AT&T screwing its EDGE iPhone users?

Apple has a history of royally screwing over its partners.   We mean this in the best possible way because we can’t wait for AT&T to get theirs.  Their latest shenanigans? AT&T is winding down their EDGE service to get people to move to 3G.  According to OpenForBusiness:

Cell phones, like other wireless communications devices, have certain radio bands they communicate on. While previously the company had been primarily relying on the 850 MHz band that offers a more robust signal, including superior indoor reception, company technicians confirmed to OFB that transmitters for the 2G signal used by the original iPhone and most other handsets, including most AT&T offered BlackBerry and RAZR models, have been shifted to the weaker 1900 MHz band in some areas.

This shift has resulted in customers past their 30-day return policy, but still with relatively new phones, finding themselves stuck with equipment no longer able to pick up signals properly in previously strong coverage areas, even though the equipment itself is without defect.

OFB was able to confirm this situation for itself using multiple devices in St. Louis, MO, and also obtained information on similar cases across the country. Reports suggested the problem started to appear as AT&T ramped up its 3G network in preparation for the iPhone 3G in early 2008. Each AT&T technician OFB talked to concerning this problem offered the same solution: that the customer should purchase new, 3G-enabled equipment at the customer’s own expense. This has created a troubling situation for many owners of the original iPhone, a device that was as recently as May of 2008 selling for $400. These users are being told their expensive phones should not only be replaced at the subscriber’s expense, sometimes less than a year after purchase, but also at an increase in the monthly service rate of $10 for data and $5 for text messaging.

Typical AT&T move…maybe it is best to take AT&T’s own advice:

As an alternative, OFB was also advised by one AT&T customer service representative to consider terminating AT&T service. The representative then suggested using unofficial information on the Internet to unlock the iPhone for use on another cellular network.

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