Not that you'd know it from the last year of problems...
Right around the time his company was botching the iPhone 4 launch
, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was busy giving an interview on CNBC. In said interview, Stephenson again reiterated that AT&T realizes they sucked at providing fundamental voice connectivity in congested markets like New York and San Francisco, but once again, Stephenson insists that they've learned from that experience and that things have improved:
The uptake and the demand was dramatic, and there are particular markets like New York. The demand was really impressive, and it had an effect on voice quality. We have been going hard at the voice quality issue in New York, and made tremendous progress. And so, we're getting to a point where voice quality is getting to where it should be, and mobile broadband is the fastest in the nation. as measured by any number of independent people.
T-Mobile might have something to say about that, given T-Mobile's now deploying 21 Mbps HSPA+ that's often faster than both Clearwire and AT&T service. Verizon too is getting ready to bypass AT&T, with plans to launch 5-12 Mbps LTE service in 25-30 markets before the end of this year.
Stephenson also stated that he believes AT&T will be the best wireless company in the world
within five years. Of course you wouldn't know it by AT&T's problems over the last few months, which have included botched product launches
, new predatory pricing for wireless data
, security gaffes
, the inability to say they're sorry
, and the decisions to cripple Android handsets
and punish Microcell users for helping ease AT&T tower strain
Of course that's without even reiterating AT&T's problems the last few years actually running a voice and data network
As with AT&T's decision to invest in copper instead of fiber (aka U-Verse), AT&T tends to listen more to investors and less to engineers when it comes to "future proofing" their networks, which in contrast to Verizon (see FiOS, a 2010 LTE launch) means they generally half-ass things now
in the hopes that things magically work out later. Maybe things will turn out fine by 2015, but unless AT&T intends to lobby and brute force their way to the top, a lot
of things have to change at the core of AT&T for Stephenson's dream to be become a reality. Maybe actually listening to your customers would be a good place to start?