Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

AT&T Admits to Sub-par 3G Service in NYC, SF

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 28 comments

AT&T fesses up to network problems, but shows improvement over last quarter.

AT&T's received a lot of flak from both its customer base as well as its main competitor Verizon over the quality of the iPhone-carrying cellular network. Most of the time, AT&T is doing some form of damage control with the help of Luke Wilson; but at the company's recent earnings call, the subject of improving network quality was a big one.

Specifically, AT&T revealed in a presentation slide that 3G Voice Composite Quality in high-usage areas such as New York City and San Francisco were below the company's performance objective. On the bright side, AT&T's slide shows that service quality has steadily improved since last fall.

For those of you in high-usage areas, are you seeing the turnaround that AT&T describes on its slide?

Display 28 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    RooD , January 28, 2010 6:21 PM
    ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||amount spent on Luke Wilson
    ||||||||amount spent on infrastructure
  • 17 Hide
    godwhomismike , January 28, 2010 6:27 PM
    I love sitting on the bus in traffic on the BQE by the Battery Tunnel on the Brooklyn side, and looking at this giant AT&T Fastest 3G billboard sign, and having no service whatsoever on my iPhone. You'd think they would've placed that sign in a spot where there was actually AT&T 3G service, and not in a giant dead zone.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    captaincharisma , January 28, 2010 6:17 PM
    so does this mean they are going to stop there attack ads on Verizon? no chance
  • 6 Hide
    lunyone , January 28, 2010 6:18 PM
    SHOCKER!! What about the coverage map thing that they are trying to change (vs. Verizon)??
  • 5 Hide
    Jazzmain , January 28, 2010 6:20 PM
    I understand that every big company will have their share of problems now and again but AT&T seems to be having more than what I would call acceptable as a business model. No one company is perfect but they seem to as of lately to not even fall into the category of acceptable.
  • 20 Hide
    RooD , January 28, 2010 6:21 PM
    ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||amount spent on Luke Wilson
    ||||||||amount spent on infrastructure
  • 17 Hide
    godwhomismike , January 28, 2010 6:27 PM
    I love sitting on the bus in traffic on the BQE by the Battery Tunnel on the Brooklyn side, and looking at this giant AT&T Fastest 3G billboard sign, and having no service whatsoever on my iPhone. You'd think they would've placed that sign in a spot where there was actually AT&T 3G service, and not in a giant dead zone.
  • -6 Hide
    blackened144 , January 28, 2010 6:27 PM
    jazzmainI understand that every big company will have their share of problems now and again but AT&T seems to be having more than what I would call acceptable as a business model. No one company is perfect but they seem to as of lately to not even fall into the category of acceptable.

    Location. Location. Location. I havent had more than 5 dropped calls in the last 3 years using ATT and I have solid 3G service within 300miles of my house. Even when I took a trip to Missouri to visit my sister at Whiteman AFB, I never lost my 3G connection and never dropped a call. From my point of view, ATT's service is more than perfectly acceptable, its near perfect. Im sure it helps that I live thousands of miles from both NYC and SF.
  • 0 Hide
    techguy378 , January 28, 2010 6:41 PM
    AT&T isn't the only one with NYC problems. There's not a single cell phone company in the USA that has top notch service in NYC. Unless a cell phone company can get enough towers for every NYC resident to be on a phone call simultaneously (not possible) then even with Verizon you'll be spending a good portion of your time saying "Can you hear me now?".
  • 0 Hide
    theuerkorn , January 28, 2010 6:44 PM
    Natural result of AT&Ts conservative network. Competition is good, and eventually they too will have to react and probably by doing so leap frog some of the competition for a while -- until the next competitor ups the ante. ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    flip_x , January 28, 2010 6:45 PM
    the only way i can see verizon to stop those ads is that att offers 3g to an area not on there current map.. then they would have to remake new ones lol..
  • 6 Hide
    pullmyfinger123 , January 28, 2010 7:04 PM
    hey AT&T, can you admit to subpar 3G service in a few more areas please? Like....the whole country??
  • 1 Hide
    pullmyfinger123 , January 28, 2010 7:06 PM
    The good news, AT&T's service has steadily improved. The bad news, with the given current state of its decrepit 3G service today, one can't even bear to remember how much worse it was a few months ago...
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , January 28, 2010 7:35 PM
    I'm sitting here with 3G and 4 signal bars showing. It took 63 seconds to fully load www.tomsguide.com. Is that considered the "fastest 3G network"?

    What really burns me up though is not that it's slow, but that in too many areas there is no service at all. I can make and receive phone calls just fine but no internet connection at all.
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , January 28, 2010 7:52 PM
    hmm... and now the iPad is going to use AT&T's 3G network.. Guess AT&T really need to pray for a hpe that... Apple is not going to sell much of their iPad (3G model)...... or.. in 90days... we will see the cruve dive deep again...;) lol
  • 0 Hide
    tikrjee , January 28, 2010 8:20 PM
    I'm seeing more and more people move out here to South Dakota and introducing their iPhones to the concrete. If AT&T wants to prove their network is not that bad, maybe they should stop paying Luke Wilson and start putting up more (or better) towers. At least attempt to make coverage comparable to Verizon, please? I wouldn't mind an iPhone through AT&T, and I hate waiting for it to show up under Verizon. The Plains wants handheld awesome, too!
  • 0 Hide
    ikefu , January 28, 2010 8:21 PM
    My wife's BF came home with us this past Christmas with her iPhone. I laughed when she said she didn't have 3G, then I laughed harder when she didn't have signal period.

    Welcome to SW Wisconsin where AT&T doesn't give a damn. 5 Bars going strong on Verizon though.

    Not that I have any great love for VZW but at least I have service.
  • 0 Hide
    tikrjee , January 28, 2010 8:21 PM
    godwhomismikeI love sitting on the bus in traffic on the BQE by the Battery Tunnel on the Brooklyn side, and looking at this giant AT&T Fastest 3G billboard sign, and having no service whatsoever on my iPhone. You'd think they would've placed that sign in a spot where there was actually AT&T 3G service, and not in a giant dead zone.

    You'd think that if they rented the spot for the billboard, they'd pay to hide a tower behind it. Even a compact one would suffice.
  • 0 Hide
    RichR , January 28, 2010 11:18 PM
    techguy378AT&T isn't the only one with NYC problems. There's not a single cell phone company in the USA that has top notch service in NYC. Unless a cell phone company can get enough towers for every NYC resident to be on a phone call simultaneously (not possible) then even with Verizon you'll be spending a good portion of your time saying "Can you hear me now?".


    Really? You must be talking about another NYC. Switching from Verizon to AT&T has been the worst decision ever for my wife and I. Completely disgusting service compared to Verizon. Speaking to my wife on the LIRR train from Long Island to NYC is so frustrating now because of numerous drops. With Verizon, it would sometimes drop only once at a specific spot in the underwater tunnel but she would just call me back and continue all the way to Penn Station. That's just one example.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 29, 2010 3:17 AM
    My brother-in-law worked cell tower service for about 6 months; he said at least 70% of their work was upgrades to damaged or severely outdated AT&T antennas- the verison antennas on the same towers were typically already installed within the past 2 years or so. This is in the mid-west, Missouri/Illinois. The whole state is 'countryside' but STL is a world apart and the best coverage in the area, both city and outside, is verizon.
  • 0 Hide
    d-block , January 29, 2010 9:35 AM
    Luke Wilson needs to go the way of Old Yeller
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 29, 2010 12:10 PM
    At&t's 3g signal is still terrible in Manhattan. 3g service frequently drops calls and loses connectivity during data usage. it causes phones to switch back and forth between 2g and 3g, causing significant battery drain.
Display more comments
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter