iPhone 3G and AT&T: Imperfect Together?

By  |  Monday, August 11, 2008 at 9:18 am

CNET’s Tom Krazit and Marguerite Reardon have publishing a lengthy and interesting story reporting on widespread gripes about the iPhone 3G losing its connection. The article provides no definitive conclusions on what the root of the problems might be–or even just how pervasive they are–but theorizes that the iPhone may do a poor job of switching between AT&T’s 3G network and its older and slower EDGE network on the fly. It’s important that a phone be able to do that as seamlessly as possible, since AT&T 3G is so far from universal.

It’s always dangerous to come to any conclusions about a technology product or service based solely on one’s own experience with it, but my own experience with my own iPhone 3G hasn’t seemed any glitchier than the time I spent with an A&T Tilt, the phone I used immediately prior to buying the iPhone. Almost of all my first month with the iPhone was spent in the Bay Area; there were plenty of times when I could only get an EDGE connection, but I don’t recall any instances of phone calls or data connections conking out on me.

On the other hand, I just got back from a weekend in Las Vegas, and there I did have AT&T issues there. The very first call I made as I walked through McCarran Airport got cut off, and even though my iPhone consistently told me I was on AT&T’s 3G network, the connection was often excruciatingly, unusably slow. On Saturday, I happened to be in the Fashion Show mall on the Strip, and was amazed to see that the Apple Store there still had a lengthy line of folks waiting to buy iPhones; I felt like asking for their attention and telling them that my experience with an iPhone in Vegas had been less than satisfactory…


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Hal Says:

    ATT’s 3G network has become extremely slow and unreliable since the 3G iPhone was introduced.. there was an immediate and marked difference between the consistently good performance I had been experiencing as a “Laptop Connect” user (via a Sierra Wireless card on my laptop) prior to July 2008 and the sudden deterioration of service after all those 3G iPhones hit the streets. Now, especially during weekdays, I experience frequent timeouts and extreme slowdowns; when downloads don’t time out, they are much slower than 2G speed.

    It took several calls to ATT support, but I finally got them to admit that they have been having network problems. I asked for, and received, a two-month credit on my bill.

  2. Vanessa Says:

    so, it’s not the iPhone. i do not have an iPhone, but have at&t for cellular coverage, and have constant issues with the phone losing service, and i’m in the Portland, OR area… my friend who lives in Reno, NV has been having the same issues chronically lately, making it entirely impossible to contact him or hold service on a call for longer than a few minutes.

    i don’t know what the issue is, but it seems to have nothing to do with the phone you have, but rather with the provider. i finally broke down and called at&t about the issues, and they said it was a glitch but they were playing it off like it was the first that they heard of the issue.

    i expressed my disdain over the fact that this was the only phone service that i carried, and it would make it an impossible situation if an emergency arose and i was unable to use the phone to call for help. they apologized for the inconvenience and said that it would be resolved in 24 hours… it took 3 days before service returned to normal.

  3. Stanley Field Says:

    You are right. Both the AT&T 3G and 2G networks have become extremely unreliable.
    I have had a Cingular/AT&T laptop card for almost 5 years and now I am going to switch to Verizon.
    I am infuriated by the fact that these a-holes at AT&T charge me $60 a month for the laptop card and the service is crappy.
    I have called AT&T and demanded to speak with a top AT&T executive, but every time I call, they tell me that the top executive in charge of the 3G service is busy having sex with his mom (or dad).
    You see, these AT&T executives – men – lost their virginity to their moms and the women executives lost their virginity to their dads.
    They are fat, lazy, overpaid ba$tards and wh0res.
    They are so used to taking your $60 a month and they don’t feel that they have to provide any service.
    Boycott these ba$tards and wh0res.

    Mark my words – this poorly run giant relic of a company named AT&T, which has, over the years, commited numerous acts of fraud as Bell, AT&T, SBC, Cingular, etc etc etc is going to go down with a crash.

    All these wh0res who have made so much money with this evil company – I hope someone puts an evil spell on them so that they have to see their houses burned down and their families killed right in front of them. These evil ba$tards and wh0res.

    . (I can give you the names, personal addresses etc of these executives if you PM me)