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Is ATT really this abysmal in SoCal?

Discussion in 'AT&T Wireless Forum' started by CellGeek, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. CellGeek

    CellGeek Sprint is the BOMB!
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    Please read the following blog, especially the post from Linda H that worked for the ATT NOC. Is ATT really this bad in California? There are at least 50 responses in this blog that indicates that the drop calls and lack of service is epidemic in Southern California. If this is true, why isn't there a 50 percent churn? Do folks stay with ATT because of the extremely cool phones?

    What is your opinion?

    AT&T going belly up in California? : Boy Genius Report
     
  2. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    My girlfriend was having CONSTANT issues while driving between NYC and Albany, NY. Her Centro could not hold a call at all. This also happened on the LIRR on Long Island. Just awful. AND, she is not even on the 3G networks, which is a story of its own.
     
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  3. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Can't speak for SoCal, plenty of dropped calls here in NorCal and GSM connections frequently result in incomprehensible conversations. 3G voice quality is very good by comparison. I would guess with all those activations AT&T is running into network bandwidth/capacity issues.
     
  4. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    I can speak for SoCal, or at least where I live and frequent anyway. AT&T's service is fine. I have experienced dropped calls, but I can say the same for T-Mobile as well. I've had less dropped call issues with Verizon, though,

    There are issues with every carrier, so I would take the BGR report with a grain of salt. It is subjective and does NOT speak for every AT&T customer in Southern California.

    As far as what the former AT&T NOC rep commented, I would not be surprised if what she is saying is true. Who knows how the old L.A. Cellular network was when original AT&T Wireless purchased it in the first place.

    Cingular chose to sell their original PCS network to T-Mobile, so in hindsight, it might have been better to have kept the Orange network, but what's done is done.

    So my take is AT&T is just fine, not perfect, but certainly not horrible. In fact, the call quality on the 3G network is impressive. I don't have any plans to terminate my service with them.
     
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  5. hf1khal

    hf1khal Who am I to judge
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    There are people that I know in the California area and I never heard them complain about there service in the SoCal area. One should realy limit the complaint to a specific location instead of generalizing an area.
     
  6. Kesem

    Kesem New Member

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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.

    I live in the West Los Angeles/ Beverly Hills area and I barely can use my phone. I rarely finish a conversation on my own. The call almost always drops. The only reason I have ATT is because of the iphone.

    It is true that no network is perfect, but I've had both Verizon and Sprint and both are much better here. I also travel a lot and have found ATT's networks in other cities to be much better than LA.

    My only hope is that the network will improve when 3G is switched to 850mhz.
     
    #6 Kesem, Feb 5, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  7. chokaay

    chokaay Junior Member
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    Yes, there was (and still is) a huge problem with AT&T/Cingular in SoCal (versus other carriers and other locations in the U.S.)... and although AT&T is trying to "fix" it by investing in 3G instead of 2G, there are still significant problems:

    AT&T's 3G coverage varies depending on location. In my area it works well in some locations, but is virtually non-existant in other locations. It also seems to have reliability and capacity issues, and certain areas will go down from time to time (some more frequently than others). However, it doesn't seem to suffer from the voice quality issues of AT&T's 2G network.

    AT&T's 2G coverage covers much more area very thoroughly and is more "reliable" than 3G here, but suffers from voice quality issues such as "GSM Spank" (dropping every 2nd - 4th syllable even at full bars... T-Mobile tends to do this too), compression artifacts (probably due to AMR-HR), background noise (due to less aggressive noise filters... which can be either good or bad depending on situation and whether the listener likes to hear background noise or not), and dropped calls (when the phone only registers 0-2 bars, or when the bars randomly go from full bars to 0). AT&T's 2G network also suffers from capacity issues (mostly in densely populated areas during peak hours).



    That being said, some people will notice these problems in AT&T's networks more often than others. It all depends if the user is tolerant enough to put up with such problems and stay with AT&T.

    AT&T has many gimmicks and incentives to convince existing customers to stay, such as exclusivity on the iPhone (most people don't know how nor want the hassle of unlocking it and using it on T-Mobile), rollover minutes (not many people are willing to switch to another carrier and "lose" their thousands and thousands of "hard earned" rollover minutes... even though they'll never ever ever use them), and a huge M2M customer base (good for AT&T customers who has most of their friends/family/customers on AT&T... but a bit useless for those that don't).

    AT&T also has the "reputation" of having "more bars in more places", thus the average person is brainwashed into thinking that AT&T must get the best signal in every part of the U.S. (much like how Verizon commercials brainwash the average person into thinking that they have the "most reliable" network in every part of the U.S.). (While these perceptions of AT&T and Verizon may be true in some areas, they certainly aren't true EVERYWHERE in the U.S., nor EVERYWHERE in SoCal.)

    And if that wasn't enough, perhaps there are customers that are still hanging on to AT&T because of their long-lived loyalty, they like the "brand name" (the "BMW" of U.S. GSM carriers), or perhaps they still have a really good grandfathered plan (old AT&T Wireless Blue) and are hoping that in a few years AT&T will have invested and built out their 3G network enough that it won't have any reliability or capacity issues anymore...
     
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  8. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.

    And that could be a bigger part of the problem! The iphone. My friends with the iPhone here on the East Coast in NY and Philly areas also get less reception with that phone that other ATT phones that they own.
     
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  9. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.




    So whose theory is that? It also could also be a defective device which all phone manufacturers have. My Nephew and I both live on the East Coast and we both have iPhones and our reception has never been a problem. Another question that comes to mind is, if reception on their iPhones is so poor why did they wait until the 30 day trial lapsed to return it?
    And how about other devices, is the reception any better?, bad reception is not going to automatically appear after 30 days. That is what I like about AT&T, you get that 30 day window to decide while other carriers only give 2 weeks.
     
    #9 josephd, Feb 6, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  10. hf1khal

    hf1khal Who am I to judge
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.


    I agree.I was in the NY are and my reception was always full, calls were clear and did not drop. Here in VA all has been tops and actually the reception with the iphone is even better than the BB, Tilt or the Moto V9 even call quality is better. The only thing that the iPhone could effect is the data side and that was fixed after the first 2 months of its intro as at&t did the network fix.
     
  11. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.

    You guys really like your IPhones. They are cool looking. Well it is an observation not a theory. My daughters friends who have iphones and who are from several East Coast states and are here to attend Med school, without exception have mentioned issues with signal sensitivity as opposed to their " regular phones". Believe me I think the thing is really cool but in the end I use a phone to talk and want good RF sensitivity. Also for those who watch CNBC the afternoon female reporter has repeatedly complained about her iPhones NY City reception, mentioning that she switched from Verizon to get it. So, could it be that its ATT or that the iPhone needs to be in an excellent coverage area to work well? There have been updates to it due to dropped calls.
     
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  12. hf1khal

    hf1khal Who am I to judge
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.


    You can not compare a VZW phone reception to an at&t phone reception. Any way, reception in GSM defers than teh CDMA. Not that I only use the iphone but I also use BB, V9 and the Tilt. The iphone prior to 2,1 did have issues and since then all of those are gone. In the areas that I have been, always there was a mix of diferent phone type users on at&t and not once did they out perform the iphone. In the NY area I used my phones in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, and a lot of areas in LI. In NJ along the NJ TPK, it was full all the way ( but I can't take that as a big measure due to the hwy coverage being tops for all providers). In MD, it was great, like in Baltimore as well as many different areas that I have been to and the same in Northern VA and DC. Now there will always be gaps (and that happens for all providers) and the gap could be covered by one while others are not as good. But the main topic here is not specific to iPhones but for all cell phones in general and the blame was sort of put on the iphone as the cause of the issue which is not true.
     
  13. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    Yet again we are generalizing, when I buy a phone I know within the first week if it is a keeper or not. So let's say for sake of argument my iPhone's reception is terrible and dropping calls, I would not wait until my 30 day window was up than complain about it.
    I as well buy a phone for voice service first, but I also wanted a smartphone and the iPhone filled all my needs even if it is a toy to some.;)And yes it does have a lot of cool features which is another reason I bought it.
     
  14. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.

    Very well said hf1khal. ;)

    The topic of this thread is AT&T's coverage (or lack thereof) in SoCal and not the perceived performance of a particular device.

    Please stay on topic from now on.
     
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  15. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.

    I agree 100% with you on the topic. I raised the issue of the iPhone because a poster mentioned having one and as you mentioned the early units did have that call dropping issue. I get it as to coverage holes,being on VZW we have them here. Lots of them.
     
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  16. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.

    Well said, Charlyee and hf1khal. I also agree with Chokaay's assessment of AT&T as well.

    My experiences in the L.A. area are from the eastern SF Valley (plus Burbank and Glendale), Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Pasadena (the San Gabriel Valley), and the Inland Empire.

    I rarely travel into the hillside or mountain areas, which are known to be coverage nightmares. Most, if not all lately, of the locations I frequent are the densely covered suburban areas. I don't use my phone incessantly, but when I do, I've not had any serious issues (such as call quality, signal, and the like) that warrant a complaint on AT&T's service.

    Also, I rarely travel in to the Westside and Southern Orange County ,which I know from my own experience, are coverage problem areas, and not just for AT&T either.

    There are so many factors, such as the phone in use, the network, terrain, and so on. I hate to lay all the blame on AT&T.

    It's been my experience Verizon and AT&T are equally strong. Both have worked well when I've needed them to. T-Mobile has also been very good as well, but not quite as good as the big two.

    Years ago I had problems with AT&T's service, but over the past year, I can't complain.

    Jimwayda contacted me via PM, I suggested he try out AT&T's service to see how AT&T will work for him where he lives and frequents, as this is the only way for him to know how good or bad they'll be.

    Threads like this get out of hand, as people's experiences differ. We can offer opinions, but only his experience with AT&T (prepaid or postpaid/30 day trial) will truly matter, if he chooses to go this route.
     
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  17. chokaay

    chokaay Junior Member
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    Re: ATT is abysmal in SoCal.


    ^ I agree 100%.
     
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  18. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Yankee, The best advice I can give for your girlfriend if she's on AT&T is to remove the SIM from the Centro and throw that piece of junk in the nearest garbage can!:censored: Then she might want to look at one of the HTC phones, the Blackberry Bold (it works pretty good), the BlackJack II or even the new Nokia E series. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!:D
     

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