AT&T loves its 3G more than EDGE

Having to make do with "old" technology is a bitter pill to swallow. Witness the recent move by AT&T, which according to OFB is relegating its EDGE service to the 1900MHz band from the 850MHz band and giving its 3G service some 850MHz exclusivity.

Why should you care? If you're in a 3G service area, you're going to get a better signal with the 850 band than you would with 1900. And that should equate to better battery life. But if you're in a 3G area and are running on EDGE because you're forcing your phone to connect to 2G, you're going to suffer a little, both in signal quality and battery life.

And our friends at the The iPhone Blog, who certainly have a vested interest (see iPhone 2G), raise an interesting point: What's that mean for customers in an EDGE-only area? Are they going to get screwed over in the name of progress? Is this just a move to indirectly force customers to upgrade their phones? And is there really anything wrong with that?

AT&T's definitely growing its 3G network, but there are still plenty of people without it.

Open For Business via Gizmodo & TiPB

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Sounds great to me! 3G all the way!
  • at&t would be better served by concentrating on rolling out 3G before making a boneheaded move like this. Upgrading a phone to a 3G device would be much less painful if 3G were prolific rather than the spotty service it is now. Fill in the holes at&t, then we'll talk about changing bands. Thanks
  • It's gonna have to happen someday anyway
    But as the poster above commented, at&t should really expand/improve further, then relegate edge to 1900.
    Of course, financially speaking, this makes sense, and I'm sure at&t isn't stupid enough to not see the side effects (although they are @#$#% enough to ignore them).
  • Another big reason ATT is doing this is to eliminate interference issues between edge and 3g running so close to each other in frequency.Right now they have to split the 850 spectrum block and its very inefficient to do,it wastes spectrum and causes interference issues. 3G requires a 5mhz slot plus empty spectrum around it because of the interference it creates to frequencies adjacent to it. No more interference now between edge and 3G since they are running on different chunks of spectrum, it means Att frees up around 5mhz in spectrum, and can turn up the wattage on each tower and improve capacity and data speeds. In some markets that are PCS only like Arizona nothing will change.
  • ...most phones over the last several years are 3g capable, just because apple decided 3g was a bag of hurt at the time doesn't mean the rest of the world can't progress...I don't really see the issue. It'd be like getting upset when software providers began to make the switch from floppy to CD's...and some point older technology takes that back seat...and then further down the line it simply slips into obsolescence. This is just step 1...edge will be around a lot's just starting to get the shaft from it's providers.