iPhone Edge Data: Practically, Sort Of, Almost Useable. Sometimes.

This weekend, I packed up a box of playing cards and headed to the mountains to unwind and enjoy some vacation with my best friends. I took the trusty PowerBook, but alas, there was no internet connection to be found. Luckily, I had my iPhone 3G and a healthy AT&T signal.

I was an early iPhone adopter with version 1 last year. I loved everything about it… except the Edge network. Around my home and office near Nashville, TN, Edge was practically unusable. Forget web pages… I often had trouble just getting my email over Edge. As much as I loved everything about the device, the network was an anchor around it’s neck, preventing it from fulfilling the dream of “the internet everywhere,” as it was described.

Last week, I read an article in Macworld magazine (now available online) that described the vastly different experiences of iPhone users on both the Edge and 3G networks around the country. Apparently, 3G stinks in many parts of the country. And more surprisingly, not everyone else in the country has such horrible Edge service as Nashville seems to.

That was made clear to me this weekend, when Edge served as my only ‘net connection on vacation. And guess what? It worked! I not only got email, I also reviewed the news, looked at webpages, let friends check their Gmail with the Google web app, and more. And it worked like a champ. I couldn’t believe it!

Why on earth did I get so much better speeds in the small town of Jasper, Georgia than I do in Nashville? I have no idea. I’m just glad I did. How’s Edge in your part of the world?

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