AT&T came clean in an FCC filing and admitted its network cannot handle the traffic from the iPhone and iPad. Of course, the admission comes in an FCC filing that Big Blue is using to justify its acquisition of T-Mobile. By bemoaning the faltering state of its network, the wireless carrier may be able to convince the FCC that its acquisition of T-Mobile is essential to the growth and stability of its network.
Regardless of its reason, AT&T confirmed that data usage grew a massive 8,000% from 2007 to 2010. These dates coincide with the launch of the original iPhone and its progenitors. The carrier contends smartphone use 24% more mobile data than a feature phones. This deluge of traffic resulting from the launch of the Apple smartphone caused network problems not faced by its competitors. We will have to wait and see if the FCC buys this argument that the iPhone is killing AT&T and the carrier needs T-Mobile to save it from itself.