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]