After the recent Consumer Reports article placed AT&T at the bottom of their ratings, my first reaction was, "We told you so." I can see why my personal view of AT&T agrees they belong at the bottom of the barrel as I live in the market reviewed as AT&T's worst. But now is the time to give AT&T a little love.
AT&T suffers from having very high expectations primarily from iPhone users. Their phones are real data hogs and that has changed the perception of what once was a good network to one that's lacking . The network didn't get worse, our expectations rose up faster than AT&T expected. It's actually a nice position to be in, but it's a sticky marketing problem.
As AT&T works toward adding capacity and expanding their 3G network, things will slowly get better. It will take some time before users realize it as reputations are harder to repair than cell sites...but repair it they will. There are many other challenges ahead as well. AT&T needs to upgrade its newly-acquired Centennial and Alltel sites to 3G, which may hold up upgrades elsewhere.
It was unwise for AT&T to react to Verizon's 3G "map" campaign, but it was wise to end their legal threats. Now what will their lawyers do? Give 'em some overalls and get them out to the cell sites. There's work to be done.