Is your hometown iPhone 3G ready?

July 4, 2008, 1:06 PM UTC

Gear Diary created a minor stir Thursday when it posted the map at left (click to enlarge) purporting to show the extent of AT&T’s current 3G coverage. On the map, blue represents 3G, dark orange is AT&T’s old EDGE network and light orange its original GPRS data service.

Not much blue there, which could be a concern for the customers expected to line up outside Apple and AT&T stores next week. The iPhone 3G, which goes on sale Friday July 11 at 8:00 a.m., is Steve Jobs’ answer to complaints about how slow the original iPhone was when downloading data over AT&T’s sluggish EDGE network. Customers who don’t have 3G would pay AT&T’s new  rate for data ($10 more per month) but get it at the same old speed.

“If you live in one of these uncovered areas and already have an iPhone, I wouldn’t jump on the iPhone 3G wagon,” writes Christopher Spera, who posted the map. “I’d stick with my current iPhone (WITH my grandfathered data plan) and save $200-$300 bucks.” (link)

Is he right?

Perhaps, but it would be a mistake to base your decision on Spera’s map. First of all, it shows 3G voice coverage, not data, as Scott McNulty of The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) discovered after he posted virtually the same map on June 10 (see here). [We have since been informed that there is no difference between voice and data coverage on AT&T’s 3G network.] Second, both maps were created using AT&T’s coverage viewer tools using data that were last updated March 31, 2008, before AT&T’s big spring build-out (see AT&T: 3G network will be ready in 275 markets by June 30).

You can use AT&T’s tools to zoom in on your particular corner of the U.S. Here, for example, is a map that shows 3G (dark blue) and EDGE (light blue) data coverage from Jackson, Miss., to Albany, N.Y. But these maps, too, are presumably out of date.

If you really want to know if you can take full advantage of the iPhone 3G’s capabilities where you live, your best bet is to see if your hometown appears on AT&T current list of “cities supporting AT&T 3G/mobile broadband” here. The list, current as of Friday, July 4, appears below the fold.

Note that neither Apple (AAPL) nor AT&T (AAPL) can guarantee 3G reception in any particular area. There is too much radio interference and too many tall buildings to consider.

Cities Supporting AT&T 3G/Mobile Broadband

Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery

Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson

Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock

Anaheim, Arden-Arcade, Bakersfield, Berkeley, Burbank, Chula Vista, Concord, Daly City, East Los Angeles, Escondido, Fairfield, Fremont, Fresno, Glendale, Hayward, Irvine, Lake Tahoe, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Modesto, Monterey, Norwalk, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Oxnard, Pasadena, Pomona, Richmond, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Vallejo

Colorado Springs, Denver

Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London


District of Columbia
Washington, DC

Cape Canaveral, Clearwater, Coral Springs, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Hialeah, Hollywood, Indian River, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Pembroke Pines, St. Petersburg, Southwest Florida, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Keys, West Palm Beach

Athens, Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah

Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui

Boise, Coeur d’Alene

Bloomington, Chicago, Elgin, Joliet, Springfield

Evansville, Gary, Indianapolis

Kansas City, Olathe, Overland Park, Topeka

Lexington, Louisville

Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Metairie, New Orleans, Shreveport


Boston, Cambridge, Hyannis, Lowell, Springfield, Worcester

Clinton, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Livonia, Sterling Heights, Warren

Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud


Columbia, Independence, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis

Carson City, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Paradise, Reno, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor

New Jersey
Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Long Branch, Newark, New Brunswick, Ocean County, Trenton

New Mexico

New York
Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Hamptons, New York, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown

North Carolina
Cary, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Winston-Salem

Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo

Oklahoma City, Tulsa

Eugene, Medford, Oregon Coast, Portland, Salem

Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Northeast-Scranton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, State College

Puerto Rico
Bayamon, Carolina, Ponce, San Juan

Rhode Island

South Carolina
Charleston, Columbia, Greenville

Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville

Arlington, Austin, Beaumont, Bryan, College Station, Carrollton, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie, Houston, Irving, Longview, Marshall, McAllen, Mesquite, Pasadena, Plano, Richardson, San Antonio, Tyler, Victoria, Waco

Logan/Cache Valley, Provo, Salt Lake City, St. George, West Valley

Alexandria, Arlington, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond

Bellevue, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Pullman, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver

West Virginia
Charleston, Huntington

Madison, Milwaukee