If, as is rumored, Verizon will end AT&T's exclusive US hold on Apple's iPhone beginning in January, it may mean big trouble for Big Phone. That's the conclusion reached by a survey released Monday by the market-research firm Morpace, which found that 34 per cent of current US iPhone users are waiting for the überpopular handset …
I wish I could complain
I have little problem with AT&T's data network. EDGE works great for me in all locations, and I consistently get satisfying speeds on 3G (up to 3Mb/s in many cases of testing and long downloads.) Mind you, I do not use an iPhone and my experience is limited to my home market, Atlanta, Little Rock, and Memphis.
One thing I have noticed in my home market, however, is an inordinate number of dropped calls in the past couple of months. More than I would ever have in a year. I have had to switch back to my EDGE phone while I sent my 3G off for repairs (stupid backlight,) and this is the most problematic my service has ever been. But I called and reported it and have been given some pretty good information about the network in my area.
Customer service, that is definitely the ticket. I have complained about AT&T's approach to phones before (poo poo support for unlocked phones, secret root certificate to sign applications, and the transition from TDMA to GSM/GPRS, to name a few.) But any time I have called with an issue, AT&T was quick to work to resolve it and make me happy. I have received more than one phone call from their executive escalations, and I have always walked away smiling.
There have been a couple of times I have considered moving from AT&T. But I like my phones, and next to T-mobile it is the only "game in town." Right now I certainly do not have any compelling reason to leave. I feel like a lone twat in a sea of twits when I cannot join in the bitching.
Paris, poo poo support.
What's wrong with GSM?
The transition is good for two things tho: Now you could roam outside the US without having to rent a phone and those of us from outside the US could roam within the US with our own kit. This assuming, of course, that the kit is at least tri-band. Because TDMA/CDMA is mostly dead outside of the American continent anyway.
The one with the two GSM phones in the pocket, thanks.
The problem with GSM is not GSM
Rather, the problem was how AT&T made the transition. At the time I had a GAIT phone in debug mode so I could see more of what was going on than normal. I noticed a few things about its operation on TDMA, the short being that it would not work. I got the run around for days, during which Cingular support agents kept telling me that I would have to buy a new phone. I found that if I set it to prefer GSM over TDMA I would get better signal and things would work (like text messaging, Internet, etc.) Finally I got a guy to tell me the truth: Cingular was systematically shutting down TDMA functionality, and had been doing so without any warning to its customers. Support representatives had been instructed to move people from TDMA phones to GSM phones, including GAIT even though they could be programmed to not use TDMA.
THAT was my problem with the transition. Not the transition to GSM itself, I was pretty pleased to see GSM and GPRS pop up on my phone, and even replaced it with a full GSM unit. Though I did not buy another phone from Cingular/AT&T again. With all their flaws, I rather like my Sony Ericsson phones based on their Java Platform. But that whole debacle is subject of plenty of my other comments on ElReg.
Paris, subject of just about all of my comments :)
ATT Can be Pretty Bad
You're quite fortunate.
In the San Francisco bay area, I can rarely get a 3G signal between San Francisco and San Jose. Usually only getting an Edge connection. Usually only in Palo Also and that connection is 300kbs.
In downtown San Francisco I can only get a 30kbs GPRS connection.
I read articles like this and have to wonder what came first; the crap network or the iPhone.
O2, who had the exclusive deal when the iPhone launched in the UK, now regularly come under fire for patchy and unreliable connectivity. I left them the year before they got the iPhone but it had nothing to do with their quality of service and more to do with their billing department consistently lying and demanding crazy sums for services I simply did not use. The connectivity was fine and in six years the only time I got dropped calls was on trains entering tunnels. I think O2, through their Airwave service, are responsible for carrying a large amount of UK emergency services traffic.
When people I know started getting iPhones they were tied into some hefty contracts but contracts that came with unlimited data. That data was used in various different ways but boy was it used. Music was streamed, e-mails were pushed, bank balances were checked, alerts were sent, accounts were synced.
I have no doubt the all-you-can-eat brigade will flame me for this but I have to ask if there's just a little of the whiny baby mentality about the people wanting to leave for a 'better' network. Will it really be a better network or will services and reliability slowly erode as iPhone users arrive, declare they paid a premium for everything and then moan when they can't stream 1080p video over 3G.
I suppose what I'm trying to say ask is this; is a crap network exposed when iPhone users arrive and try to take up its' services or is an OK network made crap by iPhone users arriving and demanding their service is better than everyone elses?
Perhaps I'm being unreasonable. Maybe the networks should have installed infrastructure dedicated to only iPhones or given over a larger chunk of resources to iPhone users. Maybe iPhone users are the ones being unreasonable and need reminding that paying into a buffet doesn't mean all the food belongs to you.
What will be interesting to see is if the networks who lose a significant chunk of iPhone users gain a perceived performance increase among the users who stay with them.
Re: iPhone effect?
If att's service begins to improve as verizon's degrades, then that's very probable evidence that you are right and iphone users are draining system resources for everybody else.
My personal cell phone experience is that att's service has been getting noticeably worse over the years in my area (Long Island, NY). What an improvement it would be to not loose calls all the time.
No retardation for my non-Jesus Phone, please
I, for one, would have been very pissed to find that my phone was given lower traffic priority simply for not being an iPhone. My money is just as green and the next person's, and to be artificially throttle, in effect discriminated against, just because I do not have an iPhone would have set me off to no end. I would have wound up lying, "Yes, I bought a used iPhone and am using my SIM in it now. Prove otherwise."
Paris, using my SIM in her now, prove otherwise.
Airwave is no longer part of O2. They sold it to an Australian company some years ago.
Annecdotally, you're right
I have been with O2 for many, many year - longer than they have been O2. The data connections and bandwidth started degrading, and went downhill very rapidly, around the time the iPhone started taking off.
RE: iPhone effect?
Just for the record, my O2 reception is fine - considerably better than my friends phones... when we were on holiday in Skye, I was the only one who had reception.
"I suppose what I'm trying to say ask is this; is a crap network exposed when iPhone users arrive and try to take up its' services or is an OK network made crap by iPhone users arriving and demanding their service is better than everyone elses?"
Erm, surely ANY phone that downloaded a lot of data would cause this...?
As we cogitate, yield management software is at work ....
figuring out all the permutations that go into pricing cell phone tariffs.
Who knows, once the initial rush from AT&T occurs, service might improve, from a carrier perspective.
Of course, there is still the little matter of the unresolved Lemon 4 Death of Grip option, which Apple hopes has gone away ... until the court actions hit the courtrooms.
Did you notice that Apple is replacing products that self-ignite in Japan - free of charge? That is the sign of a strong government who will likely tell Jobs into which orifice he can stuff his defective handsets.
But Apple also replaced the exploding Sony batteries in their laptops free of charge. And everywhere, not just in Japan.
As did Toshiba, Dell, Sony, and pretty much every other laptop manufacturer.
So, what's your point? Or is it more pointless trolling.
And Lemon 4. Oh, my sides. You're hilarious.
There's no benefit to apple in a VZW iPhone
It's a month after release and people are still waiting in lines for the new iPhone. Unless they can ramp the manufacturing they don't need a bigger pool of customers. It would just cause riots.
Does anyone else get irritated by...
The Reg spelling 'fanboy' as 'fanboi'? For some reason it irritates the hell out of me, probably because The Inquirer was spelling it like that long before The Reg. I need hardly remind you that The Inquirer is the absolute arse end of IT reporting on the internet, and generally stands for the worst journalism there is, so please stop copying them!
81% planning to or aready have an iphone...
And the other 19% decided they wouldn't upgrade unless Steve Jobs quits and the antennas are repaired