Is it the network or the iPhone(AT&T)?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mpossoff, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. mpossoff macrumors 68020

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    #1
    Was having a conversation with an AT&T tech.

    Interesting that he says the main fault of the iPhone on AT&T is not the network but the radio hardware. That the Verizon iPhone has a Qualcomm chipset which shouldn't have signal issues. The current AT&T iPhone doesn't have a Qualcomm chipset which is the cause of issues. However the AT&T iPhone 5 will have a Qualcomm chipset which will not have signal issues. He also remarked about using a different AT&T device(besides the iPhone) in the same location and how the non iPhone performs much better because of radio hardware.

    Any comments?
     
  2. Boulderer2001 macrumors member

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    #2
    CDMA networks handle voice better.
    GSM networks handle data better.
    Choose which works best for you.
     
  3. jw nyc macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    There is literally a 0% chance that the AT&T tech knows what chipset will be in the iPhone 5.
     
  4. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #4
    I will agree with that for the most part.
    AT&T does have its own weakness.

    I did a side-by-side with my 3GS and a Nokia N75 last year and the Nokia worked flawlessly in places where my 3GS would struggle.

    My Samsung Focus has a Qualcomm HSDPA radio in it and so far it has worked everywhere.

    I do believe there may be some truth to what the tech was saying though.
     
  5. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #5
    But says that the verizon version has a qualcomm chipset which shouldn't have any issue is the point. Which means it's most likely that the AT&T version will have the qualcomm chipset.
     
  6. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #6
    Apple "may" switch form the Infineon radio over to a Qualcomm radio for the iPhone 5, but nobody knows this for a fact yet.
    The Qualcomm purchases Apple has made were for the CDMA radio needed for the Verizon iPhone.
    I haven't heard any rumors about Apple dropping Infineon just yet.
     
  7. jw nyc macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Is Qualcomm a much better chip than Infineon?
     
  8. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #8
    I think so.
    They are the "Intel" of the cell phone radio world.
    They've been doing it for a long time.
     
  9. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #9
    I'm like others in this thread in saying that the ATT tech might not know what he's talking about in regards to the upcoming iPhone, but I can also vouch for there being some truth to the fact that Apple's hardware might not be as good as some other manufacturers. I'm always swapping out/trying other phones (have been for as long as I can remember), and I've witnessed first hand with my 3G, 3GS, and now to some extent my iPhone 4 (although it's the best performing Apple phone so far) than other phones get much better reception and faster data (with less latency) than my Apple phones, as a whole. The other non-Apple phones seem to be much more consistent and reliable with their voice and data connections (and speed, when talking about data) than the Apple devices. I've performed countless tests with my Nexus One, Samsung Captivate, Palm Pre Plus, several Blackberrys, and seen each one of them handle calls and data (again, the data also has much better latency) better than the Apple devices. The Apple products have always seem to just "hang" momentarily when accessing the web, almost as if they are searching for a connection. Whereas the other devices smoothly load data/web pages with none of those "hiccups". And as far as voice calls go, I'm firmly convinced the Apple radio is inferior. I used a Blackberry Bold 9700 for over half the year that I also had my 3GS, and literally not once did it drop a call in a fair reception area (it did drop some calls, but it would be when I'd be driving into a very bad/No Service area, not out in a reception saturated area). On the other hand, my 3GS would routinely drop calls at work and home, where I never have less than 3 bars of signal. So I'd definitely say there is some truth to the Apple radio being of lesser quality than other manufacturers.
     
  10. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #10
    Funny how at&t customers in the US report more troubles with the iPhone than people around the world in other countries do.

    I guess we were just unlucky and all got bad iPhones by accident.
     
  11. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #11
    Key word to remember... Infrastructure.
    You need a more robust phone to work well with an infrastructure that was designed nearly two decades ago.
    Many EU countries for example, are smaller than most US states. The costs to make major network upgrades are smaller and can be fully deployed in very short time frames.

    AT&T and even Verizon, try to retrofit where possible but building out new towers cost a lot of money and permits can be a real pain, if not impossible to get. (In SF it takes nearly two years to get a new tower permit approved)

    So while this doesn't shift the blame from Apple, Apple does hold some responsibility for having mediocre radios.
     
  12. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #12
    I actually read a report once (I'll have to see if I can find it again) that had a RF engineer talking about Apple's radio modem possibly being not as sensitive to the 850Mhz band that AT&T primarily uses as other's manufacturers' modems. If that is in fact the case, it would also explain why we (Americans) see more trouble with the iPhone's reception than others overseas, as Europe doesn't use the 850Mhz band at all.
     
  13. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #13
    A snippet from this article

     
  14. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #14
  15. agtwashington, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

    agtwashington macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Ireland has about the same amount of land mass as the US state of Maine.

    In my experience the iPhone 4 on AT&T (with a bumper case) would get better reception than anyone around me with AT&T handsets. And I'm not talking about bars here, I mean my phone would be the only one with service and other AT&T phones wouldn't have any service at all.
     
  16. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16
    I responded to:

     
  17. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Could it be the frequency bands? Here in the USA it's mostly 850 MHz however in Europe it's 900 MHz service.
     
  18. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #18
    While we do use 900MHz for 2G services on some carriers in some countries, as of right now all 3G coverage is on the 2100MHz band across Europe - although that will be changing this year (900MHz will be used for 3G in some countries).
     
  19. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Would that explain getting better and reliable iPhone coverage in Europe because of frequency differences between USA and Europe? That the current iphone radio/chipset is better made for the different radio frequency in Europe?
     
  20. mpossoff thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Since we have Google Voice I used our sons Captivate all day yesterday(I switched call direction to devices) and he used my iPhone 4.

    Interesting experience. In Philly never had 3G issues with iPhone 4. However I noticed the same as you. The Captivate smoothly loaded data/web pages with no "hiccups". This was apparent to me from the start. It seems like the iPhone 4 when loading data/webpages would 'lag' then load. I never took this 'lag' into consideration. With the Captivate I didn't experience this 'lag'. It seems like the iPhone 4 was for 1-2 seconds was searching for the data/webpage then would load compared to a much smoother experience with the Captivate.

    I'm not technical at all but when I did speed tests on the iPhone and Captivate the iPhone ping was always more. But the results of upload/download speeds were close.

    I'm starting to get convinced it's primarily the iPhone hardware(radio) that's either faulty or inferior.

    I even went to the AT&T store because it's right where I work and tested the samples and came with same experience.
     

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