AT&T Reception: iPhone vs others

backspaces

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Jul 1, 2007
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#1
I'm finding my iPhone in Santa Fe, NM gets such bad coverage that I can't use it and am returning it tomorrow (sob!).

I would like to know if the problem is the iPhone itself (Think the initial TiBook with horrid WiFi reception, for example) or is the problem mainly ATT having poor coverage here in Santa Fe. I did pull the SIM out of the iPhone and pop it into a Treo -- and the signal seemed to be better but I don't regard this as definitive.

So here's the question: Has anyone experience with ATT before buying their iPhone? If so, is the reception better/worse/same on the iPhone vs your earlier phone?

Thanks!
 

ahaxton

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Aug 5, 2007
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#2
It's the iPhone simple as that, likely firmware. I bet they didn't have the necessary time to optimize the firmware for the antenna. Ive never had anything but 5 or 4 bars on previous AT&T phones. I think its obvious that its the iPhone firmware because you'll have 5 bars and sitting in the same spot you'll drop your signal and it'll jump back to 5. Totally a software issue.
 

petalmom

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Jun 30, 2007
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#3
I'm no where near Santa Fe but I've been with AT&T for years and my reception is now and has always been excellent. There is no difference in reception between my iPhone and any other phone I've owned.

Does their coverage map indicate that you should have good coverage where you're trying to use it?
 

backspaces

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Jul 1, 2007
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#4
I'm no where near Santa Fe but I've been with AT&T for years and my reception is now and has always been excellent. There is no difference in reception between my iPhone and any other phone I've owned.

Does their coverage map indicate that you should have good coverage where you're trying to use it?
The coverage map lists the places I frequent during the day as having good or excellent coverage.

But in a long list of tests all around town, I find that I get almost no coverage except in a few places. ATT/iPhone is definitely worse than TMobile/Treo. I've popped the iPhone SIM into my Treo and it gets better reception than the iPhone, with more steadiness.

I'm beginning to suspect two problems: the iPhone antenna/software may not yet be optimized, and the ATT service here is poor. I even exchanged my first iPhone at an Apple store thinking the phone was faulty. They agreed too, after watching the bars drop just going into another room in the store. But the second phone had exactly the same problems.

I'd love to have an unlocked iPhone here in Santa Fe to see if it would work with TMobile, which has better coverage according to my experiments and the opinions of a couple of GSM users here. But the unlock stunts aren't ready yet and I need to return the phone tomorrow. Maybe later...
 

backspaces

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Jul 1, 2007
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#5
It's the iPhone simple as that, likely firmware. I bet they didn't have the necessary time to optimize the firmware for the antenna. Ive never had anything but 5 or 4 bars on previous AT&T phones. I think its obvious that its the iPhone firmware because you'll have 5 bars and sitting in the same spot you'll drop your signal and it'll jump back to 5. Totally a software issue.
Yup, that's exactly the erratic behavior I see as well. Its mind blowing to see the iPhone go from No Service to 5 bars with no apparent change in my location! Weird. Maybe trees blowing in front of the towers?!
 

ahaxton

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Aug 5, 2007
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#6
Yup, that's exactly the erratic behavior I see as well. Its mind blowing to see the iPhone go from No Service to 5 bars with no apparent change in my location! Weird. Maybe trees blowing in front of the towers?!
I hope they fix it soon, it gives a bad reputation to both Apple and AT&T (AT&T for the ones who have never been on AT&T and Apple for those who have been on AT&T). Maybe tomorrow there will be an update that will be a glorious one.
 

rasputinj

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Jul 18, 2007
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#7
I have found my ATT coverage to be worse than Verizon, I am getting a few dropped calls and croppy audio.

I need to purchase a second GSM phone to see if it is ATT or Apple.
 

iLLGT2

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Jul 26, 2007
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#8
Ive had Cingular/Att for years and years. Only in a select few places will I have no service, but then after a few minutes it picks it up again. Otherwise I love it!
 

petalmom

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Jun 30, 2007
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#9
The coverage map lists the places I frequent during the day as having good or excellent coverage.

But in a long list of tests all around town, I find that I get almost no coverage except in a few places. ATT/iPhone is definitely worse than TMobile/Treo. I've popped the iPhone SIM into my Treo and it gets better reception than the iPhone, with more steadiness.

I'm beginning to suspect two problems: the iPhone antenna/software may not yet be optimized, and the ATT service here is poor. I even exchanged my first iPhone at an Apple store thinking the phone was faulty. They agreed too, after watching the bars drop just going into another room in the store. But the second phone had exactly the same problems.

I'd love to have an unlocked iPhone here in Santa Fe to see if it would work with TMobile, which has better coverage according to my experiments and the opinions of a couple of GSM users here. But the unlock stunts aren't ready yet and I need to return the phone tomorrow. Maybe later...
I'm sorry that it did not work out for you, I know you must be disappointed :(

Maybe in time new towers (or whatever it is that improves reception) will be built in your area and you will be able to try again?

I would be curious if there are other iPhone users in your area that are experiencing similar problems.

If you can't have an iPhone, at least buy yourself something else very nice and try and enjoy it. Good luck!
 

Paul830

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Aug 13, 2007
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Cleveland, OH
#10
I'm in the Cleveland Ohio area and have noticed the same thing... The phone is sitting on my desk and the signal bars go from 5 to 4 then 3 to 5 then 5 to none... I called AT&T and asked about this problem. The rep told me that the phone uses a radio signal (NEWS FLASH! LOL) and that even tree branches can interfere with the quality of the signal... I told her that the phone was sitting stationary on a desk NOT moving in a car... She said that the wind might cause this to happen too... I've never had this sort of issue with any other carrier... Guess it's just an AT&T issue.
 

greenjbhsd

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Jul 13, 2007
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#11
In salt lake city the reception is ok. I was a verizon user prior to the iPhone and verizon was beyond rock solid. You needed to do things to make a call drop, 5 bars everywhere that there was civilization and even 5 bars up some of the canyons. With ATT I find I do have fairly good coverage, I do have that odd bar fluctuation which I don't really understand, but I get calls dropped from time to time.

However, as expected, your service will be different depending on where you live. My brother lives in Trenton NJ and he says that there Verizon sucks, he gets dropped calls frequently while on the turnpike, but ATT is rock solid.....
 

oab

New Member
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Jul 18, 2007
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#12
I'm finding my iPhone in Santa Fe, NM gets such bad coverage that I can't use it and am returning it tomorrow (sob!).

I would like to know if the problem is the iPhone itself (Think the initial TiBook with horrid WiFi reception, for example) or is the problem mainly ATT having poor coverage here in Santa Fe. I did pull the SIM out of the iPhone and pop it into a Treo -- and the signal seemed to be better but I don't regard this as definitive.

So here's the question: Has anyone experience with ATT before buying their iPhone? If so, is the reception better/worse/same on the iPhone vs your earlier phone?

Thanks!

I had AT&T before they changed their name to Cingular, now AT&T again--all with Nokia phones before my iPhone. I believe the connections were better with the Nokia phones and the receiver speaker was certainly much louder with the Nokia phones. I was at my daughter's apartment trying to make a call with my iPhone and all I could get was "no service". She handed me her cheap 29.00 dollar flip phone on the Verizon network and said "try this Dad". Yes, her phone worked--how embarrassing.
 

Velodog2

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Jul 19, 2007
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#13
http://forums.everythingicafe.com/threads/my-friends-hate-my-iphone.8935/

The above thread has my discussion of this topic.

My conclusion: The iPhone has significantly worse reception than my old razor.

This is based on same-network, same-location tests using the two phones with the same SIM. Swapping back and forth under challenging signal conditions (thanks att) results in unusable call quality from the iPhone, and acceptable call quality from the razor.

It sucks and I love my iPhone. I can only hope that Apple figures out a fix (anyone else beginning to think that statement is starting to sound a little hollow?). Interestingly, when I was using my old first-gen razor in this test I was thinking, ya know this ain't a bad phone really...

Oh well, they're just phones, not life.

Another thought: I wonder how long before the competition starts using both the poor reception of the iPhone and the poor att network against them both in advertising. It would not be difficult to put together data similar to the way I did it that could be used in such an ad. Maybe I'll send some folks at Verizon/Motorola a suggestion just to get Apple off its arse.
 
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rj5620

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Jun 2, 2007
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#14
I live north of Cincinnati and I have "No Service" in my house and a block around my house. My Verizon always had a full signal. I called ATT and they said they wrote a ticket about it and a few days later I received an email stating the ticket has been resolved. The problem persists. It is ironic that around here the most dropped calls are ATT and they are all over the news, TV with their ads about the least dropped calls. Just advertising nothing else. When on a trip, always have the wife's Verizon flip for safety.
 

Velodog2

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Jul 19, 2007
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#15
I live north of Cincinnati and I have "No Service" in my house and a block around my house. My Verizon always had a full signal. I called ATT and they said they wrote a ticket about it and a few days later I received an email stating the ticket has been resolved. The problem persists. It is ironic that around here the most dropped calls are ATT and they are all over the news, TV with their ads about the least dropped calls. Just advertising nothing else. When on a trip, always have the wife's Verizon flip for safety.
I read that they 'dropped' the 'fewest dropped calls' ad because the latest report it was based on did not support the claim.
 

Hawk

Genius
Gold
Aug 2, 2007
6,682
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ATL
#16
http://forums.everythingicafe.com/threads/my-friends-hate-my-iphone.8935/

The above thread has my discussion of this topic.

My conclusion: The iPhone has significantly worse reception than my old razor.

This is based on same-network, same-location tests using the two phones with the same SIM. Swapping back and forth under challenging signal conditions (thanks att) results in unusable call quality from the iPhone, and acceptable call quality from the razor.

It sucks and I love my iPhone. I can only hope that Apple figures out a fix (anyone else beginning to think that statement is starting to sound a little hollow?). Interestingly, when I was using my old first-gen razor in this test I was thinking, ya know this ain't a bad phone really...

Oh well, they're just phones, not life.

Another thought: I wonder how long before the competition starts using both the poor reception of the iPhone and the poor att network against them both in advertising. It would not be difficult to put together data similar to the way I did it that could be used in such an ad. Maybe I'll send some folks at Verizon/Motorola a suggestion just to get Apple off its arse.
It's funny, I get better reception than my wife's Razr. But that was not only with the iPhone, but with my Nokia too. If I had 5 bars, she would have 3-4.
same with her previous phone as well. I wonder if Height has anything to do with it... I'm almost 6'2", and she's like 5'6". That would be funny and pitiful all at the same time.:p
 
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Velodog2

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Jul 19, 2007
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#17
It's funny, I get better reception than my wife's Razr. But that was not only with the iPhone, but with my Nokia too. If I had 5 bars, she would have 3-4.
same with her previous phone as well. I wonder if Height has anything to do with it... I'm almost 6'2", and she's like 5'6". That would be funny and pitiful all at the same time.:p
lol good point about height. My tests were done by the same person wearing the same shoes.

I paid no attention to the number of bars showing on either phone. Those are a completely subjective measure of signal strength and all I care about is if I can actually make a call or not.
 

LionelHutz

New Member
Sep 5, 2007
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#18
I've been with AT&T/Cingular in Atlanta for the last 4 years, and don't have any issues with the iPhone's performance thus far. Its reception is at least as good - if not better - than my last two Cingular smartphones (a Blackjack and a Cingular 8125), and I haven't had any issues with dropped calls or wildly varying signals. While the phone itself has to have some effect on call quality, it seems that AT&T's network - and the varying quality thereof - may have even more to do with it.
 

iLLGT2

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Jul 26, 2007
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#20
Have you guys with issues ever try taking out the sim and putting it back in? Read a while ago with the earlier phones they were buggy and not getting great service, my friend took mine out when he told me and I have never had any issues. Maybe a coincidence, who knows, doesn't hurt to try!