I have owned 2 generations of iPhones, the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4, and I just made the jump to the Android OS by purchasing the Motorola Atrix 4G the day it was released on February 22, 2011. Just like the iPhone 4, who suffered poor upload speeds during its launch, My Motorola Atrix 4G has had upload speeds not exceeding the 300 Kbps but here is the kicker: In July 2010, AT&T has announced publicly that they had a software glitch affecting the iPhone 4 upload speeds and fixed it a couple of weeks later. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for my Atrix 4G or for the HTC Inspire 4G who has also been having similar issues.
I have contacted AT&T numerous times, talked to their customer service, technical support and was told that the towers in my area are fine and I shouldn’t be having any problems ! Hell, I even called the office of the President of AT&T and all I have gotten was a letter stating that they weren’t capping upload speeds and they are “focused on delivering a wide choice of solutions and the best possible Smartphone experience to our customer”. We all understand that AT&T is deploying their HSPA+ network but I want to make sure everyone understands that this issue in related to the fact that the Motorola Atrix 4G, operating in the 3G network, should have similar or better data speeds than Apple’s iPhone 4 and not worse.
I filed complaints with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and the FCC (Federal communications Commission) and so far I only received a response from the FCC stating the following (didn’t want to include the whole text since the rest was irrelevant):
“Re: Complaint #
This letter is in response to your complaint filed with the FCC. We are reviewing your complaint and will contact you if any further information is needed. Thank you for your filing”
In addition to my attempt of getting an official statement from AT&T about “crippling” HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access), I created an online petition and generated close to 1100 signatures from unhappy AT&T customers who share my concern about AT&T’s unethical favoritism toward iPhone owners while, us Motorola Atrix 4G or HTC Inspire 4G owners, still pay the same amount of money for data plans!
I have encountered an article from Engadget addressing this issue and this is more of a technical explanation about why Android phone aren’t getting the same upload speeds as the iphone 4:
“AT&T currently requires that all handsets that it sells “handshake” with the network as 3GPP Release 5 devices, the last official set of 3G specifications that lacked support for HSUPA. That feature — also known as EDCH, or FDD Enhanced Uplink — was added in Release 6. Though AT&T is apparently working on permitting the bulk of its handsets to handshake Release 6, presently only the iPhone 4 (and presumably all of its recent data devices like USB modems, which may also use Release 7) are allowed. Neither we, nor our source, know why this is. Our source believes that the Release 6 certification may happen within a “month or two,” which would explain why some AT&T sales reps in live HSPA+ areas are telling customers that the “4G network” isn’t live yet.”
I was told this weekend by the manager of my local AT&T store that they have seen a lot of returns of the Atrix 4G phones but wouldn’t comment about the reason. Atrix 4G or HTC Inspire 4G owners, are only a fraction of AT&T’s (add T-Mobile) 95 millions customers but I believe that we should be treated fairly and not be left out because we don’t own an iPhone.