NY Times: iPhone To Blame For Bad AT&T Coverage

AT&T has been taking a lot of criticism as of late for the quality of their network, but the New York Times today suggested that they are actually the victim of problems caused by shortcomings in the iPhone’s hardware. The story by Randall Stross cites Roger Entner, the Senior VP for telecommunications research at market research firm Nielsen who says the iPhone’s “air interface” (his term for the radio component in the device that communicates with cell towers) has problems that “affect both voice and data.”

Entner argues that to most consumers, “the iPhone has the nimbus of infallibility, ergo, it’s AT&T’s fault.” AT&T also will never say so publicly because they don’t want to say anything bad about Apple. He cites tests from Global Wireless Solutions and Root Wireless that found AT&T to have superior network speed and signal strength for both data and voice networks.

The problem with Roger Entner’s claim is that his information is full of holes, as as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber points out:

  • Stross’s primary source is Paul Carter, the president of Global Wireless Solutions, a network testing firm. Carter acknowledges that AT&T is one of his company’s clients, and Verizon is not. I mean, come on.

  • Stross’s second source is Root Wireless, a company whose data comes from some sort of software that runs in the background on unnamed smartphones, which of course (since the software runs in the background) means the iPhone is not included.

Other truths he listed that debunk the anti-iPhone argument are the fact that other countries aren’t having these issues and the fact that the iPhone’s hardware has gone through three versions so far, leaving ample opportunity to find and replace faulty hardware, yet the issues get worse instead of better.

Who do you think is in the right?

[via NY Times, Daring Fireball]

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