AT&T rolls out 7.2 everywhere

Razeus

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
5,164
1,768
http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/05/atandt-kicks-it-into-overdrive-rolls-out-7-2mbps-everywhere-bu/

AT&T was quick to steal a smidge of T-Mobile's thunder today with the announcement at an investor's conference that has sped up its 7.2Mbps HSPA software upgrade to all 3G cell sites, moving up the original deadline of 2011. Here's the thing, though: they didn't really move up the 2011 date because 7.2Mbps-capable cells don't do much good without a wide-enough pipe to feed them on the back end. That's the other part of AT&T's one-two punch for boosting network speeds, and that part won't be wrapped up for a while yet. The company says that it expects "the majority" of the mobile data it handles to operate over its upgraded back end by the tail end of this year -- and it's already started the upgrades in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami -- but the reality here is that we probably won't be blazing anywhere near the theoretical max throughput for a little while yet.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
Just did a speed test at work in metro ATL. Got 1.8Mbps. While better than before inside a building, that's hardly 7.2. I'd just like to see one test hit 3.0 somewhere to know that it's working. Better yet, I'd love my signal at home a little farther out to not drop in and out. There are a couple of dead zones between here and my home, and that's not convenient in an area where deer love to play chicken with drivers.
 

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Jan 10, 2007
2,538
604
bleep
I would prefer that AT&T figure out why when someone calls me, sometimes the phone never rings, I never get an indication that anyone called.

I'd also like them to figure out why sometimes I receive voicemails hours later than they were actually left.

I'd also like them to work on the whole dropped-call issue.
 

Vandam500

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,822
41
I would prefer that AT&T figure out why when someone calls me, sometimes the phone never rings, I never get an indication that anyone called.

I'd also like them to figure out why sometimes I receive voicemails hours later than they were actually left.

I'd also like them to work on the whole dropped-call issue.
You have some bad luck:p
 

cdd543

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2006
271
20
Denver
Just did a speed test at work in metro ATL. Got 1.8Mbps. While better than before inside a building, that's hardly 7.2. I'd just like to see one test hit 3.0 somewhere to know that it's working. Better yet, I'd love my signal at home a little farther out to not drop in and out. There are a couple of dead zones between here and my home, and that's not convenient in an area where deer love to play chicken with drivers.
Article says the backend isn't ready for the speed jump anyway...let's go ATT.
 

thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,933
49
Connecticut, USA
Interesting. My speeds definitely have improvedin the last week, even if not to 7.2Mbps.

10/28/09 - 170/27 (Old Tower, Edge)
12/27/09 - 1670/235 (New Tower, 3G)
01/05/10 - 2310/289

I'll still stick with my Optimum Online/WiFi:

01/05/10 - 14272/2041
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,541
7,796
CT
I would prefer that AT&T figure out why when someone calls me, sometimes the phone never rings, I never get an indication that anyone called.

I'd also like them to figure out why sometimes I receive voicemails hours later than they were actually left.

I'd also like them to work on the whole dropped-call issue.
Go to any network and you will have these same problems. I always had that issue with Sprint, never once with AT&T.
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
I would prefer that AT&T figure out why when someone calls me, sometimes the phone never rings, I never get an indication that anyone called.

I'd also like them to figure out why sometimes I receive voicemails hours later than they were actually left.

I'd also like them to work on the whole dropped-call issue.
Had the same problems at home until they finally upgraded my tower about a month ago.

I don’t think I’ve had a dropped call since. And reception inside my home went from 1-3 bars to 5 bars all the time.
 

Shasta McNasty

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2010
670
6
Southern Cali
Im just happy to live in Southern California where there is pretty much no place you can be that doesnt have wifi which is what makes my OG iPhone bearable
 

wingnut8

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2007
1,286
34
Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3GS: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

Sure wish I had 3G in my area!!
 

smoked

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2009
128
0
Just did a speed test at work in metro ATL. Got 1.8Mbps. While better than before inside a building, that's hardly 7.2. I'd just like to see one test hit 3.0 somewhere to know that it's working. Better yet, I'd love my signal at home a little farther out to not drop in and out. There are a couple of dead zones between here and my home, and that's not convenient in an area where deer love to play chicken with drivers.
Kansas City
3G: 3.42 / 0.12
DSL: 4.10 / 0.62 (for comparison)
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,641
932
i dont know if they launched the upgrades and are using the new spectrum but my 3g speeds lately have been more consistant and also i cant remember a time in the last 2 weeks that ive looked at my phone and i havent had full bars of 3g coverage. im currently in memphis.. i hope its the same in babson park fl. (where florida orange juice grows their oranges)
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Just did a speed test at work in metro ATL. Got 1.8Mbps. While better than before inside a building, that's hardly 7.2. I'd just like to see one test hit 3.0 somewhere to know that it's working.
Not sure what AT&T will be able to do, but real life surveys overseas show that a 7.2 Mbps network will average about 2.4 Mbps, and is only about 6% faster downloading websites than a 3.6 Mbps network due to latency and fluctuating bandwidth.

Actual speed versus theoretical max speed has been the subject of some inter-carrier ad claim spats in the past few years.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Article says the backend isn't ready for the speed jump anyway...let's go ATT.
Most towers only have 3-10Mbps total backhaul for all cell users, but ATT says "most" (half?) will get better backhaul by this time in 2011. It's not cheap or easy to do, so we have to give them time.

Business Week reported an insider spat between Apple and ATT over this last summer:

" an executive familiar with the partnership says the companies have at times locked horns over AT&T's inability to handle network demands.

The executive says some Apple staffers fumed last year when AT&T told them of its plans to hype cell tower upgrades without investing in backhaul capacity.

The concern was that AT&T's improvements might make it appear people were getting a strong signal on the phone, though the lack of backhaul pipes might still interfere with their phone calls or Web surfing.

Apple was "dumbstruck," the person says. "For 50% of the iPhone customers, there would be no benefit."
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
Improved speeds but nothing like the 7.2 they claim. When you tell me 7.2 I expect to see at least 70% of that, which I don't.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Most towers only have 3-10Mbps total backhaul for all cell users, but ATT says "most" (half?) will get better backhaul by this time in 2011. It's not cheap to do.
In other words, at the very (unlikely) best, only one user can get true 7.2 speeds off the tower (pre-upgrade) at a time, right? Even at the previous HSPA speeds, doesn't this kind of tower-level back-end throughput still mean that only a few people -- maybe 2-4 users at a time, per tower -- can actually get HSPA speeds simultaneously? Or am I misunderstanding the definition of backhaul?
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Improved speeds but nothing like the 7.2 they claim. When you tell me 7.2 I expect to see at least 70% of that, which I don't.
You won't. Read the link I posted above, which was a spat last year in the UK:

The row is over Vodafone's big promotion of its mobile broadband offering which promises speeds of "up to 7.2 Mbps". The complaint comes from 3 - a much smaller operator than Vodafone, but one even keener to flog its own wireless broadband offering.

3 says the ads give the impression that users can (and will) reach speeds of 7.2Mbps, whereas that is extremely rare - if not impossible. It says it's advising its own customers that they'll get 1-2Mbps on a 7.2Mbps dongle.

A quick call to Vodafone reveals that they agree that 7.2Mbps is very unlikely, though they claim that in exceptional circumstances users may get that speed in "momentary bursts". They claim that they offer a more solid and reliable service than their rivals - indeed they pointed me towards customer reviews which said the Vodfaone service was a lot faster than that offered by 3.

Their best guess for the speed customers will actually experience is "between 1 and 5Mbps", and they say users are happy about that.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,244
1,312
I would prefer that AT&T figure out why when someone calls me, sometimes the phone never rings, I never get an indication that anyone called.
FWIW, I think they've found the cause of that, check out the ars technica quote below. I read somewhere else where they're working with their infrastructure equipment providers to find a solution.

A source—who requested we not reveal his identity—told Ars that the problem isn't the cell radio hardware, nor the network infrustructure, but an issue with the way that the iPhone OS conserves power. All iPhone apps, including Phone.app, cause the radio to switch from "active" to "idle" mode when accessing the network far more often than traditional phones do. This causes the signaling channel, responsible for such functions as SMS messaging, initiating, maintaining, or ending a phone call, voicemail notifications, and DHCP requests, to become overloaded.

"This can lead to odd effects," the source told Ars. "For example, you could be in an area with perfect 5-bar reception, but because the signalling channel is overloaded your phone won't ring and calls go into voicemail." Our source also said that the iPhone was the first phone to cause this particular problem, but that Android and webOS phones have had a similar effect.
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/12/claim-that-crappy-iphone-service-is-apples-fault-is-bunkum.ars
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
In other words, at the very (unlikely) best, only one user can get true 7.2 speeds off the tower (pre-upgrade) at a time, right? Even at the previous HSPA speeds, doesn't this kind of tower-level back-end throughput still mean that only a few people -- maybe 2-4 users at a time, per tower -- can actually get HSPA speeds simultaneously? Or am I misunderstanding the definition of backhaul?
You're correct. Note that voice and control data are also part of backhaul usage.

Other carriers have been upgrading their backhaul to 50-150Mbps per tower in preparation for both smartphones and LTE, which itself will be limited in real life speeds because of a similar lack of total bandwidth. (Imagine 50 cell users streaming 3Mbps each versus one user with 30-50 Mbps.) Dense population LTE towers might get 1GB backhaul to help.

It takes time for everyone, though. Even Verizon, with FiOS and Sprint fiber to help, won't have their new backhaul totally installed across their entire footprint until the same time as LTE is fully rolled out in late 2013.
 

Jay26

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2009
37
3
Go to any network and you will have these same problems. I always had that issue with Sprint, never once with AT&T.
I've had more dropped calls in a couple months on at&t than I had in 3 years total with Verizon. I honestly remember about 3-4 dropped calls on Verizon's network while I had them. I have a few dropped every week with at&t.

I'm in the Northeast in an area with 3G. If it weren't for the iPhone, I would not have switched.