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NETWORK: AT&T Wireless takes its Customers to the EDGE
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 20.11.03 - 10:43:01 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 9148x
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November 18, 2003 - LAS VEGAS - AT&T Wireless today began offering the fastest national mobile wireless data service in North America, enabling businesses to improve productivity by unwiring their operations and providing mobile professionals unmatched coverage and speed.

AT&T Wireless took center stage at COMDEX as it announced the availability of EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution), a significant upgrade to its Next Generation wireless network. EDGE offers average data speeds between 100-130 kbps -- nearly twice as fast as other national mobile wireless networks and up to three times faster than traditional wired dial-up services.

"EDGE gives customers a much-enhanced wireless experience, providing data speeds dramatically faster than 'so-called' 3G services offered by other wireless companies," said John Zeglis, Chairman and CEO of AT&T Wireless. "It boosts the efficiency of a business' work force by giving mobile employees fast and easy access to the same business applications they have in their office. EDGE speeds will make it simpler for people to be as productive when they are on the go as they are in their home or office.

"With EDGE, our customers now have access to the fastest national mobile wireless connections and advanced services in North America. That puts us way ahead of the wireless pack, and it gives business customers another compelling reason to be with AT&T Wireless."

AT&T Wireless said the combination of EDGE's fast data connections, enterprise offers and unlimited data plan will give businesses a distinct advantage over their competitors.

EDGE service is now available nationally to customers located in areas served by the AT&T Wireless GSM/GPRS Next Generation network, covering approximately 215 million people, some 6,500 cities and towns and areas along more than 30,000 miles of major highways. The company is offering EDGE in Puerto Rico and Bermuda, and plans to deploy EDGE throughout its properties in the Caribbean in the near future. In addition, Rogers AT&T Wireless has added EDGE capability in the Greater Vancouver area and will deploy EDGE throughout its Canada-wide network beginning next year. The combined networks provide AT&T Wireless customers across North America with access to high-speed, multi-functional services when they travel.

AT&T Wireless said that business customers can use the EDGE network to access information where they can place a phone call on the company's Next Generation network. Additionally, AT&T Wireless' WiFi service complements the company's EDGE network by offering customers wireless data connections when inside local "hot spots."

The launch of EDGE, which is a true "3G" technology as certified by the International Telecommunications Association, completes the second phase of AT&T Wireless' 3G network architecture strategy. Using the same spectrum as its GSM/GPRS network, EDGE is a cost-effective software upgrade that further compresses how data is transmitted. At less than $2.00 per POP, the company said that the upgrade was highly cost effective.

"Along with significant benefits for our customers, GSM's evolution path enables us to turn the hype surrounding 3G into a reality," said Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless. "The EDGE experience doesn't disappoint - it truly lives up to the potential surrounding 3G services."

Additionally, international carriers outside North America are also deploying EDGE. According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, an industry trade group, support for EDGE continues to grow around the world, with more than 60 wireless carriers committed to network deployments including Telia Sonera in Finland, Telecom Italia Mobile in Italy and CSL in Hong Kong.

So far so good and the press release from AT&T Wireless. However I for myself still don't believe in EDGE that much as ATTW seems to believe into it. For me it's more a niche technology for carriers who are not going the real 3G/3GSM way but want to migrate to a slower and not that cost intensive technology only. As good and fast EDGE is today - in the midterm it will work slower then 3G services and - like HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Data) it's world wide implementation will not reach the same figures like today's GSM/GPRS and tomorrow's 3G. In fact this means that international roamers will be much more limited like HSCSD roamers today.
For instance in Germany (the largest European telecommunication market) no operator has any plans to introduce EDGE and the reason is pretty easy: Even if EDGE is based on GSM's core technology and network you have to build a complete new wireless network anyway. So there is no reason for carriers - who plan to introduce 3G/3GSM anyway - to build two new networks in parallel: EDGE and 3G. It's a question of costs and therefore I don't expect to see EDGE carriers to migrate to 3G in the midterm.

This limited amount of EDGE carriers world wide will also limits the amount of EGDE enabled handsets which is - again - a question of the price because a best case terminal has to be triple mode: GSM/GPRS, EDGE and 3G and I wonder who will buy such expensive devices.

So it's nice to see that AT&T Wireless is starting the wireless high-speed future today but in the long run it's nothing which will customers satisfies

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Sam Patterson on 20.11.03 - 20:33:21

EDGE doesn't require a new network.  It is a software change that runs on their existing GSM/GPRS POPs.  It does cost $2-3 a POP to upgrade to it.  I would rather have medium speed (130kbps-200kbps) now, than wait for 2 to 3 years to have high speed based on UWMTS (2 gigabit).  ATT will do that also but their are giving their customers a boost in the interim, which is very nice.

Posted by seanc on 21.11.03 - 15:31:47

sorry guys .  Iam new to the site and new to the pc phone world.  i just saw a forum ..? on the t-mobile usa? it's closed ??? but ... i believe it answered my questions.. Thanks for the great site.

Posted by seanc on 21.11.03 - 15:19:41

I have a question?  in the usa which is the better carrier?  att wireless or t-mobile iam favoring the tmobile due to the offer of 20.00 unlimited web/email but att seems to have a bigger name for it self here although its 79.00 unlimited.  both seem to cover the same area in the tri state area (NY).    or is their another carrier ... iam ready to purchase the phone pc but have not got the sim card yet..... both offer at 25.00 us

also i voted yes to your ..prepay question ... and i want it if possible by xmas.....

Posted by shockdaddyd on 22.11.03 - 15:00:49

I've been an ATT Wireless customer for four years. A little over a year ago I switched to their GSM network and bought a Siemens SX56. In all honesty I can say that network isn't up-to-snuff.

While using the network it was common to have 10-20 dropped calls each day. I would also lose my data connections frequently.

Then, a few months ago, ATT started charging me roaming on calls made from my home - even though I hadn't been charged roaming there before.

After patiently trying to work with them on the issues I gave up on them. I've switched to T-Mobile and, so far, think the network is far superior in my local calling area (Minneapolis, MN). I've also found their customer support to be more helpful and competent. In the area of tech support ATT doesn't even show up on the radar with the SX56 (XDA 1).

FYI - Thanks to the kind souls at XDA-Developers and Yorch, I was able to unlock my XDA (and upgrade the ROM) and am happily using it w / T-Mo.

A final note: Over the 14 months I used ATT's GSM network I was unable to send e-mail from any of 3 POP accounts. Of the 26 times I called ATT tech support to troubleshoot the issue not once could they help. In fact, I was told repeatedly that my POP accts would not allow access from my phone. On T-Mo I can send and receive e-mail from all 3 accts.

Posted by McHale on 23.11.03 - 06:32:20

I would go with Cingular if they are in your area.  They have roaming agreements with both T-Mobile and AT&T which gives them the largest GSM "home" coverage possible.  They are much more reliable than AT&T.  T-Mobile on the other hand has been GSM much longer and has far less bugs and problems.  But since they are smaller, they won't be upgrading to new technologies as fast as Cingular (who has been EDGE for months now) or AT&T.


Posted by Cheryl on 02.12.03 - 16:23:26

STAY AWAY FROM AT & T Wireless if at all possible !

I was a loyal ATT Wireless customer for over 10 years - in 1991 they had GREAT service. They have continued to decline in both wireless service level and more importantly they have bottomed out on customer service.

Their phone reps will flat out lie to you, and they are very unpleasant regardless of the reason that you call them. Email me if you want details about my experience.

I just had a transfer processed to move my old ATT number to Sprint - and ATT actually activated the number for a different customer on their network instead.

Now I have apparently lost my number of over 10 years - which may well result in losing contact with some OLD friends.

At least I don't have to deal with ATT ever again.


Posted by Tirzah on 16.12.03 - 02:30:18

I hate ATT wireless!  No one asks for a steak at a restaurant and then gets rice and is still expected to pay for a steak! (analogy)  ATT customers sign an agreement to pay for a service they never get!  Then ATT threatens to put it on your credit if you don't pay!  SPREAD THE WORD__BEWARE__!!!! DO NOT trust them or ever sign an agreement!  These animals are liars and criminals.  I think a class action suit should be filed for the billions of dollars they manipulate out of people by offering something they can't offer and expect them to pay the price!  I HATE ATT WIRLESS TELL THE WORLD THEY SUCK!

Posted by Thomas on 04.02.04 - 17:30:55

I have just purchased a plan from att and now since i have read your analogy and details that you have experienced with att i want to forfiet my aggreement with them before my credit is eradicated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by John on 16.02.04 - 15:50:49

I need a national plan (no roaming or extra charges!) I was going to go with Cingular until I read the comments from their employees and customers

If you guys are having problems, check these guys out! Horror stories worse than yours.

It's between AT&T and Verizon for me.

Posted by Bill on 19.04.04 - 19:25:22

I've been ATTWS for over 6 years and two years ago switched to GSM. For the past week no calls go through. I'm on the unlimited plan(unlimited calls for $99/month .. $130 after taxes).

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