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Old 06-18-2009, 04:05 PM
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Default AT&T network not ready yet for all Apple iPhone 3G S functions

AT&T's wireless network is having a hard time keeping up with the Apple iPhone, a top wireless analyst says.

That's the reason AT&T (T) isn't offering multimedia messaging and "tethering" options for the new $199 iPhone 3G S — lack of network juice, says Roger Entner, head of telecom research for Nielsen.

When the iPhone 3G S was unveiled last week, Apple (AAPL) said it would offer both those features. "Tethering" allows a wireless device to serve as a broadband modem to provide over-the-air support for laptops, PCs and the like. Multimedia messaging, or MMS, enables users to attach video clips, audio files, pictures, etc. to text messages.

But when the list of global carriers offering the features was unveiled, AT&T wasn't on it. AT&T is the exclusive U.S. distributor.

AT&T says it plans to offer MMS "by the end of the summer," but it has so far declined to say when tethering might become available. As of Tuesday, that was still the case. The 3G S goes on sale Friday.

"Tethering will be available at some point," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told USA TODAY.

Meantime, iPhone users are gobbling up AT&T's network capacity at a record clip.

According to Entner, the average iPhone user eats up around 400 megabytes of capacity each month. Average smartphone usage is 40 to 80 megabytes.

Entner says the high usage is a testament to the power and popularity of the iPhone. "People really love that device and are using it intensively."

And network demands are only going to increase as pricing on the current iPhone 3G drops to $99, he says.

Part of the problem is due to iPhone's engineering. The device constantly checks back with the AT&T network, he says, making adjustments as necessary. The iPhone's "chatty" nature is one reason it performs so well. But the back and forth also eats up a lot of network capacity.

AT&T has more than 7 million iPhone users, Entner estimates, more than any other carrier in the world.

As a result, he says, "No other wireless network, in the United States or elsewhere, is nearly as loaded" as AT&T's.

Later this summer, AT&T plans to start upgrading its wireless software with "HSPA" — short for high-speed packet access.

Once the upgrade is complete — by 2011, AT&T says — "3G S owners will have a significantly better experience" on the mobile Web, Entner says. (HSPA isn't compatible with the 3G iPhone; you'll need to upgrade your device to take advantage of it.)

Speed will be the most obvious change, Entner says. "It will be a lot faster — four to five times."

AT&T agrees the move to HSPA will have a lot of benefits for consumers. "We engineer the wireless network to stay ahead of demand," Siegel says. "That's why we'll start deploying HSPA later this year."

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/20...-att-3gs_N.htm
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: AT&T network not ready yet for all Apple iPhone 3G S functions

The fun will begin tomorrow when everyone begins activating their phone,...I can see it now lol!
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: AT&T network not ready yet for all Apple iPhone 3G S functions

Seems that issues are still arising!

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Despite two lawsuits, AT&T still says MMS coming by late summer to iPhone

For those iPhone 3G and 3GS customers eager to use multimedia messaging (MMS), AT&T Inc. still hasn't gone beyond saying the service will be available by summer's end.

And two recent class-action lawsuits, each seeking more than $5 million in damages, have not motivated the carrier to change its tune on when the service launches.

"We have said since the launch of iPhone 3GS that we plan to offer MMS by the end of the summer," an AT&T spokeswoman repeated today.

She said AT&T would not comment on the lawsuits, and officials at Apple Inc. also declined any comment. Both companies are named in the suits, one filed on Aug. 7 in the federal Eastern District of Louisiana and the other filed Aug. 10 in the federal Southern District of Illinois.

Missouri-based attorney Joel Schwartz would say only that Apple and AT&T have not responded to the lawsuit he filed in Illinois on behalf of client Tim Meeker. "It's early in the case," he said. Schwartz also filed a third similar class-action suit in a state court in St. Louis County, Mo., on behalf of clients Meredith Goette and Raymond Bolourtchi.

Scott Bickford and other attorneys are representing Christopher Carbine, Ryan Casey and Lisa Maurer in the Louisiana case. Bickford could not be reached for comment.

Both federal cases follow similar arguments, stating that AT&T and Apple sales representatives deceived the plaintiffs over the availability of MMS functions, according to the complaints. The Illinois lawsuit is based on alleged violations of the Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices Act, while the Louisiana case is based on alleged violations of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Despite claims that iPhone 3.0 software, released June 17, would provide MMS for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the service remains unavailable until late summer, Meeker's complaint says. (The iPhone 3GS shipped on June 19.) "The only excuse offered by AT&T and Apple is a mouseprint disclaimer on the website[s], in barely readable font, which reads "MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer," the Meeker lawsuit says.

Meeker bought an iPhone 3G on March 13 at an AT&T store in Fairview Heights, Ill., and asked if MMS was provided. The store representative "misrepresented and/or concealed, suppressed, or omitted facts as to the iPhone and MMS functionality," according to the complaint. When he tried to download MMS with the 3.0 upgrade, the MMS did not work. He was told by an Apple customer service rep that AT&T had not upgraded its towers and would not do so until late summer.

Meeker also never saw the disclaimer on the Apple or AT&T Web sites and was therefore "damaged in that for many months he had been unable to send MMS messages."

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Old 08-18-2009, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: AT&T network not ready yet for all Apple iPhone 3G S functions

Yeah, AT&T is taking their sweet time even when they need to convince Apple they should renew their exclusivity contract by fully supporting all the features the iPhone has.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: AT&T network not ready yet for all Apple iPhone 3G S functions

Wow - I guess it's just not that important to them. I wonder what else they are cooking behind the scenes. It doesn't make sense to just leave such a lucrative deal up in the air like that.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: AT&T network not ready yet for all Apple iPhone 3G S functions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guaner View Post
Wow - I guess it's just not that important to them. I wonder what else they are cooking behind the scenes. It doesn't make sense to just leave such a lucrative deal up in the air like that.
I hope T-Mobile USA gets their own version of the iPhone, since all Apple would have to do is replace the current 850/1900/2100 3G radio with 1700/2100 3G radio in the current model. MUCH easier than completely redoing the chipset with CDMA technology in my own opinion.
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