There's been a lot of talk lately of AT&T customers--especially iPhone users--getting fed up with the quality of service they're getting with AT&T. Issues include dropped calls, shoddy coverage, and slow data speeds. People are upset that they have a fancy device that loses much of its usefulness when the network drops out. I can feel their pain.
Indeed, I saw the effect myself this last weekend. The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), one of the world's largest gaming conventions, took place in Seattle, where I live. Thousands of the world's nerdiest nerds were here, and, as you'd expect, many were using iPhones, meaning many were using AT&T's 3G service.
PAX, which opened Friday, also had a handy guide on expojunkie.com for convention goers made especially for the iPhone. It featured maps, agendas, and other quick reference information to make PAX a better experience. The side effect was thousands of visitors using Seattle's 3G coverage at the same time--in addition to the thousands of locals who already use it. Service slowed to a crawl.
By Saturday, the service was back up-to-speed for most of Seattle. AT&T may have hit a switch and turned on more towers. It has a team that monitors areas with major events and tweaks the network when one causes problems. Whatever the company did fixed it.
The blessing and the curse But here's the question: what are we to expect from AT&T when Apple sells millions of units of a revolutionary product that depends on its network and then provides millions of apps that put a huge burden on the same network? Do we really expect AT&T to be able to handle that much data?… Read more