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NYC, Bay Area iPhones start seeing improved 3G

updated 08:10 am EDT, Wed August 19, 2009

NYC and SF iPhones Improve

iPhone owners in the New York City and San Francisco Bay areas are starting to see much needed improvements in the quality of AT&T's 3G network, according to reports received by Electronista and others. Carrier spokesman Seth Bloom recently indicated that parts of New York City have received 3G over the 850MHz frequency on their network and that some users are noticing a much more reliable signal than they have before. Which areas have been upgraded haven't been detailed, nor has the timetable for remaining updates.

A separate anecdote from TechCrunch also notes that service in the South of Market area of San Francisco also appears to be much better than it has in the past. The wider Bay Area, and particularly downtown San Francisco, has been infamous for poor and often completely non-functional 3G due to a network oversaturated with iPhone 3G and 3GS units. However, it now seems to be at least mostly functional in at least small regions of the main city.

"People started telling me they were noticing the same thing," the site's MG Siegler writes. "It would go in and out at certain times, but for the most part, AT&T's network actually seemed to be working in the area."

The provider has been filling out the gaps in 850MHz coverage since at least late spring, with updates in major but less noticeably bogged-down cities such as Atlanta, Las Vegas and San Diego. Many of the areas suffering from severe slowdowns have been relying on 3G over the 1,900MHz band, which has considerably less available bandwidth than 850MHz data, a shorter range that requires more towers, and weaker penetration indoors. In Canada, where 850MHz 3G is much more widespread on Rogers' service, such slowdowns are rare.

On a larger scale, the 850MHz upgrade is expected to finish in the next few months and should be matched by the long-promised 7.2Mbps HSPA update as well as upgrades to the backbone to ensure that 850MHz access isn't hamstrung by the underlying infrastructure.

By Electronista Staff


  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    blah, blah, blah...

    The fact is the service is poor. Telling me it will get better soon does not help me one bit today...yet I still pay the full price for an admitted dysfunctional system.

    At least Apple had the decency to offer extended membership periods when it had the miserable launch to its MobileMe service. Et tu, AT&T?


  1. itguy05

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Apr 2005


    AT&T is fine

    Fine here - N.NJ, Central PA, South Jersey, Philly. Better than Verizon's NOT-work.

  1. chris2519

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    how nice for them

    when are they going to do something about Los Angeles? Service here is a freaking JOKE. The worst of the worst. We're idiots for sticking with the service and PAYING for it just to have an iphone. There should be a class action lawsuit against AT&T -- though, of course, I'd never be able to maintain a connection long enough to actually call my lawyer.

  1. Zeeb

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2006



    Most people have iphone 3G's and might switch next year when they're contract is up. AT&T had better fix their crappy service. I'm skeptical. To this day I still have lousy service here in NY. Looks like another smartphone for me next year.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003



    850 improvement is good. More solid high speed is good too.

    I have been seeing faster 3G speeds on the trenton-newark corridor on the train, in hoboken, jersey city & hoboken. Service on the SIF improved as well.

    - A

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003



    Hoboken, jersey city & bayonne i meant.

    - A

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