Before the iPhone hit AT&T’s network, Internet access here in Hawaii, although not at broadband speeds, was at least usable. However, as this Wired article points out, so many new subscribers using so much bandwidth will cause problems.
I think I experienced this problem during our recent vacation. I use a Sierra Wireless/AT&T PC card in my aging Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop. I took it with me to check on email. But even though I averaged four out of five signal strength bars, the speed had slowed to what appeared to be below 28.8 modem speeds. Yes, I said 28.8, not 56k modem speeds.
Things were very, very slow. In fact, on one day last week, I could not get access at all. Hence, I could not reliably check my email.
I am hopeful that things will settle down once the iPhone users get their fill of
playing with their new toys accessing critical network resources. But I have to wonder how long that will be.