Will AT&T's network be ready for iPhone?

Editor’s Note: This story is reprinted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

AT&T won’t officially say whether improvements to its EDGE network are being done to meet anticipated network demands of the iPhone, which debuts on June 29.

“We continually enhance the capacity, coverage and overall performance of our network to ensure that our customers have the best experience possible,” said AT&T Mobility spokesman John Kampfe Thursday.

He would not, however, confirm or deny a report that cited an unnamed AT&T operations official and an internal AT&T report referring to a project called “Fine Edge” to beef up throughput, latency and coverage in preparation for iPhone’s unveiling.

The report, from Gizmodo says the operation has been under way for weeks and will finish June 15. It describes upgrades to AT&T’s data back end and tower configuration for allocating bandwidth to data and calls.

Plus, the Gizmodo report says AT&T is adding more T1 lines in poorly performing towers to double the current EDGE performance of 40Kbit/sec. All the changes would affect all EDGE handsets, not just iPhone, the report concludes.

Kampfe said that AT&T doesn’t believe the iPhone’s appearance on network links will bring the network crashing down. “We’re confident in our network’s ability to handle the traffic,” he said. “After all, it already handles 62 million subscribers.”

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