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How much does AT&T suck?

ARL (Moderator) – June 22, 2010 04:57AM Reply Quote
A sister/retarded-cousin thread to the iPhone thread.

As a visitor to the US a few years ago I learnt firsthand how fubar the "mobile communications" sector is in the US.

Australia (and overseas in general) is both better and worse than the US. The US has arguably better bandwidth deals than some countries (*-cough- Australia -cough-*) but this is traded off with the "walled garden" approach of some US telcos (*-cough- AT&T -cough-*). We (overseas) probably have shittier bandwidth options (on average) but at least most overseas countries have multiple options and aren't locked into one iPhone/iPad carrier.

Case in point, AT&T - US major telco/interweb "partner" with Apple for the iPhone/iPad and also the major obstacle to the iPhone/iPad's continued growth/ongoing success.

I'm waffling like a POCWACTSO after several drinks (well, three doubles in fact) - but my question is, can the consumer (US, Europe - anywhere) EVER WIN?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2010 04:58AM by Tony Leggett.

ddt – June 22, 2010 08:16AM Reply Quote
lots. a journo friend toured the AT&T network towers in the bay area east of san francisco and said managers had just bought tons of equipment based on specs (that is, all these parts theoretically should work together) w/o testing. spit and baling wire. but they are getting better in terms of coverage and transmission.


stan adams – June 22, 2010 10:15AM Reply Quote
Wasn't just a few years back that all the networking equipment makers got busted with made up numbers for "sold and delivered" units???

All these jokers are in cohouts when it comes to creating a fiction that they know what they are doing-- they know there are enormous barriers to entry and just like in the old Ma Bell days they will play as long as no one crashes he party...

ddt – June 22, 2010 12:41PM Reply Quote
good thing the government isn't getting in the way of the free market!


dharlow – June 22, 2010 12:53PM Reply Quote
AT&T sucks big time and it is one of the reasons I no longer have an iPhone, dropped calls every block practically here in Los Angeles. My parents and several clients still have their iPhones (some are 1st generation) and I can tell every time a person calls me from one as the call is always dropped two or three times a conversation or is garbled beyond understanding. In addition their coverage maps suck and are totally misrepresenting their coverage area, as my house supposedly is in full coverage with 3g, but unless you are outside facing the correct direction you get no service, if you do get signal while outside if you move 5 degrees left or right you drop the call.


John Willoughby – June 22, 2010 01:33PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
AT&T service is excellent in Reno. Their plans, however, just keep getting worse.

Alan Lehman – June 27, 2010 11:56PM Reply Quote
Every time I go from the 3rd to 1st floor at work, I get dropped. Like clockwork. And I'm line of site to the tower. Calls sound like shit too. Wasn't but a few months back that I couldn't even get onto the data network one evening while driving around near Palo Alto. Palo frikken Alto. Jobs himself lives near there doesn't he?

ddt – June 28, 2010 09:47AM Reply Quote
there's an AT&T business office a floor above my summer office. we often have to walk around or lean against a window to get a signal. in downtown SF. the irony. the office manager is thinking about investing in a microcell repeater.


ARL (Moderator) – June 29, 2010 04:01AM Reply Quote
Maybe the AT&T office above you all uses Skype.

John Willoughby – June 29, 2010 11:54AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Or Verizon.

Cloudscout – June 30, 2010 07:00AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I'll be investing in an AT&T Microcell when I get back to the States next month. My house is a veritable Faraday cage.

ddt – June 30, 2010 08:22AM Reply Quote
giving more money to that company that provides poor service... that'll show them!


Cloudscout – June 30, 2010 09:26AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Sprint doesn't work in my house either.

Verizon is CDMA and I need to stick with GSM.

T-Mobile is GSM but their 3G spectrum is different from anywhere else in the world making it almost impossible to get an unlocked phone that will support 3G anywhere but on T-Mobile's network.

Basically, AT&T is the only option I have right now.

ARL (Moderator) – July 05, 2010 01:30AM Reply Quote
Just remembered this factoid

When I travelled through the US, I was quite stunned at how a few popular tourist areas had *zero* mobile coverage. At the most popular tourist spot on the south side of the grand canyon - there's no reception.

That lookout area only gets 10 million visitors a year - God knows how many tourist groups/couples/families get lost and then can't find each other (as we did for the best part of an hour). What harm could there be on having a mobile tower a few miles back from the lookout?

I dunno whether Uluru has reception, but Katoomba (possibly the closest equivalent we have to the Grand Canyon) has great reception at their lookouts.

ddt – July 05, 2010 09:55AM Reply Quote
Eh, I'd actually be in favor of "natural" areas being no-reception zones. If it were actually a choice, and not just poor implementation.


ARL (Moderator) – July 05, 2010 06:27PM Reply Quote
Well - it's not so good when you go as a group and get separated. And it's not exactly out in the middle of nowhere - this place where we stayed is a mile down the road.

And shouldn't the whole friggin' country be covered rather than just pockets of highly populated areas?

Cars don't just break down in big cities you know...

johnny k – July 05, 2010 10:22PM Reply Quote
How good is coverage in the outback? America's a tough country to cover between density and terrain. There are electrical towers sticking out the sides of canyons in AZ that men probably died to get up.

Mokers (Moderator) – July 05, 2010 11:54PM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin
Count me in as one of those people that is almost happy to not have a signal at times, especially in parks. I wish they would block more of the signals that reach movie theaters, that's for sure.

Cloudscout – July 06, 2010 12:07AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Apparently it's not such a taboo here.

I saw Karate Kid a week ago. There are no "Please Turn Off Your Cellphone" sings or movie shorts. The guy next to me had multiple phone calls during the movie, too.

I've instituted a "ringers must be on silent mode during office hours" rule for my team but, unfortunately, there is no such rule for other teams so you hear Shakira, et al, blaring through the office several times per day.

ARL (Moderator) – July 06, 2010 05:02AM Reply Quote
Well, I guess you guys really do deserve the crappy coverage you have...

(Australia's coverage isn't every square inch - but I can't find a meaningful comparison between the US and Oz)

[edit] I should clarify I'm not advocating all national parks or even the grand canyon should have mobile coverage - just select spots where there's known high volumes of population...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2010 05:14AM by Tony Leggett.

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