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Will AT&T Handle Influx of New Activity From iPad?


The company has a growing list of reasons to spend on this issue.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial).

Hermione writes:

With all the hype surrounding Apple's (AAPL) new iPad, I haven't heard much discussion about how AT&T's (T) network will handle an influx in new activity. IPhone users are already all too familiar with how terrible AT&T's network is and how insufficient it is for the existing iPhone usage. Won't the extra stress of iPads further hurt the customer experience, or are Apple users just so loyal they'll deal with the iPad equivalent of dropped calls?

Great question!

Here's my take:

First, AT&T isn't the worst everywhere. I think that's overhyped. I'd say in some areas it has great service and others not so great. The largest cities are strained, big time. But isn't every carrier suffering the same fate?

The answer to this is to beef up all the bits and pieces along the cyber highways of these networks. To me, this is a critical theme (see Tech Themes for 2010), as many players will benefit that provided wireless backhaul, wireline core, wi-fi, data storage, fiber and compression and load-balancing technologies.

Both AT&T and Verizon (VZ) have spent and will continue to do so, and given the proliferation of products like the iPad, they have a growing list of reasons to do so.

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