AT&T Blames Alcatel-Lucent For Slowing iPhone Upload Speeds

AT&T and supplier Alcatel-Lucent jointly detected the software defect, impacting uplink performance for Laptop Connect and smartphone customers using 3G HSUPA-capable wireless devices, which prevented customers in certain areas from reaching the maximum upload speeds.

AT&T fingered Alcatel-Lucent as the culprit for supplying the telecom giant with network equipment containing a software flaw responsible for the reduced iPhone 4 upload speeds. AT&T said that Alcatel-Lucent was working to address the problem, while downplaying the issue by maintaining that the problem affected less than 2 percent of its customer base, according to a company statement.

For many iPhone users, the glitch means that the time it takes to upload pictures, videos, music and other media will significantly increase.

iPhone users were reporting upload speeds well below previous iPhone models at 100 Kbps, while reaching an all-time low at 50 Kbps in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, according to Boy Genius Report and other online forums. AT&T said that customers who previously were able to get a faster version of 3G now could only get "normal 3G uplink speeds" until Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T repaired the issue. The recent network glitch in AT&T, the exclusive provider for the iPhone since its inception in 2007, is just the latest in an ongoing bungled history since Apple launched the iPhone 4 two weeks ago. Last week, AT&T and Apple acknowledged that the iPhone 4 suffered major reception problems due to an antenna design flaw that interfered with the signal if users held the device in a certain way.

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Prior to that, a design flaw in AT&T's authentication software was responsible for a data breach at the hands of hackers, which exposed around 140,000 e-mail addresses from iPad 3G customers.

Meanwhile, AT&T has been on the receiving end of sharp criticism from users who have complained about dropped calls, stretched bandwidth and lack of reception, even in major metropolitan areas. Apple has pulled the reins on data-intensive functions such as Multimedia Message, in light of AT&T's network and bandwidth problems.

The telecom giant's networks were further tapped with the launch of the iPad, resulting in growing discontentment and consternation over the quality of AT&T's service.

AT&T eliminated its unlimited 3Gdata plans, trading them up for a two-pronged approach that offered customers either 200 MB per month or 2 GB per month at different price points, however the change did little to alleviate AT&T's already overburdened network and shoddy performance. .