If you have an iPhone, then you're certainly familiar with the challenges of AT&T cellular coverage. While AT&T's network performance has gotten a lot of press around the iPhone, their service has been problematic for ten years or more -- that's one of the reasons why I used GTE (which then became Verizon) back then. I think that part of the issue is that the GSM signal simply doesn't perform well going through building walls, so when you're inside -- or your antenna is obstructed -- you have signal problems. The worst part of this is that "inside" is a word often used to describe you at home, work, or somewhere else interesting.
We've all seen the press on the iPhone 4 and it's antenna, but what you might not know is that the iPhone 4 also holds a secret workaround for some reception problems. What's the solution? Facetime.
How Apple's Facetime Can Solve Some Reception Challenges
Sure you've seen the commercials. But video conferencing from your cell phone, what's the big deal? If you need to do video, you can always use Skype and your computer. Besides, Facetime only works when you have a WiFi connection. But this little aspect of Facetime is actually the key to solving some of your reception problems.
When you start a Facetime conversation, the iPhone 4 verifies that you are on a WiFi network, but it doesn't just verify that you're on. When the call switches to Facetime, it actually opens up a connection across the WiFi network, redirecting both audio and video through there. What you'll notice with Facetime (similar to Skype) is that the audio of the call is much better than on your typical cellular call. That's more bandwidth and better signal transmission.
But the other aspect of this switch to Facetime is that your iPhone is no longer dependent upon a quality cellular signal. In situations where you might get a call drop, you don't because most of the signal is going through WiFi. Now if you could just get everyone you know to upgrade to the iPhone 4...