iPhone hogging AT&T’s 3G network, delays Blackberry Bold

September 18, 2008

iPhone hogging AT&T's 3G network, delays Blackberry Bold The launch of the highly anticipated Blackberry Bold was delayed yet another month- being scheduled for a November launch instead of October.  A likely reason being AT&T wasn’t at all ready to handle the influx of 3G data usage that the iPhone brought. 

Both devices use the same 3G network technology, but it now appears AT&T wasn’t prepared for the bandwidth-hogging Apple device and doesn’t have the resources to launch the Bold until it cures its iPhone issues, according Toronto’s Globe and Mail.  A huge reason is the fact that the iPhone lacks the data compression technology that is a hallmark of RIM’s BlackBerry devices.

It’s estimated that AT&T will need to spend roughly $1 Billion to remedy it’s network and to erase the data-clogging issues the iPhone has introduced.  AT&T has realized that with RIM’s technology, they could have 20 Blackberrys using the same amount of data as one iPhone.  Blackberry’s data is channeled through RIM’s own servers to reduce data strain on carriers, while the iPhone uses a method which must constantly access AT&T’s network in order to receive data and e-mails- placing a great strain on its cellular infrastructure.

"AT&T really relied upon RIM for its data network management," Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek wrote in a note to clients this week. "Recall that RIM manages virtually all of the data traffic for its carriers globally- AT&T in our view was spoiled by the fact that RIM essentially shielded the carrier from the full burden on the network."  I bet AT&T is regretting the exclusivity of the iPhone now- then again, the revenue boost they received because of it should more than cover the extra expenses. 

The delay and problems with AT&T should greatly help other highly-anticipated phones due out over the next few months, including HTC’s Dream for T-Mobile and the Blackberry Storm for Verizon.  Maybe this has something to do with AT&T not getting a piece of the Android pie (yet).  With such a data-intensive OS, you would have thought it would first be introduced on a network with the largest 3G coverage- instead T-Mobile is trying its hardest to roll out as many 3G markets as it can before the the Dream’s upcoming launch.

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