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  • AT&T: "Closing the Gap" in 3G, Can Handle iPad


    AT&T said on Thursday that it will spend between $18 billion and $19 billion US upgrading its network in 2010 to try and handle the load put on its system by 3G phones and the forthcoming iPad. According to Jon Paczkowski at the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital, the company's Chief Operating Officer John Stankey said AT&T plans to spend about $2 billion more this year than it did than last year on network improvements.

    On a conference call to investors, Stankey said AT&T will add 2,000 new cell sites and connect all its cell towers to the backhaul network with three times more fiber links than it had in 2009. With these upgrades in place, Stankey said, the company will be able to easily upgrade in the future to LTE, the same 4G technology that Verizon Wireless will be using for its 4G network. He said AT&T will starting with some commercial deployments of LTE in 2011 and more to come in 2012.

    Stankey acknowledged that AT&T has given its customers poor performance, particularly in cities like New York and San Francisco, but said the carrier is "closing the gap." He said that in some sections of Manhattan nearly 70 percent of the phones active on its network are smartphones during some period, and that the network is heavily oversubscribed. AT&T will be increasing 3G radio capacity in those areas by more than one third, and will add additional radio network controllers on existing cell sites.

    Zoning issues in San Francisco, Stankey claimed, have prevented AT&T from being able to build new cell phone towers up. He said that he has been working with the City and County of San Francisco to deal with these obstacles, and that there should be new construction in 2010, along with upgrades at trouble spots like convention centers, sports stadiums and along highways and rail corridors.

    Data usage on AT&T's network grew 200 percent in 2009, and the company says it now has more than twice the number of smartphones as its competitors. On Wednesday, Apple announced that AT&T will provide 3G wireless service to the new iPad, though not specifically stating whether that arrangement will be exclusive, as with the iPhone. Stankey said that he foresaw no problems adding that device to its lineup, adding that much of the data use on the iPad will be from WiFi hotspots, minimizing additional load on AT&T's 3G network.

    image via AT&T
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T: "Closing the Gap" in 3G, Can Handle iPad started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      I am confused now. I assume a bluetooth device would be used to talk on this ipad if it were possible to make a call...am I missing something?? I know people arent considering holding a 9.7 inch touchscreen to their ear????
    1. chino54's Avatar
      chino54 -
      Did i miss something?? Who said u could make a call with the ipad?? From all the feature i have seen not one has been a phone feature...
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by chino54 View Post
      Did i miss something?? Who said u could make a call with the ipad?? From all the feature i have seen not one has been a phone feature...
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      I am confused now. I assume a bluetooth device would be used to talk on this ipad if it were possible to make a call...am I missing something?? I know people arent considering holding a 9.7 inch touchscreen to their ear????
      The iPad will not be able to place calls over cellular network. The 3G aspect is for DATA only.

      That being said, making calls over VOIP will probably be possible as they recently approved a VOIP app with push.

      If I was to buy an iPad - I'd say screw the extra $30/month and just transmit a wifi over MyWi using my iPhone. Free data for the iPad. Of course, I won't be getting one as it serves no purpose for what I do. iPhone FTW.
    1. EdmundGerber's Avatar
      EdmundGerber -
      So, according to ATT, there IS a gap. Funny - their ads don't mention that...
    1. ron4543's Avatar
      ron4543 -
      Quote Originally Posted by EdmundGerber View Post
      So, according to ATT, there IS a gap. Funny - their ads don't mention that...
      AT&T new slogan

      "There's a GAP for that"
    1. mawells787's Avatar
      mawells787 -
      Hey guys lets give att a break here.

      we all used to say that if att at least owned up to their problems people wouldn't be so mad. So they are owning up to the problems in NYC and SF and saying exactly what they will be doing and they gave a specific timeline of major upgrades in the next 90days. another 2000 cell sites in 2010 and another 18 billion is a lot of money, considering they did the same in 2009. if they come through with these upgrades than at&t might become a great carrier with a solid network.
    1. ron4543's Avatar
      ron4543 -
      Ok, major city upgrades, but what about everywhere else. These two thousand towers will not be what many AT&T customers need. If I was close to home all the time I'd have criket wireless for $40 unlimited. But I'm not so I need a nationwide carrier. I chose AT&T mostly for the iPhone, which seems to have consequences. Most of the country I do not get 3G service let alone service. Verizon and Sprint however do. And with Verizone, although it may be slower, 3G is still active almost everywhere. Last year AT&T announced an upgrade to the 3G network with faster data, so far we haven't seen any speed inscreases. This also takes away from them concentrating on bringing 3G to all or most of thier customers. Why would they upgrade something that isn't even provided to all customers without acknowledging to fix the main problem first? I for one had hoped for a Verizon or Sprint iPhone not many months after I had signed my 2-year with AT&T. And now with the iPad I feel like they will be losing even more focus so that they can concentrate only on "the next new thing" and not on loyal customers. I understand that now after 3 years of the iPhone being a major draw for them and all the complaints they have received they need to do something and are finally acting upon it but I feel it is too little too late.
    1. addictedto3gs's Avatar
      addictedto3gs -
      I am just wondering if they will be offering the iPad on a subsidized 2 year agreement. I know that they will offer a month by month data plan but I'm just wondering if they will also be offering a contractual plan as well.
    1. jaminmc's Avatar
      jaminmc -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      The iPad will not be able to place calls over cellular network. The 3G aspect is for DATA only.

      That being said, making calls over VOIP will probably be possible as they recently approved a VOIP app with push.
      That has nothing to do with the iMaxiPad. iSip has had push in it for months now. Granted I had to install 3g Unrestrictor for it to work on 3g.... The only think special about that iCall app is that is natively allows use over 3g. So theoretically it will work with a iPad....
    1. carlos916's Avatar
      carlos916 -
      Somebody needs to raise the BS flag!
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by carlos916 View Post
      Somebody needs to raise the BS flag!
    1. LSZ33's Avatar
      LSZ33 -
      at least they're trying to do something to upgrade the network. With the iphone being so cheap to own ($99 3G), it's no wonder AT&T has issues. Most people don't realize how much they actually use their iphone and how much data the phone really uses. cut them a little bit of slack.
    1. j.castellon's Avatar
      j.castellon -
      wonder if its really gonna work
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      I don't think the iPad load will be much compared to the iPhone.
    1. jaminmc's Avatar
      jaminmc -
      It won't? Is that because you think it will be lame and people won't use it ? Hehe
    1. Chase817's Avatar
      Chase817 -
      Awesome, I can't wait to see AT&T take the #1 in cell carriers for performance
    1. holdemdogg's Avatar
      holdemdogg -
      I think if they want to upgrade or expand something they need to do it in rural areas to. I have a 3gs and with in a 30 mile radius all I have is edge. I get to use 3g while I'm at work. The thing is I also have a 2g Iphone that I pay 20 bucks a month for data my 3gs is 30 bucks and my 3g is 30 bucks and a Tilt2 30 bucks a month but most of the time I'm running off of edge. So Why do I have to pay the 3g price? I asked a at&t when I was getting 3g in my area they said "you won't see it anytime soon", this was 1 week ago. I have a premium business account So I through a fit with them lol about paying for the 3g service and not receiving it. They give me 10 dollars off this months bill and couldn't do it again. lol So I think they need to fix all the gaps before they try to upgrade to 4g technology.
    1. adsonjustin's Avatar
      adsonjustin -
      so AT&T is finally getting their **** together.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by EdmundGerber View Post
      So, according to ATT, there IS a gap. Funny - their ads don't mention that...
      Why would they?
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      well this all makes sense.