Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Is AT&T off the DL at Citizens Bank Park?

AT&T says the Big Fix is still three or four weeks away. But meanwhile, some technological tweaks may have helped.

Is AT&T off the DL at Citizens Bank Park?

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I saw Friday's Phillies games against the Twins, and had an amazing experience: My iPhone actually worked.

I sent a text message to my daughter, and got a reply in seconds, not hours. I exchanged a quick email with one of my editors. I checked a couple game stats with the MLB.com app. Heck, I even managed to watch a game clip on video.

So does that mean AT&T is finally off the disabled list at Citizens Bank Park? Let's just say it's on a rehab assignment.

AT&T spokesman Adam Cormier says the Big Fix, the one promised before the season, is still not quite done.

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"The system in the ballpark itself is still in the works, but it’s not up and running," Cormier told me today. "We hope to have that finished in the next three or four weeks."

But AT&T has heard our complaints, it seems, and wasn't just waiting around. It has beefed up the connections to the four permanent cell towers around the stadium, and to the COW - the cell site on wheels - that's been stationed in a parking lot since the 2009 World Series.  It has also done some technological tweaks that Cormier said increase the sites' capacity to handle calls and data flow until the Big Fix is done.

"We've tried to make the spectrum we have more efficient," Cormier said.

AT&T  has a long way to go to mend fences with customers - especially iPhone owners - who got used to lousy service while competitors' phones worked.  I'd be curious to know if your recent experience has improved - you can email me at jgelles@phillynews.com.

"I have a very good view of the AT&T billboard, but I do not have good AT&T access," says Lazaros Kalemis, a Huntingdon Valley business owner, who told me several weeks ago that he has "spotty coverage, at best," and so far hasn't noticed a change.  "We always say, 'They should take down their  advertisement and put up a tower.'"


 


 

 

Inquirer Business Columnist
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About this blog

Jeff Gelles, who writes the Inquirer's weekly Consumer 14.0 and Tech Life columns, takes a broad look at the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

Reach Jeff at jgelles@phillynews.com.

Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
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