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AT&T improves 3G coverage in metro New York, New Jersey

post #1 of 43
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AT&T, the exclusive provider of the iPhone in the U.S., announced this week that it has strengthened its 3G signal in the populous Tri-State Region, and that further nationwide network improvements are also planned.

The wireless carrier said that it has deployed spectrum in the 850MHz across "large portions" of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, and customers in that area will have better reception and speed, as well as better coverage indoors. The company noted that the 850MHz spectrum used is considered "high quality," and has been enabled for 3G use at more than 1,600 cell sites in the New York metropolitan area.

"AT&T's ongoing investment to build broadband networks helps to create jobs, fuel economic growth and enable our customers to quickly access the content that matters most to them," said Jay Summerson, vice president New York, AT&T external affairs. "Our customers have embraced smartphones and upgrades like the additional 3G spectrum deployment allow them to enjoy the benefits of these devices and mobile broadband for years to come."

The nation's second-largest wireless carrier has plans to further improve its 3G coverage nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2009 with HSPA 7.2 technology, which will give customers faster mobile broadband speeds. The company expects that upgraded to be completed in 2011.

In addition, nearly 1,900 new cell towers are planned to be built across the U.S. this year. Customers in the Tri-State Region should also expect to see further improvements, as the company will continue to add cell sites in that area.

This year, the addition of unlimited Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots for iPhone users led to a large increase in Wi-Fi connections. In the first half of the year, AT&T handled 25.6 million Wi-Fi connections -- more than in all of 2008.

While the breakthrough success of the iPhone since its launch in 2007 has brought millions of customers to the AT&T network, the additional bandwidth used by the data-heavy device has had a significant impact on network performance. Some surveys have indicated that while users are happy with their purchase of the iPhone, the AT&T network is the least-loved aspect of Apple's device. Both Apple and AT&T have been sued for over-saturating its 3G network with iPhones.

In its response to an inquiry from the Federal Communications Commission last month, Apple gave a glimpse into its contract with AT&T and revealed the company's internal concerns about App Store software that might over-tax its wireless network.

"From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration," Apple said in its letter.

Many have speculated that bandwidth capabilities are the reason AT&T has not yet allowed tethering or MMS capabilities on the iPhone, even though other worldwide carriers already offer those capabilities. The U.S. wireless carrier has said that the features would arrive for iPhone users late this summer.
post #2 of 43
This is a funny coincidence. I was just thinking yesterday that since I've purchased my iPhone here in NYC, July 3rd, I've had basically zero problems with reception since mid July. The exception was the first couple weeks of July (maybe 2 dropped calls). I am overall very pleased with my reception. I guess I lucked out and missed the last 2 years of aggravation that all my friends have had.
post #3 of 43
Good.

Now where is the MMS?!!!
post #4 of 43
Service quality for all of August has definitely been the worst since I got my first iPhone 2G (upgraded in January to 3G). Voicemails have taken 3 days to show up, SMS arrive 1 hour late sometimes, and calls drop or fail with 5 bars all the time. I called AT&T to complain, and without having to escalate to a manager, got a $150 credit.

I hope this decrease in quality was the result of their upgrades, and that September will be better, otherwise I'm going to call them once a month every month to demand another credit.
post #5 of 43
i'm in NYC and the only problem i have is streaming pandora in the center of a converted factory building on the Hudson River. i thought it was the AT&T too high a frequency thing until i started rebooting my iphone last week and it would work after a reboot. Apple pulling all memory apps gave me the idea.

now i think there are memory leaks in some apps
post #6 of 43
Reception seems OK, but I still get dropped calls (in Brooklyn especially, this is Brooklyn Heights just over the bridge) and I am now in Exchange Place Jersey (one stop from Manhattan) and my 3G Speed is 0.11 mbps right now. I'll test it at Wall St in a few hours when I get back to the office.

Nothing to really create a headline about though.

**edit - Did three tests

Downloads
0.11 mbps
0.33 mbps
0.22 mbps

Uploads
0.11 mbps
0.12 mbps
0.11 mbps

So mean download is 0.22mbps (or about 27k, twice as fast as a 1980's fax machine). Great... what happened to 7mbps?

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post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Reception seems OK, but I still get dropped calls (in Brooklyn especially, this is Brooklyn Heights just over the bridge) and I am now in Exchange Place Jersey (one stop from Manhattan) and my 3G Speed is 0.11 mbps right now. I'll test it at Wall St in a few hours when I get back to the office.

Nothing to really create a headline about though.

whenever you get to a new location try going to airplane mode and back or rebooting. i got the idea after BGR's bandwidth survey. i think what happens is that you keep a connection to a tower even if you're closer to another one when you're moving.
post #8 of 43
I'll admit that I don't know how the signal interactions work, but I've got to wonder if ATT would get better loads if they could piggyback signals into people's wifi networks -- if your phone has a wifi, why can't ATT use a combo of cell and VOIP to blend and make a better experience?

I have trouble imagining that this is beyond our existing techonology, but it might be a bandwidth cost issue...

iCarbon (wishes that he had better reception in his building that has wifi everywhere)
post #9 of 43
Now if they'd only do this everywhere else.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

Service quality for all of August has definitely been the worst since I got my first iPhone 2G (upgraded in January to 3G). Voicemails have taken 3 days to show up, SMS arrive 1 hour late sometimes, and calls drop or fail with 5 bars all the time. I called AT&T to complain, and without having to escalate to a manager, got a $150 credit.

I hope this decrease in quality was the result of their upgrades, and that September will be better, otherwise I'm going to call them once a month every month to demand another credit.

Where do you live?

Sounds like your preferences and/or you iPhone needs a reset.
post #11 of 43
I don't seem to be able to get the free ATT Wifi in Starbucks. It always asks me for a username pasword. I thought it was supposed to be automatic?

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post #12 of 43
And Apple is still waiting for AT&T to give them the okay to enable MMS and tethering. O2 in England, Rogers in Canada, SOFTBANK in Japan, T-Mobile in Europe, all these carriers and their subscribers are sending their location, contact information on their iPhone, voice memos, and video messages through the Messages application. I don't see as being rated as one of the premier wireless carriers in the world why it is taking AT&T so long to get with the program. This isn't the first time that they have displayed a lack of getting things accomplished. I don't have a problem with AT&T and their service, I have a problem with AT&T not following through on thier company roadmap.
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post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

I don't seem to be able to get the free ATT Wifi in Starbucks. It always asks me for a username pasword. I thought it was supposed to be automatic?


I had to set it up once for it to work in McDonald's and now it's automatic...call 611 and ask ATT.
post #14 of 43
There was an article in our newspaper yesterday that ATT has spent $350 million since 2006 upgrading their infrastructure here in Phoenix. I don't really have a problem with ATT's service, it's just seems like $93 a month for my iPhone is too much. It goes against my sensibilities to not have the iPhone available on other networks, price competition and all that!
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

I don't seem to be able to get the free ATT Wifi in Starbucks. It always asks me for a username pasword. I thought it was supposed to be automatic?

Make sure your chosen Starbucks says it's an AT&T "HotSpot", not all are. Secondly- you have to go to WiFi preferences at manually hook on to the Wifi that says "AT&T' -at least for the first time. I know this because I went into a Starbucks last week that didn't have wifi and yesterday I went into one but had to manually access the Wifi. I'm hoping the next time I go in there it will be "automatic".

FYI- The reason I needed Wifi access is because a friend told me that Madonna's video "Celebration" is free at iTunes yesterday and today- ONLY. You can only download it over Wifi. Since when does she ever give anything for free? So go for it. It's OK- lots of pole dancin! Watch for Lourdes at 3:15.
post #16 of 43
Happy here in Houston, but starting to lose patience on MMS support. I never understood the hoopla in regards to copy/paste and once I got it, made me wonder how I lived without it. I have had several situations in the last few weeks that MMS would have been very useful, but I can wait a couple of more weeks. Where is my OS 3.1?
post #17 of 43
- way to go, regurgitating the at&t press release. http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pi...rticleid=27069

- they were supposed to be doing the same thing for the san francisco market as well.

- today is 09/02. mms is supposed to be here by 'late summer'. summer ends at 21:18Z on 09/22. you've got less than three weeks, at&t. get on it.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Reception seems OK, but I still get dropped calls (in Brooklyn especially, this is Brooklyn Heights just over the bridge) and I am now in Exchange Place Jersey (one stop from Manhattan) and my 3G Speed is 0.11 mbps right now. I'll test it at Wall St in a few hours when I get back to the office.

Nothing to really create a headline about though.

**edit - Did three tests

Downloads
0.11 mbps
0.33 mbps
0.22 mbps

Uploads
0.11 mbps
0.12 mbps
0.11 mbps

So mean download is 0.22mbps (or about 27k, twice as fast as a 1980's fax machine). Great... what happened to 7mbps?

I haven't had my morning jolt of caffeine yet, but isn't .22 mbps = 220 kbps?
post #19 of 43
too bad I just switched to the Palm Pre.. Its Not a bad device.. and I have had ALL 3 versions of the iPhone and I wanted a cheaper plan.. so I switched and haven't had a dropped call yet, unlike my iphone. And I was on AT&T for 9 Years.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I haven't had my morning jolt of caffeine yet, but isn't .22 mbps = 220 kbps?

Yes, kilobits (/8 to get good old fashioned K)...

BUT I messed up, because the 0.22 was MBs not mbs, so you're right anyway.

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post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrnight View Post

too bad I just switched to the Palm Pre.. Its Not a bad device.. and I have had ALL 3 versions of the iPhone and I wanted a cheaper plan.. so I switched and haven't had a dropped call yet, unlike my iphone. And I was on AT&T for 9 Years.


too bad CDMA has this annoying feature where you can't talk and get data at the same time. i also have a sprint BB and go to roaming and back to evdo every 5-10 minutes when walking around town. i hear around DC Sprint is top notch
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

I don't seem to be able to get the free ATT Wifi in Starbucks. It always asks me for a username pasword. I thought it was supposed to be automatic?

are you running iphone OS 3?
post #23 of 43
Talk about lowered expectations! What exactly does AT&T want, a pat on the back? Great job for doing something that should have never been an issue in the first place.

Since day one, AT&T has been like a 1 ton weight on the heels of the iPhone (now compounded by Apple and it's draconian policies, but that's another issue). Sorry if I don't feel elated with improved service (slight mind you; there's still poor 3G service around midtown). Where's MMS? Where's tethering?

Give me a break...!

/end of morning rant
post #24 of 43
Since that is the unofficial end of summer my questions (demands actually) would be

1. Where the frak is MMS
2. Where the frak is tethering

Yup I know you can hack the phone to do both (and did so but I like visual voice mail and the
hack seemed to goof that up) but still I want to see folks hold AT&T's feet to the fire on this one.
post #25 of 43
I've never been able to figure out why AT&T and T-Mobile (the two carriers I've used) have such spotty service along the Northeast Corridor from Philly to NYC. It's one of the most heavily trafficked commuter corridors in the country, but there are multiple long dead spots -- just south of Newark, west of Secaucus Jct., and an almost 10-min stretch between Princeton and New Brunswick -- that haven't improved at all over the past 3 years. This morning I had the same dead area outside of Princeton, so apparently AT&T's upgrades aren't in effect there yet.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrnight View Post

too bad I just switched to the Palm Pre.. Its Not a bad device..

Nice advertising slogan.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefted View Post

Since that is the unofficial end of summer my questions (demands actually) would be

1. Where the frak is MMS
2. Where the frak is tethering

Yup I know you can hack the phone to do both (and did so but I like visual voice mail and the
hack seemed to goof that up) but still I want to see folks hold AT&T's feet to the fire on this one.

Labor day may be something you relate to the end of summer, but summer 2009 officially ends September 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm EDT.

September 9 is the Apple media event, and they're likely to announce iPhone OS 3.1 and release it that day or shortly after. This should enable MMS, meeting their deadline of MMS by end of summer. Tethering may or may not be enabled, but AT&T never gave a date for when tethering would be available on its network. Apple only announced that it would be available on the iPhone and it was up to the carriers for pricing and availability.

The hack only temporarily disables visual voice mail, and doesn't delete any messages. You can enable the profile before you tether and disable it after you tether. I know this isn't ideal, and poses risks, fear, and burden, but it gets the job done if you really need it.
post #28 of 43
Crossing over from Danbury, CT to Brewster, NY, my 3G signal actually drops now. It never did before. Also, 3G coverage in Brewster, Carmel, North Salem, etc, is a lot worse now than it was a few months ago. Very annoying.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

too bad CDMA has this annoying feature where you can't talk and get data at the same time. i also have a sprint BB and go to roaming and back to evdo every 5-10 minutes when walking around town. i hear around DC Sprint is top notch

Thats odd.. I haven't had that issue.. I didn't set up wi-fi on it yet and I was able to receive text and emails while on a call without an issue.
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Nice advertising slogan.

LOL. yea.. but it was the "closest" thing I could find to my iPhone experience. it really is NOT an iPhone by any means.. but it cuts the mustard just fine. Its a phone, and has the basic functions I need to save money.
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclampet View Post

I've never been able to figure out why AT&T and T-Mobile (the two carriers I've used) have such spotty service along the Northeast Corridor from Philly to NYC. It's one of the most heavily trafficked commuter corridors in the country, but there are multiple long dead spots -- just south of Newark, west of Secaucus Jct., and an almost 10-min stretch between Princeton and New Brunswick -- that haven't improved at all over the past 3 years. This morning I had the same dead area outside of Princeton, so apparently AT&T's upgrades aren't in effect there yet.

Expense/availability of tower sites? Tall buildings? Corporate bafflegab and stat fudging?

Whatever, I've dropped maybe three calls total in the last two years in NYC and the metro area with Verizon. I have 900 minutes, 500 TXT/PIC messages, an outstanding keyboard, good display, and internet access if I really need it.

Meanwhile, plenty of net at home/work, and can actually live without it for a few hours - plus the optimized email, weather and news sites, including the big free email providers, and some major papers/nets actually aren't bad on my LG Voyager.

- and ta-daaa -

About 15 channels of live TV everywhere, two of which are the main cable channels I watch anyway - for $90/month total.

In fact, I've dropped cable TV and now have no other TV costs/month unless I rent a movie, what with video podcasts, and a constantly growing number of web video sources.

Won't work for all of you and I'd love the iPhone web in my pocket, but I do have everything I need - beginning with a phone that "just works" (does that phrase ring a bell with any of youse?) and bet my combined phone/isp bill is smaller than yours. Not braggin', jus' sayin'....

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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

Service quality for all of August has definitely been the worst since I got my first iPhone 2G (upgraded in January to 3G). Voicemails have taken 3 days to show up, SMS arrive 1 hour late sometimes, and calls drop or fail with 5 bars all the time. I called AT&T to complain, and without having to escalate to a manager, got a $150 credit.

I hope this decrease in quality was the result of their upgrades, and that September will be better, otherwise I'm going to call them once a month every month to demand another credit.

Ditto. My service has been HORRIBLE lately. Late voicemails are definitely a problem. But the worst is dropped calls. I had a few days where the phone dropped EVERY call after a few minutes. Then, it wouldn't make or receive calls (though the people I called reported their phones rang). I restored and reactivated the phone and it was better, but it's still having issues. I am going to call and get my $150!
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post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrnight View Post

Thats odd.. I haven't had that issue.. I didn't set up wi-fi on it yet and I was able to receive text and emails while on a call without an issue.

i have a CDMA BB Curve and tested it out. called it from my iphone and when i tried to surf the internet it wouldn't let me. meanwhile my iphone was on 3G only and no wifi and i could talk and surf the internet. and the BB wouldn't send or receive any email until i disconnected the call
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

I'll admit that I don't know how the signal interactions work, but I've got to wonder if ATT would get better loads if they could piggyback signals into people's wifi networks -- if your phone has a wifi, why can't ATT use a combo of cell and VOIP to blend and make a better experience?

I have trouble imagining that this is beyond our existing techonology, but it might be a bandwidth cost issue...

iCarbon (wishes that he had better reception in his building that has wifi everywhere)

It's probably around the corner, T-Mobile already does this & other carriers have announced plans to move that direction. It likely will not happen until AT&T figures out how they can add that feature but keep people paying for their higher minute plans. A lot of people will downgrade their minutes & just try to use wifi most of the time (given free AT&T wifi this could actually save one a lot of money).

They will probably offer it either with some sort of heavy charge or they will say it still costs you minutes regardless. In any case it'd be a big plus for businesses because it would eliminate the need for costly repeaters.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Good.

Now where is the MMS?!!!

in canada!
post #36 of 43
post #37 of 43
Yup. 3G networks are saturated everywhere all over the world...
What's the solution? Dunno. More cells and repeaters deployed everywhere to channel all that traffic into wires as quickly as possible?

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post #38 of 43
Countdown to my complaint call is on! Seriously, AT&T has suffered in terms of reputation. I know it's the most unreliable service I've ever used. I hope the iPhone goes non-exclusive next year.
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post #39 of 43
well at least you have 3G in NY and NJ, here in Wisconsin we dont even have it.. and I still have to pay the $30 for it... talk about a rip off!
post #40 of 43
A few friends of mine and myself have noticed that when we call each other (all in Okalhoma and have iPhones) that sometimes one of us can not here the other during a call. No specific time of day or during the call. I might hear them but they can't hear me or vice verse. Anyone else having this issue? Oklahoma or any place else? And could this be an network upgrade issue???
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