Optical/IP Networks

Man Bites Phone

5:30 PM -- Hey, come here a second, can we talk honestly for a moment? It's about the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone and the 3G connection problems people are having.

I understand the interest in the 3G connection problems and I know why people are writing about it. In the broad general scheme of things though, I don't think its big news. In fact, it may not even be a story at all.

Blasphemy, I know, but have you EVER had a cellphone that worked well 100 percent of the time? Me neither. Dropped calls, bad connections, fuzzy reception and calls going straight to voice-mail are the order of the day. That's true in different countries, on a huge variety of different phones. In fact, if they weren't so darned useful there's no way we'd put with the overall standard of cellphone service the world over.

The iPhone works brilliantly on 3G networks all the time: Now that would be an eye-opening story!

Case in point, I'm checking out a new T-Mobile US Inc. Sidekick 2008 at the moment that runs on supposedly more stable EDGE network technology. Well, there's a large dead spot down near the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, ironically on the street where developers are building lots of new luxury condos and hoping to attract yet more people to the area.

But that's par for the course. I suspect you could all write in your own cellphone coverage horror stories.

There is, however, maybe a way for Apple and AT&T to partially solve the reception problems though at least in the home: Enter the Apple 3G femtocell!

Yep, I suggest that Apple and AT&T introduce the iCell home base station. Put it in a cutesy spherical off-white case and you can charge $200 for another must-have accessory. Meanwhile AT&T gets to painlessly introduce the concept of the femtocell to a wider public and with a nice publicity bump because of the Apple association. Everyone's a winner! — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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