Blog Post

Is AT&T Slowing Mobile Upload Speeds?

AT&T (s T), the primary wireless carrier for Apple’s (s AAPL) iPhone recently came under fire for the changes it made to its wireless data plans and pricing. These changes came despite complaints about the quality of Ma Bell’s network, which is known to behave much like a starlet with an addictive personality. Apparently this isn’t the end of woes for some of our readers who are complaining that their data upload speeds (on an iPhone) have taken a nosedive in recent days. One individual lamented that his upload speeds were down to a crawl as he tried to upload photos. “I saw upload speeds drop from over 1 Mbps to under 100 kbps,” he wrote. Are you experiencing similar problems? Are non iPhone users having the same problem with AT&T’s network.

(PS: We have been in touch with AT&T and are waiting for the official response.)

30 Responses to “Is AT&T Slowing Mobile Upload Speeds?”

  1. Steve Rosen

    It’s definitely PHL area. I just checked and I am
    getting a whopping 20k down. What is this, 1985?
    AT&T engineers acknowledged overload problems while
    on phone with them this week.

  2. It’s crawling here in PDX. 203.2KB/sec down and 7.6KB/sec up. I was getting like 200-300KB/sec like last week.

    Mac Rumors is reporting it’s an AT&T bug:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2010/07/06/iphone-4-users-on-atandt-experiencing-widespread-drops-in-upload-speed/

    A couple of posters in our forums have reported speaking with AT&T service representatives who have indicated that the company is in fact experiencing data issues in much of the country. While it is disconcerting that the issue has been affecting users for several days now, it seems likely that the holiday weekend in the United States may have slowed the company’s response.

  3. David S

    I am having the same problems with iPhone through AT&T and have noticed this major lag time [both WiFi and 3G] since Thursday or Friday of last week.

    I am curious why my WiFi has changed all of a sudden. I used to get full WiFi bars, but now, it looks like it is down to two [out of a possible of 4].

  4. Yet another reason to avoid the iPhone hype – sorry OM! Premium price, slow speeds, substandard user experience. True, there are folks out there having no trouble with their iPhones, and those are the lucky ones IMO.

    You cannot expect a world to revolve around constant wireless access, as Steve Jobs envisions, when carriers place caps on broadband use. The US is a long way away from providing uncapped high-speed wireless – there simply isn’t the infrastructure in place, nor can carriers provide it at an affordable cost. Such a shame compared to Europe where 14GB 3G data plans have been selling for around $35/month for years.

    It will be interesting to see how the US LTE roll-out improves the situation.

  5. In all likelihood it’s network congestion which would only be noticed with large uploads. Online speed tests with small payloads aren’t sufficient.

    As far as I know AT&T only once actively tried to reduce wireless data speeds and that was shortly after the original iPhone roll-out. Code was included in an OTA update that reduced the phone’s transceiver power effectively reducing maximum data rates. The purpose of the update was to reduced the number of dropped calls on overloaded cell towers.

  6. tivoboy

    Is there ANY chance that the free wifi at Sbux is overwhelming the AT&T backhaul in some locations. I know it is basically supplied by wayport, but AT&T must own connectivity in some places.

  7. Ran several tests over a 15 minute period with speedtest.net app on an iPhone 4. In Madison, WI I am getting 1.8-2.8 Mb/s down and 1.1-1.2 up. The up speed is much faster than AT&T gives me for my DSL.

  8. Governor

    1522k down / 224k up in Sacramento. Noticeably slower since the iOS4 upgrade.

    Not sure if this is network related, but mobile-originated Facebook posts, comments, et al have also slowed to an embarrassing crawl, sometimes taking upwards of two minutes to post one line of text. WTH?

  9. Network Manager

    Using the recently released FCC netspeed checking app available for the iPhone, I’m reliably seeing upload speeds of 1.2Mbps in San Francisco.

  10. I’m using a Nexus One and I was seeing upload speeds slightly south of 1MBS. As of last Friday (or so) ulpload speeds dropped to 100 – 200kbs.

    I’m in Philadelphia

  11. Typically slow here in the Cambridge, MA outskirts… Today’s numbers range from 765-1784kbps down / 14-250kbps up. (yes, that is 14) grrrrrr

  12. dstrauss

    No slowdown here (Midland, TX – rural West Texas). 963 this morning, on par with the last week’s averages between 501-1265 (one random test of 280; most often over 1mb).

  13. tivoboy

    Well, I have found that speeds here in the bay area are CRZY fast. I’m getting up to 4537kps up and 1270kps down. Never more than 1270 down, but the 4537 is pretty darn crazy fast if you ask me.

  14. Macatron

    I just ran a speed test here in CT, and I’m at 1,278 Kbps for upload. Maybe it’s a regional issue with AT&T’s network or something.

  15. Tomas

    Haven’t seen any problems in Dallas. In fact, once I got my new iPhone 4 (upgrade from 3GS) my upload speeds have drastically increased. I get at least 1MB all the time now.