AT&T has finally issued a response to the reports of slower-than-expected upload performance on the company’s latest phones, like the Atrix and Inspire 4G. Users have been mystified over why these supposed 4G smartphones aren’t using HSUPA data, resulting in abysmal upload bandwidth. In regards to complaints that it was artificially capping upload speeds, the company denies the allegation, though its stance seems to rest on a convenient interpretation of what “capped” means.
The company writes that it “has not “capped” the upload speeds on the ATRIX” followed immediately by “the ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device“. Take a second to process that and you’ll see what we mean about splitting hairs over the definition of “capped”. AT&T seems to think that if it sold you an Atrix with HSUPA enabled in software, then never delivered full HSUPA speeds over its network, that would count as capping. However, the company disabling HSUPA before selling the phones, even when their hardware is fully-capable of HSUPA, doesn’t seem to count as “capping” in AT&T’s book.
AT&T makes excuses about more testing for HSUPA before enabling it on its Android phones (at least the good news is that support is coming at some point). Funny, then, how the iPhone 4 gets full AT&T HSUPA, if the carrier is so worried about what HSUPA will do to its network.
To recap: AT&T’s network supports HSUPA, the 4G phones in question are capable of HSUPA, but AT&T has decided not to provide those Androids with the software they need to get the speeds users are looking for. It’s hard to look at that as anything other than a willful action by a network operator that reduces bandwidth consumption. If only there was a word for that…