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AT&T: iPhone 3G data use sub-par, 4G distant

updated 02:25 pm EDT, Thu September 18, 2008

ATT on iPhone 3G Data Use

Early adoptees of the iPhone 3G have been using much less data on AT&T's network than expected since the device became available, the company's chief technical officer John Donovan noted at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia XVII conference today. The carrier had braced itself against a fivefold increase in traffic with the advent of the phone, which makes video and other data-intensive tasks more feasible, but has only seen a relatively mild threefold increase over the earlier EDGE version.

Donovan doesn't explain the below-estimate data use, though the connection issues that in many cases forced iPhones to drop calls or revert to EDGE data have already been widely attributed to discouraging data use outside of Wi-Fi.

The executive nonetheless says the iPhone 3G's data use is relatively high versus other phones and that high concentrations of iPhone owners in some areas has pushed AT&T to upgrade its cell towers and behind-the-scenes infrastructure to handle the added and anticipated data load. He downplays concerns that AT&T may have oversold for its network and instead says that any rapid improvements to capacity on the company's part have been self-imposed steps to anticipate demand.

A similar absence of pressure translates to the company's plans to introduce 4G to its network. The carrier says it only anticipates trialing the Long Term Evolution format sometime in 2010 and that actual service will come sometime later. The company will leave early adoption to other companies, Donovan says, alluding to Verizon's planned launch the same year.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    -4

    AT&T = bad figures

    "Early adoptees of the iPhone 3G have been using much less data on AT&T's network than expected since the device became available, ...... The carrier had braced itself against a fivefold increase in traffic with the advent of the phone, which makes video and other data-intensive tasks more feasible, but has only seen a relatively mild threefold increase over the earlier EDGE version."

    Only 3X vs and expected 5X increase.!! Gee I am sorry that we did not live up to the execsses that AT&T incorrectly calcualted. I must be such a bad person to not overload their system. :-(

    Sheeezzzzzeee, AT&T, get a life and start using your brains,......... if you actually have any. :-(

    Just a thought.
    en

  1. gambit-7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    +3

    iPhone user says...

    As an iPhone user, I must say that had AT&T actually expanded their coverage to saturate more than four square feet, maybe more people would be using the network.

    As it stands, 3G is not one of AT&T's strengths. You think they would have rolled out a much larger network so users of the iPhone 3G could actually USE the 3G part.

    (Spoiler alert: yes, I exaggerate, as I get decent coverage where I am, but it could be much better.)

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    -6

    AT&T = bad figures

    "Early adoptees of the iPhone 3G have been using much less data on AT&T's network than expected since the device became available, ...... The carrier had braced itself against a fivefold increase in traffic with the advent of the phone, which makes video and other data-intensive tasks more feasible, but has only seen a relatively mild threefold increase over the earlier EDGE version."

    Only 3X vs and expected 5X increase.!! Gee I am sorry that we did not live up to the excesses that AT&T incorrectly calculated. I must be such a bad person to not overload their system. :-(

    Sheeezzzzzeee, AT&T, get a life and start using your brains,......... if you actually have any. :-(

    Just a thought.
    en

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    -5

    AT&T = bad figures

    "Early adoptees of the iPhone 3G have been using much less data on AT&T's network than expected since the device became available, ...... The carrier had braced itself against a fivefold increase in traffic with the advent of the phone, which makes video and other data-intensive tasks more feasible, but has only seen a relatively mild threefold increase over the earlier EDGE version."

    Only 3X vs and expected 5X increase.!! Gee I am sorry that we did not live up to the excesses that AT&T incorrectly calculated. I must be such a bad person to not overload their system. :-(

    Sheeezzzzzeee, AT&T, get a life and start using your brains,......... if you actually have any. :-(

    Just a thought.
    en

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +2

    Sorry for the multiples

    I tried to correct a typo during the edit phase and it posted multiple times.

    Sorry for the error.

    en

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    usability hampers usage

    I'd probably use my 3G twice as much if it worked reliably on the Boston-area AT&T network. Even when the connection strength is supposedly good, I find myself routinely having to switch to EDGE manually in order to get working web service. Additionally, the web browser hangs on both EDGE and 3G with great regularity, making web surfing something of a c***-shoot (I'm excluding the browser crashes here, and just talking about the times when downloads pause indefinitely). At least in Boston, I doubt I could use 5x as much data simply because I couldn't download it on the network if I tried.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +3

    umm

    Well, I can't speak for all iPhone users, but the reason I don't use the data network more is because the battery life is terrible (albeit better than when initially released). Also, as mentioned in this article I experience a lot of voice quality/clarity issues on 3G so I often switch between Edge and 3G. This seems like asking someone with a car that gets poor gas mileage why they can't get further on a tank of gas.

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    +4

    3G signal weak at most

    3G signal is weak or non-existent in most areas that say coverage is available. AT&T should strengthen there signal so people could actually take advantage of the 3G network. That's why data use is down, nobody can actually use it, IDIOTS!

  1. Mrjinglesusa

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Feb 2002

    +2

    Agreed....

    ...AT&Ts 3G service is sub par. THAT is why they didn't see the increase they expected --- because people with 3G iPhones who live in an area allegedly covered by AT&Ts 3G network CANNOT connect to it!

  1. johnny0

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2006

    +2

    3G slower than EDGE in SF

    In the Bay Area I am lucky to get above EDGE speeds on 3G, if I can get 3G at all. Sometimes on speed tests I get below EDGE speeds...

    This is just another lame excuse for AT$T not to invest in their network.

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