Can You Hear Me Now? AT&T Has Undergone “Drastic Makeover”
Posted 02/25/2010 at 6:54am | by J.R. Bookwalter
Poor AT&T: They take a licking and keep on ticking. But if a new report is to be believed, the telco giant has actually made some dramatic improvements to their 3G network in the last year.
If you were to go by the television commercials alone, AT&T’s wireless division provides both “a better 3G experience” as well as “the nation’s fastest 3G network.” Based upon PC World’s latest 3G wireless performance study, both claims appear to be true, according to TUAW.
PC World teamed up with wireless analysis firm Novarum for the study, comparing all four major U.S. wireless carriers in 13 cities across the country from December, 2009 through January, 2010. The study encompassed 51,000 separate tests, 850 square miles and 7 million wireless subscribers.
Out of the four carriers -- that’s AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile -- AT&T showed dramatic improvements when compared to a similar study conducted in March and April, 2009. AT&T hands-down had the fastest download speed in 11 of the 13 cities on notebook computers using either built-in or external 3G cards, and the fastest upload speed in all 13.
On the smartphone front, AT&T had the fastest download speeds in nine of the 13 cities, but again took the crown for fastest upload in all of them. And despite the vocal complaints of iPhone users, the pairing of the device with AT&T provided the fastest download and upload speeds of any device -- with the exception of reliability, where it only slightly trailed the pairing of T-Mobile with the G1, which posted the highest score in that category.
What does it all mean? Wireless service has everything to do with location, location, location, and there will probably always be certain places where one company’s 3G service will trump another’s. Given the escalating war between AT&T and Verizon over 3G dominance, perhaps AT&T isn’t quite the joke that many people seem to feel that it is. Time will tell...