• Your favorite








    , and
  • 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. FreshPrince's Avatar
      FreshPrince -
      They need to handle the iPhone first. I still get no 3G in basic areas where people with Verizon and T-Mobile do, i.e. at the Dolphins games. It's horrible.
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Anybody else think that with the iTampon coming to AT&T that is a sign that the iPhone will stick with AT&T?

      IMHO everylwhere I go that I get crap for service a buddy with verizon gets ggood reception. But in areas that they don't get good reception I do. So really choosing cellular service is like choosing a girlfriend. They all have problems but what problems can you deal with? Lol
    1. jayson9's Avatar
      jayson9 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ron4543 View Post
      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.

      Again, nothing but smoke and mirrors! Apple better find another carrier quickly for their mobile products, before they are left in slow@ss-2 land.... wondering why such a great product doesn't have a market any more.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by jayson9 View Post
      Apple better find another carrier quickly for their mobile products, before they are left in slow@ss-2 land.... wondering why such a great product doesn't have a market any more.
      Where on earth are you making that statement from? Their network has been roughly the same and sales have increased every year...