AT&T Admits It Cannot Handle the Traffic

The truth? You can’t handle the truth! This quote from the movie “A Few Good Men” pretty much sums up the way I feel about the news flying around the web today regarding AT&T. I’m angry – much as many of you are. Guess what, oh darling AT&T? We already knew you couldn’t handle our iPhone traffic. We’ve known this for nearly four years now. We’ve attempted to tell you. We’ve begged and pleaded. We have whined, nagged and thrown virtual temper tantrums. FINALLY you admit there’s an actual problem. Doing this a long time ago would have gone a long way towards keeping customers happy and loyal to your company.

In today’s FCC filing, the mobile giant admits that it needs help in order to succeed. It clearly lays out the reasoning for wanting to buy out T-Mobile: it needs the additional boost to the network. The company’s mobile data volume jumped by more than 8,000% in the time period from 2007 to 2010. As a result, its network is dealing with capacity constraints far more severe than any other provider. Sure, Verizon has the iPhone now, as well… along with other smartphones. But the sheer volume of this Apple device on AT&Ts network has brought the carrier to its knees.

AT&T claims in the filing that the buyout “will thus benefit consumers by reducing the number of dropped and blocked calls, increasing data speeds, improving in-building coverage, and dramatically expanding deployment of next-generation mobile technology.” With devices such as the iPhone generating more than twenty times the amount of data a conventional smartphone does, the network is clogged on a constant basis. Calls are dropped and lost. Downloads are stalled. Connections aren’t available. It’s a nightmare, and one which AT&T hopes will end with this merger.

The company has said repeatedly that there isn’t time to beef up its network on its own. It takes years to get proper permits and things lined up in order to build even one tower. Imagine the time – and money – it would take to erect enough towers to make the network truly stable again. This merger makes sense for that reason alone – but not everyone agrees.

Sprint is vehemently opposed, for obvious reasons. The merger will undoubtedly make the company an enormous one. Sprint wants the government to put the kibosh on the entire deal, claiming that it will create a “duopoly” which will prevent other companies from being competitive. Sprint also feels that the deal will raise prices through the roof.

As an AT&T customer, I sure won’t mind having a more stable and reliable network. I don’t want to sneer when the Verizon guy asks if I can hear him now. I’d like to simply use my phone anytime – and anywhere – I wish. I can see the point of view of the competing businesses and those opposed. I don’t know… what do you think? Is this a deal that should be allowed? Keep in mind that the data demands on AT&T – and all other companies – will continue to skyrocket over the next few years. Should they be merging together in this manner, or should they be attempting to build more towers?

17 thoughts on “AT&T Admits It Cannot Handle the Traffic”

  1. this is bull….at&t is just saying that so people wont try to stop them from buying t mobile. sorry im not buying it. at&t getting t mobile is still a bad idea,

  2. AT&T needs to remake their bed and leave my mobile provider alone. Funny how they always claimed they were good enough until Verizon got the iPhone.

  3. People need to learn to use the wifi instead of 3g. I almost never use it because im at home a lot

  4. …and thus the people, discontent with the quality-of-service of said service, throw up their hands and say “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”…walking away to their local computer club to “wire up the block” and distribute the pain and profit BACK to the community…

  5. The bigger concern is that if they are finally admitting after this long that they can’t handle the traffic of 4 years ago, what else are they hiding? The money involved with building new towers (and permits, wages, equipment, etc, etc) is probably close to what the cost would be to complete the buyout of T-Mobile. AT&T has never been open with anyone, and it’s simply folly to think that for some reason, they’ve abruptly changed their skin. This is a thinly veiled attempt to get something they want, but clearly cannot handle.

  6. build the towers you cheap bastards, you make billions in profit every year, why dont u take off your billion dollar bonuses for a year and instead put it into towers, your so damn good about lobbying and corrupting our politicans to get more money, you cant be a little corrupt to actually benefit the people your supposed to be serving?? pay off some damn tower people and get them up, bastards

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