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AT&T disputes dropped call claim

updated 10:45 pm EDT, Wed May 5, 2010

ATT argues call reliability gap is small

AT&T tonight as expected has disputed a recent study claiming that it has had worsening dropped call results. The carrier referred to a report from the previously cited third-party firm GWS that argued AT&T was just "two tenths" of a percent away from the top marks in call reliability from an unnamed leader, which is commonly thought to be Verizon. AT&T argued that the results were at a "virtual dead-heat" and that its network was still the fastest.

The GWS study is deemed more comprehensive as it involved "millions" of recorded tests where the ChangeWave research had involved anecdotal reports from a few thousand users that couldn't be easily tracked.

The assertions are still somewhat at odds with the experiences of some smartphone owners, particularly in known trouble spots such as New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area where 3G remains slow or unusable in certain areas. AT&T has been rolling out concentrated upgrade plans in these areas and has cited the most observable improvements in Manhattan. However, problems continue to exist and have provided inconsistent speed results even in less smartphone-heavy areas. AT&T's network is potentially faster through its use of 7.2Mbps HSPA for 3G versus the slower EVDO Rev A used by Sprint and Verizon, but the service hasn't yet reached all 3G areas and currently has a 3.6Mbps theoretical peak on most of its network.

A recent Consumer Reports study, albeit before AT&T's most recent upgrade wave, put the carrier at the back of the rankings due largely to hotspots that haven't coped with the load of the iPhone and other smart devices.

By Electronista Staff


  1. kpasamiron

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2010


    comment title

    AT&T said that "its network was still the fastest," but what's the used if you cannot have a normal phone call? The only reason I still paying $150 per month to AT&T is because of the Iphone. What about Steve Jobs making the same argument about the substandard quality of AT&T as he did with Flash?

  1. LeeL

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010


    Sounds Bogus

    I have been an AT&T customer for a long time and before that a Verizon customer. I had a heck of more dropped calls on Verizon than I ever have on AT&T. Maybe it's the area I live in but I can't even remember the last time I had a call dropped.

    Of course maybe it's because I am NOT a "Phoner", this is what those annoying people who are on the phone 24/7 talking about nothing. You know the ones in the grocery store, restaurant, car, in line at the fast food place, etc.

  1. facebook_Mark

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010


    It's my fault. Sorry!

    Yeah, it's me. I've been trying to use my phone at my house in downtown Austin, where I am assured 100% call failure despite being in an area marked on AT&T's advertising map as having the "BEST" coverage. Sorry for skewing the stats.

    I kid you not: the last time I called, the AT&T Customer Service Rep asked if I was trying to make calls from inside my house. I said I was and I will never forget her reply: "Sir, cell phones are not intended to be used indoors." Seriously. I could only laugh at her.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Just as stupid as...

    AT&T agents telling me that I am using the wrong computer, that's why my AT&T DSL does not work. He told me that I should use Windows instead.

  1. Darchmare

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2009



    My problem hasn't been dropped calls, although I rarely ever use the voice capabilities of my phone so I don't doubt that they occur.

    No, the problem I've had are huge gaping dead zones in densely populated areas in my community, preventing me from getting either voice or data access (even Edge).

    The most onerous dead zone encompasses an upscale mall with both an Apple Store and an AT&T store location in it. That's just salt rubbed into the wound.

  1. Creator1326

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2009


    Mark the spot is worthless

    I've been marking a spot that ALWAYS drops my calls yet it hasn't been fixed in over a year. And several new spots have opened up just driving around the freeway not to mention where I live has now developed a black hole-ish fever. I would definitely say that AT&T's service is getting worse, not better. This is downtown SLC AT&T. FIX IT.

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001


    Well ..

    I generally like at&t, but without a doubt their dropped call situation has gotten a LOT worse over the past few months. If I make any call that lasts more than 5 minutes I can bet that it will be dropped. This happens even if I am stationary.

    I was on a conference call last week and I dropped 3 times. Quite embarrassing. I hope they fix this soon instead of taking the Ostrich stance that they seem to have here.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    That's one helluva good question. Why isn't Jobs all up in the air over ATT's lousy service, as it causes as much, if not more, of 'bad press' and a 'bad experience' on the iPhone than Flash ever would, being that ATT is hurting the iPhone's main points.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    RE: Flash....

    Because Adobe doesn't sell iPhones...nor does having Flash as a feature, for that matter!

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Hey, AT&T...

    Have that test survey done with drivers on a 10 mile stretch of a major US interstate in my area and let's see what those results are!

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