Why the iPhone 3G sometimes dropped calls and what Apple’s iPhone 2.0.2 fixed

“Our source close to AT&T helped illuminate why the update was necessary, what the problem was, and why the update didn’t immediately impact users equally,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for RoughlyDrafted.

“The iPhone 2.0.2 update ‘fixed power control on the mobile,’ the source told RoughlyDrafted. UMTS, the technology used to deliver AT&T’s 3G network, refers to phones and other client devices as ‘U’ for user equipment, and the base transceiver station towers as ‘Node B,'” Dilger reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Uhhh… huh?

Basically, “The problem was only evident when a critical mass of phones all acted in concert to run a given cell tower out of power,” Dilger explains.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, okay. We get it now. The first waves of the bloodbath.

Full article – highly recommended – here.

21 Comments

  1. Good article, excellent explanation of the (MW) problem and what was done to correct it. Unfortunately, there will always be “something else” to piss and moan about right around the corner. It is funny that despite the number of 3G phones around the world that all probably experienced this same problem, only the iPhone users made a big stink about it and the media picked up on it. Why haven’t we been reading about Nokia, Samsung, Sony/Ericsson, etc. users complaining?

  2. “Why haven’t we been reading about Nokia, Samsung, Sony/Ericsson, etc. users complaining?”

    Because the are not expected to “just work”. They are expected to be pieces of mediocre crap and one is expected to just deal with it.

  3. “The problem was only evident when a critical mass of phones all acted in concert to run a given cell tower out of power,”. Ok, you need to power up those towers because there is going to be a lot more iPhones sucking the life out of them!

    The “critical mass” or tsunami is rising!

  4. “Why haven’t we been reading about Nokia, Samsung, Sony/Ericsson, etc. users complaining?”

    Because 98% of the mobile Web surfers are using iPhones since Apple iPhones actually allow users to access the Web productively.

    So, when you sell 3 million iPhones in the first month and they all go online and hit the towers for data…

  5. so this is just due to a zillion iphones on a single tower? how can there be that many in once single area……and, this is also asuming that all the iphones are running 3G. I use my 3G iphone, but i keep it on edge until i want to browse, since 3G kills the battery.

  6. @that many iphones?

    Do you know how many phones a single 3G tower can handle?

    Neither do I.

    So If you are on the outside edge of town on the last 3G tower, you probably have very few users on it.

    If you are downtown in a large city, you have people walking around that can be more more dense than cars, plus buildings that are 40 to 80 stories high adding to the amount of users in the same vertical space.

    After a college football game in town, it very common to overload the cell towers around the stadium.

  7. I also keep mine on EDGE unless I decide to drive an hour to 3G coverage. Even then I’ll keep it on EDGE unless I want faster browsing. EDGE browsing on my iPhone is faster than browsing on my old job’s stupid crackberry.

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