How can AT&T fix its networking?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SephirothXR, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. SephirothXR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #1
    What exactly causes this dilemma? Poor quality towers to save money? Or would every carrier falter if they had to handle the internet usage of millions if iPhone users? If AT&T is to fix their network, what can they do? Replace the towers, or add something to the towers?
     
  2. Lou142 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #2
    Financially invested

    I recently read that At&t will be, or has already, planned to invest a substantial amount of money into upgrading its network. By "upgrading" I mean augmenting its network's capabilities. I imagine that this can be facilitate through the revenue that the iPhone has generated for the company. On the other hand, I can only imagine that other carriers would experience problems in handling network traffic when a device such as the iPhone is being used by a large number of clients. I am not too technically informed about these things, however, my comments are just based on theory. I too have the same questions though.
     
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #3
    It's capacity that's the problem.

    That means more wires underground and more computer servers controlling it all.

    AT&T knows what needs to be done, it just takes time to do it. They couldn't make a profit if they hired a million employees to do it all at once.
     
  4. jmeray macrumors member

    jmeray

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #4
    AT&T is working on the issue.
    Remember though, if you are used to a company like Sprint, there is a HUGE difference in the # of users, that can cause latency, etc.
    You can put even just iPhone numbers up against all phones on sprint.
    The main thing here is the jump to HSDPA 7.2. ATT is working on it and it should be completed around 2011. So little by little, the increased speed will be noticeable.
    I think the issues you see with latency, speed, etc would be seen on any carrier, even verizon, if they added the # of webbased phone users on their network that actually use the webbased services like iphone users do. I am not one of those people that believe if iphone were on verizon, (exclusively) it would be all that much different.
    No flaming necessary, its just my opinion.
    In the long run, i think we are going to see some improved speeds, etc, and its good to see iPhone 3GS supporting HSDPA 7.2.
     
  5. Razeus macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #5
    Why would it take to 2011. I here enabling 7.2 was just a software upgrade to the cell towers.
     
  6. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #7
    Basically, AT&T has a tendency to put off network upgrades as long as possible.

    It's not difficult to deploy 7.2mbit HSDPA -- all major UK carriers have had it for some time now -- it's just that doing so costs money.

    Put yourself in AT&T's shoes for a moment:

    Consider these two facts:

    1) Upgrading your network's capacity to support (and deliver) 7.2mbit speeds in all covered areas will cost billions.

    2) Users are currently paying you $30/mo for < 5GB of data at (mostly) UMTS speeds.

    Given the above, why upgrade? Afraid of losing customers? Hahahaha! It's not like your customers will just go to T-Mobile -- you've got a regional monopoly in many, many areas of the US, and even if the country's only other GSM carrier is willing to offer them service, all the phones you sell are locked to your network (and you have no legal obligation to unlock them.) Besides, even if you did unlock them, T-Mobile's "3G" service uses different frequency bands anyways, so users can't use their existing phone.

    So yeah, it's pretty easy to see why AT&T is putting off upgrading. They'll continue to make money hand over fist, and thanks to regional monopolies and a lack of competition, customers have little choice in the matter.
     
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #8
    You do realize that the land area of the UK is roughly 2.5% that of the U.S., right?

    I agree with all you other points, but comparing AT&T's progress to the UK doesn't mean much. They've got a lot more land to cover over here.

    And before you say "the US has more paying customers too" ... that's true, but while we have 40x the land, we only have 5x the number of people as the UK. So the UK carriers are getting a lot more money per square mile that they cover.

    Basically, comparing them against each other is meaningless.
     
  8. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #9
    I get that. And yes, I'm sure that's a perfectly good explanation for the lack of HSDPA coverage in, say, rural Iowa. What it doesn't explain, however, is why places like New York, Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia have laughably bad HSDPA coverage.

    There's absolutely no technical reason why AT&T can't provide solid 7.2mbit HSDPA coverage in major US cities. The reason they don't is that they don't stand to gain much from it -- they've got a legal monopoly in many areas and they're in no real danger of losing customers. Most consumers are too apathetic and/or too ill-informed to know how badly they're getting shafted, and the many of the ones that do realize it have no other option as far as GSM carriers go. (Heck, even including CDMA carriers there's not much hope -- there's a fair bit of collusion between Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.)
     
  9. samab macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 27, 2006
    #10
    The same O2 that crippled the 3G iphone speed down to 384 kbps.

    AT&T's 3G network isn't that bad when compared to the rest of the world --- the wired.com survey put them tied for third in the world for 3G iphone speed.

    AT&T's network only look bad when they are compared to Verizon.

    How would AT&T fix that? Very simple, carriers have limited amount of money --- either they spend the money on the network (Verizon) or they spend the money giving you a highly subsidized iphone (AT&T).
     
  10. dissdnt macrumors 65816

    dissdnt

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #11
    AT&T probably dumps 80% of it's bandwidth to the NSA. How about we get out of bed with the gov and help your customers who actually pay for your stupid infrastructure. Conspiracy ZING!
     
  11. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #12
    I get a little tired of the announcements regarding AT&T's plans to increase the speed of the network when I live in the area of the 4th largest city in Pennsylvania and we're still on EDGE. There are less populated areas in the state that have 3G available.

    Back when Verizon was rolling out high speed Pittsburgh got it and then they lit up everything all the way to Lake Erie within a year. AT&T gave high speed to Pittsburgh and then stopped about 30 miles north of the city and left the rest of us in the dark.
     
  12. joro macrumors 68020

    joro

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Virginia
    #13
    I personally haven’t understood some of their deployments of 3G towers here in North Carolina. Of coruse, you would expect them to hit major cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Durham but it’s been their choices outside of those that has amazed me. I live right outside of Greenville, NC which is one of the Top 10 largest cities in NC (and home of East Carolina University!). Instead of deploying a 3G network here, AT&T opted to build it in Jacksonville which is a military town and in the Outer Banks which has a year-round population of a maybe a few thousand. You would think AT&T would be more proactive in certain markets, especially when they can gain customers.

    I do agree; however, that the problem lies in the fact is that AT&T isn’t losing customers right now because they don’t have 3G in certain areas because they have exclusive devices, namely the iPhone. I think we will see a sudden change in strategy once they have competition from other carriers when the iPhone goes non-exclusive.
     
  13. joro macrumors 68020

    joro

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    #14
    Me and avaloncourt apparently had the same idea...;)
     
  14. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #15
    Frustrating, isn't it? :) I keep checking the 3G map and I occasionally see another area in Pennsylvania appear but, for the most part, there's no change at all. I assumed as I saw the creep northward that it would continue but there haven't been any changes in a year. Now, with all this talk to increasing the speeds in already served areas, it gets downright annoying.
     
  15. sziehr macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #16
    ATT can fix there network it will just take time. They acquired there wireless devision back and it was in need of substantial upgrades. They have chosen as many have said to put it off for many years Edge is fine coverage is ok, these are the things they have been saying. The main issue they have is not RF as so many would belive. There spectrum is strong enough espicaly with the move to 850 mhz. There largest issue is the backhaul network. It is not intergrated with there other networks at all. They need to do what VZW did when they rolled out 3g on there main towers they went to a fiber backhaul network. I happen to live in nashville, TN where 3g roll out was on every tower for months and they did not roll it out cause there back haul was not ready for full load. This is an example of how ATT and VZW do things different.
    I expect to see fiber networks for ATT as part of there 4g roll out like VZW did ages ago makin LTE for VZW easier to roll out.
     

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