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Lots of iPhone/AT&T woes at CES

By Cecilia Kang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 7, 2010; 11:19 PM

At the world's largest high-tech show and tell, many are are complaining about their iPhone service.

A spokesman for AT&T, which provides service exclusively for the iPhone, didn't immediately return an e-mail for comment on potential network problems at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Throughout the conference there were many faces and expressions of frustration.

Kelly Vaughn, who works for Wireless Dealer Magazine in Houston, spent 15 minutes trying to refresh her email on her iPhone this afternoon.

"This is the thing that kills me. Here we are with the technology of the future and I can't even use my phone," she said.

The data problems compound complaints in New York and San Francisco, where users are complaining of network failure and the inability to send Internet data from their iPhones at times. During a press conference this afternoon, several reporters complained that they couldn't pull up applications on their iPhones.

Jason Oxman, senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association, told me he was trying to send a tweet via his iPhone about a question I raised to national CTO Aneesh Chopra about spectrum shortages and the need to boost wireless networks.

"The great irony is that I couldn't send my tweet," Oxman said.

Dick Lynch, Verizon Wireless's chief technology officer, said in an interview that they weren't experiencing any problems with their network in Las Vegas.

"What we have done and continue to do is have a buffer of capacity above what our demand is at any given point in time. When we see consumer demand begin to feed into that capacity, we scurry out there to add more capacity," said Lynch, who was at CES displaying Verizon's LTE network and devices. "This is a very simple concept and something we have done religiously over the year."

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