AT&T: Getting the User View
In January 2010 at the operator's developer conference in Las Vegas, CTO John Donovan said: "We expect that the majority of our mobile data traffic will be carried on fiber-based backhaul by the end of 2010." (See AT&T Says It's Ready for Wireless Growth.)
Little more than a year later, on AT&T's fourth-quarter conference Thursday, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was asked where the operator is at now. "We’re in the low to mid twenties in terms of deployment currently. We expect to see 65 to 70 percent of our traffic covered by the end of the year," Stephenson said on the call.
Now these two statements might not be as difficult to reconcile as they seem to be at first. It's possible that a good portion of AT&T's heavy mobile data users are bunched together in cities that have been steadily upgraded over 2010.
We know that AT&T has been frantically working on upgrading its network in NYC and San Francisco. In Donovan's 2010 developer conference slides, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Charlotte and Miami are listed as markets with upgrades in process too.
So maybe the issues are already in hand? AT&T seems to think so.
"We’re really starting to feel good about the network situation," Stephenson said on the earnings call today.
So here's what I want to know: How's your experience of AT&T's 3G service now?
Write into the message board below detailing what city you're in and what type of device you are using. This should help to give a clearer picture of what's going right and wrong and where.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile