According to an unnamed source from within O2, AT&T's problems aren't all their fault. Apparently the iPhone's hardware really is to blame, at least in part. The source says that the iPhone was the first device to use a radio (the hardware bit that talks to the cell tower) that drops the connection as soon as it's finished doing what it's doing, which saves battery life but is much harder on cell tower sites.
Since Apple began allowing over the air downloading of applications and iTunes content on the iPhone, they've been capping the size of files you can download over cellualar at 10MB, requiring you to be connected via Wi-Fi for anything larger. However, today Apple is raising the cap, bumping the maximum download size to 20MB. Now users can download up to 20MB over the cellular network from the App Store or from iTunes (including podcasts).
According to BGR, an internal source said to be among the ranks at AT&T is claiming that AT&T will be selling the version of the iPad that has both 3G and Wi-Fi functions in their retail stores nationwide. Word also has it that they plan to convert existing areas dedicated to netbooks and turn them into iPad playgrounds for us techies to get hands-on with the Apple tablets. They didn't give any specific details about the display areas, but they did say they would be substantial. We'll see what that means when the iPad is ready for launch.
AT&T has announced that they have reached agreements with Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson to supply the components to transition AT&T's network from 3G to LTE (4G) technology. LTE would not only be a lot faster (around 140-300Mbps, ie. "crazy fast"), but also a lot more reliable. The back-end updates to their network are also helping to prepare for the network change. They say field testing should start later this year with a rollout sometime in 2011.
Yesterday we thought AT&T was making significant progress in the right direction when they said in a press release that they had worked with Sling Media to optimize the SlingPlayer for iPhone, and were then allowing it to work on their 3G network. When asked, Sling Media said the app hasn't been changed since before and AT&T never worked with them on it.
"We didn't change anything," Sling Media's John Santoro told Ars. "AT&T never discussed any specific requirements with us."
Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin issued a downgrade for Verizon's stock prices this morning based on the assumption that they are unlikely to get the iPhone this year. There have been a lot of people hoping to see a Verizon iPhone, but it now looks increasingly unlikely after the announcement that the iPad would be on AT&T's 3G network instead of Verizon's.
AT&T announced today that they will now be allowing SlingPlayer Mobile [App Store, $29.99], and application for streaming TV to your iPhone to watch wherever you are, to run over the 3G network. The app was disabled over the 3G network due to bandwidth concerns and how it would effect the overall quality of the network, but now they say the code has been "optimized" which most likely means the developers had to change it to fit their bandwidth guidelines.
AT&T announced recently that they will be allowing VoIP applications to run over their 3G data network, but Skype says they will wait until they can offer high-quality audio over the data network. They are, however, planning to offer an iPad app in the very near future, which would make calling over 3G on the iPad a likely possibility.
As Steve Jobs announced at yesterday's keynote, the 3G model of the iPad will be unlocked, but that doesn't mean AT&T won't still be the exclusive carrier. The device will be GSM-only, so Verizon and Sprint are obviously out of the picture. While it will be possible to use the device on T-Mobile's network since the device is unlocked, so some will undoubtedly sign their iPad up with them, most people probably won't want to.
Word coming from what is said to be an inside source at AT&T says that the company will be losing their iPhone exclusivity rights as soon as Wednesday. We've heard a lot of rumblings about what may or may not be announced at Apple's event this week, but the most convincing ones largely pertained to the rumored-and-probably-intentionally-leaked-by-Apple Apple tablet. Rumors about a next-generation of iPhone have been slow, but an announcement like this would pretty big news for the iPhone crowd.