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View Full Version : Fewer Bars in More Places: AT&T Network Upgrades Degrade Service for 2G Phones



maXimus
01-03-2009, 08:20 PM
In an act affecting owners of 2G cell phones on AT&T Mobility’s network, including the highly visible, and originally highly expensive first generation iPhone, Open for Business has learned that AT&T has been quietly sacrificing 2G signal strength in an effort to speed up the build out of its next generation 3G network. The first generation iPhone was trumpeted by the company as recently as seven months ago; many 2G phones continue to be sold by the Dallas-based company today.

Cell phones, like other wireless communications devices, have certain radio bands they communicate on. While previously the company had been primarily relying on the 850 MHz band that offers a more robust signal, including superior indoor reception, company technicians confirmed to OFB that transmitters for the 2G signal used by the original iPhone and most other handsets, including most AT&T offered BlackBerry and RAZR models, have been shifted to the weaker 1900 MHz band in some areas.

This shift has resulted in customers past their 30-day return policy, but still with relatively new phones, finding themselves stuck with equipment no longer able to pick up signals properly in previously strong coverage areas, even though the equipment itself is without defect.

OFB was able to confirm this situation for itself using multiple devices in St. Louis, MO, and also obtained information on similar cases across the country. Reports suggested the problem started to appear as AT&T ramped up its 3G network in preparation for the iPhone 3G in early 2008. Each AT&T technician OFB talked to concerning this problem offered the same solution: that the customer should purchase new, 3G-enabled equipment at the customer’s own expense. This has created a troubling situation for many owners of the original iPhone, a device that was as recently as May of 2008 selling for $400. These users are being told their expensive phones should not only be replaced at the subscriber’s expense, sometimes less than a year after purchase, but also at an increase in the monthly service rate of $10 for data and $5 for text messaging.

Full Story at OFB (http://www.ofb.biz/safari/article/512.html)

djdownhill
01-03-2009, 10:18 PM
I'm glad I went back to Motorola........

MrBucket101
01-04-2009, 03:07 AM
I'm glad I went back to Motorola........
I don't get it...the cellphone make/model should have no affect over the network it uses...If your using a V3i for instance the phone has edge support, but no 3G

maXimus
01-04-2009, 07:45 PM
I don't get it...the cellphone make/model should have no affect over the network it uses...If your using a V3i for instance the phone has edge support, but no 3G
The problem is that they are putting Edge on the 1900 band which is much weaker than the 850 band. All non-3G (read: Edge) users will experience "less" bars and not "more" like they advertise. :cool: