You've all heard by now that AT&T's network
isn't exactly the greatest. Many have no issues whatsoever, but in large, congested cities, the network has been known to get so crowded that 3G services simply don't work at all. For better or worse, Verizon Wireless has generally been viewed as a company with a superior network. Granted, only select Verizon phones can operate outside of North America (given the CDMA nature), but here in the States AT&T is definitely fighting a battle.
According to a new research report on the two networks, AT&T would need to spend around $5 billion (billion, with a B) on its wireless network upgrades in order to catch up with Verizon. That's a big gap, and the fact that AT&T only has one US roaming partner (T-Mobile) isn't helping either.
AT&T has been upgrading its cell networks at what seems like a break-neck pace, but evidently it still isn't enough. The company has more smartphone customers than any other operator in America, but smartphone users are the ones sucking down the most bandwidth. It seems that AT&T really needs to get its network in order if it plans to position itself as a smartphone user's carrier
Of course, that's all easier said than done. Spending $5 billion on a whim isn't smart at all, and when you think about it, it'd be the customers that foot the bill in the long run. The same customers that are yelling for more cell towers aren't seeming to realize that it would be their bills increasing in order to see the service levels rise. AT&T claims that it covers 97% of the America population, and that it's 3G network is faster than the others. That may be true, but a fast 3G network isn't worth much when it's overcrowded. To spend or to suffer--that is the question.