AT&T says that it's been working with a network management firm since April of last year to trial self-optimizing network technology on its airwaves, which can adjust the power (and therefore, the footprint) of individual cell sites depending on realtime demand. It can also intelligently reroute phones to other sites entirely to balance traffic and counteract the effect of a site that's down — either due to problems or maintenance — and considering the intense focus on the quality of AT&T's network over the past several years, this sounds like a step in the right direction.

The company says that it's already been trialling the system in parts of California and Georgia, seeing improvements of 10 percent in dropped calls and data speeds along with a total load reduction of 15 percent. The results are promising enough so that it's committing to roll out the technology across its entire network over the course of the year — so if you're having trouble pulling down websites on AT&T's HSPA+ network, let this serve as a glimmer of hope.