AT&T to New York and San Francisco: We're Working on It

The head of AT&T’s (T) wireless unit said Wednesday that the carrier is working to improve its network for iPhone and other smart-phone subscribers in New York and San Francisco.

Manhattan and San Francisco, particularly the city’s financial district, “are performing at levels below our standards,” Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T Mobility, said at an investors conference.

Those two cities see especially high smart-phone penetration, which has put pressure on AT&T’s data network. The company expects to see gradual improvements in New York and plans to replace some microcells in San Francisco, he said.

“This is going to get fixed,” Mr. de la Vega said. “In both of those markets, I am very confident that you’re going to see significant progress.”

With about 3 percent of smart-phone customers driving 40 percent of data traffic, AT&T is considering incentives to keep those subscribers from hampering the experience for everyone else, he said. “You can rest assured that we’re very sure we can address it in a way that’s consistent with net-neutrality and FCC regulations.”

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