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Vulnerabilities / Threats

Nexus One Users Report Poor 3G Access

Owners of the Google-branded smartphone say their connections are dropping from 3G to T-Mobile's slower Edge network.

Google Nexus One Smartphone
(click image for larger view)
Google Nexus One Smartphone

Google's new Nexus One is generating a steady flow of complaints from users who are griping that their connections are dropping from 3G to T-Mobile's slower 2G Edge network

The device operates on T-Mobile's network, which, like many wireless carriers, has been hard pressed to keep up with the streams of data generated by new generations of smartphones. In recent years, T-Mobile has purchased more than $4 billion in advanced wireless services spectrum in Federal Communications Commission auctions and has added spectrum from private purchases, but it apparently isn't enough.

Google's public forums are replete with complaints from users, many of whom say their Nexus Ones are dropping from 3G to the 2G edge network.

"I upgraded from a Blackberry Pearl to the Nexus One," wrote one user in a typical posting. "I cannot get any 3G service as of yet. Don't know what the problem is. T-Mobile and HTC support weren't able to help."

Another posting was: "I'm having this same problem. My G1 has 3G with full strength, but sitting right next to it my Nexus has 1 bar of 3G and keeps switching to Edge... I'm at the point where I'm about to send this thing back. It ruins the whole experience if I can't ever stay on 3G for more than a few seconds."

The problems are reminiscent of the situation faced by Apple iPhone users who, like Nexus One users, generally said they liked their iPhone, but were initially saddled with the slow 2G Edge network. AT&T, which has exclusive rights to market the iPhone in the U.S., eventually solved the problem by rolling out a more robust network infrastructure. However, in recent months many AT&T iPhone users have complained of dropped calls and deteriorating network connections. Ironically, AT&T and Apple are victims of the success of the iPhone, because the flood of iPhone applications has clogged network reception for many consumers.

The exact source of the Nexus One problem hasn't been pinpointed, but users are pointing their fingers at all three major Nexus One partners -- Google, handset maker HTC, and T-Mobile. T-Mobile wasn't immediately available for comment, although the firm said on its T-Mobile forums that it knew of the user complaints and was looking into the situation. Google said it was working to sort out the "few kinks" involved in the launch of the new mobile phone.

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