Trash talk AT&T all you want, especially in New York City where service has a history of making people want to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, but things have actually gotten better. Back in November, the last time I was in the city before finally moving here, I couldn’t get service if my life depended on it. My iPhone would show full signal bars, which doesn’t really mean much, and would drop calls left and right and give me data connection issues. Everywhere I went in Manhattan, a dark cloud hung over my head – the kind of cloud that apparently blocks radio transmission between my phone and AT&T’s towers.
These days, the AT&T network works wonderfully; I even get reception in some subway stops! It seems like the carrier just magically swept the entire city, including the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, with its fast and now reliable service. From SoHo all the way up to Astoria, I can get anywhere between 900Kbps – 2.2Mbps download speeds and text messages and phone calls almost always go through. Overall, I’m impressed with what the carrier did with its network in NYC.
AT&T didn’t have to tell me that its network upgrades are now complete in the city, service and performance are speaking loud and clear. But everything AT&T pumped into its NYC infrastructure is finished with results to show. Its first step was to update the software at each cell site to accommodate HSPA 7.2Mbps, which explains the 2.2 to 2.4Mbps download speeds I’ll sometimes see on a good day. Next, the carrier turned its 850MHz frequency on and enabled it on every tower in NYC. Lastly, Wi-Fi went live and free in Times Square, blanketing tourists and natives alike when in that dense and crowded area.
As a result of the upgrades, voice call quality has apparently improved 47%. Let’s also not forget that starting July 1, AT&T Wi-Fi will be free at all Starbucks locations. Good job, AT&T. Now all you have to do is give other cities, especially San Francisco, the same treatment.