Free Sprint with 4s or Paid AT&T LTE with a 5?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by digduggler, Jan 28, 2013.


Would you take free Sprint or paid AT&T?

  1. Are you nuts? Give me free sprint on a 4s.

    10 vote(s)
  2. I need the speed. I'd still pay for LTE on AT&T with an iPhone 5.

    13 vote(s)
  1. digduggler macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    First off, this is a first world problem in the highest degree. I am spoiled to even have this choice and I know it.

    I have an iPhone 5 with AT&T. I get awesome LTE speeds. 20 Mpbs down regularly if not more. I am really happy with it. I still have a grandfathered unlimited plan.

    I just changed jobs. One of the perks is I can get is a free 4s and Sprint service for free. I can port my number and they will cover it and any ETF I have, but I have do it in 30 days (and I have about 10 left) for any ETF reimbursement. . No bill reimbursement for another carrier, I've tried. Take it or leave it. I live in the a market where Sprint is not so good though. They let me have a new line for a few days to test it out, so I have firsthand experience. The BEST data download speeds are around 1 Mbps, and around my house that's more like .05 Mbps. But voice works fine for the most part. I went to my local corner store and coverage dropped out completely, so there might be more of that. Other places have seemed ok. LTE is not scheduled for my market on Sprint's map of expanding cities, so even if I could somehow could talk them into a 5 it wouldn't get me anything there.

    I use my phone a lot every day. I could use Wifi at home and at work, so no loss there. But I tried to look something up at the supermarket today and it took about 90 seconds for a simple google query to load.

    I could afford to stay on AT&T, but I feel like I'm being an idiot to not take advantage of something free, even if it is seems inferior. Again, I know I am super lucky to even have this conundrum, but I can't decide. That I'm even debating this speaks to how poor the reviews of Sprint are on here.

    What would you do?
  2. ProudLoz macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2012
    Don't switch to Sprint, you may think it's ok, but it's really unreliable. I tried it for 2 days when I wanted to switch and my city already was scheduled to have LTE for Sprint, but it was completely nonexistant in my home and work place. I went crawling back to AT&T and managed to get everything back on my plan thankfully.

    If it's completely free, why not have both phones? One for work, and another for personal use.
  3. digduggler thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    I can do both, but it seems like a waste. Plus I get to carry around 2 phones. It's not out of the question though, thus why I'm asking

    FWIW, people where I work seem split. About 1/2 of them take the free service, and 1/2 can't stand it and still pay for their own service.
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    I'd take the opportunity to save some cash, but that has more to do with my rather high expense to income ratio at the moment. If I had more cash to play with I might think differently.
  5. ValerieDurden macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Sprint is really dependent on the area and they are currently doing a whole network upgrade (google Network Vision) so expect the service to only get better, I personally get great service where I am. LTE is not enabled yet but should be in the next few months for me, but I have no issues with the speed of 3G or voice coverage.

    Here are some speed tests I have done, mind you I have only been with them since early January.
  6. keitarou macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2012
    I am with Sprint right now.... left Verizon because of their greed. I have to say, they are slow. But they aren't too much slower then Verizon's 3G. Voice is great but the key is this. If your city is going through Network Vision, then you will have some problems with dropped calls and slower data. The reason is that they are taking away the towers and rebuilding it and now you have less towers during the time of upgrades. Once the upgrades finish, you will be back to being fine with better and LTE speeds.

    If you are ok with poor service until NV completes, then i'd go with Sprint. It's free so I can deal with it. If you need LTE for the times you are out and about, then stick with AT&T.

    For me, I'd go with Sprint because it's free. Save the monthly cell phone bill and now you have cash to buy a 5 if your company won't get you a 5.
  7. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I'd port the number and have your work pay your ETF. I imagine you'll get to keep your AT&T iPhone 5 correct? (Once the ETF is paid, get AT&T to unlock your phone btw).

    If the Sprint service is unbearable, then you can always re-activate service on your AT&T iPhone--but you'll lose an unlimited data plan if you have it.
  8. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    I would ask your workplace, if they would at least subsidize it, but I wouldn't want to downgrade, the phone, or the network.
  9. digduggler thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    Sure, I get to keep (or sell) the iPhone 5. I'd probably sell it if I leave. If I ever want to return I will qualify for another subsidy and there might be another model out by then. Not sure what the obligation I have to sprint is if they pay an ETF (if any).

    No subsidies. This is take it or leave it. I can keep two lines(and pay for one), or one and consolidate to Sprint.
  10. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    IDK about ethics, but you could take the phone from your work, and rent it out to a friend/family member. That would cover almost all of your AT&T contract. Plus if they pay the ETF, you can get a second iPhone 5, with a new contract, and sell one.
  11. bohbot16, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013

    bohbot16 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    Get the free phone and use the money you save (or maybe proceeds from selling the 5) to buy an LTE iPad.
  12. digduggler thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    I've thought about that actually, but if I take that line that is my work number where I am expected to be reached when they want to get in touch with me, so that wouldn't work.
  13. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    If the AT&T bill doesn't hurt your pockets very much I would stay with them. Sprints 3G data speeds are downright awful. I'm surprised they're even allowed to call it 3G since its often slower than AT&T and TMobile 2G data. It's going to be a major downgrade coming from AT&T LTE.

    But if you're on wifi more than 70% of the time I suppose it could be bearable.
  14. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    I agree, and get a new I5 for 200, with a new contract. Then sell it for 550. Thats 350, towards your contract.
  15. ValerieDurden macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    It all depends on the area, my Sprint 3G speeds are right on par with Verizon. The speeds are a limitation of CDMA specifically EV-DO Rev A. We have a few Verizon iPhone 4's in my house and my speeds are just the same if not better, voice coverage is the same as well. If you're in a Network Vision area it will only get better.
  16. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Yes, but still slower then LTE by far.
  17. eNcrypTioN macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2009
    I guess my opinion is a bit biased but my wife and I have both have iPhones on Sprint and its awful!! She has the iPhone 5 and said LTE has only come on one time and she received a lousy 5mbps down. My 4S averages .23mbps And half the time webpages won't load. It's not even like we live out in the country, we live in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

    122 days until my contract ends and then it's off to AT&T (I need talk & surf for work). I've given Sprint 10+ years of loyalty but I refuse to deal with their false promises and lack of service.

    I'd stick with AT&T and just ask for an allowance.

  18. kre62 macrumors 68020

    Jul 12, 2010
    I currently carry a personal 5 on ATT w LTE for personal, and have a work 4S, also on ATT. I got used to the two phone thing, it's not bad. Plus I can keep everything nice and separate. I'd say just do that.
  19. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Take it !!!

    Just get an LTE iPad at some point - AT&T or Verizon. $20/$30 a month for the LTE service on the iPad is cheaper than having to pay the whole phone bill.
  20. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    That is a great idea. You could ask your work to pay a part of that, as opposed to data on an iPhone.
  21. digduggler thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    Just reiterating here that this is take it or leave it. I can't not get a Sprint phone and get reimbursement for my bill (I've tried, so has everyone else here).

    The only thing being offered to me is a 4s with sprint service (and no bill) and the ability to port my personal number to that if I desire (and any ETF refund if I port my number in the next 10 days). I don't get the Sprint bill after that and the line is not in my name, but the company's.

    I don't lose the ability to port my number over after 10 days but I do lose the ETF reimbursement (mine contract is up this fall - the iPhone 5 came from a friend sold it to me for his subsidized cost).
  22. Marjamrob1 macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Then I would go with sprint, and maybe get an iPad with LTE.
  23. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    No way am I going to sprint, even if its free
  24. eNcrypTioN macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2009
    Take a look at the speeds I posted, you'd have I be crazy to give up att for this:

  25. ericDylan macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2012
    I would take the free 4s and get an LTE iPad (either mini or wait for the new one just announced).

    This way you get the best of both worlds. Free iPhone plan and you could get a fast LTE iPad from AT&T or Verizon. I am not sure if it is possible on AT&T, but if you got a verizon iPad, you could tether it to your iPhone 4s if data on Sprint gets too unbearable.

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