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Pundits not among 73% of iPhone users who love AT&T

By 23 July 2010 No Comment

If all we went by was the media (including TV, blogosphere and tech sites), we would likely believe that AT&T is the worse wireless network operator in the world.  The Yankee group decided to test this theory but they seemed to have found the opposite where 73% of iPhone users loved their AT&T wireless service which is 4% higher than the industry average.  AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel says that the network isn’t as bad as people perceive and the Yankee results seem to verify that.

Karl Bode at DSLReports thinks that Siegel is insulting people’s intelligence when he calls this a perception problem, but Bode misunderstood what Siegel said.  Bode sees this as Siegel saying that there is no problem when Siegel is saying that there are problems but they’re not as bad as how the media perceives and reports this, and the Yankee study seems to be verifying what Siegel is saying.  Bode even admits that AT&T is working on their problems ($36 billion capex on wireless in 2009 and 2010), and he even admits that the problem seems to be concentrated in big cities like San Francisco and New York (not to mention the fact that Apple’s iPhone baseband shares a lot of the blame for dropped calls), but his anger is disproportionately aimed at AT&T.

The big issue with big cities like San Francisco and New York is that they make it darn near impossible to get a permit to install a new cell tower or even to expand an existing tower.  City officials in San Francisco even like to brag that they haven’t authorized a new tower in some places for nearly a decade, and this stems from the irrational fear of cell towers.  People want better cell tower reception but they don’t want a cell tower near them when the reality is that a near by cell tower allows you to be exposed to less radio energy.

People have a hard time believing this last statement because they lack an understanding of the physics.  The fact that the cell phone is about 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than a cell tower and that the cell phone can emits many times less energy when it’s near a tower in a strong coverage area.  So the closer a person resides near a cell tower, the less radio energy they are exposed to.  And as for concerns of ascetics, cell towers are being disguised as palm trees so there shouldn’t be a concern for property value.

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