Many reports have been coming in pertaining to the Nexus One's 3G reception issue. You can see in the image below that the phone is running on EDGE, while the G1, right next to it, seems to have a strong 3G signal. T-Mobile USA has made an official statement saying that they, along with Google, are investigating the issue and hope to have more information soon. In the meantime, many Nexus One-ers are forced to deal with EDGE as their phone's signal of choice.
Gizmodo posted the results of a test conducted by one of its users. The test seems to have isolated the issue to a software glitch. He concludes that since, in his tests, the phone was able to find and receive all ranges of signals (both 3G and EDGE), the problem must be in the way the phone handles them. For some reason, the software seems to prefer EDGE most of the time, regardless of signal strength.
Below is a temporary solution that the user found. For those who can't stand the slowness of their EDGE connections, this may be worth trying. The only problem with the fix is that when you do actually leave 3G coverage, you won't automatically fall back onto EDGE. You'll have to go and change the settings manually.
"OK. I found 'Phone Info' screen through 'Any Cut'. This looks like a screen not intended for average users. It clearly has settings that should not be messed with. However, it does have a pull down menu that was set to 'WCDMA Preferred'. I changed this to 'WCDMA Only'. The phone reset, and never again saw the f'ing 'E' on the signal indicator- ALL 3G. After about 1/2 hour of speed tests (150k - 800kbps) and google satellite map downloads (all definitely faster), I switched back to 'WCDMA Preferred'. Guess what? After a few minutes, I was back on EDGE, even with a good signal. Switched back to 'WCDMA Only', and 3G it remains."
If it is, indeed, a software problem, perhaps Android 2.1 isn't ready for prime-time, just yet. One would think that Google's internal testing of the phone (called 'dogfooding') would have caught such a big issue, before the phone was released to the public. Even so, an simple software update could, potentially, be rolled out, over-the-air, to fix the glitch. It will be interesting to see if the problem falls on Google's shoulders, or if T-Mobile will have to get their hands dirty. Being that the problem seems software related, T-Mobile will probably be off the hook. This would create another problem, as it leaves customers to deal with Google's, nearly non-existent, customer support. Users are reporting that Google is only offering support via email, and that responses are received within 2 days.
Image Credit - Gizmodo