Slower EDGE, Faster 3G for AT&T Mobile Broadband Users [Analysis]

So, the blogosphere has been all the rage about AT&T slowing EDGE to force customers to switch to 3G. If it is true that they’ve been slowing EDGE to dedicate more bandwidth to 3G users, it’s a double-edged sword for mobile broadband/3G users.

Let’s say you’ve got your snazzy new AT&T Quicksilver USB Connect. You decided to take the plunge after Bill Kurtis wooed you with his numerous commercials AT&T 3G commercials (like the below).

You hear “the internet can’t hide anymore”. Sounds good right? If only that were actually true.

Try telling that line to the iPhone users experiencing data outages. What’s worse is that it’s not the first, second  or third time either. Apparently, the internet can hide…at least from AT&T mobile broadband users. Strangely enough, there’s been no word of this happening with Verizon or Sprint. Then again, they do rank #1 & #2 for mobile broadband.

Outside of that, another interesting point comes to light. Do AT&T users want to sacrifice EDGE speeds for 3G? Let’s say your traveling outside of the major markets that AT&T has 3G, you’re gonna be using the EDGE network. That means slower speeds in a lot of places. Heavens forbid the EDGE network starts feeling like 1xRTT dialup speeds. Just sever my fingers so I can’t type on my keyboard instead.

The only conclusion one can come to from all of this is this:

Those 3G network upgrades in preparation for the iPhone weren’t enough. Perhaps market demand for the service was inadequately anticipated or they knew but sold the phones anyway (beware the FCC if that’s the case AT&T). One thing’s for sure though.

AT&T is not the mobile broadband carrier of choice right now.

Perhaps they need to follow in Verizon’s footsteps and step up the launch of LTE for those sexy 16-25 Mbps download speeds. If they don’t, Sprint and Clearwire are gonna eat their lunch with their WiMAX network.


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