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Summary:

I have traveled a lot lately and after my recent trip to San Francisco I observed that the AT&T service in that fair city simply sucks.  I figured that some of the problems I observed with lousy service were due to my brief and very narrow […]

toiletI have traveled a lot lately and after my recent trip to San Francisco I observed that the AT&T service in that fair city simply sucks.  I figured that some of the problems I observed with lousy service were due to my brief and very narrow exposure to the AT&T network in SF but that is obviously not the case.

Recently our boss, Om Malik, ditched his iPhone due to his long-term dissatisfaction with the AT&T service in San Francisco.  I know from conversations with Om that he loves his iPhone which shows just how bad the AT&T service actually is on a continual basis.

“Anyway this morning, while conducting a phone interview, the call dropped on me twice. Enough was enough. A few minutes later, I went to T-Mobile’s company store and got myself a BlackBerry Curve 8900 for email and SMS. I also signed up for a plain-vanilla voice service from Verizon Wireless. And I already have a 32 GB iPod Touch for surfing and music. They can all be charged using the USB port of my Macbook, thereby obviating the need for extra chargers.

Is this an ideal solution? Probably not — but living with spotty service isn’t worth the trouble. The dream of living with a single device, a superphone, as we like to call it, hasn’t quite worked out yet, thanks to the network. Goodbye iPhone, it was nice knowing ya!”

I’ll be the first to admit that the AT&T service I get in Houston is not bad.  How bad the AT&T service in SF must be to get someone like Om to go with a solution that is unwanted yet necessary to get on with business.  Will Apple ever send the iPhone to another carrier in the US?

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  1. Why is the mobile network so bad in American cities, its 100% in the United Kingdom and in Europe?

  2. You mean to tell me, there’s not a single city in Europe, or the UK, that has spotty service?

  3. Even though I’ve heard horror stories about coverage & service, it’s 90% dependent on your area. Here in the sticks near Philadelphia, I’ve had zero problems with AT&T. Completely different story when traveling lately: spotty and inconsistent in Las Vegas and San Francisco.

  4. I think there is a serious issue in SF. Too many users on the network has created more problems for AT&T which used to be pretty darn good for a long time. I have been with them since 1996 and well it was hard to give up the service but sometimes it is not so great/

  5. Brandon Buttars Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Makes me feel like I’m not missing much. I heard those iPhones are awesome but can’t fork out the early cancellation fee to switch to AT&T. Glad I haven’t yet. Guess I’ll keep with good old cheap T-Mobile and my Pearl for now.

  6. It feels like my EDGE data connectivity has deteriorated. No probs with voice, though. It’d be hard to give up my iPhone and Premiere AT&T account though. We’ll see.

  7. This holds up with my experience, which is most clearly illustrated by the fact that every single person I know (mostly in the DC or Denver areas) with a Blackberry Storm got it because they would really like an iphone, but they cannot reasonably move away from Verizon. This is not a slam against blackberry devices in general, but I’m not sure the Storm is really for their existing loyalists.

    (Of course, given that T-Mobile’s coverage is even more spotty in these areas, folks in Verizon Country really are doomed to second rate phone options).

  8. AT&T’s network is definitely problematic in the Bay Area (I live in SF).

    But the iPhone is also significantly less reliable (from radio/baseband perspective) than the competition.

    Combine the 2, and consider there are probably more iPhones per person here than anywhere else, and it’s a recipe for pain.

    AT&T’s network performs great at night: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tnkgrl/

  9. I’ve ‘solved’ my iPhone reception problem by leaving it on EDGE while I’m home in San Francisco- kind of defeats the purpose of the whole 3G thing. It seems like just about all of our friends have/use an iPhone 3G and dropped calls are all too regular.

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