Is AT&T Enhancing Its Edge Network For The iPhone? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
6/5/2007
09:08 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

Is AT&T Enhancing Its Edge Network For The iPhone?

According to an internal operations employee, AT&T decided that it had better get its data network in tip-top shape for the iPhone launch. As such, it is working to improve coverage, latency, and throughput in its Edge systems. AT&T is calling the upgrade Operation Fine Edge. I'd say AT&T is walking the razor's edge here. While it will dampen the sting of not having 3G in th

According to an internal operations employee, AT&T decided that it had better get its data network in tip-top shape for the iPhone launch. As such, it is working to improve coverage, latency, and throughput in its Edge systems. AT&T is calling the upgrade Operation Fine Edge. I'd say AT&T is walking the razor's edge here. While it will dampen the sting of not having 3G in the iPhone just a little, Edge is still limited by comparison. And, um, does this mean that AT&T's Edge network hasn't been providing the best possible service?To be honest, the entire thing smells fishy to me. If AT&T really is upgrading its Edge network, that means it's been giving current Edge users the short end of the stick.

Edge has theoretical data speeds of 200 Kbps. Real-world usage ranges anywhere from 30 to 160 Kbps. What's disconcerting is that the AT&T employee says it is doubling its current Edge throughput from 40 Kbps to 80 Kbps by enhancing the backhaul systems and how each individual tower allocates bandwidth to data requests and calls that come in. Apparently adding T-1 lines to towers that aren't as robust as others is helping accomplish this upgrade.

So, in other words, AT&T has limited its Edge network capability since it was rolled out. What gives?

Some are saying that this network enhancement is good news. I think it is a mixed bag. While it's nice that AT&T realizes its network needs to perform when all the fanboys boot their iPhones in three weeks and try to Google pictures of Paris Hilton getting out of jail, it bothers me to think that AT&T has not provided the fastest Edge network all along. Especially when considering how slow it has been to get its 3G network up and running, and how far along some of AT&T's competitors are with their 3G data networks.

I also maintain that the iPhone should have, at the very least, HSDPA capability for the U.S. market, which is backward compatible with Edge. Sure, Edge is more pervasive, but it's just not as fast as Steve Jobs thinks it is.

I guess we'll all have to ask Stephen Wellman just how fast his iPhone really is ... once he gets it.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Can Low Code Measure Up to Tomorrow's Programming Demands?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/16/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll