AT&T is "definitely on the uptrend" on quality of service improvements and should be "over the hump" by the end of the year, said an AT&T executive.
John Stankey, President & CEO, AT&T Operations, made the comments at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2009 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. Stankey was taking on the "discussion of quality of service," notably complaints about the iPhone's ability to connect on AT&T's network.
Stankey acknowledged that the "iPhone has created some challenges," but AT&T was improving its operations. However, Stankey noted that AT&T's quality index, which tracks blocks and poor data transmission rates, was improving. AT&T still has a "two coasts" problem, but Stankey said New York was improving in terms of service. San Francisco and Los Angeles still had problems that would be resolved by the end of the year.
AT&T will "roll through end of year have these issues behind us nationwide," said Stankey.
Stankey's talk comes as AT&T announced the details of its High Speed Packet Access 7.2 rollout. The technology (HSPA) is supposed to improve AT&T's 3G network.
In a statement, AT&T said the deployment of HSPA 7.2 in six major U.S. cities, including Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami by the end of the year.
Stankey took a few shots at Verizon's LTE plans. He positioned HSPA 7.2 as a nice stepping stone to LTE and a better transition. Stankey said that big technology jumps often mean fewer devices available and a more lumpy experience overall.
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