AT&T data signal needs a big improvement

AT&T's 3G signal could be better in Northern California.

My iPhone 3G showed the "No Service" sign before switching back to Edge Wednesday morning. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

Update at noon PDT: AT&T said it has fixed a problem that caused many Northeast iPhone users to complain that they couldn't access the mobile Web.

I saw a post Wednesday morning that talked about the iPhone data signal outage in the Northeast and thought to myself "Northeast? How about Northern California?"

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and wasn't able to get any 3G signal at all this morning during my commute. The phone automatically used Edge and if I manually reset it to use 3G, it said "No Service" for a while before using Edge again. And even in Edge mode, it was super slow.

I remember AT&T claiming to be the fastest 3G network in the U.S. just one day before the launch of the iPhone 3G. I've had my iPhone 3G for more than a month now and so far it's been rare that I've been happy with both the speed and stability of the 3G signal. The phone switches back and forth between Edge and 3G randomly, and if the switch takes place during a call, the conversation gets interrupted. Most of the time, I turn off the 3G to have a more stable voice signal.

None of my friends or co-workers are totally happy about the 3G signal either, except for one who traveled to Minnesota and reported that it was very good there. But hey, we live in the Bay Area.

So admit it, AT&T, there's something wrong with your data network. I hope this widespread data outage happening right now in the Northeast becomes a cry for improvement. A big improvement.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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