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Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Dave!And so... to the surprise of nobody possessing an internet connection, Verizon announced that the iPhone will be available on their CDMA network on February 10th at long last.

As I usually do when faced with a difficult decision, I decided to make a PRO vs. CON chart in order to figure out whether switching from AT&T would be a good move for me...

Might actually be able to make a phone call that doesn't drop!   Would have to pay out my contract with AT&T plus buy a new iPhone. $$$
I get 3G coverage instead of shitty EDGE in my podunk home town!   3G may be more widespread, but is slower than AT&T's 3G.
Data might actually be usable in my podunk home town!   No coverage outside of the USA for most of the countries I usually travel to.
Possibly don't have to pay for tethering to data I'm already paying for?!   You can't talk and surf at the same time, which is VERY handy.
MIGHT ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO MAKE A FUCKING PHONE CALL THAT DOESN'T DROP... I MEAN, SHIT, IT'S A FUCKING PHONE!   I've had pretty good customer service from AT&T, but had HORRIBLE customer service when I was with Verizon Wireless.

When I first switched from Verizon to AT&T, I was actually very happy. I rarely had dropped calls, and the data service was pretty good over their EDGE network. Then something terrible happened. iPhone became a raging success, and the AT&T network couldn't keep up. The release of the 3G made the problem even worse. By the time I upgraded to the 3GS, things were so bad that I thought my new phone was broken because I kept dropping calls. The 4G came out and I actually got better signal than I ever had (despite "Antennagate")... but AT&T's network was still so shitty that it didn't help.

Because I stil have a year on my AT&T contract and Verizon has shitty coverage outside the USA, I am not ready to switch just yet. And if AT&T wants to keep it that way, here's three steps they could take...

  1. DON'T DROP MY CALLS! I know that AT&T claims that they're spending a bajillion dollars to upgrade their network... but I'm not seeing it. In Chicago and Las Vegas last year, I could barely connect a call, let alone keep it from dropping. This is completely unacceptable. IF YOU CAN'T MAKE PHONE CALLS, THEN IT'S NOT A PHONE!!
  2. EXPAND YOUR DATA CAPACITY! My small town doesn't have 3G with AT&T (but does with Verizon). In all honesty, it's not a big deal... EXCEPT... it's unusable most of the time. A Gowalla check-in that takes 2 seconds most anywhere else can take FIVE MINUTES here in my home town. Using the internet is pretty much impossible under those conditions. Even if you don't give us 3G, can you AT LEAST expand the capacity of our EDGE network so we can use the data we were promised?
  3. STOP SCREWING ME! I already pay for the bandwidth I use every month... don't charge me extra to tether my computer to it! Seriously, $20 a month to access bandwidth I already pay for? What the fuck? Bad enough we had to wait YEARS for this basic feature... now that you finally have it, you're screwing your customers over for the privilege of using it? LAME!

Ultimately, this announcement doesn't affect me all that much. But, if AT&T doesn't DO SOMETHING over the next year in order to improve the shitty state of their network, it could very well be a very big deal in 2012.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2011Click To It: Permalink


  1. The Chad says:

    Don’t do it! wait til june and get the next gen iPhone.

  2. Double Phister says:

    There’s no “G” in iPhone 4.
    If you do switch I’d definately wait until the 5 comes out that posibly will use LTE.

  3. B.E. Earl says:

    My girlfriend was actually thinking about dropping her iPhone altogether recently. Her contract is up, and she carries her iPad with her wherever she goes…she really just found that she was only using her iPhone for calls. And we all know about how well THAT particular feature works.

    But now that she can get one with Verizon, she says she is going to just get a new iPhone. Damn…the dark side almost won. Well played, Apple. Well played.

  4. Megan says:

    AT&T works really well here in So. Florida. I have no complaints on the service at all. I do object that we cannot tether without paying extra though. That data plan ain’t cheap and making us pay more to simply use it on a different device sucks.

    My hope is that competition makes things better for all of us.

  5. martymankins says:

    Exciting news that another carrier has the iPhone. That much I can agree. But I would hold off and stay with AT&T for all of the CON reasons you list, especially the ability to use data and be on a phone call at the same time.

    I was tasked yesterday by the higher ups to put together a comparison on the Verizon iPhone vs. staying with AT&T. Most of it was due to the fact that they are wanting to ditch their Sprint broadband adapters for their laptops and go tethered. The inclusion of the tethering for the Verizon iPhone is a huge plus, even if there be an extra charge for it (once Verizon details plans for the iPhone) mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of configuring to get tethering working (USB, creating another network setting on the Mac/Windows laptop being used). The only thing I need to feel out is how often they use data while making phone calls at the same time.

  6. Avitable says:

    The only place I’ve had an issue was Vegas, when I was on the strip, and most people I knew, with different carriers, had difficulty. I’m glad that I haven’t experienced the call dropping that everyone else seems to have with iPhones.

  7. John says:

    You also should keep in mind that part of AT&T’s problem is the sheer number of iPhone users. Once a bunch switch to Verizon, the remaining AT&T users should notice an increase in quality.

  8. Ren says:

    I seldom have problems in Austin, but NYC has been less reliable — particularly at a busy airport. In general, though, if I am at any large gathering of people I have trouble. At UT and Dallas football games, I often cannot get a working data connection for the entirety of the game. I believe both venues even include AT&T marketing, so it’s a bit ironic that I have such difficulty there.

  9. Yeah this was a bit of a non-event for me because I have good AT&T coverage here in Phoenix. The ability to use the phone as a wifi hotspot is nice, but not worth switching carrier for.

  10. Hilly Sue says:

    I’m actually going with Verizon and getting a Droid. And no, you may not drop me as your BFF now. Mwah.

  11. sandra says:

    Why don’t you just keep your ATT phone even if you swap and get a SIM card when you travel overseas?

    • Dave2 says:

      I actually thought about this… but I don’t know how to make it work for a few reasons. Primary of which is that the iPhone uses a non-standard “mini-SIM” card of some kind, and carriers supporting international roaming don’t seem to support them. I suppose I could JailBreak the iPhone, but I’m not sure where to go from there to activate it on a foreign network. On top of all that, everybody would have to be calling both numbers to find me if they didn’t know where I was. Ultimately, it seemed more trouble than it’s worth, so I’ll stick with AT&T and see what happens this next year.

  12. I hope they heed your advice. Especially step #3.

  13. I was eyeing them, but I think I’m going to stick with AT&T (for now). The surfing is an issue. Especially if you can’t tether while on a call.

    Hmmm, can you send/receive texts while on a call with Verizon?

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