Despite AT&T’s brag that the roll-out of HSPA 3G [high speed packet access] is underway – things are grim for 2G iPhones being affected by AT&T’s stealthy signal strength downgrade, delivering fewer bars in more places for some owners of Apple’s original Jesus phone.
The previously robust EDGE/2G 850 MHz band that offered superior indoor signal strength is being replaced by AT&T service on the weaker 1900 MHz band. According to company sources, AT&T has been quietly sacrificing 2G signal strength in an effort to speed up the build out of its next generation 3G network, until they migrate to the 4G LTE [long-term evolution] network in 2011.
Apparently the 2G iPhone is not the only handset being affected by the signal drop. Most AT&T BlackBerry and RAZR models are also feeling the pinch of reduced signal strength.
“While not directly telling customers to switch to iPhone 3G, the alternative for many 2G users will be to sit back and enjoy a horrible downgraded level of service at the same old price”. You can always upgrade with an increase in monthly fees adding $10 for data and $5 for text messages. The 3G upgrade will include a new two-year hostage plan that AT&T prefers to call a contract.
iPhone Blog’s Take: AT&T is a master of bait-n-switch – hold AT&T accountable for providing the level of service you contracted for. Complain to AT&T when you have problems, and complain to Apple too. AT&T should put up the bars and service they promised – or pass the baton to someone else who cares.