The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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CES - Mark This Spot as Dead 

One of the main complaints at CES this year was the incredibly horrible performance of the AT&T network. Given the massive adoption of the iPhone, and the fact that technology trade shows tend to generate mobile data traffic, the demands for bandwidth should have been predictable , if not addressed by AT&T in advance.  Because they were not, the company took a big hit in the battle of map coverage with Verizon.

My experience, personally, was not around dropped calls but the ability to even connect a call under what appeared to be full bar coverage. My device would show access to wifi and the AT&T 3G network, but then when the call was placed, it would fail to connect.  Worse, text messages were timing out before they could leave the device, making communication nearly impossible for most of the show if you were using an AT&T 3G device.

AT&T has an app on the App Store called “Mark the Spot” to enable customers to provide feedback to the company about where they experience network problems. The app provides options for reporting issues - Dropped Call, Failed Call, No Coverage, Data Failure and Poor Voice Quality – but what happens when the device doesn’t enable connectivity at all to send a report, and you want to communicate you can’t call and you can’t text? As connectivity became a more valuable commodity than the H1N1 vaccine, it became more important to find a way to communicate than to see if the AT&T app would register the complaint about the data or voice failure using the same network that wouldn’t allow connectivity in the first place.

Reader Comments (1)

Last show I did for InnoPath, Oracle Open World in San Francisco, I was trying to do demos on GSM devices on the AT&T network but was having trouble with data connectivity. Fortunately I had a Verizon MiFi, which provided WiFi enabled data for up to 5 other devices with a 3G uplink courtesy of Verizon, an elegant solution that worked very well. The MiFi is a cool piece of kit to be sure and the Verizon booth staff was of course deligted when I told them what I was doing to get data to my devices.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason Lackey
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