About 20 minutes I received a voicemail from Cebo, “Dude, tell me if you see 3G on your iPhone, I just noticed it on mine.” Before I called him back, I quickly turned off Wi-Fi and low and behold there it was, like a huge un-meltable ice cream sunday on a hot sunny day. 3G, right here in Panama City Beach.
Every since I purchased this lovely magical device known by millions I had been craving 3G, even before having a taste of what it was like. Last month our family vacation yielded first-hand experience of what 3G was like as we traveled through larger metropolitan areas on our way to rural Illinois. Our time spent in St. Louis was accompanied by lightening fast surfing on our iPhones (yes, my wife has one too) making Facebook updates and Tweets breezily and fast. And, yes I said breezily.
In my haste to know just when we would receive this savior of a data connection, I did every search I could muster and was able to uncover a press release from AT&T that announced 3G would be expanded or added in 5 markets in Florida during 2009 and one of them was the Panama City area. As of last week, each of the areas that were to receive coverage or expanded coverage had seen so, so I knew Panama City would be next. But, no one at AT&T would confirm this for me. So, I waited.
Of course, I wanted the full story of what was happening to my iPhone. “Not good, actually, you’re area does not have 3G as of right now,” said Judith, an AT&T call center representative. I called to see how much AT&T knew about this ghost upgrade. “Actually, I have 3G, it says so on my phone right now,” his immediate response was a puzzled, “uh, you do?” I grinned, of course. My wife was making fun of me, because the discovery of this actually brought a tear to my eye. Not a big one, but a tear nonetheless.
The AT&T rep had no record of our area having 3G, but was able to confirm with a supervisor that this area was probably sharing a “partner” tower array. I have 3G on the west end, Cebo has it on the east end, good enough for me.
So, what does this mean for Too Creative, and more importantly Panama City Beach? This means that our mobile surfing pleasure is actually pleasurable with download speeds of up to 1.7 mbs and upload speeds of up to 700 kbs, per Judith, our friend at the AT&T call center. The Edge network yielded a measly, puney and very dissapointing 27 kbs up and down. However, I did a speed test just a second ago that brought a swift 2.3 mbs download and a very satisfying 228 kbs upload. Mobile video uploads, here we come. You can sure bet that you’ll see more TwitVid’s from us in the near future.