iPhone reception issues plague O2... too (updated with AT&T's response)

It would appear that AT&T isn't the only carrier in the world suffering from a horrible and nagging case of the iPhones. In an interview with the Financial Times, O2 head Ronan Dunne apologized to customers for the poor performance the network has been experiencing since the introduction of the iPhone 3GS to its airwaves this summer. Just as US customers (particularly those in dense, urban areas) have learned to struggle through dropped calls, the inability to make or receive calls, or weak data connections, our brethren on the other side of the pond have felt a similar sting. Says Dunne, "Where we haven't met our own high standards then there's no question, we apologise to customers for that fact," adding that the carrier had fixes at the ready and that the issues would be "more than addressed" shortly. Unlike the widespread problems here, the O2 mess seems to be relegated largely to London, though it's curious to know that AT&T isn't alone in being hamstrung by a network clearly not prepared for the onslaught of data being pushed up and down its virtual pipes. Also unlike the AT&T situation is the fact that O2 has solutions in mind (including the installation of 200 additional mobile base stations in London), and they're clearly taking ownership of the situation. Ahem, Ralph.

Update: AT&T responded and let us know they had fixes underway too. Here's an outline of forthcoming changes the carrier says it's making.

  • We are nearly doubling the wireless spectrum serving 3G customers in hundreds of markets across the country, using high-quality 850 MHz spectrum. This additional spectrum expands overall network capacity and improves in-building reception.

  • We are adding about 2,000 new cell sites, expanding service to new cities and improving coverage in other areas.

  • We're adding about 100,000 new backhaul connections, which add critical capacity between cell sites and the global IP backbone network.

  • We're enabling widespread access to our Wi-Fi network – the largest in the country with more than 20,000 hotspots in all 50 states – allowing them to take advantage of the best available AT&T mobile broadband connection.

  • We're rolling out even faster 3G speeds with deployment of HSPA 7.2 technology, with initial availability in six markets planned by the end of the year.