CES 2010: AT&T Network Congestion Hits iPhone Users

As reported by The Washington Post:

  • Kelly Vaughn (Wireless Dealer Magazine, Houston): Spent 15 minutes attempting to refresh email on her iPhone.
  • Jason Oxman (Senior VP, Consumer Electronics Association): Failed to tweet a question he raised to CTO Aneesh Chopra about spectrum shortages.

SYSTEMATIC: Just two examples of iPhone users getting nowhere, but the problem is systematic throughout Vegas according to AT&T’s spokesman:

In preparation for CES, we optimized our network in Las Vegas by significantly augmenting our network capacity. However, at an event such as CES, where large numbers of people in a dense area are using smartphones over finite spectrum, periods of network congestion can occur. Our network engineers on site continue to take steps to optimize our network as needed for the large number of mobile broadband customers at CES.

LAME: Sounds like a lame excuse to me. In contrast, Dick Lynch (CTO, Verizon Wireless) stated in an interview that the company wasn’t experiencing any problems during CES.

DENSE + SMARTPHONE = TERRIBLE AT&T: The conclusion is this: expect terrible AT&T service “where large numbers of people in a dense area are using smartphones” despite significant network capacity augmentation.