By now, I think we have all heard someone lament about how they struggle to maintain a decent voice or data connection on the AT&T Wireless network. Unless you are in a city where the 3G coverage is supersaturated, you probably watch your bars go up and down like a pogo stick. Many of us hope that the introduction of iPhone on Verizon will help relieve all of the service congestion on AT&T. Time will tell; however, I did want to share a simple tip to improve your AT&T connection: Switch the mobile network to EDGE.
Yes, I know that is a sucky answer, but for now it works. My phone call and data connection reliability has improved. In fact, I find that I get better response time and more sustained data performance using EDGE than 3G. Living in Houston, I was surprised that things did not get much better after a reported $50 million upgrade to our infrastructure, but things are still like they were before with 3G. Unreliable. Believe it or not, I live in the shadow of the downtown skyscrapers, so I am both surprised and disappointed.
I even tried that new fangled device that AT&T was pushing on some of us that would expand the 3G coverage to our home with a Cisco-manufactured 3G modem connected to my broadband internet service. Alas, my phone could never decide whether to connect to my in-home 3G modem or the airwaves. The fluctuation was so bad with the signal near my home that the phone could never figure which connection to use. That solution went into the circular file.
So, for those of us who need to stay with AT&T, whether for equipment or business reasons, there is presently not much that can be done except to try to switch the mobile network. No, you will not be on a call and internet at the same time, but you may find your frustration level goes way down until things improve. By the way, a great side benefit of switching to EDGE is your battery life will likely more than double. Sporadic 3G coverage will force your phone to boost power in an attempt to stay connected.