AT&T gave Apple engineers masterclasses in wireless networking in order to address iPhone connectivity woes on the carrier's network, says a report from the Wall Street Journal. But that's only half of the story, as AT&T also says it's putting a lot of effort (and money) into improving its network as well.
U.S. iPhone users have been complaining about AT&T's network pretty much since Apple's smartphone was first launched in 2007. And AT&T was their only option if they wanted an iPhone, , as Apple has forged an exclusive deal with the carrier in the U.S.
However, with (long-standing) rumors that Apple may soon end exclusivity with AT&T and launch a Verzion version of its popular smartphone, AT&T is ramping to beef up its network in an effort to satisfy users. As part of improving iPhone users' experience, AT&T worked with Apple to reduce strain on its network, according to the WSJ.
AT&T reportedly flew its people to Apple's California offices to give Apple designers a crash course in wireless networking, which ended up in regular meetings between the two parties. As a result, the WSJ report says iPhones put less load on AT&T's network when they need to find the closest cell tower or check for text messages.
In addition to working with Apple, AT&T reportedly made improvements to its network as well. Part of a so-called 100-day network improvement plan, AT&T added new network spectrum to help with traffic handling and repositioned antennas in many locations to aid reception in office towers.
However, news of AT&T making massive improvements to its network is not a surprise. Traditionally, every June since 2007, Apple has introduced a new iPhone model, and this year is likely to be no exception. It's unclear when Apple's exclusive iPhone contract with AT&T will end, but some say this summer's model might be the last one exclusive to the carrier.
Add that to continuous speculation of a Verizon-bound iPhone, and it becomes clear why AT&T is striving to improve its network. One more thing though AT&T: where is the iPhone Internet tethering you promised last year?