Details of iPhone 2.0.2 Firmware 3G Connectivity Improvements?
RoughlyDrafted reports on details of the iPhone 2.0.2 firmware 3G connectivity improvements. According to a "source close to AT&T," the connectivity issues have been caused by iPhones demanding that cell towers devote more power than necessary to their connections. When a "critical mass" of iPhones, all demanding excessive amounts of power, are connected to a cell tower, the transmitter runs out of power and begins dropping calls and degrading data delivery. The 2.0.2 firmware update is said to address this issue via modifications to the power control algorithm.
The source also clarifies that iPhones running 2.0 and 2.0.1 firmware are continuing to cause problems for all users, which explains why many users have reported that connection issues persisted after they updated their iPhones. This also explains the advertising push for the 2.0.2 update seen with Apple adding a banner ad to the iPhone App Store and AT&T sending text messages to users encouraging them to update their iPhones.
This is one of the reasons why AT&T has been sending text messages to users to persuade them to upgrade to the 2.0.2 software. In a mixed environment where users are running 2.0, 2.0.1, and 2.0.2, the power control problems of 2.0 and 2.0.1 will affect the 2.0.2 users.
It is not the network that is fault but the interaction of the bad power control algorithm in 2.0 and 2.0.1 software and the network that is at fault. The sooner everybody is running 2.0.2 software the better things will be. Having seen the graphs the 2.0.2 software has already started to make difference.
Apple is due to release a software update for the iPhone in September, but it is not known whether it will include changes to further address the connectivity issues.