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AT&T defends its iPhone network via YouTube outreach

post #1 of 211
Thread Starter 
AT&T has published a YouTube response to the mounting complaints about its network in order to explain the issues involved and assure subscribers that it is working hard to address the massive new demand related to iPhone use.

The video segment (shown below) introduces "Seth the blogger guy," who describes the explosive new growth in data demand over the last two years and outlines the investments AT&T has been making, including spending between $17 to $18 billion on upgrades scheduled for this year on top of the $38 billion invested over the past two years.

Standing in front of a picture of the iPhone, the AT&T spokesman says, "we're proud that we've enabled the smartphone revolution." At the end of the segment, he adds the assurance, "we have heard you, we are on it, and we will use this hard won experience to lead the industry into the future."

The segment also reiterates the previous announcement that AT&T's MMS service for the iPhone would become available later this month. "We've been working for months to prepare the radio access controllers in our network to support this launch. That means calibrating base stations all over the country, and frankly that's a very time-consuming process. MMS for the iPhone will be coming on September 25th. We wanted to make sure that when MMS for the iPhone launches, the experience was great. We wanted to get it right."
post #2 of 211
Well, you have 2 years from July 20th to sort it out... as I got my new contract with the 3GS launch.

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Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
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post #3 of 211
I still don't understand why MMS on the iPhone is more taxing on the network than every other cell phone. Are they just expecting an avalanche of unheard of proportions for iPhone MMS?

Oh, and what about dropped calls?
post #4 of 211
Oh please. I had AT&T when it was Cingular and had tons of dropped calls in the NYC, Northern NJ area. I switched to Verizon and the service was flawless. Never dropped a call. Being an Apple user, I have wanted the iPhone since it was introduced but have waited hoping there would be a Verizon version. With the introduction of the 3GS and no Verizon version, I made the switch being assured the network is much better. I have so many dropped calls and times I can't even get a signal it is ridiculous. I couldn't even get a signal on I-78 in a metro area. As soon as there is a Verizon version, I will gladly pay the early termination fee and be done with AT&T forever.
post #5 of 211
What's with the head tilt? Maybe blogger-guy should be checked by a doctor for torticollis.
post #6 of 211
Oh now your working on it? Don't use the excuse that their are just so many smartphone on your network and that they are straining your network so much. You had two years to prepare for this, don't act like this smartphone boom just surprised you. Look at Verizon and Sprint, you just being lazy, really lazy. Your finally investing in your network when it's past it's capacity. Nice job. And who the heck pushed for having smartphone on your network? You. You even require all smartphone users to have a data plan.
post #7 of 211
I say good for them. What carrier company gives a rats ass to their customers. Apple has changed the status quo and AT&T had the guts to go with it. Give the guys some credit. At least they are working and trying to make it better. A few years ago your complaint goes in one ear and out the other, with a smidgen of laughter from the carriers during transit.
post #8 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

I still don't understand why MMS on the iPhone is more taxing on the network than every other cell phone. Are they just expecting an avalanche of unheard of proportions for iPhone MMS?

I don't think that anyone can answer that question other than AT&T (and they have), but what other reason do you think they would have to delay accepting MMS fees from iPhone users?

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that iPhone usage of MMS will be more taxing than other phones. This article from the Financial Times says that Google sees 50 times more traffic from iPhones than from other phones.

It could be argued that Verizon would have been able to take on the iPhone easily and enable MMS messaging immediately without a 3 month delay, but I'm not in a position to claim that, and I don't think it's necessarily true.
post #9 of 211
I'm in Hoboken right on the waterfront and I just dropped another call. Keep working on it!
post #10 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post

Oh now your working on it? Don't use the excuse that their are just so many smartphone on your network and that they are straining your network so much. You had two years to prepare for this, don't act like this smartphone boom just surprised you. Look at Verizon and Sprint, you just being lazy, really lazy. Your finally investing in your network when it's past it's capacity. Nice job. And who the heck pushed for having smartphone on your network? You. You even require all smartphone users to have a data plan.

Really. If Verizon or Sprint took on the iPhone, their infrastructure would have imploded.
post #11 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeneye4obvious View Post

Oh please. I had AT&T when it was Cingular and had tons of dropped calls in the NYC, Northern NJ area. I switched to Verizon and the service was flawless. Never dropped a call. Being an Apple user, I have wanted the iPhone since it was introduced but have waited hoping there would be a Verizon version. With the introduction of the 3GS and no Verizon version, I made the switch being assured the network is much better. I have so many dropped calls and times I can't even get a signal it is ridiculous. I couldn't even get a signal on I-78 in a metro area. As soon as there is a Verizon version, I will gladly pay the early termination fee and be done with AT&T forever.

Just as a counter-example, I too had been waiting for the iPhone to make it to Verizon for 2 years having previously used AT&T and been dissatisfied with their service. With the release of the 3GS I finally gave in and switched to AT&T. And in fact, The service has been far better than I thought it would be. Although I live in Idaho in a suburban/rural area, I have excellent 3G speeds and coverage, although when you go into more rural areas, you generally end up on 2G EDGE, which isn't very fast.
And while Verizon certainly has a wider 3G coverage area, It's pointless to even talk data usage on any other device. If you can't use an iPhone with Verizon's network, then WHAT GOOD IS IT? Literally, there isn't a phone that Verizon offers that can even begin to compare with the web browsing experience of the iPhone. And if you only need email access, then even 2G can cut it.
post #12 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

I say good for them. What carrier company gives a rats ass to their customers. Apple has changed the status quo and AT&T had the guts to go with it. Give the guys some credit. At least they are working and trying to make it better. A few years ago your complaint goes in one ear and out the other, with a smidgen of laughter from the carriers during transit.

I agree. The progress is slower than we might like or want, but it's still progress. And, after my travails with just about every major player in this industry over a two-decade period, I am ready to take whatever I can get.

Bottom line, keep your expectations low: that way, all your surprises are positive! \
post #13 of 211
To alleviate the burden on AT&T, who is working so hard for so long to enable their network to meet the level of iPhone users traffic...... open iPhone to other carriers. BTW, if AT&T's network cannot handle the load, why are they charging premium for services they cannot provide ?
post #14 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I agree. The progress is slower than we might like or want, but it's still progress. And, after my travails with just about every major player in this industry over a two-decade period, I am ready to take whatever I can get.

Bottom line, keep your expectations low: that way, all your surprises are positive! \

You're right about lowering your expectations. Too many people have been expecting far too much relative to existing technology. Our service in the US is positively stone-age compared to South Korea, for example.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #15 of 211
All I heard him say was that "our exclusive agreement with Apple and the iPhone is coming to an end and we are really nervous about it."
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #16 of 211
"Hi my stage name is Seth. Im AFTRA. I got this gig cause I look like Steve Jobs with hair. Also NPR listeners like my ethic background. I took this gig very seriously. In fact, I didn't smile at all for 4 minutes. In fact, I look a little worried. But the director, who has produced many Miocrosoft ads, said I looked great.But unlike the real Steve Jobs, who loves his products, Im just hired and read from a cuecard, much like our President. Nothing actually gets done, but we justify it with press conferences and YouTube videos. So there is hope. Now, don't you feel bett........
Sorry, lost service...I said....."
post #17 of 211
I don't care what anyone says. Kudos to AT&T for thinking out of the box and using the social networking tools to hear and respond back. I don't think anyone would have been prepared for the amount of bandwidth that the iPhone has caused over the last few years. I think AT&T thought they had things under control but then realized that it was a paradigm shift for everyone. I don't think Verizon, much less anyone else would have handled the transition without issues, dropped calls, slow networks, etc. It was inevitable, the iPhone rewrote the rules. With that said, I'm kinda glad this happened on AT&T's watch because not only did they work on getting things right, the other carriers were taking notes and "Phew-ing" under their breath because this could have been them.
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post #18 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We've been working for months to prepare the radio access controllers in our network to support this launch. That means calibrating base stations all over the country, and frankly that's a very time-consuming process."

Does anyone else think this sounds like meaningless technobabble? I could understand if they said they needed to upgrade their base stations, but calibrate them? What are they gonna do? Tilt the antennae 5° to the left?
post #19 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7600/132 View Post

Does anyone else think this sounds like meaningless technobabble? I could understand if they said they needed to upgrade their base stations, but calibrate them? What are they gonna do? Tilt the antennae 5° to the left?

Maybe the dilithium phase crystals needed a a tri-corder waved over them and they had to crawl through the Jeffries Tubes to reach them in the port nacelle. It's AT&T. They are getting nervous in advance of Verizon's 4G network and inevitable iPhone deployment.
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post #20 of 211
Look AT&T is really SBC. And SBC was/is a hard nosed, cutthroat company more like Wal Mart than Apple. AT&T/SBC is also known for it's relentless legislative campaigns to get laws passed that specifically target their bottom line. Not just lobbying, but legislating from the board room. IMO they don't do anything the "right" way, they do it the cheap way. Just enough to get by while maximizing profit. Overbuilding a data network is not they way they roll. Under building a data network and locking in a super sweet deal with an innovator like Apple is their style. They have a dedicated army of white collar workers who do nothing but squeeze every dime out of their customers and suppliers. I know that sounds like just plain good business, but the way they do it is more like warfare. And sometimes we are the collateral damage.
post #21 of 211
[QUOTE=aplnub;1476479]Maybe the dilithium phase crystals needed a a tri-corder waved over them and they had to crawl through the Jeffries Tubes to reach them in the port nacelle. It's AT&T. They are getting nervous in advance of Verizon's 4G network and inevitable iPhone deployment.[/QUOTE

"Don't mince words Bones, whadahu really think?"
post #22 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Really. If Verizon or Sprint took on the iPhone, their infrastructure would have imploded.

If this is correct as I suspect it is, then there shouldn't have been an exclusive phone carrier for the iPhone. If it had been offered across a number of carriers there would have been a balanced data usage/consumption and carriers who offered the best service levels would grow their customers.

In the current situation, of course AT&T can't grow their infrastructure overnight. It will take them years to catch up. To me, its like the example of Houston adding a mass transit rail line which will take years and years to get it built and functioning so that the 'masses' can really benefit. Its been around for about 5 years, yet it's only functional for a small group of people based on the limited coverage area.
post #23 of 211
Totally unconvincing spin doctoring.

Hey, AT&T, 29 international cellular carriers were able to handle MMS the day the iPhone OS firmware was released in June. What gives?

These guys are desperate.
post #24 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You're right about lowering your expectations. Too many people have been expecting far too much relative to existing technology. Our service in the US is positively stone-age compared to South Korea, for example.

Since South Korea is about the size of New Jersey it must be easier to provide service as compared to.... The USA!!! What's it take maybe 25 cell towers to cover the whole country?
post #25 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post

Oh now your working on it? Don't use the excuse that their are just so many smartphone on your network and that they are straining your network so much. You had two years to prepare for this, don't act like this smartphone boom just surprised you. Look at Verizon and Sprint, you just being lazy, really lazy. Your finally investing in your network when it's past it's capacity. Nice job. And who the heck pushed for having smartphone on your network? You. You even require all smartphone users to have a data plan.

Absolutely right! Thieves and liars run America's big corporations, and AT&T is certainly no exception.
post #26 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

Totally unconvincing spin doctoring.

Hey, AT&T, 29 international cellular carriers were able to handle MMS the day the iPhone OS firmware was released in June. What gives?

These guys are desperate.

Nah, they are right where they want to be. They are waiting for customers to scream before they spend any money on upgrades. There was some talk of lawsuits over the lack of MMS, maybe that got them moving.

The international carriers actually care about providing a quality experience to customers. Plus they probably have strong regulations governing their activities. Heaven forbid we Americans ever regulate a company to require them to provide a quality product. Besides AT&T writes their own laws whenever they want. They really, really don't care what we think.
post #27 of 211
USA does have more land and to provide the coverage like other countries is very hard but the fact is we had to wait over 10 yrs before US had 3G that is unacceptable. and honestly i feel bad for everyone who uses an iphone especially those who still have the first generation ones. you basically bought a cell phone that had technology back in the 90s and you paid a premium for it but that still doesnt excuse at&t for providing such a bad network. i made my choice i will never buy an iphone in the states i will however go overseas buy the unlock 3gs and bring it back here to use a little more money yes but i dotn have to go with att. Apple should just pay att off and get off their deal and just open the ifone to everyone that way they will definitely increase their marketshare by a lot
post #28 of 211
at&t sucks. besides the iphone, all the phones are crap, i couldn't find a single decent flip phone, and there were only about 2 phones in our price range. i swear the phones are worse than they were with cingular years ago. they are all big and ugly, with terrible buttons, screens, and interfaces. i feel like the cell phone industry is making bigger, worse phones are time goes on, and the terms of use just get more complicated.

every smart phone requires a data plan (as with all the other providers now), and every phone with a qwerty keyboard requires an expensive texting plan in order to get the mail in rebates. how is that even a deal? can i go back in time and get something reasonable?

if it didn't cost billions of dollars to get into the cell phone industry, man these dinosaurs would be gone. if a cell phone company made the buying experience and the terms and conditions as pleasant as buying a windows computer from compusa or installing linux display drivers 5 years ago, they would put providers like at&t out of business.

oh yeah, and sprint and verizon could have easily rolled out mms by now i bet.
post #29 of 211
Instead of spending money on more bars in more places advertising, they could have used it on there network. The moment the Iphone is announced on Verizon, I will have my check ready to hand over to them. Today was crap with AT&T. On 295 in Central NJ, on the hghway, leaving a very important message then bam, dropped call with 5 bars of 3g. This happened 3 times. Then at home no missed calls and then when I looked at my phone at 6pm, there are 2 voicemails with no missed calls. Thanks AT&T, you ruined my plans for tonight.

I cant wait for Verizon. Day 1 since the Iphone launch has been nothing but a nightmare. I had to go past my mailbox to make a call on my Iphone. Plus when I call my one friend, there is a echo on the other end.

You can only burn a customer so much. They will never return, no matter what you throw at them. With Verizon, I am sure the phone would ring in someones grave. Never had a missed call and never looked at a coverage map.
post #30 of 211
I guess the fact that they are now posting videos about there network shows that they know there time is coming for the Iphone to come to Verizon. I would love to see the flock of people esp in the northeast area that jump ship.
post #31 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by erybovic View Post

Instead of spending money on more bars in more places advertising, they could have used it on there network. The moment the Iphone is announced on Verizon, I will have my check ready to hand over to them. Today was crap with AT&T. On 295 in Central NJ, on the hghway, leaving a very important message then bam, dropped call with 5 bars of 3g. This happened 3 times. Then at home no missed calls and then when I looked at my phone at 6pm, there are 2 voicemails with no missed calls. Thanks AT&T, you ruined my plans for tonight.

I cant wait for Verizon. Day 1 since the Iphone launch has been nothing but a nightmare. I had to go past my mailbox to make a call on my Iphone. Plus when I call my one friend, there is a echo on the other end.

You can only burn a customer so much. They will never return, no matter what you throw at them. With Verizon, I am sure the phone would ring in someones grave. Never had a missed call and never looked at a coverage map.

None of them get it guys, and it's a lack of real competition that matters. All of our services are inferior to the rest of the world, because they went and spent their money on wireless infrastructure. It is the easiest way to reach everyone and provide them with decent service.
The companies we have here just don't get it.
Here's some pleasant reading on what they actually think:
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/...nd-bar-low.ars
post #32 of 211
I was trying to watch it but the network keeps stalling out.
post #33 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

None of them get it guys, and it's a lack of real competition that matters. All of our services are inferior to the rest of the world, because they went and spent their money on wireless infrastructure. It is the easiest way to reach everyone and provide them with decent service.
The companies we have here just don't get it.
Here's some pleasant reading on what they actually think:
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/...nd-bar-low.ars

well other countries do get a lot of subsidies from their government thats one reason why they are so far ahead and they also have good infrastructure. i am sure everyone should kno verizon wireless is owned by vodafone so their network cant be bad since they are the biggest global cellphone network provider and i am sure when 4g hits in 2011 thats when they go to simcard the iphone will go with it and att will be bankrupt...lol
post #34 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You're right about lowering your expectations. Too many people have been expecting far too much relative to existing technology. Our service in the US is positively stone-age compared to South Korea, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaStatz View Post

Since South Korea is about the size of New Jersey it must be easier to provide service as compared to.... The USA!!! What's it take maybe 25 cell towers to cover the whole country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyling View Post

USA does have more land and to provide the coverage like other countries is very hard but the fact is we had to wait over 10 yrs before US had 3G that is unacceptable. and honestly i feel bad for everyone who uses an iphone especially those who still have the first generation ones. you basically bought a cell phone that had technology back in the 90s and you paid a premium for it but that still doesnt excuse at&t for providing such a bad network. i made my choice i will never buy an iphone in the states i will however go overseas buy the unlock 3gs and bring it back here to use a little more money yes but i dotn have to go with att. Apple should just pay att off and get off their deal and just open the ifone to everyone that way they will definitely increase their marketshare by a lot

First, regarding S. Korea, I believe the government heavily subsidized their cellular industry in order to promote their cell phone manufacturers. I'd say the iPhone has effectively shifted interest away from much of their cellphone innovations. However, in the aftermath, they still have a better network (in a much smaller country), and a raft of regional models which will never hit the states.

Second, although 850MHz should greatly aid those congested areas, if the iPhone continues it's rapid growth and data usage, the additional bandwidth will quickly saturate. Even now, I've been noticing more dropped calls in the last few months. The real answer lies in non-exclusive 4G coverage, and by then, AT & T will be hurting taking at best a large minority to Verizon's small majority or large majority of iPhone users.

Third, I can't blame AT&T for taking time to get MMS right, although it's late in coming. If even Apple can't get MobileMe and push right for over a year, I would imagine that it is pretty tough to project the new usage patterns that the iPhone generates. Not an excuse, but an explanation. Still, MMS should be AT&T's business, they should be on top of it, and tardiness is inexcusable.

Fourth, I think Apple is extremely shrewd. I think they knew their product would probably have oversaturated multiple carriers initially, but they milked it to get the best deal and commandeer the control in the relationship with an exclusive arrangement and force the carriers to change how they prioritize their spending to create competitive advantage. They also knew the bad PR would mostly fall on the carrier, and leave Apple smelling like roses, and set it up well for the 4G party coming up. As long as the iPhone hardware/App Store & developers machine keeps rolling, all other smartphones fight a losing battle, as the carriers cannot leverage competitors without an ecosystem. It will be interesting to see how Apple plays the shift in landscape when 4G rolls out. BTW, I think the App Store success was far beyond Apple's expectations.

In the end, hopefully, we'll get better networks (although, likely not much better priced plans since weak smartphone competitors can't ask for lower data prices since carrier's unlimited data packages per manufacturers would be anti-competitive). Meanwhile, Apple opens standards, promotes Mac OS, and creates another lopsided playing field that favors customers, like the iPod did. I also hope the AppleTV can finally get on board (those TV & movie houses), and the rumored tablet can accomplish the same.
post #35 of 211
Who is really at fault, that is Apple thank you, because of the exclusive only one carrier. If the iphone was unlocked the load of iphone users would be disbursed over several carriers and not only ATnT. Steve is really holding apple back just so he can have a huge paycheck for himself.
post #36 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherLinux View Post

Who is really at fault, that is Apple thank you, because of the exclusive only one carrier. If the iphone was unlocked the load of iphone users would be disbursed over several carriers and not only ATnT. Steve is really holding apple back just so he can have a huge paycheck for himself.

You signed up for a new account just so you could post that?
post #37 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherLinux View Post

Who is really at fault, that is Apple thank you, because of the exclusive only one carrier. If the iphone was unlocked the load of iphone users would be disbursed over several carriers and not only ATnT. Steve is really holding apple back just so he can have a huge paycheck for himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

You signed up for a new account just so you could post that?

His paycheck only comes if the stock price goes up, and that if they execute their business plan.

A single domestic carrier approach doesn't benefit all the customers presently. Eventually, it will. US carriers used to dictate the US cellular market by stifling innovation. I know. All my friends that came from Korea that brought their cell phones here showed me that the US government and carriers didn't invest in innovation. Their main goal was stable cash-cow cash flows. Think Ma Bell.
post #38 of 211
I don't agree with the notion that the other networks such as Verizon or Sprint would have had the same issues as ATT. Verizon, for example, has also seen a massive smartphone boom on their network, and they have upgraded their technology to cope with the increased workflow. That's why they are deploying LTE so quickly, because they expect the smartphone boom to continue to incline and cause more workload on the network. Another thing people have a lot of trouble realizing is the fact that the iPhone population isn't anything too crazy. The chunk of ATT's network that iPhones take up is not all that big. It's just sheer size of the population of people using the network. So this is not an iPhone specific problem. Verizon has plenty of customers who are grabbing data like crazy with their blackberries. I see more blackberries than I do iPhones where I live.

The point I'm trying to make is that the iPhone isn't the root of the problem with ATT right now. They simply aren't putting enough resources into building and maintaining their network to support the entire wireless ATT population.
post #39 of 211
post #40 of 211
This MMS stuff sounds like bull* to me or it has not been properly explained.

We are sending Emails with pictures all the time over the iPhone.
We are uploading videos to youtube.
How come the network can handle that, but not a simple MMS, which probably won't be used too much since each MMS costs money, and Emails are FREE.
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