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AT&T Admits Network Can't Handle iPhone, iPad Traffic

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the sky-is-blue dept.

Cellphones 298

RedEaredSlider writes "AT&T has admitted that the rise of tablets and smartphones like the iPad and iPhone has taken a major toll on its network. In its public filing to the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, the company admitted that its network has been under increasing strain as more and more high-bandwidth devices have been connected. This not only includes smartphones like the iPhone, but tablets like the iPad as well. AT&T says that in many cases tablets put a greater stress on their network (PDF) than smartphones do."

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Geee, wiz. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909064)

It only took them 4+ years to figure it out. I could tell what effect it was having on my bandwidth back in 2008, if not before that.

Oh, and thanks for apologizing to your customers, AT&T, for that terrible service you knew you had been providing for years.

It's disgusting how incapable corporations are of being honest with their customers.

Re:Geee, wiz. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909168)

It only took them 4+ years to figure it out.

No....it took them 4 years to ADMIT it. Very different things. One makes them incompetent, the other makes them a douche.

Re:Geee, wiz. (0)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909200)

One makes them incompetent, the other makes them a douche.

I feel they are one and the same when it comes to large entities raking in tons of profit.

Re:Geee, wiz. (5, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909306)

I think the raking in tons of profit disqualifies them from being incompetent, at least from the perspective of a stockholder.

Re:Geee, wiz. (3, Interesting)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909412)

Google rakes in the profit.
So Google is an incompetent douche?
Does this work for people as well?
The richest people in the world are incompetent?
Success = Automatic fucktard status?

Re:Geee, wiz. (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909362)

And in the world of internet service, "ISP overpromises and oversells without capacity to deliver what they promised" ought to be followed swiftly by "Feds sweep in and indict heads of ISP."

But that'll never happen, because the ISPs have already paid off the people who should be arresting them.

Re:Geee, wiz. (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909488)

who says their not both?

Re:Geee, wiz. (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909380)

No, it took them 4+ years to admit it.

Terrible service? Depends on what area you are in. AT&T service is just fine where i live.

Re:Geee, wiz. (2)

OECD (639690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909414)

Ditto that. In the Mid-Atlantic, it's pretty good. From what I hear about NYC and the West Coast, not so much.

Re:Geee, wiz. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909490)

Which is interesting, given the argument so often put forward that US telecom companies suck in comparison to those in many other countries due to North America's much lower population density.

Re:Geee, wiz. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909544)

Indy, IN
Not too shabby

Calculated Admission (2)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909510)

Now they can justify raising rates to... recapitalize for infrastructure upgrade, and includes several hundred million to... retain... talent in the... company managerial class. Frankly I would be surprised if nobody saw that one coming.

Re:Calculated Admission (2)

sclark46 (969374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909542)

Now they can justify raising rates to... recapitalize for infrastructure upgrade, and includes several hundred million to... retain... talent in the... company managerial class. Frankly I would be surprised if nobody saw that one coming.

Yeah and also by T-Mobile, excuse why the need more frequencies.

So? (4, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909076)

You sign the customers first, work out the details later. Customers are committed for 2 years, will likely be on for 4 or 6. They'll be stuck with you.

iPhone drove that..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909604)

You sign the customers first, work out the details later. Customers are committed for 2 years, will likely be on for 4 or 6. They'll be stuck with you.

Yeah, and?

When the iPhone first came out and had to be used with AT&T, I just shook me head. AT&T is at the bottom of the list of carriers in most markets according to Consumer Reports. Unfortunately, people buy the handset first and then the service which is totally backwards. You should buy the service and THEN choose a handset. But no, folks just HAD to have the iPhone. And I actually know someone who was honest about the iPhone, "It's a great PDA and data device. I just wish it was a decent phone. It's like the phone feature was an after thought."

Now, Verizon has the iPhone now and they're eating AT&T's lunch.

Yes but.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909080)

Why does AT&T constantly drop calls?

I'm not asking for high speed data. I just want to make a damn phone call.

Re:Yes but.. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909230)

I gave up counting dropped calls. Now I just count conversations I manage to complete before the drop happens. I have one for April so far: "I'll be home in 5 minutes, see you then, Bye"

Re:Yes but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909402)

Saving you minutes and money 1 call at a time.

Re:Yes but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909418)

Me and my AT&T friends keep track of the time we manage to spend in call before it gets dropped.

We have a pool going every month, and the person with the longest phone call wins it.

We call it the AT&Tontine.

A better question (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909250)

If you want to make phone calls, why are you using AT&T?

Re:A better question (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909288)

Quality of mobile coverage is dependent on a myriad of factors, including your geographic area and the handset you are using. Some carriers suck in some areas and are great in others.

Re:A better question (1)

sixteenbitsamurai (1070810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909614)

So much this. In northern MN, AT&T has great reception and Verizon calls always drop out. The 3G coverage for both seems spotty at best up here, though Verizon has slightly better data when and where you can connect. Yes, anecdotal observation, take it with a grain of salt, YMMV, etc.

Re:Yes but.. (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909476)

If the cell nearest you is saturated with other subscribers, your phone will find a cell with the next-best reception; that cell may be further away and you might have a worse connection. If a particular network of cells is oversubscribed, in a high-density at busy times there's a good chance you're connecting over an un-ideal cell because the closest one is busy.

Stupid (5, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909084)

So it's the fault of the devices and not the retarded telcom that refuses to build out it's network, besides the fact that there is an obvious demand. Fuck them.

Re:Stupid (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909136)

Building out the network is easier said than done due to NIMBY syndrome:

http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_17878746?nclick_check=1 [mercurynews.com]
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/03/exposing_brugmanns_cell_phone.php [sfweekly.com]

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909248)

I'm sure it has more to do with the Increasing Quarterly Profits Syndrome

AT&T Profits Up, Driven By iPhone
http://www.informationweek.com/news/smb/mobile/226200082
3.2 million iPhones were activated in the second quarter and AT&T reported a net wireless subscriber gain of 1.6 million.

With profits rising 26%, AT&T announced second quarter results Thursday that are a harbinger of the firm's improved financial performance for the full year. As usual, its exclusive iPhone marketing deal with Apple drove much of the earnings even after some well-publicized glitches with the iPhone 4's antenna.

[CAPTCHA: reaped]

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909284)

That's why they bought T-Mobile. Much cheaper and faster to buy existing infrastructure.

Re:Stupid (1)

Bluecobra (906623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909228)

Not to mention that they charge $45/month for just 4gb of data. I just priced out an iPhone 4 with 450 voice minutes, unlimited text, and 4gb of data and it came out to a whopping $104.99/month PLUS taxes. I pay T-Mobile $70/month for the same service. I'm not looking forward to being an AT&T customer once they acquire T-Mobile.

Re:Stupid (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909310)

I have a voice plan for $39.99, unlimited data for $30.00, and 1500 text messages for $15.00. My bill is $90-95 a month. However, I am grandfathered into these plans. New customers aren't so lucky.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909374)

You might see if Sprint will suit you in your area. That same plan (albeit with truly unlimited data) is $69.99 over on their site. I'm a T-Mobile customer looking for alternatives as well and fortunately for me Sprint has good coverage in my area so it might be the right choice (although I'll be giving up GSM).

Re:Stupid (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909450)

In the last year or so as the Sprint users in my area have gotten more and more smartphones I find that 3/4 of the time my 3g just sucks balls and doesn't work the other 1/4 of the time. I'm smack bang in between about 5 towers so don't try and tell me it's coverage. Sprint claims to have no idea what's wrong but I'm not a fucking retard..

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909422)

Why is Amercian Phone service so expenisive, it costs you $70 for what costs me £35 plus i get a gps program and picture messages thrown in.
I also noticed that when I went to America, well Orlando, the internet is incredibly slow.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909448)

You know, no one has ever brought that up before... and so relevant to the topic at hand! You Europeans truly are amazing people.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909480)

Reality is that the increasing loss of voice and SMS revenue of the past into data streams now and future, will continue to be reflected in limited data plans. Expect this to become the norm. All operators are struggling with the shift right now. Previously it was a game of minting cash. Now it's a game of balancing network expenditure (include RAN, core, gateways, you name it) with revenues - like the rest of us in different businesses, but a shift nonetheless.

Not just AT&T (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909434)

Now that there is no regulation that requires it, *all* the carriers were shorting the expansion of the networks to accommodate future need and pocketing the cash.

Re:Stupid (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909582)

Even moreso, saying you cannot handle the traffic should clearly be the definitive factor to tell them that they should, in fact, upgrade their capacity. Yet they aren't?

ATT sure has some blinders on.

One redeeming feature (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909088)

Luckily, you can call their excellent and friendly customer service, and they will be more than happy to help you in any way they can.

Re:One redeeming feature (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909130)

Which is not at all, since those CSRs can't improve the network in your area. You might as well just complain to a wall, would save everyone time and money since you would not have to wait on hold and they would not need to provide a CSR.

If anything being told politely they aren't going to fix it just pisses me off more.

Re:One redeeming feature (1)

torgis (840592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909166)

I would call AT&T and their CSRs a lot of things. But polite is not one of them.

Is AT&T really that bad? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909276)

I've called Qwest before, and they put me on hold w/o music until I disconnect (the IVR, not the reps). I've heard AT&T's business support is great though, but I've never experienced it (or Qwest for that matter, when I've called for small businesses I used to do support for, they always skimped and managed to get residential service to their business :(... ).

Re:Is AT&T really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909474)

AT&T's business support is a flaming heap of industrial grade tetanus bearing scrap.

If you can get through to an application engineer by a miracle, you might be in luck. It once took them three months to get one of the Nortel tower engineers into a conference call--and even then, I think the guy was based in Turkey and had trouble communicating with us.

AT&T might be tolerable if all you need business support for is getting a phone rebooted, changing your SMS or minutes plan, or having a SIM or replacement phone hand delivered in event of an 'emergency'. Other than that, they listen to you, get confused when their account notes are still bad after three years, and try to walk you through unneeded steps to place blame on your hardware when you've already isolated network RFI issues.

And it isn't just business support that has the problem...even their enterprise support does. They'll promise 48 hour resolution on problems (depending on severity), and then have their management triage severity down to get more time... this happened to me whether or NOT the incident was resolved, and if it does go away, they refuse to perform a postmortem.

Good riddance I'm done with that job--spending 25 hours a week on the phone with AT&T "enterprise support" was powerful motivation to quit.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909100)

It took them how long to figure this out

Re:Duh (2)

stokessd (89903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909154)

They knew this on iPhone launch day in 2007. They are very aware of the happenings on their network. It took them this long to publicly admit what is painfully obvious to everyone (it's a running joke). That says more about the company ethos and management's opinion of it's customers than if they didn't realize that their service was being pounded.

Sheldon

Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in Q1 (5, Insightful)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909138)

$3.4 billion in profit last quarter. And yet their network is garbage. I have an idea, but it's an engineer idea, not a suit idea, so... never mind.

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (-1, Offtopic)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909192)

I don't own a smartphone. don't have any plans to, either. saves me $100/mo, give or take; and no privacy to be taken away. no searches by cops/tsa/anyoneElse. no history to grab from me. no location data, either.

and finally, no contract to keep me stuck in an AWEFUL situation. if I had a smart phone, I'd want to USE IT. it seems they want to SELL us contracts but not really give us data plans that are worth anything.

so I wait. until then, I'm not mobile on the net. and I don't care!

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909314)

Man comments on story that has no impact on him, wants attention, news @ 11

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (1, Offtopic)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909332)

Thank you for that insightful post. Feel free to rant about other technologies that make you nervous.

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (1, Offtopic)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909394)

Get off his lawn!

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909338)

Smartphones are like cars. If you don't own one, you can certainly get along just fine, but you don't really know what you're missing. Once you have one, you wonder how you lived without it.

As for the carriers, if you have a phone they're raking you over the coals anyway. My wife and I have smartphones, and they cost about $80/mo combined (effectively $40 each). There are places where the network is slow (there are rural areas around me) to non-existent, but for the most part I get 3G speeds in most of my town, and since I don't stream movies over the internet, I rarely notice it.

Now, if you live in NY or LA or SF with the rest of the lemmings, then you probably have connectivity issues. That sucks, but its still better than if you lived in the countryside 150 miles outside of DC, where there is no service from any carrier at all, and they're still on dialup for internet.

As for contracts, where the f am I going to go? There are two carriers with even remotely decent coverage (ATT & Verizon), and the smaller players who are likely to get bought up by them soon. I can't take my phone even if it was unlocked because few of the carriers use the same system, and those that do use them on different frequencies. Hell, AT&T foots $400-$500 on the cost of a new top-of-the-line phone for me every 18 months, and in return I pay them for $700 for service during that time. They pay so much of the phone that I can resell the damned thing on eBay for more than my share of a new phone. So for $40 a month (which I guarantee for 2 years, or have to pay them back just over half of the subsidy they gave me) I get a new phone every year and a half AND more voice and mobile data service than I use.

In the words of Bre'r Rabbit - don't throw me into that brier patch!

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909470)

Awww sad face. Does bitching make you feel better?

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909340)

It doesn't count as saving if you don't have the money in the first place.

Also nobody cares where you go as long as it's away. I promise.

Re:Yesterday they announced profits were up 39% in (2, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909564)

I'm with ya brother! There's a lot of things we can give up to liberate ourselves from the shackles of the rat race.

For instance, I don't own any pants. I don't intend to either. I save hundreds of dollars a year. Images the TSA saves from me on their backscatter x-ray devices are hardly a concern anymore. I never suffer the humiliation of realizing that my lost car keys are, in fact, in my pocket. It's great!

As a bonus, i don't have anything to undo when nature calls. I can afford to push off rushing to the bathroom by 2 or 3 seconds. Over a lifetime of not wearing pants that amounts to hours. That's HOURS people are wasting buckling and unbuckling their pants just to take a dump!

This is why I got a wireless iPad2 (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909140)

If you did what I did and traded back your alpha iPad3 (great idea, 3D, but it sucks juice and the eyestrain gets to these old eyes) for a wireless iPad2, then you're ahead of the game, since you don't need to rely on the AT&T network or even Verizon.

Wireless-N service works perfectly fine, and everywhere I go there's free wireless N including my home (you can buy a wireless N router for around $50).

And you can even run Skype on it, so you don't need a cell either.

Crazy idea here (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909156)

Uh, if all of these new devices are causing a strain on your network, how about upgrading your network infrastructure? I know, this sounds crazy. Spending money like that will just eat away at profits. Maybe if you're lucky you can wait long enough to where phones'll barely work on your network and you can get the government to subsidize the improved network.

Re:Crazy idea here (1)

Gohtar (1829140) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909178)

Don't give them ideas damn it.

Re:Crazy idea here (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909638)

There is a fundamental problem with "upgrading the network" - there is a limit to the density of cell towers. There is the pure physics of it that you can have just so many competing radios per square mile and there is also the problem of locating these cell sites.

Just putting up towers is somewhat of a problem because most businesses do not want the hassle. Having a cell tower attached to your building means that you will get at least one complaint a day from someone that believes all they read on the Internet about radiation, cell phones and brain cancer. You can't put them in parking lots or residential lots either. So there aren't too many places where they can put up new towers.

Back to the first problem, even if you could have a cell site on every block the cell protocols weren't designed for high-density handoffs. PCS was designed for that, but not GSM. I don't know about the new 4G protocols but I suspect they weren't designed for microcells either like PCS was. So there is a real limit to density.

The real problem is going to turn out to be that cell networks simply cannot support everyone having two or three cellular communication devices turned on all the time and trying to exchange data. Funny, WiFi can't handle that many users either.

As for Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909158)

Not so much. ;-)

Waaahhh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909174)

We want federal tolerance of our practices in violation in FTC standards! Don't make us do anything more because we just don't want to pay for it!

Great Example (4, Insightful)

Palmsie (1550787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909176)

For why we need larger quantities and higher quality carriers and ISPs. It's not like this is the first time hardware advances have put pressure on specific sectors to improve their services. Most providers are already giving the US some of the worst bandwidth you can get in the modern world. And now non-tech users (read: smartphone and tablet users) are becoming complacent with data plans and shabby speeds that it's becoming this pathetic norm. The one recent ray of hope is Google's Kansas City project where they're getting some of the best stuff in the country while someone in LA is sitting there twittling their thumbs with 3mpbs Internet speed. Oh boy...

Good you can just switch providers (4, Insightful)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909182)

Luckily you can just take your cell phone or pad and use it on another network. Oh, wait! In the retarded US we can't because each company has its own system mutually incompatible with all others (except ATT and T-M, but that fortunately will end soon). Way to go! You are locked in for sure, unless you want to shell another several hundred $$ on a new (and incompatible with anybody else) device. !#@$!@#$

Re:Good you can just switch providers (4, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909318)

That sounds like Socialist talk...comrade

Re:Good you can just switch providers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909482)

And you sound like a troll who can't stay on topic.

Re:Good you can just switch providers (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909484)

Did you have a point or was that totally random?

Good you can switch... if your device is unlocked (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909548)

But fortunately for the service providers, most of the devices are locked in to their service, even if the devices themselves are technically capable.

This is what you get (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909186)

when you try to tether the device to the network.. Old fashion local storage is still the way... That, and cut back a little on the advertising..

You sell it, you support it... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909188)

If AT&T is selling these phones, then they are the ones who should be responsible for supporting them, which IMO includes providing adequate bandwidth and network capacity to deal with the demands of the devices that they sell. I purchase a phone and data package. I should be able to get the capacity that I have paid for. If that is an unlimited data package (mine is), then this is NOT my problem. It is AT&T's problem in promising more than they can deliver, which in any terms is fraud.

And the real reason they're admitting this (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909190)

Is to justify their purchase of T-Mobile to the FCC. After the purchase is approved, exactly NOTHING will happen to improve their network.

Re:And the real reason they're admitting this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909296)

Yup! No reason the T-Mobile merger shouldn't go through. Becoming the monopoly has never been about improving the market.

Re:And the real reason they're admitting this (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909426)

Well, in their eyes, the T-Mobile purchase IS ACTUALLY improving their network. They are spending close to 40 billion to improve their network. F AT&T.

Re:And the real reason they're admitting this (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909496)

T-Mobiles network wont do anything for AT&T, it's tiny in comparison to AT&T... Although I agree that they have no desire to improve their network. Telcos hate investing in infrastructure. What costs $50k today will be replaced by something 10x as fast and half the cost in a year... so they hold off for as long as possible (which is usually until the entire area fails in some catastrophic way and local government gets involved)

Profit in telecom comes in 2 forms:
1. The Government
2. Overselling networking equipment

The only way you're going to fix this situation is to either have the government take over telecom entirely... or end the subsidies and get the department of weights and measures involved in ensuring internet speeds. None of them will fix anything until they are all forced to at the same time.

Simple solution! (5, Funny)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909196)

Of course, the solution here is obvious:

Charge everyone more for data plans in order to encourage less use of limited resources!

With all their profits, maybe they should build (5, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909202)

They made $3.5B last quarter (net profit). If they only invested half of that, maybe their network wouldn't be under so much strain and the economy would prosper. How much people can YOU employ for $2B? I would say at least 40,000 people that would then be able to reinvest their money in you know, $500 cell phones and $120/mo data services.

Re:With all their profits, maybe they should build (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909280)

They made $3.5B last quarter (net profit). If they only invested half of that, maybe their network wouldn't be under so much strain and the economy would prosper. How much people can YOU employ for $2B? I would say at least 40,000 people that would then be able to reinvest their money in you know, $500 cell phones and $120/mo data services.

Clearly their revenues were heavily invested in their network, but if the economy might have grown at 6%, and the demographics had shifted 5%, they would have been able to raise the average SATs of their employees by 50 points. How many phones can you fit in your apartment at 700 square feet? I'd say 50, per capita, and we'd be able to buy bonds, 10 year or at least 5 year, thus reinvigorating the Fed.

Making up total bullshit is fun!

Duh (2)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909204)

Maybe their capital expenditures on their network should have gone up the last few years instead of down. They have been squeezing their customers for profits at the cost of their network. Now they want the FCC and the T-Mob acquisition to bail them out of mba bonus engineering.

Small wonder... (3, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909206)

Small wonder they dropped the "unlimited flat rate 3G" plan a month after the iPad 3G was introduced.

Makes me wonder how far the gap between the wonder and the reality of "cloud computing" is. Sounds great to keep all your data/music/video in the "cloud", but throwing around that much data grinds any capped data plan into the ground.

(Advantage to the early adopters: some of us still have that glorious "unlimited 3G" plan. Yay! FYI: they're transferrable.)

Re:Small wonder... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909464)

Advantage to the early adopters: some of us still have that glorious "unlimited 3G" plan. Yay! FYI: they're transferrable.

I have one of them too, but i do expect that to go away at some point in the near future. They CAN change the TOS on a whim or just say "that contract is no longer availble, so you have to renew to a capped plan"

Behold The Cloud! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909216)

The future of ALL computer communicati- oh crap my call dropped again, gotta restart my file upload, again.

Basically most of the... (1)

cyberfin (1454265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909224)

...comments are right in saying why did you give the contract and not the goods. Yet that's what the business does every time in these cases. Play catch up. It's todays business model.

Cop Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909226)

Its a cop out.. so they can acquire T-Mobile.. they will say anything to get what they want.. Duh

Selling services you can't provide (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909242)

Okay I start a lawn mowing service and get a 100 customers. I only have time to mow 10 lawns so to be fair I only mow 10% of each lawn. Hey everyone gets part of their lawn mowed so what's the problem?

iPads consume more? O RLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909266)

iPhone is a phone, iPad is a device designed for heavy multimedia consumption. No shit it uses more data.

Why do I have trouble with their motive? (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909272)

The phone company has developed a lot of predictive math, such as queueing theory. I have a hard time believing that they didn't predict exactly what would happen with things like the iPhone. This sounds like a plan to create greater demand that in turn justifies more frequency space.

The spectrum belongs to all of us, not just to AT&T. Services that can't operate in the bandwidth allotted need to be eliminated.

High bandwidth internet and internet applications need to be kept on the landlines.

4G (1)

[TWD]insomnia (125505) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909304)

So much for calling it 4G, just to show they can "keep it up" with the competition (which is not, of course).

liars stop their lying, soldiers stop their dying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909308)

we hear them all? after the disarmament is complete, there'll be far less lying & dying, & more extra free bandwidth than we ever needed.

no problem here (0)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909326)

But I don't live in hipsterdouchebagville with all that population density and all those poor people that use their iphone/ipad to stream netflix or tether for bittorrent because they won't pay the man for cable. I live in the burbs. I probably have the cell tower all to myself

Re:no problem here (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909598)

No problems here in the Baltimore area on Verizon, perhaps it is true that they can handle the iPhone, as it isn't any different from any other smartphone...

Oh, and love the Verizon unlimited data plans.

The Daily Chimpout (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909334)

Today, featuring Black American Women Halloween Brawl @ Denny's [youtube.com]

Oh great here comes the scarcity (0)

gottspeed (2060872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909336)

I heard once that capitalism is effectively a race to scarcity. We all know this is a crock, just decorating every-bodies heads for when they jack up the price and charge by the byte.

AT&T Can't Make Up it's Mind (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909346)

AT&T are morons. If these devices are creating such a strain then they need to stop selling iPhones and iPads for use on their network. What has happened is that AT&T are indiscriminately selling every device to consumers who want them and then they're turning around and complaining about their networks not being able to handle. I have a suggestion, either stop selling the devices for use on their networks or upgrade their current network. They cannot continue to sell these iPhones and iPads and then turn around and complain that their putting a strain on their network. It's either one or the other, numbnuts.

So Upgrade (2)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909378)

Here's a thought: AT&T should upgrade their network.

That may be a costly endeavour but the mobile market is very lucrative and it can only give them a greater edge in the future.

This whole maximizing-profits by reducing costs thing is making tech companies underperform. It's short-term thinking and exactly how our public corporation system isn't working as well as it should. Can't they start thinking beyond the next financial quarter or two?

In other words, they're being cheap and short-sighted.

Sorry dude, your suggestion won't work... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909594)

Here's a thought: AT&T should upgrade their network.

Your suggestion won't work (as in will-never-happen) because it's a technical solution to a psychological problem; namely that top officers of large company are sociopaths that not only are indifferent to the sufferings they inflict on others, but in fact thrive on it (and yes, they're getting rich off it too.) They're not going to ask for a new hand when they're holding all the cards.

Doesn't stop the sales, though. (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909384)

Sell beyond capacity. I've seen that movie. It's called "The Producers." Those guys went to prison for fraud, though.

If only they had some cash. (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909432)

If only these poor souls had some cash on hand to build up their own network.

earth day admin; can't compete with bunny, jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909446)

although taking the place for granted/wrecking it, might make unchosen ones wonder how/where the bunny, & jesus, will be able to conduct their chosen holycostal business as usual, on a poisoned population, black hole, earth day.

Devil's Advocate (1)

LeDopore (898286) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909452)

I know I'm posting against the prevailing opinion here, but I think AT&T might be doing the right thing. Consider that communication technology gets better and cheaper every year. Upgrading now not only cuts into profits, but it also means buying capacity for more money than the competition who doesn't upgrade for a few years.

The sign of a well-managed telecom is that its network is just at the point of being so crappy that folks are leaving. Any more capacity and they're wasting their dough. Erring a little to one side or the other is probably understandable too.

"like the iPad and iPhone " (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909504)

Gotta love the subliminal attack against Apple.

1 - they aren't the problem the network is
2 - they are not the only game in smart phones.

For some reason i have been getting the feeling that AT&T wants to kill the iphone market off. I suspect its so they can introduce more android phones that they can control with an iron fist and not have to deal with Apple's wishes at all.

Sprint is no better (1)

AoXoMoXoA (20861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909514)

I am forced (stupid enough) to pay extra for 4G serves on my HTC EVO when there is no 4G server in my area (Louisville, KY) and the 3G server that was once king is now almost unusable...coupled that with the fact that Sprint is ditching WiMAX in favor of LTE so my phone wont work on the 4G if and when it ever gets here in the first place.

Re:Sprint is no better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909634)

All of those technologies are 4G. There is no 4G in America, only 3G, marketed as 4G.

It has gotten worse lately. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909552)

I have 5 bars of signal and get connection errors on both my samsung phone AND my iphone. Things that used to work flawlessly 5 months ago now complain about "slow network" and "server not responding".

Verizon and the EU (1)

ItsPaPPy (1182035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909560)

Verizon and the EU rejoice!
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