I've been complaining about the coverage of AT&T Wireless for three years, since the day I switched from Verizon. My iPhone doesn't work where I need it most: at home, on top of the Hoan Bridge, on vacation in Door County or at the cabin Up North.
But where I'm most bothered is by the inconsistent and spotty service at Miller Park. Even when my phone says it has four bars, it's often impossible to send a text or post a tweet. Calls are just as bad.
Obviously, just as soon as the new iPhone comes out, I'm breaking my contract and switching to Verizon. But in the meantime, the PR agency that represents U.S. Cellular heard my plight and asked if I'd do a head-to-head test.
Sure, I said, so I jumped up to the Miller Park press box, which has the best view in the house, and during the first three innings of today's Brewers-Dodgers game, I conducted five different unscientific tests between the AT&T iPhone and U.S. Cellular Samsung Mesmerize.
The results were a bit surprising, as AT&T worked as well as I've ever seen it here in Miller Park. And that's not saying much. The U.S. Cellular did well, too, with, a few hiccups.
Here are my unscientific results:
Web browsing from U.S. Cellular Android to OnMilwaukee.com
Time: 92 seconds
Web browsing from AT&T iPhone to OnMilwaukee.com (cache cleared)
Time: 65 seconds, it said "could not activate cellular network" and service dropped to "Searching ..." Site did not load. Four bars of Edge came back, and it timed out, not fully loaded at 3 minutes, 15 seconds
Text from U.S. Cellular Android to AT&T iPhone: "At the Brewers game. Wish you were here."
First attempt: 8 seconds
Second attempt: 9 seconds
Third attempt: 9 seconds
Text from AT&T iPhone to U.S. Cellular Android: "At the Brewers game. Wish you were here."
First attempt: 13 seconds
Second attempt: 8 seconds
Third attempt: 10 seconds
Picture message from U.S. Cellular Android to US AT&T iPhone:
First attempt: unknown seconds (outbound), 36 seconds later showed up on iPhone
Second attempt: unknown seconds (outbound), 50 seconds later showed up on iPhone
Third attempt: unknown seconds (outbound), 10 minutes later showed up on iPhone
Picture message from ATT iPhone to U.S. Cellular Android:
First attempt: 45 seconds (outbound), 70 seconds later showed up on U.S. Cellular
Second attempt: 48 seconds (outbound), 28 seconds later showed up on U.S. Cellular
Third attempt: 44 seconds (outbound), 38 seconds later showed up on U.S. Cellular
Sample tweets from U.S. Cellular Android:
First tweet: "Testing cell coverage from Miller Park for upcoming blog. Next up, U.S. Cellular Android."
Time: 10 seconds
Second tweet: *Couldn't attach photo on mobile Twitter for Android
Sample tweets from AT&T iPhone:
First tweet: "Testing cell coverage from Miller Park for upcoming blog. First up, AT&T iPhone."
Time: 5 seconds
Second tweet: "That took five seconds. Here's the test with photo attached on AT&T iPhone."
Time: 20 seconds
Call to colleague Andrew Wagner, three feet away, on U.S. Cellular Android:
Time: Error, "Your call cannot be completed as dialed." Second attempt: 6 seconds.
Call to colleague Andrew Wagner, three feet away, on AT&T iPhone:
Time: 15 seconds until first ring on his phone
@mke_thucydides I see your point. I'm just saying that every cell company can't guarantee coverage in every single person's house. Each house is built differently (wood, cement, etc) and could affect the signal. I guess with the land lines they could guarantee the service to work because of the technology. I've had AT&T for years now, with an iPhone, and live in Bay View (same place as the author). I guess I have better luck with my phone signal/service.
Aardvark- Until I switched service providers a few months ago, I complained incessantly about having poor cell service at my house. The reason? My cell phone is the only phone I have. Im inconvenienced when it doesnt work just as you and your family would be inconvenienced if your land-line were periodically and mysteriously unavailable for such tasks as ordering a pizza, arranging play dates for you children, talking to distant relatives, calling 911 or whatever other uses you may have for your telephone at home. If you were paying $70+ per month for said phone service and experienced those inconveniences (assuming that you were well within that companys advertised service area), youd complain, too.
Granted there's a month or two until iPhone 5 release, so Verizon has time to wake up. But I would hate to hear you moved to Verizon during the CWA strike. There are a lot of things to like about Verizon cell service but I encourage you to hold your account until their labor dispute is resolved.
I can't stand people that complain about their phone not working in their house. Put the phone down and spend some time with your family. On top of the Hoan Bridge...who really cares? Wait 2 min to make a call. Door County/Up North - all cell coverage sucks...that's why it's called the boonies. Crack a beer and enjoy the scenery. #firstworldproblems
why don't you people just enjoy a baseball game and save the phone crap for when you're goofing off at work?
Show me the other 2 Talkbacks
7 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published July 25, 2016
Jessica Tighe is an appreciative person. While the Elm Grove native has worked in West Virginia, the Quad Cities and La Crosse, now she's home and co-anchoring the morning news on CBS 58. Ask Tighe how it feels and she actually gets goose bumps: "I have family here. I'm invested in this market," she says with a smile.
Published July 11, 2016
Summerfest 2016 may have come and gone, but the memories will live forever - because we at OnMilwaukee took enough photos and video to fill a large hard drive.
Published July 9, 2016
Playing before the Barenaked Ladies and OMD, Howard Jones got the 6 p.m. spot at the BMO Harris Pavilion Saturday night, and while that's not exactly top billing for an artist who had 15 top 40 singles during his career, I'll take it.
Published July 9, 2016
In a word, Paul McCartney was amazing tonight. I feel beyond fortunate that I've now seen him play twice. Now back at the office, at midnight, Bobby is writing the main review, but I have some stuff to say, too. Random stuff, so please indulge me.
Published July 7, 2016
Go ahead; get those laughs out of the way. I'm trying to write a serious review of Anthony Ray's Big Gig show. You, of course, know him as Sir Mix-a-Lot, and unless you listened to his tapes in the early '90s, you probably recognize just one of his songs.
Published June 30, 2016
If you've ever bought an official Summerfest T-shirt, hat or other branded gift, it's first gone through Dan Elias. As vice president of The Specialized Marketing Group Inc., he's managed the merch for the Big Gig for 17 years.
Published June 28, 2016
In college, I had a reoccurring nightmare that I was trapped on a crazy elevator. Lately, that's been replaced by what I call the "fat finger" dream. I've talked to a few people, including co-worker Molly Synder, who has had it, too.
Published June 27, 2016
OnMilwaukee publisher Andy Tarnoff is very impressed with this year's Summerfest lineup, but he thinks the strongest day for the Big Gig is on July 9. For his money, he's especially excited about Howard Jones and, obviously, Sir Paul McCartney. Here are his picks.
Published June 11, 2016
"It's good to be king." Mel Brooks actually said that, quoting himself, to a sold-out show Saturday night at the Riverside. Based on the remarkable stories, the adoring reception and the super-human energy from this soon-to-be 90-year-old film legend, I believe him.
Published May 7, 2016
I won't lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.