"That said, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told the blog Gearlog on Tuesday that the company is ready for the onslaught of new iPhone users. One of the things it has been doing to prepare is upgrading its network so that it can offer 3G wireless service using its 850MHz spectrum licenses. For the most part, AT&T has been using spectrum in the 1900 MHz band to deliver its 3G services, which have become saturated, Gearlog explains. This means that as AT&T sells more 3G devices, such as the iPhone, it has been cramming more users into an ever more crowded spectrum band."
That'll be nice, but honestly, I don't know what the problem is. I live in NYC and I get 5 bars in 90% of the city with stable 3G service and decent download speeds wherever I go. I think it's just become so fashionable to bash AT&T that people aren't really paying attention to the real world. Is their coverage perfect? Of course it isn't; that's the nature of the cellular beast. The reality of cellular is that all the networks are imperfect, and some are better in some areas than others. If you live in a major metropolitan area like NYC or San Francisco, though, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.
There isn't one network I haven't had a phone on in NYC over the last 15 years, and every single one of them has a hole where you don't expect it, or slow data transfer when you're in the middle of an open field with no one around you. They're radio frequencies, folks. If you want something more reliable, carry a landline and a really long cable.