Apple and AT&T Have Reportedly Worked Closely on 3G Network Performance Issues

100711 att iphone

The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) on AT&T's recent efforts to beef up its cellular network in the face of criticism from customers over performance. As part of the report, the Journal notes that Apple and AT&T have worked closely on addressing the issues, with Apple even going so far as to tweak how the iPhone connects to the network in order to reduce load.

Apple rejiggered how its phones communicate with AT&T's towers. As a result, the phones now put less of a load on the network for such simple tasks as finding the closest tower or checking for available text messages.

"They're well past networking 101, 201 or 301," said Mr. Donovan. Apple, he said, is now "in a Master's class."

AT&T also reportedly sent high-ranking company executives to Cupertino to personally meet with Apple CEO Steve Jobs to assure him that network issues were being addressed. According to the report, AT&T rolled out a "100-day plan" in mid-December to rapidly improve service in high-density markets such as Manhattan and San Francisco that have been the focus of customer complaints. The carrier's efforts may be paying off, as its network showed marked improvement in a recent study of 3G wireless performance, although there is certainly still work to be done.

AT&T's race to improve its network comes as rumors of a Verizon iPhone continue to circulate and the iPad nears its launch, providing additional incentives for the carrier to invest in its infrastructure.

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