Clarification of iPhone 3g and AT&T's Signal Strength

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jctevere, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. jctevere macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2009
    I have recently noticed that there is a blaring misconception for the iPhone 3g and it's reception of AT&'T's service. Now, I am not sure if most of the users here at macrumors know this, and if you do, I apologize; but I just want to set the record straight and stomp out some rumors I have heard in reviews.

    In many youtube videos and reviews of the iPhone 3g I keep hearing that when the phone is in 3G mode the signal sometimes decreases when compared to EDGE signal strength in the same area. Many have speculated that the iPhone may somehow drain signal strength but this is not the case.

    For the many of you who may not know this, EDGE and 3G services are broadcast from two completely different devices. Since 3G is relatively expensive for AT&T to install it is common for them to skip cellular towers that broadcast EDGE if it is close enough to another tower which already has the 3g signal being broadcast from it. This is because since they are behind the 8-ball with 3g data coverage when compared to other cellular service providers, they are trying to expand their borders faster by sometimes skipping towers in such fashion instead of concentrating on the signal strength in said areas. As a result, we sometimes find that areas where EDGE may have 5 bars, 3g may only provide 2 or 3 bars of cellular coverage. Eventually these issues will be reconciled as AT&T will go back and fill in these spots to increase signal strength supporting their "More bars in more places" slogan.

    I hope I have answered some people's questions about this peculiarity, and if you already knew this then again, I apologize. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns that I may be able to address.
  2. pilotkid macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2006
    Chandler, AZ/Chicago, IL
    Soooooo basically what your saying is this... "Actual coverage area may differ substantially from map graphics, and coverage may be affected by such things as terrain, weather, foliage, buildings and other construction, signal strength, customer equipment and other factors. AT&T DOES NOT GUARANTEE COVERAGE."
    I know, I'm a smart a:apple:s
  3. jctevere thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2009
    Haha, yea, pretty much. But I certainly, nor probably anyone else for that matter, ever read fine print or anything in terms and conditions or stuff like that. But I was surprised as to how many people thought when the iPhone was in 3G mode it somehow "interfered" with the signal or something to make it weaker when compared to EDGE coverage and strength.
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I read that the way 3G works, there can be interference between 3G signals if towers are too close together, which is why there have been issues in large cities. I have the EDGE phone, and I haven't had any issues that I haven't had with multiple other phones (indoors, other people in the boonies, etc.).

    Maybe these phone companies should work on perfecting stuff instead of going for the latest and greatest. The whole 4G "woo, it's faster" won't do much good it it works about as well as a three-legged sled dog.

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