John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Extends Reality Distortion Field to AT&T Grid

It turns out EDGE is great for mail, and it works well for maps and a whole bunch of other stuff. Where you wish you had faster speed is … on a Web browser. It’s good enough, but you wish it was a little faster.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, yesterday

n75edge.jpgSticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken. And adding millions of dollars of network infrastructure improvements to your widely maligned “2.5G” EDGE wireless data network does not make it 3G. But it might make it 2.6G, and that could be just enough to temper perceptions that your jalopy of a data network has hamstrung Apple’s new iPhone.

Certainly, this seems to be AT&T’s view, because beginning last night, subscribers to the company’s wireless services began reporting increases in EDGE performance. Dramatic increases. EDGE throughput, which typically tops out at 100 kbps, began hitting 180 kbps or so, with some users reporting runs in excess of 200 kbps. This sudden bump in speed is likely the result of AT&T’s “Fine EDGE” project, an effort to beef up EDGE in advance of the iPhone’s official debut and ensure that AT&T doesn’t end up a scapegoat if the device doesn’t do well at market.

One last thing worth noting here: AT&T’s 3G network currently tops out at about 380kbps and is expected to hit 1.5mbps (megabits per second) by year’s end. So while the performance increase we’re seeing in EDGE today is welcome, it really pales in comparison to what could have been …