AT&T Service + Network: Your experiences?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by swdesignr, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. swdesignr macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    New Mexico
    I switched carriers for the iPhone, and while it was well worth it for the hardware, I've had to accept less than the best in terms of reliability. I was with Verizon for over a decade and had strong signal everywhere, and I could count the number of dropped calls on one hand. With AT&T it has been almost double that in one week -- and the reception has been weak much of the time around town. I know it's different in each area, so just curious how others are faring network-wise and their treatment in general from Apple's new partner?
  2. hamedatl macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2007
    At home, EDGE does NOT work for me at all. This sucks because I can't get any of my voicemails -- the visual voicemail app actually freezes and I have to restart the phone. Another thing I've noticed is that people have been telling me that my phone goes straight to voicemail many, many times. I have full signal, so the only thing I can think of is that there is some EDGE connection happening in the background that causes incoming calls to go to voicemail.

    Oh, and this is in Atlanta. I'm pissed :mad:
  3. DiamondMac macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    AT&T phone service is pretty poor compared to the Verizon service I had before

    But Edge is not that bad so I don't mind it too much.

    Enjoy the actual phone as well.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    So carriers that broadcast on the 850mhz frequency have the luxury of requiring the least amount of cell phone towers. The other frequency that carriers uses is 1900mhz, and while that frequency doesn't travel as far/penetrate things as easily as the 850mhz frequency, if the carrier builds more 1900mhz towers, their coverage can be as comparable.

    In my area, Verizon and Alltel are the two carries on the 850mhz frequency. All of the other carriers (Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc) use 1900mhz.

    I've had Verizon (via work) for the last two years. Nowhere have I gone in this area where I've had a problem with my Verizon service being less than perfect.

    With my iPhone's AT&T service, I've been less than impressed. I'm seems to work OK when I'm outside of a building, but it's much less than Verizon's coverage inside buildings. Specifically, both my house and work get less than optimal AT&T service where either it has 4 bars (yay) or 2 bars (blah) or No Service. I mean, the phone's sitting in the same place, and the service bounces in between those settings. ITS CRAZY! And at home, my two roommates have iPhones. I may have 4 bars in the same room that the one of the others may have No Service. I'm not sure if that's the problem of Apple or AT&T but it's surely a problem I've never experienced with any Verizon phone.

    I was so fed up with the problem that I returned my iPhone on Friday, but after being a day without it and having watched my roommates with theirs, I'm starting to reconsider my decision. How crazy is that???? :)
  5. Vtoriaholt macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2007
    I have an i-no-phone

    I too switched service to AT&T from Verizon in New Mexico. My service was always great over a 20 year period. I now have no service within a quarter mile radius of my home nor all up and down Rio Grande Blvd. I got a map of my area and traveled around noting in red circles where there are dead spots. I took it to the AT&T Store in ABQ Uptown. They said a technician will check it out and call me. You should do that too. This is so irritating. The iphone is great in concept but to pair with the worst company is so bad. Let me know if you want more information.
  6. princealfie macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2006
    Salt Lake City UT
    EDGE has been very awesome here in SLC. Man, I haven't had any trouble since activation day! :D
  7. dubels macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    I have been fairly impressed by the service. In los angeles my edge is ranging from 180kbs to 240kbs. I have been happy with att since switching a few months ago
  8. BryanLyle macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2005
    I am supposed to be in a "good" area for signal. However, I can not get more than 1 bar and most of the time it's NO SERVICE. iPhone is going back to AT&T store today :(

    Love the phone. Hate the service.

    Had they gone with Verizon, I'd have 3 iPhones.
  9. Anthony8720 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2005
    At&t is absolutely horrible compared to verizon in most markets. I live in NH, and i can use my verizon full time on a drive up to canada. At&t, literally has dead spots all over the state. When i visit my parents, my iPhone (which is being returned today) has zero signal....and they live between the two largest cities in the state. So even though the iphone is the coolest piece of hardware around...its going back. I need to be able to actually talk on my phone.
  10. alywa macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Cellular coverage, of course, varies with location. I had Verizon for 2 years in Baltimore, and while the coverage was good, the customer service was horrible. I switched to AT&T (which was then bought by Cingular), and my coverage was still good, but the service was much better.

    I moved to rural Alabama, and we get zero Verizon coverage, but full 5-bar AT&T coverage. EDGE clocks in at 190+ each time I've tested. Coverage was also perfect at my folks house last week (SW Washington State).

    So, I'd take AT&T in a heartbeat over Verizon. YMMV.
  11. nevesis macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    People need to start realizing that service is generally better (in my experiences) with CDMA based cell phones opposed to GSM phones which the iPhone is.

    I wish the iPhone was CDMA based, that way I would never experience bad service like I do in my work office. When I was with Verizon 3 weeks ago I never had bad service here, with the iPhone its low signal strength all day.
  12. Daiden macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I've been with AT&T since November and only had a single dropped call. In southern California their service may be much better then where you are.

    Oddly enough I have yet to use the iPhone as a phone, so I can't comment on the quality of the device itself.
  13. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    There is nothing special about a CDMA signal that makes it magically cut through walls better than a GSM signal.

    What matters is how the carriers in your area have their networks setup, and what helps them the most is what frequency they're licensed to use.

    The carriers that use the 850mhz frequency have it easiest because that signal travels further and penetrates structures more easily.

    The carriers that use the 1900mhz frequency in your area have to build more towers to provide the same coverage as their 850mhz competitors.

    Verizon tends to have more 850mhz coverage than AT&T, but again, this depends on your area, and who won the right to use which frequency.
  14. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    AT&T way better than Sprint here

    I switched from Sprint - a CDMA phone - to the iPhone on AT&T here in San Diego. No problems what so ever - not one dropped call and I get service everywhere - office and home. Sprint in San Diego is awful - no reception inside at home or work (I work in the downtown area and live less than 5 miles from downtown.)

    Im glad I switched - I'd never go back to Sprint here.
  15. vansouza macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2006
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    ATT way better than Verizion here

    No complaints with ATT so far... store staff was great and actually informative. God knows the plan is less expensive...

    My monthly bill dropped from $154. to $80... nice
  16. jlwillia macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Is there a way to tell if ATT has 850mhz in specific areas? or to check an area for which providers have 850mhz and which don't?
  17. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    So far its been pretty good for me. I did finally run into a stretch where I had no signal, but for the most part I've been pretty impressed with the availability and signal strength.
  18. worldwearyeyes macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2005
    I came from Sprint. I must say, where I am located, Sprint is MUCH more reliable than at&t. I've never dealt w/ as many dropped calls and dead spots as I have since switching. I'm not saying I'm having a LOT of issues, but the at&t is definitely spottier than Sprint WHERE I LIVE.

    oh, and edge stinks compared to evdo, but I knew that would be the case.
  19. trevorlc macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2007
    I can't complain, I had AT&T before iPhone and I still have them with my new iPhone. I've found they have great coverage in San Diego and New York (The two places I spend most of my time). I find the edge to be slightly faster in San Diego than NYC but that could just be a case of less users. Who knows its not really a big deal and most of the time in NYC you can drop into a cafe or coffee shop with wifi if you really need the speed.

    On a side note I find it interesting that everyone seems to think Verizon has such great coverage... I have a friend who I talk to almost everyday on their way home from work and there is a spot they hit every day that drops the call. Personally I've never had to to do this with AT&T and I don't know anyone that has... The funny thing is at my college almost no one has verizon because everyone knows you have to go outside to make a call with them and all the other carriers work fine from in the buildings. During the winter that can make the difference from you using your phone at all.

    Just my $0.02
  20. swdesignr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    New Mexico
    If you haven't seen this yet, there is a great thread with very helpful people and information at:

    Thanks for the suggestion -- I'll do that here in Santa Fe as well. Hopefully by alerting them to the problem areas they can do something about it.
  21. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I've been pleasantly surprised with AT&T. I switched from T-Mobile and after reading all the bad things posted about AT&T, I expected problems. I haven't had a single dropped call yet and my signal at home is better than with T-Mobile. I've had good speeds with the EDGE network when I have been out. So overall a great experience so far.
  22. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    AT&T has been fine so far. Nothing amazing, just doing what you would expect.
  23. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    I live in Fort Worth and have had good service with AT&T/Cingular. No dropped calls, good edge access. I took a trip down to Houston and also went to the coast in Galveston, and had no coverage issues.

    Since this all falls into AT&T's home state via SBC being in Texas, it may not be the fairest comparison. The Cingular network has been built out here for a very long time.

    I do have empathy on those who do not get good AT&T reception. I had horrible reception with Verizon where I live now and have had the same issues with the other providers. Everyone is different depending on where they live. One of my best friends just dumped his T-Mobile to go with Boost Mobile. (Boost is owned by Nextel). People made fun of him for getting a lower rung phone service, but he loves it because his connectivity is flawless where he lives and works. His T-Mobile service was not working for him at all. I have another friend who used to have Cingular, but now is on Verizon, because he could not get service where he lived.

    The reality is there is no one best network in the US. They all suck in some places and are good in others. I suspect some people might even like Sprint. (I did use Sprint for years, but ultimately they too became unusable where I was.)

    As much as I love my iPhone, it would not trump the reality that I have to have functioning cell service where I live and work.
  24. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Sorry, but that is just nonsense. As others mentioned there is nothing magical going on there.

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