this happened already?). Because T-Mo just announced a boost in speeds in many of the same markets (http://gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/05/24/6707146-t-mobile-doubles-4g-network-speeds) in ATT's LTE announcement. T-Mo's tech is not LTE, it's HSPA.

Re:$39,000,000,000 on T-Mobile stilfles LTE expans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36252090)

I wonder who will pick up the tab for both......

Bringing over T-Mobile Streak 7 4G to AT&T LTE (1)

phonefanatic (2204702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36261036)

I'm happy to see that AT&T expands their 4G nework because many T-Mobile customers would love to switch since the buy-out and want to bring their device. I don't know exactly which of the T-Mobile 4G phones will work on AT&T's 4G network but as far as the Dell Streak 7 tablet concerns, after unlocking the tablet, it DOES have 4G capability on AT&T even though that is not supposed to work according to the specs! There is an article on StreakSmart about it that spread through the net like fire. It switches back to 3G automatically when 4G is not availabe.
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