Poor network experience fault of iPhone, not AT&T?

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Poor network experience fault of iPhone, not AT&T?
It has always been AT&T taking blame for the poor call quality on the Apple iPhone. Dropped calls, no signal, slow data speeds-it had been assumed that it was the network holding back the iPhone, not the other way around. This made a strong case for a Verizon branded iPhone so that the vastly superior iPhone quality could thrive under a good network connection. But suppose the basic assumption was wrong. According to a story in the N.Y. Times, it is actually the fault of the iPhone why the network connection has been picked by the device's owners as the worst part of owning the phone. The story quotes several wireless firms as saying that the AT&T pipeline is actually superior to Verizon's network. This is the cellphone world's version of a second gun in the Grassy Knoll. In other words, what has been passed around so many times that it has seemingly become fact, appears to be debunked and a new story could be ready to get passed around.

Global Wireless Solutions is one of the companies listed in the story. After placing more than 3 million calls this year, concluding more than 2 million wireless data sessions and covering 3 million miles of asphalt, the company concludes that AT&T's data throughput is 40 to 50 percent higher than the competition which includes Big Red. Conducting 4.7 million tests on smartphones for the top 4 U.S. carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile). a company called Root Wireless went to 7 major metropolitan areas and concluded that AT&T had faster download speeds than Verizon did and also had 75% or more of it's signal strength more often than Big Red had. These findings seem to go against the results recently published in Consumer Reports where Verizon was named the best carrier and AT&T was at the bottom in fourth place. The reason for the difference could be that Root Wireless' software will not run in the background on the iPhone which means other smartphones had to be tested besides Apple's touchscreen handset. You don't have to be a member of Mensa to understand that if AT&T's coverage improves that much when the iPhone is excluded, perhaps the problem is with the device-not the network.

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source: N.Y.Times via BGR

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56 Comments

56. Christopher unregistered

I have received a completely defective IPhone and the Manila based ATT rep told me quite abruptly that I have to exchange the phone for a no-commitment price which is $400 more than the original price and the extra amount would get paid to me after 2 billing cycle i.e. 60 days ! I can still bear the fact that I spoke to a guy who can hardly comprehend my English but as this exchange policy this is just unacceptable.

52. AZNphoneGeek

Posts: 200; Member since: May 15, 2009

i wish they would bring back the Shake-The-Baby app.... that would make me switch to att

39. becazican unregistered

hey vzw fanman, you are right retarded is not cool but neither is gay, so quit it!!!!you wouldnt want to meet this gay man

45. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

the mentally handicap people can't even comprehend the word that's why it's so rude and hurtful....at least the gays know that gay means stupid when i use it in that context. sorry if i offended you bro.

53. Illyich

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I can't believe you actually typed that... are you serious?

30. jellyelly

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 14, 2009

Whyyyyyyyy does PHONEARENA.COM always have to back up there precious iphone. I'm tired of this B S. They have good reviews but as always the iphone is the best for this and that, yeah right. Look the iphone is the best and coolest "TOY" ever invented but it certainly doesn't mean it's the best phone. As for At&t they just suck they cannot compare with the muscle Verizon have. You never heard Verizon put the blame on Blackberry for the the so called iphone killer, the storm. They just took like a real company should. They take the blame for there mistakes. So PHONEARENA.COM hop off iphone sh1t for once please. PHONEARENA.COM is like Gollum from lord of the rings. MY PRECIOUS.

41. Illyich

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Derp. They're not backing up the iPhone, genius. They're saying it's the one with the problem. Did... did you actually read the article, or did you see 'iPhone' and just start posting angrily?

28. krusenkevin

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

What a crock of s**t. I had three different phones, two of them smartphones, on AT&T (which became Cingular... which went back to being AT&T), and I had so many dropped calls and such poor signal strength -- and this is in Los Angeles and San Diego, major metro areas -- that I felt I was throwing my $$ away each month. And my negative experiences stem from before the iPhone was even on the network to January 2009. Is the iPhone a contributing factor? Who knows. I just know that I've been able to have clear, uninterrupted calls and actually browse the web from my phone since I left for Sprint.

27. Mateo8326

Posts: 472; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Huh so ATT network is better and faster than verizon whichs makes them liars, huh pretty funny carma came around quick. Where do we go from here.

21. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I have a T Mobile phone roaming on AT&T half the time because TMO's coverage in this largely rural area sucks. Let me tell you what I've experienced while under ATT's network umbrella: Dropped calls, spotty coverage, wildly fluctuating signal, slow speeds, several days and nights (sometimes over a week at a time) when I can't get connected to the data network at all, a semiannual loss of ALL coverage, again sometimes for up to a week at a time if not more, and to top it all off, this was the answer I got from TWO different salespeople in TWO different stores in TWO different years when I asked them about the latter problem (complete loss of service): "Oh, well, T-Mobile and AT&T cancelled their roaming agreement with each other. You won't ever get coverage with us again. Why not buy an AT&T phone?" And the answer I got from T-Mobile both times when I called to verify: "Are you kidding me? We didn't cancel our roaming agreement! Their towers are just down in that area!" And magically I'll end up getting service again. I think you can conclude who the liars in those situations were. Oh, and calling their customer service didn't do any good either. The rep I talked to when I lost service completely once had absolutely no idea what she was doing, didn't know how to check the map or for any trouble tickets. Did I also mention that T-Mobile is much cheaper than AT&T? (Or Verizon). After taxes my bill for completely unlimited web, email and texting comes to 70 dollars a month.

26. tedkord

Posts: 17536; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

AT&T lied their asses off to me. This was YEARS ago, pre-iPhone and pre-Cingular merger. They told me that my area was saturated with coverage, and that the plan included a 25-mile radius around my home adress where I would not be charged roaming. Our phones rarely got a signal anywhere. We decided to cancel before the 30-day trial was up, since they were useless. they hit me with over $100 roaming! I called and told them what the salesman told me. They told me it wasn't true, and they weren't responsible for anything salesman said. I told them there was no signal in my area, and they told me that was because they had no towers in my area. Once again, they're not responsible for the lies of their salesmen. I simply told them I wasn't responsible for their roaming harges, and they could send me to collections. After another 45 minutes of arguing, I got them to drop the charges. I think the coverage has improved since - still, the only friend I have in my area who has an iPhone is the only person I lose in calls.

37. amazinghorse

Posts: 38; Member since: Dec 14, 2009

Sniggly. You are a cheap bastard. Why do you as a T-Mobile customer think that you have any right to waste the time of AT&T reps concerning you roaming off of their network? A normal person would instead think, "Well golly, my t-mobile service is awful. Maybe you really do get what you pay for. Perhaps I should splurge the extra $10 a month to get service in the areas I need it in." You sir are an ass. I am a rep for a major wireless carrier and when people come in and try to pull the shinnanagins that you just described of course I blow them off. I don't have time to waste with people who are not nor have any interest in becoming my customer. May you burn in hell. I say good day, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY!!!!!

40. cammian

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 15, 2009

First of all I have to say you are my hero....hahaha. ya he is a cheap bastard, I also work for a major wireless carrier, and I cant stand people like him. Like seriously people make me laugh," Hi ommmm im on t-mobile, and im not getting any coverage with them, so I just wanted to call you guys (ATT) and wonder why this is happening, because I was told that I like roam off you guys and I am still not getting coverage.....bladi bladi fuckin bla....aka im to cheap to just switch over to another carrier so im just going to annoy all the other carriers because im a d bag!!!!!!! haha

43. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I also work for a major wireless carrier, and if they had simply told me the truth I wouldn't have cared. Maybe if they hadn't lied I wouldn't have renewed my contract with T-Mobile and switched instead when I lost my original phone. And it shouldn't matter whether I'm roaming with them or not, I should theoretically get the same signal as a paying customer. If you think asking a simple question about a problem with the network is shenanigans, and if you think lying to a potential customer is the right thing to do, then you are the ass here. I have never once lied to a customer in order to make a sale; I've never had to. In fact, telling the customer an unpleasant truth usually makes them feel better about me. For instance, a couple weeks ago an older couple came in and asked whether it'd be cheaper for them to go to prepaid or keep their plan and upgrade. After examining their usage I told them the truth: prepaid was cheaper. They told me up front that they appreciated the fact that I didn't try to bullshit them, and you know what? Two days later they came in and upgraded both their phones and kept the plan. Honesty works wonders. So, Amazinghorse, let's try again: all I was looking for was an honest answer. My problem was that they lied to me, and that the rep I spoke to on the phone didn't have any idea what she was doing. If she had been working in the call center I used to (warranty dept for the same carrier I work for now) she would've gotten a failing grade on the call. You, sir, fail miserably. I guess you don't have any problem with the misleading ads AT&T puts out about their network, their unwillingness to admit that there's ever a problem with it, and the fact that they sued VZW for telling the truth about their 3G coverage. I dare you to tell me any differently, given your attitude.

44. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

And as for you, cammian: 1. Learn how to type properly. I pray that if you ever do any written reports for your company they aren't as grammatically failtastic as your comment here. 2. The crux of my problem is that AT&T's network is not reliable in any sense of the word, and that I have had multiple problems while roaming on them. Worst of all is that I've been lied to by representatives when I've asked them for honest answers regarding the worst of the problems, which is complete loss of coverage. I wouldn't bother anyone if I wasn't supposed to get coverage. And why would I spend ten more bucks a month for service on a network which is giving me problems to begin with? Would all of my problems with the network suddenly magically vanish? I think not. You, sir, and amazinghorse both sound like horrible salesmen and miserable human beings.

46. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

why would you pay full price for crap service when you get it for half price somewhere else? That makes you an idiot. ATT makes $$$ off those roaming agreements to the tune of billions. So you better be happy there are those "d-bags" out there. Because if they wanted ATT prices, theyd go to VERIZON and get better service instead of just PAYING MORE. VZW is the ONLY service worth paying that much for, because you have a 99% chance of it working where other companies dont. If your not paying for premium service, why the hell would you want to PAY premium to get lesser (ATT we looking at u, fool!) Just because your a half blind douche doesnt mean that people arent smarter than you when they go to a Tmobile for half the price of ATT and then roam off ATT. It means your an idiot for paying full ATT pricing and roaming off of Tmobile. Think about that. lol.

48. cammian

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 15, 2009

First of all, if and when I have to write a report for my company then I will make sure my grammer is correct, quickly responding to someones responce to your retarded responce to this post is something that I really dont give two shits about. I do excellent at my job, and yes I do work for number one. Secondly your trying to complain about AT&T's service when you have T-mobile. You really have no room to talk, also a little FYI, T-mobile does not roam off AT&T everywhere, only in a couple of areas in the U.S. Also do you want to know why they probably lied to you, because you were annoying the customer care rep and he or she just wanted to get you off the phone. Like I said you called a wireless company that you didnt even have and tried to question their service. SO GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR!!!

49. cammian

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 15, 2009

You really have no clue what you are talking about, when it comes to service you pay more with AT&T because you get way more coverage with them then you do with T-mobile. Sorry but you can not compare T-mobile's coverage with At&T's. Also like I told Sniggly, T-mobile does not roam off AT&T everywhere, only in a couple of areas. So before you want to make your idiotic statments because you think you know what you are talking about, make sure you get your facts right. I swear I hate when people like you think you know what you are talking about, when you DONT!!! Do yourself a favor and be productive and check out T-mobile's coverge map, and then check out AT&T's. So look who is the FOOL!!!

50. cammian

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 15, 2009

One more thing, Verizon Wireless does have the best voice and 3g coverage in the U.S. so to avoid all of this b.s go to verizon you wont regret it. Also Remixfa I forgot to tell you that the blue map you see right there is AT&T's 3g coverage not their voice and edge network. So once again look at at&t map vs. t-mobile. After that look at verizons it will make you want to switch.

51. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

1. That's much better. Now I feel like I'm talking to a human being, not a Youtube commenter. 2. I'm not trying to compare T-Mobile's coverage to AT&T's coverage. I'm comparing the quality of the service where I'm SUPPOSED to have coverage between the two. When I'm actually on T-Mobile towers, I have never had an issue. When I'm on AT&T towers, it's a total crap shoot. The store reps lying to me had nothing to do with the customer service rep on the phone. I went to them on separate instances where I lost service. There's been at least three times in the past two years alone when total loss of service has occurred. So let's review this once AGAIN, because apparently you have a learning disability: When I am SUPPOSED TO GET ROAMING COVERAGE from a given carrier, when it NORMALLY HAPPENS IN THE AREA I'M OCCUPYING, and something happens to cause TOTAL LOSS OF SERVICE, then I have every right to walk into THAT CARRIER'S store and ask them if they're having an issue with THEIR TOWERS. Have I made it clear enough for you? Do I need to repeat it again? Okay, let's go over this again: I have EVERY RIGHT to ask a SIMPLE QUESTION about a POSSIBLE ISSUE and expect an HONEST ANSWER, even if the truth isn't exactly pleasant. I appreciate honesty much more than lies, any human does. So, Cammian, would you like to stop being an arrogant ass and cease with trying to defend liars?

16. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

"a company called Root Wireless went to 7 major metropolitan areas and concluded that AT&T had faster download speeds than Verizon did and also had 75% or more of it's signal strength more often than Big Red had" so, in 7 cities across the US (and which ones btw?) ATT beat out VZW in strength and speed. Thats a) a pretty selective test, and B) not very comprehensive. also it doesnt matter if you get 1 bar or 20, as long as you have service it runs the same. and what happens when you leave dense population areas? do you think you still have ATT 3g? EVERYONE including METRO has great dense population coverage. who cares about that. What about driving down the highways and roads outside of the city.. suburbs and small towns? yup, ATT will drop below sprint and tmobile then.. lol.

20. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i wouldn't say it's a fair test since most verizon phones have a max of 4 bars while most at&t phones has a max of 5 bars.

35. Man_of_God

Posts: 32; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

Please don't be insulted, but network engineers don't use bars to measure signal strength. They use dBm which in layman terms measures actual signal versus background noise.

36. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i know what dbm means, on my storm instead of the signal bars i made it say the dbm cause it's more accurate. at&t's signal range is like -50 to -120....verizons is -80 to -110.

12. WnnaFghtAboutIt

Posts: 149; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

at&t has a faster network in the 8 markets where they have hsupa and other than that...not so much... its not to have fast, but if you dont have "everywhere" then who cares.... i travel around alot, i want everywhere coverage over fast in a few places

15. BlackberryUser

Posts: 609; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

Exactly..

10. lolipopjones

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 21, 2009

It is the phone. I own a Pantech C170 and an iPhone 3GS. My 3GS has had issues connecting to calls and has had times it dropped calls when it had 5 bars of service. Now the Pantech... I have never dropped a call once on it... The Pantech is the most used phone on my plan eating up 1000 minutes out of 1400 and using 2000 m2m and A-list. Now simple reasoning here. If i have better call connection rates (the pantech has only dropped 1 call in 1 year) with a different phone then the problem is device specific. If its the network then my issues would be the same no matter the device but since it is device specific issue well.... At&t cannot do anything about it. This is what happens when a manufacturer controls there warranty service.. Watch when VzW gets the iPhone and people start calling their service junk due to drop calls yet everyone that doesn't have an iphone doesn't complain.

29. dandirk unregistered

AT&T can do something about it, stop selling the phone and tell Apple to fix the issue. They have exclusive right, Apple would be significantly hurt. But they won't too much money and not enough morality. Well if issues are truly hardware/phone related.

8. tuminatr

Posts: 1193; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I think there is some merit to this, it probably is both after all did anyone read the consumer reports article on cell phone companies

7. Gsmalltheway

Posts: 278; Member since: Aug 15, 2009

I can see how this is true. I have At&t and never had a dropped call and internet is super fast. Then again i never had an iphone as my primary phone. I have the HTC Hero and it works great.

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