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 Oct. 20, 2017
Building a bug-out-bag is a smart idea. Whether preparing yourself for a tornado or something more sinister (like the zombie apocalypse, for example), experts suggest you have three days of supplies on hand for whatever life throws you. Publisher Andy Tarnoff did the taste testing so you don't have to.
Published Oct. 17, 2017
It doesn't get much more old-school than Baked Alaska. And, to the best of our knowledge, very few places in Milwaukee still serve it. One place that does, however, is the very retro supper club that is The Packing House.
Published Sept. 25, 2017
The arranged marriage of patriotism, the national anthem and the American flag is completely broken. Anyone who can't see this isn't looking hard enough. So let's not just stand and mumble our way through the national anthem anymore. Let's follow our hearts and our consciences, and respect those who have a different viewpoint than we do.
Published Sept. 22, 2017
On Tuesday, we published a piece looking at some of Glendale-native Kato Kaelin's, uh, passionate tweets about the Brewers and the Packers. After it ran, Kaelin offered us some clarification on tweets.
Published Sept. 19, 2017
Kato Kaelin, America's most famous (infamous?) houseguest, has a lot of things to say on Twitter these days. A self-described Brewers and Packers fan, he has some pretty harsh words about his favorite teams on social media.
Published Sept. 15, 2017
Kieron (Elwood Blues) Lafferty and Wayne (Jake Blues) Catania don't just look and sound like the Blues Brothers - they melt into the characters. At first, I felt like was looking for reasons to remind myself they weren't the real deal, but by "Rubber Biscuit," I embraced it.
Published Sept. 15, 2017
If you go back into the '80s and '90s, you'll see some weird commercials on Milwaukee television. Asking around the office, we all had some spots to share - but a lot of these gems remain only in our memories. Thankfully, some still exist on YouTube.
Published Sept. 2, 2017
Larry Powalisz was an MPD officer from 1973 to 2001. Even though he now lives in Houston, Milwaukee was a natural setting for his first crime novel, "Circle of Terror," which weaves local history and fiction - often in such a vivid way that it's hard to tell what's real and what's invented for the reader.
Published Aug. 25, 2017
"Adulting" has a pretty negative connotation on social media. But when you're in your forties, there's no better way to experience the magic of Door County. Farm-to-table dining, galleries and great coffee, it's time to indulge your grown-up side.
Published Aug. 20, 2017
Gtting good photos of the total solar eclipse will be hard. Not only will you need some proper filters and a bunch of prep time, but you will probably spend more energy in composing the shot than you will in actually seeing the eclipse. Shooting great night photos, however, is relatively easy.