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Oh Man I Hate AT&T

defenistrATTDon’t get me started on the T-Mobile buyout. It would be better for my sanity and your eyes if I didn’t rant about that yet. Just want to offer a recent example of an AT&T move that reminds me of how much they sucked, how I kept paying them to continue to suck for years. I admit this is a little thing but so what.

HSUPAgate with the ATRIX and Incredible, you heard about that, right? Wait, the Inspire (sorry, I avoid the backspace button, helps keep my flow rolling for you). The AT&T/HTC Atrix 4G and Inspire 4G. Is it ATRIX in caps?

You see, we’re not a news site per se (we’re a digest, whatever the hell that means) so it’s okay for me to write about something that’s no longer news as long as I’ve spent some time sort of processing it mentally. Long/short, AT&T used to laugh at T-Mobile for calling their mostly HSPA+ network 4G, but then some suit at AT&T said Hey fellas, seriously, Verizon’s making an effort to roll out this LTE thing I read about on some blog. I know it doesn’t make sense to play catch up so let’s just call HSPA+ 4G, hope no one really cares, then one day if we do roll out LTE we’ll figure out down the line what G to call it – sound good?

Sounds good AT&T suit, I’ve got no problem with that. So what if you won’t be selling any actual compatible phones for months — HSPA+ is sweet, so’s the sound of the term 4G, use it as much as possible. I’m still on regular 3G – but with T-Mobile and I see, again with normal 3G and not HSPA+, downloads in excess of 6mbps, uploads consistently over 1700kbps in Manhattan. Wonder what that would look like on HSPA+. So fine, call it 4G, ask your phone OEM buddies, QUALCOM or whoever, to cook up some HSPA+ transceivers, reassure them that this is in fact AT&T on the line and you’re not joking about wanting modern crap and slap them in some phones and mail them to you. Okay AT&T.

misterhorseyrepresentsATTSo AT&T gets a couple of these from HTC. Good company, HTC. Both of course with 4G in their name. Before the phones even hit the shelves the blogs catch wind that AT&T’s new 4G phones are lacking something called HSUPA, crippling upload speeds from what theoretically would be over 5mbps all the way down to EDGE speeds of less than 10% of that.

Granted, most of the data virtually all of us transfer is downstream, but some of us are getting into posting Youtube clips, emailing pictures and video, running an FTP server and video conferencing and you can’t do any of that without HSUPA. Well maybe you can but painfully slowly and you’ll go nuts when you realize your super duper 4G phone, the service for which you’re dropping, what, a hundred bucks or so a month, but AT&T decided to hold the protocol that predates the first iPhone by years.

Then, surprise, the nerd websites call them out on it. Petitions too. And they do that loudly enough that AT&T feels their arm twisted into pledging to fix the situation and have someone in PR (they work long hours over at AT&T, big budget) cook up a statement that sprinkles a little spin glitter on it.

It’s not entirely the lack of HSUPA on these new phones that reminds me how much I hate AT&T, it’s really the total failure of AT&T to predict a backlash with enough of a lash to it that they end up having to change course like this. How do they not see it coming? What, was it so necessary that it was worth risking a nerd shitstorm? That’s just stupid.

Sort of like how they failed to anticipate the data demand and their network limitations for the iPhone year after year after year, how they failed to predict the demand for Android, how they fail to get that people want to be able to sideload and not have all that AT&T crapware they can’t uninstall, how they failed to work with Microsoft to release a new line of phones, an important thing, in favor of focusing on selling the Blackberry Torch and old iPhones, …


Like I said, don’t even get me started on the T-Mobile buyout situation. Still digesting that one. In the meantime, here’s a slightly NSFW gift for you aspiring photoshoppers. But check this out. I just spent the last four seconds challenging myself to come up with something or someone I hate more than AT&T. Came up dry, I swear. Man I hate you AT&T. Stay the F away from my T-Mobile you sonofabitches.

Doug Simmons