AT&T Working With Apple To Improve Network, Is Now Ready for Battle

Based on a report by the Wall Street Journal [subscription required] today, AT&T is working hard to beef up their network to handle the continued load from the iPhone, including enlisting help from Apple. Aside from the mission to assure Steve Jobs they were working on the problem, AT&T met with Apple designers to discuss wireless networking. As a result, Apple was able to change how the iPhone communicates with AT&T’s network, lessening the load for basic tasks such as locating the closest tower or checking for new messages.

According to AT&T’s chief technology officer, John Donovan, AT&T “is managing volumes that no one else has experienced,” and goes on to argue that once their rivals get the iPhone they won’t be able to handle the volume any better. Executives at AT&T also claim that before the iPhone, they could forecast to the minute how much usage a new subscriber would add to their network, but now those forecasts are completely off.

Not surprising, according to research groups, as soon as competing networks get the iPhone there will be a mass exodus to AT&T’s competition. But if Donovan is correct, these switchers will be disappointed in the service the other providers will be able to offer.

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