Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

Summary: AT&T takes concrete steps to improve its network. So what does this mean to the iPhone?

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On Wednesday AT&T announced the building of a new "mobility center", a datacenter focused on offering 3G and next generation 4G/LTE services, in Akron, OH where it will pick up the slack on wireless  data and text services provided to consumers on the east coast. These services are currently provided through an older facility in Schaumburg, IL.

AT&T is spending $120,000,000 to retrofit an existing 25-year old building that was formerly the Ohio Bell Datacenter; $20 million to refurbish the building and $100 million in equipment to support current 3G customers and the rollout of 4G services. The datacenter is expected to go online in September (which also matches some reports of the availability timeline of 4G for AT&T) .

The motivation for the datacenter has been the growth in demand for wireless data services and one can only think that this is also an aspect of the lumbering giant finally coming to terms with the fact that the technology and appeal of the iPhone is no longer enough to outweigh the perceived anchor that AT&T telephony has hung on the device, despite the huge initial sales of the iPhone 4.

AT&T has a window now to improve their services while the media is focused on the problems that the iPhone 4 has that are Apple's doing, and not directly related to the service problems that AT&T has been addressing. They've added cell sites in high-volume (and high profile) locations such as NYC and San Francisco, and are now taking steps to quickly add capacity and performance to their wireless service that will be of direct benefit to iPhone users.

So it looks like Steve Jobs is getting what he wanted; a better AT&T to support his phone technology. But when he made that request I doubt he thought he would need a convenient scapegoat to obfuscate software and design issues that would plague his flagship iPhone.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I'm an iPhone 4 user who has had none of the reported problems, other than my own negative experience with FaceTime performance (which has nothing to do with wireless service issues).

Topics: Hardware, Data Centers, iPhone, Mobility, Networking, Smartphones, Storage, AT&T, Wi-Fi

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23 comments
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  • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

    I see no link between AT&T's datacenter plans and saving the iPhone. The phone does not need saving except from silly articles like this on ZDNet.
    abc123a
    • I totally agree, iPhone seems to be doing just fine

      @abc123a
      I think it has been made quite clear that iPhone users are more interested in owning an iPhone than in actually using an iPhone. Hence, nothing AT&T can do will either hurt or save the iPhone.
      NonZealot
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @NonZealot So then it's more in the nature of a bonus for them to work? Then I must have a hell of a bonus on mine because mine does everything my old WM device could do, does everything my Blackberry device does - only better - and does even more.
        athynz
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @NonZealot
        look at this video.
        http://gizmodo.com/5581367/best-buy-spares-iphone-4-vs-htc-evo-video-creators-job
        blackhawk556
      • @athynz: I never thought of it that way

        [i]So then it's more in the nature of a bonus for them to work?[/i]

        Wow, that is a really "cup half full" way of looking at things! When the iPhone doesn't work, well, it really isn't supposed to, no big loss. When it [b]does[/b] work, it makes you all happy, like you just got a treat! athynz, if the iPhone makes you happy every time it works, that makes me happy. Happy is good! :)

        And I agree with you on the blackberry comment. Now that I've had one for a few months, the only advantage this thing has is the amazing battery life. I don't understand what the fuss is for consumers. My Windows Mobile phone is 10 times more functional, friendly, fun, etc. Nothing on the blackberry is bad, don't get me wrong, but I don't understand the hype or the marketshare.
        NonZealot
      • @savage:

        I've seen that video and promptly forwarded it to everyone I knew. HILARIOUS!!!!! And it totally describes every iPhone owner who wants an iPhone without actually knowing why they want an iPhone. Baaaaaaaaa! Think different, just like the millions of others who thought different just like you!
        NonZealot
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

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        yantangseo
    • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

      @abc123a "phone does not need saving except from silly articles like this on ZDNet. " Really??? I mean, seriously, no need to save the iPhone 4? It is just doing fine? No problems at all? I hope it is just sarcasm....
      pupkin_z
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @pupkin_z

        Despite itself, the iPhone will survive and thrive. The 5G will be out anytime now and that one probably won't be able to send text messages or make phone calls. But it will be wrapped in a cool shell that smells like bubble gum.

        Here is a great article VERY FUNNY that lays into Apple's quasi apology last week:

        http://www.dailygoat.com/2010/07/apple-announces-stunned-iphone-suck/
        pchrun
    • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

      @abc123a <br>iCrap.<br>The product that costs you 200 dollars which only works when you put scotch tape on it so that you won't touch it. With this malfunctioning product you are also provided with the following wonderful services.<br>1). Single source for any and all applications that you wish to place on this platform. This includes in not any given order. Movies, mp3s, applications, ebooks<br>1a). Please ignore any and all news reports of hacked accounts where you are only allowed to purchase applications.<br><a href="http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225702517&subSection=News" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225702517&subSection=News</a><br><a href="http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2063564" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2063564</a><br>1b). Lack of popular web features due to the CEO's position that this feature can be replaced with other technologies that are not fully in place. Not forgetting that this refusal by the CEO again narrows your available field of applications that you may wish to choose from.<br><a href="http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/02/19/why-is-steve-jobs-flash-obsessed/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/02/19/why-is-steve-jobs-flash-obsessed/</a><br>
      2). The restriction of only being restricted of only one method of transferring ANY media to your iCrap device. This application is both a resource hog and also intrusive as to when and how it runs.
      3). A lock in to a single carrier which requires the more expensive mobile plan for 2 years. Don't worry, when more carriers are available you know they will also offer you this restriction in plans when you wish to join them with an iCrap.<br>
      4). A CEO that wish's to restrict what you see and access on this device because of his own moral standards.<br><a href="http://gawker.com/5539717/steve-jobs-offers-world-freedom-from-porn" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://gawker.com/5539717/steve-jobs-offers-world-freedom-from-porn</a><br>
      5). And the knowledge that your iCrap device was produced in a factory which has a regular occurrence of suicides. But don't worry, these arn't United States Citizens. So, they don't matter.<br><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/27/foxconn-suicide-tenth-iphone-china" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/27/foxconn-suicide-tenth-iphone-china</a><br>Don't worry, the CEO thinks this is a pretty nice place to work.<br><a href="http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/64063,people,news,steve-jobs-defends-pretty-nice-apple-iphone-foxconn-suicide-factory" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/64063,people,news,steve-jobs-defends-pretty-nice-apple-iphone-foxconn-suicide-factory</a><br><br>The iCrap does not need saving because people like you are hypocrites that choose to ignore all these documented disregard for both the individuals that purchase the product and also the individuals that produce it. I say hypocrite because that is the very definition of what you are. For if this was any other company(say Microsoft), you would be howling for them before a court of law for prosecution.
      DanLM
  • iPhone sales...

    seem to be doing just fine. Why does the iPhone need saving again?
    jasonp@...
    • Maybe you should look at that article again

      @Uralbas : There is nothing in that article that says Apple and the iPhone are failing, only that Android is growing faster, which is completely logical when you consider there are 20 times as many Android devices on the market as there are iPhones. In fact, when considering their chart and their data, the iPhone looks to continue its growth at a steady rate while Android is [i]assuming[/i] steady-state growth based on last year's numbers, whereupon you are correct that Android could pass the iPhone in January.

      Again, there is no reference to any fall in iPhone's growth, so the concept that the iPhone needs to be 'saved' is purely in the minds of the anti-Apple zealots.
      Vulpinemac
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @vulpine@...

        ROFL, like you said, lets see if iPhone and Android continue their growth rates, that's a big if.

        Wonder why the post was taken out by ZDnet?
        Uralbas
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @vulpine@... Where exactly was the reference to Android growing faster? I didn't see that in the article...
        athynz
  • iOS4 vs Android and iPhone vs each Android phone

    It's a bit nutty the way people are comparing a phone and an operating system (apples to oranges) versus comparing two operating systems or two phones. Perhaps it's because the media is doing the same thing. Yes, Android operating system sales may surpass iOS4 sales, but if you compare phone vs phone, the iPhone is still outselling other phones and probably will for quite some time.

    It reminds me of the retarded Windows vs Mac debate. It's Windows vs OS X, not Mac. It's Apple Mac desktops vs Dell or HP desktops. Compare hardware to hardware and software to software people. Comparing hardware to software is just an easy way to manipulate statistics.

    Anyway, this whole iPhone 4 thing is just way overblown. I'm one of the left-handed people who would be most affected and even I think it's just silly. Just put a non-conductive film over the bare metal where your fingers touch the metal and boom, problem solved for ten bucks. Hell, even a piece of Scotch tape would work. Let's all move on to another non-story.
    BillDem
    • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

      @BillDem You know that it's not actually the point of how simple it is to fix the issue yourself; it's that the issue exists and you need to fix it yourself! If you had to buy a $10 "fix" or scotch tape all your electronics because the maker was too lazy (or high on themselves) to admit they screwed up, you would go broke or look like a tard with sticky fingers.

      Don't downplay the complete lack of consumer product quality.
      Ventaur
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @Ventaur It is not apparent on all iPhones and only certain ones especially those owned by goog boys. It is not an issue and neither is it life threatening but only Apple haters make it so which is ado about nothing. Time to move on and if the iPhone is not for you, get an android, btw no one cares.
        AdanC
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @Ventaur If it was every single iPhone I'd agree with you but it's not - and the most vocal people about the issue are the Apple Haters who take every opportunity they can to say something bad about Apple and their products.
        athynz
      • RE: Can AT&T's datacenter plans save the iPhone?

        @AdanC and @athynz I've put brand aside. My points are relevant to all electronics as a CONSUMER. If you buy a stereo from, oh let's say Onkyo or Sony, and it doesn't work, you don't care that you have 1 in a million that are faulty. You just want it replaced!

        Don't call me an Apple Hater when I'm discussing consumer issues. You take your stereo back and get a replacement. It's that simple. However, this particular manufacturer/vendor is not allowing their customers to replace it!

        As a manufacturer/vendor, you NEVER demand that the problem is for the customer to fix on their own. "Go buy a case to fix the issue if you have one of the very few phones that are screwed up." What kind of company demands that the customer go spend more money (that they will likely get even more of a profit from) on a fix for a faulty device?

        You people are the fan boys. I'm talking about simple economics; not: "I love my brand and will close my eyes while they spoon-feed me whatever they see fit."
        Ventaur
  • Saving the iPhone?

    The iPhone does not need saving! Android will need saving if Apple add Verizon. The only market int he world where Android is selling in any real volume is the US and it is only because the largest service provider does not offer an iPhone!
    kpbpsw