Yesterday we reported that some AT&T users were experiencing extremely crippled upload speeds, and today AT&T responded to the issues. The carrier explained that the defect is caused by a problem with the software in Alcatel-Lucent equipment that ended up affecting "less than two percent" of its customers under "certain conditions." There is no release information for the update, but I'm sure that the two companies will work quickly to resolve the problems. The full statement from AT&T can be read below.
AT&T and Alcatel-Lucent jointly identified a software defect - triggered under certain conditions - that impacted uplink performance for Laptop Connect and smartphone customers using 3G HSUPA-capable wireless devices in markets with Alcatel-Lucent equipment. This impacts less than two percent of our wireless customer base. While Alcatel-Lucent develops the appropriate software fix, we are providing normal 3G uplink speeds and consistent performance for affected customers with HSUPA-capable devices.
I'm not surprised that this was a problem with AT&T's network rather than a deliberate attempt to cap user speeds. While the carrier definitely could cap upload speeds, I'm sure they would be facing a customer revolt if they did. With the improved upload speeds of the iPhone 4, I'm sure that owners of the new device are excited to be able to post their photos and videos quicker than ever. Some of them will just have to wait a bit to get the ability.