iPhones Prove Insensitive to 3G

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News Posted: Wed, Aug 13 2008 10:42 PM

We have a question: why are all these researchers and carriers who believe they have pinpointed the iPhone's 3G reception problem in Europe (forcing us to use translation software, too)?



While there's no answer to that question, a Swedish scientist seems to think he has the answer to poor 3G performance on the iPhone 3G: poor signal sensitivity.

Claes Beckman, a professor of microwave technology at the University of Gälve, told Swedish tech site Ny Teknik:
The measurements show that Iphones sensitivity to 3G networks signals - "nominal sensitivity" - is well below the value specified in the 3G standard, which in Europe defined by the organization ETSI.

The result is that it easier than other mobiles to lose contact with the 3G network, and a lower data rates once connected.



Since this value is one of the most important when you check that your mobile phone meets ETSI requirements - a prerequisite for the CE mark - it's impossible to have been wrong in the first ready-made sheets. The error must have occurred in volume production.
It would be great if someone in the U.S. could duplicate his studies and confirm his findings. While, in reality, it wouldn't be great news for iPhone 3G owners, at least there'd be some closure.

To that end, C|Net has asked researchers at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley if they'd be willing to attempt the same sort of test; still more to come, obviously, as this issue becomes hotter and hotter.



Update:
It appears Beckman isn't the scientist who ran the experiments. That scientist chose to remain anonymous out of fear for his job because of using his organization's equipment to test the iPhone 3G.

In a way, that might make some give less weight to this assertion, since it's sort of hearsay. But it sure would be nice to have Apple make some sort of official statement.



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