AT&T fingers AlcaLu over network glitches

Robert Clark
08 Jul 2010

AT&T has blamed Alcatel-Lucent for a network glitch that slows down the speeds of users connecting with HSUPA devices.

The US carrier said in a statement that with Alcatel-Lucent it had “jointly identified a software defect” that in “certain conditions” slowed down HSUPA-capable wireless devices using Alcatel-Lucent supplied networks.

It said the bug affected “less than 2%” of its 87-million customer base and that AlcaLu was working on a fix.

Most of those impacted are using wireless modems but, in another embarrassment for AT&T in its role as iPhone’s exclusive partner, the newly-released iPhone 4 is the only HSUPA device available.

AT&T Wireless has become the butt of complaints from iPhone users in the three years it has been selling the popular device because of its patchy coverage and slow speeds.

The software glitch is also another unwelcome 3G controversy for French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent.

It paid a reported $72 million in compensation to Telecom New Zealand for repeated failures of its W-CDMA network between last December and February.

A study by Analysys Mason found that the AlcaLu-built system could not cope with the rapid customer take-up. CEO Steve Lowe and Telecom NZ CTO Frank Mount left their posts as a result of the outages.


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