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AT&T Motorola Atrix 4G Also Suffering From Poor Upload Speeds



It looks like the HTC Inspire 4G may not be the only phone plagued by slow upload speeds as my experience with the Motorola Atrix 4G–a dual-core Android smartphone that supports AT&T’s faster 14.4 Mbps theoretical 4G HSPA+ network–also suffers from slow upload speeds despite the carrier’s claims that HSUPA, or high speed upload packet access, is natively supported. Engadget, which is also reporting on this story, is saying that AT&T may not switch on its back-end to accommodate the faster upload speeds, perhaps out of fear that users may bombard its network, causing outages in similar fashion to when the first iPhone debuted.

AT&T currently requires that all handsets that it sells “handshake” with the network as 3GPP Release 5 devices, the last official set of 3G specifications that lacked support for HSUPA. That feature — also known as EDCH, or FDD Enhanced Uplink — was added in Release 6. Though AT&T is apparently working on permitting the bulk of its handsets to handshake Release 6, presently only the iPhone 4 (and presumably all of its recent data devices like USB modems, which may also use Release 7) are allowed. Neither we, nor our source, know why this is. Our source believes that the Release 6 certification may happen within a “month or two,” which would explain why some AT&T sales reps in live HSPA+ areas are telling customers that the “4G network” isn’t live yet.

Despite slow upload speeds, the Atrix 4G seem to offer comparable download speed performance to other 3G smartphones on the network, including the iPhone 4. In the San Francisco Bay Area, California, the Atrix 4G gave me download speeds of about 2-3 Mbps, similar to the 3G iPhone. For now, those hoping to leverage AT&T’s faster 4G claims will be disappointed as 3G phone can still deliver the same data download speeds, which makes for fast downloads and viewing Internet videos. Upload speeds on the iPhone 4, however, are faster at around 1 Mbps while they hover under 300 kbps on the Atrix 4G. Upload speeds are important for users who need to either attach large files or attachments to emails, upload videos and photos to sites like Flickr or YouTube, or transfer files to Dropbox or other cloud-based storage solutions.



  1. Keith

    02/24/2011 at 6:26 pm

    “Upload speeds on the iPhone 4, however, are faster at around 1 Mbps while they hover under 300 kbps on the Atrix 4G”…300kbps is pretty fast. My Atrix is only getting 115 kbps. :(

  2. Good Life

    02/24/2011 at 6:40 pm

    This phone is so awesome people are making up silly claims to tear it down.

    • Aaa

      02/25/2011 at 12:36 am

      It isn’t a silly claim. I can’t get more than 300 kbps upload on my Atrix. When I take the SIM chip out and put it in my old (AT&T) Nexus One, I INSTANTLY get three times the upload speeds.

      The Atrix is flawed. Motorola and/or AT&T need to fix it. Why should we pay for their mistakes?

    • Alexp71

      03/05/2011 at 1:36 pm

      I returned it, the mobile hotspot feature worked poorly. I was only getting 0.3 Mbps on an iPad tethered to the Atrix. Both Att and moto did not know how to fix issue.

  3. Postas48374

    02/24/2011 at 7:48 pm


  4. Steve

    02/24/2011 at 9:56 pm

    I agree, this is an awesome phone, and once AT&T gets the back haul in place it will only get better…

  5. Powerful_Tom

    02/24/2011 at 11:14 pm

    so, maybe such SPEED now are CARRIERS’ FAULT??
    4G networks are new.
    p.s. I have no problems with HTC Inspire 4G upload or download speeds. Unreally happy with it.=)

  6. Dittyba3

    02/25/2011 at 12:12 am

    I got my phone on the 21st and couldnt be happier. I gave up my iphone for the atrix which is the best move ever this phne is awesome!

  7. Lost1513

    02/25/2011 at 4:48 am

    LOL at all of you! figure out how to root it…. throw a custom rom on there and BOOM fast upload speeds! i recommend XDA-developers but neopeek is good to. Everyone freaked out about the Inspire crappy upload speeds but I constantly get 1.3 mbps upload and around 3-4 download. SUCK IT AT&T!

  8. Anonymous

    03/01/2011 at 3:12 pm

    I keep reading about the upload speeds and download speeds being miserable but then read comments that contradict the claims. Are these speed problems only an issue in San Fancisco?….because it seems every article complaining about speeds mentions San Francisco as the testing area. I’d love to get this phone but not if it’s faulty…..I learned my lesson with the Captivate.

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