AT&T Reports: iPhone 3G Data Usage "Sub-Par" and 4G's Future

Yesterday at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia XVII conference, AT&T's chief technical officer John Donovan stated that iPhone 3G users have used much less data on the network than expected.

No explanation was given, but aren't the reasons pretty obvious? All of the connection issues along with 3G reverting over to the Edge network is what I'm guessing. Donovan later went on to say that the iPhone's 3g data usage is still "relatively higher than any other phone on the network". He also went so far as to downplay that AT&T just may have underestimated the network demand following the iPhone 3G launch on July 11th. He did say that improvements made since then were all planned to help meet the anticipated demand. Sorry folks, I'm not buying that one. How about you?

The last good bit of information came regarding AT&T's plans for 4G: it's coming and testing will begin sometime in "2010" with the service following soon there after. AT&T will be not be the first to toy with 4G but rather "leave early adoption to other companies". (Namely Verizon who has slated launch of their 4G network the same year.)


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  • Our 3G iPhone usage has been sub-par? I know how they can correct that...just bring back Netshare in the App Store and allow tethering.
  • Big Red is supposed to start some implementation of LTE by 2009
  • So if it is less than expected, how about lowering the cost of the data subscription. :)
  • Careful what you wish for: Rogers in Canada said we weren't using much data, so they "wanted to make sure we only paid for what we used." Then they changed the $30/6GB plan to $30/1GB...
    They won't give you less for less. They'll just give you less.
  • Forget about 4G for the moment AT&T and roll out 3G beyond the 14 markets you have it in.
    Oh, and make that 3g rollout actually work...all the time.
  • Stop worrying about 4G and get 3G out to those who don't live in or near a major city.
  • "John Donovan stated that iPhone 3G users have used much less data on the network than expected."
    My response to this?
    If AT&T would allow multimedia messaging on the iPhone 3G, I'm sure that the data usage would be a lot higher, dummy. I know--that is one thing every iPhone user wants to be able to do.
  • Colin,
    You are exactly right that is just one of the limitations on the iphone that would boost the data uses. I can take a picture but can't send it to a friend to their phone from my iphone? Comeon are you serious. How bout the funny MMS messages ppl send all the time and they play on other phones but i have to access my email to see that same message? Seriously?
  • I cant wait to see what att will do to improve their network, its pretty good here where i live but im still excited to see what they will do.