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If the activation didn't set right, wouldn't he not be able to even get on the 3G network? The phone works fine - just, in tests, the network is quite a bit slower than other phones.

Activation would seem to be a binary, not gradient, issue..

No, it's not binary. I saw this happen to several people, including me.

In my friend's case, for example, his data speeds were incredibly low, and he was unable to log onto the 3G Microcell base stations.

I suspect AT&T has custom settings on their end for particular classes of devices, and haven't matched those settings correctly. Could be as simple as not matching the IMEI number, or could be enabling HSDPA/HSUPA, I don't know.

But for me, him, and a couple others, AT&T had to push a reset (phone screen shows an unusual "Ok to power off" type message you only see if they push settings and a reset), and afterwards, speeds shot through the roof.

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