Mar 11 AT 1:00 PM Taylor Wimberly 31 Comments

AT&T responds to phantom 4G, “When we turn this feature on you have a world class experience”

After several days of bad press, AT&T has finally issued an official response to the phantom 4G speeds that customers have been complaining about on the new Atrix 4G and Inspire 4G. AT&T customer Keith Geissler filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Texas and he received the following response…

AT&T Mobility (AT&T) received the above-referenced customer complaint and appreciates the opportunity to respond. Specifically, Keith Geissler complains that the recently released Motorola Atrix does not offer speeds anywhere near what advertised speeds claim. He is requesting activation of 4G services and removal of the cap on the Motorola Atrix services.

Account research regarding this complaint shows that AT&T is focused on delivering a wide choice of solutions and the best possible Smartphone experience to our customers. Be assured that AT&T has not “capped” the upload speeds on the ATRIX. The ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience.

We ask that you please keep in mind; software is only one of many factors that can affect speeds experienced. Factors such as location, time of day, network capacity and facilities, can have an impact as well. Again, in order to ensure the best possible customer experience services will become available once testing has been completed.Sheila UtechAT&T Customer Appeals Manager

The letter states that AT&T has not “capped” the upload speeds of their phones, even though all Android phones are limited to around 300 kbps uploads. However, it does appear that they admit High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) is disabled on the Atrix 4G (and other devices).

AT&T says they are “performing the testing and preparations neccessary” to ensure customers will have a good experience when they “turn this feature on.”

We know that most of AT&T’s Android devices support HSUPA, so they should all see a speed boost whenever it is enabled via an over the air software update. Customers with a 3G iPhone are able to achieve much faster mobile broadband speeds than newer 4G phones because AT&T has no control over the iPhone firmware (and Apple has enabled HSUPA).

There is no telling when AT&T will “turn on” the faster speeds for their 4G devices, but given their track record with Android software updates it could be a couple of months. I’ve seen a lot of Atrix owners complaining that they want this fixed before their 30-day refund window closes, but it doesn’t look like that will happen.

A response from the @ATT Twitter account reads, “If you aren’t happy with your device and it’s within 30 days of purchase, we’d be happy to let you return it.”

[Thanks Zack for the tip]

Source: XDA Developers

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Adam1

    They haven’t capped uploadspeeds at 300kpbs for all their android phones. I have a captivate and a recent speed test showed an upload rate as high as 1500 to 2000 kpbs

    • zizo79

      rooted ?

    • http://Website alfpope

      I’m guessing you are not using a stock radio then. My experience and that of everyone else over at XDA is that the Captivate radio firmwares have HSUPA disabled. But if, for example, you flash one from the I9000 or the Telus versions of the Galaxy S, HSUPA works fine.

    • http://Website ralexandroid

      I have a rooted Captivate, using the I-9000 modem (i think that’s the one).

      Before rooting, I never achieved greater than 200 kbps (upload). After rooting I see an average of 1500 kbps (upload) because the i-9000 modem has HSUPA turned ON.

    • http://Website triki

      I agree with you on that my nexus one is alson not limited to speeds im thinking its just the att 4g phones

  • http://Website Mikey

    Tmobile rules! Mytouch 4g 7down 2up.

    • http://Website Macavelli

      I’m right there with you. i get a max of 5.8 down and 2.5 on the up w/ T-Mobile. On a VIBRANT!

  • http://Website panic

    Regardless if its still in “testing” then they shouldn’t advertise it like its available

    • WickedToby741

      If its still in testing, the phones shouldn’t have been released yet. Misleading your customers in order to get their money is never a wise move and AT&T seems to always be playing with fire.

      • http://Website androidog

        Your exactly right. These companies need to stop releasing and selling hardware prior to being ready. They are all rushing to one up each other and in doing so are screwing the customer. And its not just att its all of them.

      • Matthew Chaboud

        If misleading marketing and having poor network service really cost you customers, AT&T would be out of business…

        • http://Website Uninspired

          Three words: Early Termination Fee. THAT is what at least slows the churn. Carriers make switching between a pain on purpose. Not to mention NO cell provider is without sin. I’ve been on AT&T for years. They have never screwed up so much that I’d bother switching. Of course I’ve only had a “real” smartphone (HTC Inspire) for about two weeks so all these issues are new to me.

  • http://Website bemymonkey

    Why the hell aren’t people returning their phones in droves? 300kbps upload is barely enough for a decent VoIP call, let alone video calls.


    • zizo79

      I am done complaining and it is going back….this might be the last Moto product I get !

      • http://Website ItsMeCD

        How is this Motorola’s fault?

      • http://Website Hans

        Wth? This isn’t even Motorola’s fault. It’s all AT&T’s fault, as usual.

  • 420speedwagon

    remember the 4G wars? AT&T was claiming that there 4G was better then T-mobiles. well F-you AT&T!!! We all knew you guys suck at many things but somehow got the nicest phones. Whatever you’re paying those manufactures for there product you might as well put that money towards improving your guys is services and your so called “4G”. Tmobile is better and the tmobile chick just makes thing even more better =D

  • http://Website Nick

    One more reason to hold on to my Nexus One longer. Full HSUPA speeds.

  • http://Website watbetch

    AT&T lies about everything.. even when it’s obvious they’ve gone out of their way to remove HSUPA on phones.. they claim they did no such thing with a lot of double talk about how they didn’t “cap” it.. well you did REMOVE the capability.

  • http://Website revs

    if this was t mobile people would be LOLing in their face
    but guess what its not
    fucking ridiculous ! i would be outraged !

  • http://Website NoNeedForMonkeys

    My Aria stock on AT&T never saw greater than 800kbps (down) in downtown Portland.
    After the rock stars over at XDA fixed the features AT&T withheld (like enabling HSUPA), I get a clean 2.3Mbps (down) during peak hours, and almost 7Mbps (down) in the evenings.

    The hardward was always capable, the software was there (disabled), AT&T is the problem.

  • Uncemister

    mytouch4G does nearly 2mbps up. woot woot

  • http://Website rrecs

    mt4g 6mbs dwn 2 up

  • http://Website Joe

    “…we’d be happy to let you return it”

    Should read:

    ” … we are required by law to accept returns.”

  • Drew

    “When we turn this feature on you have a world class experience.”

    They’re admitting that their current experience is not world class like they label it to be?

    Honesty by AT&T? No way

  • http://Website Jay

    Another way at&t treats its second class customer because he or she chooses android over apple. Screw you at$t . I am a proud verizon customer and an ANDRIOD FAN.

  • http://Website Joshua

    Of course with all this they won’t lose any customers. Look at the guy up top who is blaming Motorola, lol!! Most of these cell phones customer bases are clueless and wouldn’t even know how to find out what the speed is. That’s why At&t can continue to spout crap because it’s only a select few that pay attention. I stick with Tmobile through thick and thin and I’ve had almost every major carrier. Tmobile is not perfect but in the end with flaws on all carriers, Tmobile gives me the best price with the best features. They may not have the clout to get anything exclusively, but that keeps my prices down.

    An example of exclusivity that pisses me off is NHL Center Ice Online. WTF do they only offer it through Verizon when they don’t even have an LTE device out yet. WTF!!!! I’ve had 4g speeds since November and I can’t get the NHL Center ice app, that’s total BS!!!

  • http://Website guardianali

    hoenstly i dont see the issue. Its an UPLOAD cap…long as i can download fast I dont really care if the upload is slow..not like im seeding a torrent file from my phone or something. And even if u send attachments on an email like a photo..those generally wont be over a few megs at most..and even at 300kbs..its doesnt take that long.

  • balanced scorecard

    Faster speeds for 4g AT&T phones should be established as soon as possible. They should also make their network’s services very satisfactory to give their customers a good experience. An extension of the refund date should also be made.

  • http://Website Tmobile Customer

    Wow i still dont know why people would buy an At&t android phone with you getting the step brother treatment because you dont buy an apple product… man so many other carriers outh there with good Android phone’s. I mean Verizon, Sprint, Even Tmobile have better phone’s than At&t and you dont get the “you have 30 days to return it crap” basically telling you if you dont like it just return it and go some where else!! man good thing ill never use their service!!