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blue) and EDGE (light blue) data coverage from Jackson, Miss., to Albany, N.Y. But these maps, too, are presumably out of date.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

Alabama
Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery

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

Arkansas
Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock

California
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
Colorado Springs, Denver

Connecticut
Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London

Delaware
Wilmington

District of Columbia
Washington, DC

Florida
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

Georgia
Athens, Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah

Hawaii
Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui

Idaho
Boise, Coeur d’Alene

Illinois
Bloomington, Chicago, Elgin, Joliet, Springfield

Indiana
Evansville, Gary, Indianapolis

Kansas
Kansas City, Olathe, Overland Park, Topeka

Kentucky
Lexington, Louisville

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

Maryland
Baltimore

Massachusetts
Boston, Cambridge, Hyannis, Lowell, Springfield, Worcester

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

Minnesota
Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud

Mississippi
Jackson

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

Nevada
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
Albuquerque

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

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

Ohio
Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Tulsa

Oregon
Eugene, Medford, Oregon Coast, Portland, Salem

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

Puerto Rico
Bayamon, Carolina, Ponce, San Juan

Rhode Island
Providence

South Carolina
Charleston, Columbia, Greenville

Tennessee
Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville

Texas
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

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

Virginia
Alexandria, Arlington, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond

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

West Virginia
Charleston, Huntington

Wisconsin
Madison, Milwaukee