AT&T Admits To Purposefully Capping Uploads On Atrix, Inspire - HotHardware
AT&T Admits To  Purposefully Capping Uploads On Atrix, Inspire

AT&T Admits To Purposefully Capping Uploads On Atrix, Inspire

One of the persistent criticisms of the Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire is that the devices don't deliver anything like the wireless speeds AT&T claims they're capable of. AT&T has been coyly playing cat and mouse over the question of whether or not its phones consistently deliver "4G" speeds but has finally admitted that it had capped the phones' upload speeds. An April update to remove the limitation is currently in the works.

One of the major problems of communicating such differences and limitations is that there's no industry-standard definition on what 4G is (or isn't).  Service providers are allowed to use the "4G" designation provided that the next-generation service offers "substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities" over 3G. This definition helps shield cellular service providers from attack by allowing them to demonstrate that their "4G" networks were faster than their 3G counterparts even if AT&T's 4G is comparatively faster than, say, Verizon's 4G.

AT&T's first response to consumer complaints was to declare that the Atrix and Inspire didn't support the HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) protocol. When irate owners took their complaints to the Better Business Bureau, AT&T changed its tune, writing:
(user) complains that the recently released Motorola Atrix does not offer speeds anywhere near what advertised speeds claim. He is requesting activation of 4G services and removal of the cap on the Motorola Atrix services. Account research regarding this complaint shows that AT&T is focused on delivering a wide choice of solutions and the best possible Smartphone experience to our customers. Be assured that AT&T has not "capped" the upload speeds on the ATRIX. The ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience.

The Atrix should be eating up the sales charts right now thanks to its versatile dock and solid hardware specs. Instead it's 4G capabilities are disabled and the dock platform costs as much as a full laptop

Consumer complaints of this sort will almost certainly rise as more 4G phones become available. With its iPhone monopoly gone, AT&T's best move is to aggressively romance the iPhone users and other customers it has left. Selling the Atrix and Inspire on the basis of features that customers can't actually use is precisely the sort of bait-and-switch that so enraged iPhone customers who found that the unlimited 3G data plans they paid for were useless due to network outages and insufficient bandwidth. AT&T, meanwhile, is playing a dangerous game. Customers who purchase a device that advertises 4G functionality have a right to expect such speeds when they're in appropriate geographical areas—the longer AT&T waits on this, the more likely it is that they'll be sued for deceptive marketing.
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This is the exact reason AT&T needs to acquire T-Mobile and their towers for better coverage and a better cellular infrastructure with which to provide their customers with speeds advertised and maybe even real 4G.

AT&T needs to really improve their services and the way the treat, and intend to treat customers because at the moment its like crap, and continuing to do so will have them rightfully abandoned in favor of another cellular company.

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yes this is why ATT needs to. The market and the people need them not to for much better, more universal reasons.

Anti-consumer policies such as this need to be reflected on the company itself. Policies like this should be a nail in a coffin, yet they are just a dust bunny ignored in the corner.

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We'll have to wait and see how AT&T takes advantage of T-Mobile's own hardware / buildouts. The benefits could range from significant to insubstantial depending on where a person lives.

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ATT just needs to get its act together. They are to control hungry and love crippling everything that isnt an iphone. I dont see their network getting any better even if the tmobile deal goes through. Its going to take them 10 years to get their lte in place, they still dont have 3g everywhere now as it is.

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What would you think would happen if the government stepped in and smacked all these companies around some?

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If you consider the outrageous profits that these companies make every year, then you're gonna realize that they have lots of money to lawyer-up and buy political favor.

They have refined 'doublespeak' to new and exciting levels.

Complaints will go nowhere.

Resistance is futile,.........

You will be assimilated.

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I am really thinking At&t may not actually get authorization to buy T-Mobile. Sprint is now asking a congressional committee as well as the FCC not to do this because it would give them an utter monopoly over back lines and as the only GSM provider in the states. The point is probably the best attack period as almost all GSM networks but T-mobile (who has there own towers and frequencies) leases lines from them.

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and the new york attorney general is going after them.

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Coming from all sides it seems. My biggest question is this. If At&t is already overwhelmed by there existing network load, and the do end up getting T-Mobile and it's customer base which is substantial being the 4th in line for wireless providers in America, can there network even with the added towers and frequencies handle the load.

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Rapid,

This depends entirely on what networks the two use and what physical location you're talking about. (I am not a cellular guru, so I can't speak much to particulars here).

In theory, system performance shouldn't change in the short term. Long term, I suspect it depends on whether or not AT&T follows whatever upgrade/capacity plans T-Mobile had for any given area. It's not as if they send out crews to take down T-Mobile towers and put up AT&T towers, for example.

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Fargging Iceholes!

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If you are going to report something at least get you facts straight. Took me about 30 seconds to pull up the standard for 4g. " In 2008,

the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Megabits per second for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbps for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).

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At what point does a company make "too much money?" AT&T is completely over saturated, and they are unable to make up the difference. They use their monopoly to purchase other companies so they can at least band-aid their network. When is enough... enough... when their customers start to suffer.

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I was literally ready to buy an Inspire in the next couple of weeks, but hearing stuff like this, I'm more willing to just let my contract expire and go over to Verizon.

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