Review by Selenia
Good "Excellent voice quality. 3mbit+ on most speed tests now that AT&T has deployed nice 3G coverage here."
- Location: Lanesboro,Berkshire,MA
- Cost: $15 per month (24 month contract)
Bad "Latency is terrible, but not much jitter, making streaming ok. Dreadful caps on most personal plans."
Overall "Great job cleaning up your act in my area, AT&T. Better bandwidth than Verizon Wireless, though worse latency"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
Update 11/18/10: It's a new AT&T network for a wide swath of my region. Horrible EDGE has been overlayed with 3G that has expanded to at least nearly the whole county and beyond. It is extremely stable and gets great download speeds especially since it's been on 850MHz since after seemingly some initial spot testing by AT&T. The 3 achilles heals to all this are caps, high latency, and having to force phone to 3G-only to avoid inapropriate fallbacks to EDGE, though it seems to now be on both 850 and 1900 bands, unlike the former 1900-only crap EDGE of the past. All in all quite a thrill to have now 2 good 3G providers at my disposal. 1 being EVDO and AT&T being UMTS.
Update 10/22/10: It is near the end of October and the promised 3G upgrade from AT&T still has yet to surface. Data is still so unusable that the one phone I still have on these idiots even has trouble checking my gmail using the gmail app. Latency still stays above 1200ms and the speeds are about half that of a 56k modem. Really, I'm surprised they still manage to sucker people into being their customer now that they have sucked for this long. Even voice service has become spotty, with my phone often not ringing. I can't wait until my last contract is up. I haven't been with AT&t since the Cingular days until the last couple of years, but I guarantee I won't be going back to them. Especially after seeing just how much better the alternatives are these days.
Update 9/26/10 Updated score and summary to reflect current service level that made me jump ship with my laptop. I still use them for voice, at this point, and very light phone data usage. Value for money dropped due to partially unusable data service.
Update 7/7/10: Speed and notable stability improvements have weathered the July 4th weekend storm and iphone 4 launch, so now I am more confident that these improvements are stable, even under load, so now feeln confident increasing connection reliability score. Now a 4-solid stability, but still some speed fluctuations at peak time(though no dreaded page load errors or the like), so not quite a 5. It has been more reliable than cable in this city in the last few days, though TWC is normally very reliable. Also had some pleasant experiences with tech support, when dealing with a defective bluetooth accessory. They still need more tech savvy people, but they have been getting the customer service part of things right of late, so tech support score also up 1.
I have had their voice service before, so I knew their coverage was good in my area(Verizon somewhat sucks there and Sprint really sucks). I decided to add some data services, as I had many uses for accessing the internet from the road. The $15-60 price range is for data only and covers 2 devices I have serviced-a cheap 3G phone capable of streaming music to my car and a laptop with a data connect card(which I sometimes use as a wifi hotspot for other devices, as well).
The network is overloaded in my area, but can stream via Yourmuze at low bitrates, provided I use the little mobile antenna that I made for myself. Otherwise(if you can't reach an alternative tower) you might find yourself with 5 bars of dead service. However, the service has been great wherever else I travel.
I live in a county that is mostly a cellular dead spot for 90+% of providers(even VZW, which has 3G in my city, but fails at covering surrounding areas I travel through daily). Most providers serve my city, some with less congested service, but forget any of the hill towns around here(even Dalton). AT&T only has 1 small dead spot(in Williamstown) that I've found within the whole county, by contrast. Some correspondence with AT&T did reveal they will be upgrading us to 3G this September or October. Given the service is reliable enough to do low bitrate streaming most of the time, access e-mail, read what you guys reply to me at BBR, etc,etc-I decided to probably stay where I am, when my contract is up in December. I live very near AT&T 3G right now and some smaller towns to the North have it, as well as areas to the East and West of me(which surround bigger cities). I generally see a minimum of 2 mbit in those areas and very low latency.
Anyways, with some work, I got it working good enough here. Coverage is more important than speed, especially when it seems the other providers aren't trying too hard on the coverage side. My makeshift mobile antenna(for a phone not meant to accept one) keeps the in-town reception very nicely by allowing my phone to see more than 1 tower if a specific tower gets hung up by congestion from those iphone users(just kidding about the iphone reference). Reception in the more rural areas here and in other cities has never been an issue. I'd rather need an antenna in my city than to have miles of 0 coverage that surrounds my city in all directions(ahem Sprint, T-Mobile, somewhat VZW). I love internet radio in my car and AT&T is the only one that lets me travel from here to Boston, with no interruption.
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updated 2.9 years ago