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Has Your Smartphone Speed Improved?

AT&T claims its latest mobile broadband product — now serving Marin — is a lot faster.

When you’re dealing with a company involved in one of the most hostile industries, each press statement has to be taken with a grain of salt. It is puffery or is it genuine news?

AT&T announced that it has expanded “the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network” in the Bay Area, expanding its coverage into Marin County — specifically Novato and San Rafael.

George Ross, an AT&T spokesman, did his best to explain the technology in layman’s terms: “The most important news worthy development here is that LTE is a much, much faster network for data. The mobile broadband (basically the internet on your smartphone) is up to 10 times faster than on a 3G network. So smartphone users will notice far quicker response times from websites and downloads.  That's in large part because LTE is uses spectrum (which is finite) far more efficiently than traditional network technology, creating more space to carry data so the network doesn't get clogged up.”

Then he really dumbed it down: “A very crude analogy would be basically driving on a crowded freeway, and you suddenly get access to the carpool lane.”

There’s a video, if you’re interested.

So, AT&T users — are your downloads faster? Is your smartphone particularly brainy lately? Or is AT&T jut trying to stave off the competition in one of the roughest business industries of the modern era by getting a little extra attention? Tell us what you think.

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Lori Rooney April 16, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Yes my iPhone 5 is much faster when downloading web pages and PDFs. However my phone service SUCKS!! It was weak here where I live (less than 1/2 mile off the 101 freeway. Across from Fireman's Fund. With my 4S I was able to send and receive texts and from time to time (75/25) I could make and receive calls (not the clearest signal, but I did get one to two bars. I bought my iPhone 5 last Friday and yes it might be fast on WiFi but I have "no service" at my home!!! literally where the 4G LTR or the --AT&T phone should read it reads "NO SERVICE"!! Have I given up phone usage for quicker downloads.......... I certainly hope their is a glitch in the network or the local tower is down....... Maybe the real problem is the absence of a efficient tower to cover this area of San Marin Drive.
Larry April 16, 2013 at 02:53 PM
I live in Indian Valley and I agree with Lori. My download speeds are great; however, where I used to get service at my home, I am now routinely greeted with the "NO SERVICE" message. Why is it that when I travel to the middle of BF nowhere, I have service but here in Marin County it is hit and miss?
Jeff Wilson April 16, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Agree. The problem in Marin is not speed, its coverage. There are a lot of neighborhoods, like Hamilton where I live, that simply don't get enough bars so people can use their cell phones from their homes. A few months back AT&T announced that they had installed a new cell tower to service this area, but I have seen no improvement in coverage at my home.

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