From Sprint to T-Mobile to AT&T in a week (speed test results to come)

chuffman15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
116
0
Martinsburg, WV
Just like the title says, I had sprint and was sick of the subpar 3g and LTE service in my areas(work in Mclean, VA and live in Martinsburg, WV). Its great that you get unlimited data but the fact that its at 1Mbps isnt a luxury, its a hassle. I have 2 iphones, a black 32gb iphone 5 and a pink 16gb iphone 5c and have about 15 months left on my contracts. The ETF's are about $300 per line. I was tempted by TMO because they also have unlimited data, they pay your ETF, and they give you money for your phones after you trade them in. This was perfect. New Network. New phones, and money back. After looking at the TMO coverage map my home was in the 2G speed area, which didnt really bother me because I'm rarely at home and when I am home I'm on wifi. So I ordered an iphone 5s and an iphone 5c for my wife. While waiting for the phones to be shipped I ran into 2 friends at work. One had TMO and the other AT&T. I immediately started doing speedtests at work, and sprint was better than TMO roughly 1Mbps vs. .8Mbps. Not impressed with either, I tested the AT&T phone and good god 38Mbps (faster than my wifi at home). After the speedtests I had absolutely no faith in TMO or Sprint and had my eyes on AT&T. I looked at the coverage map and surprisingly both of my locations were in 4g LTE areas. On top of great coverage, AT&T is offering $100 credit per new line of service until 3/31. So I ordered AT&T iphones. Now my plan is to sell the sprint iphones to pay the ETF's and be free and clear of sprint as well as return the TMO phones. But before i return the phones i plan on doing random speed tests at my work and home and points inbetween to see who has the best coverage between the 3 carriers atleast for me. The TMO phones arrived today and the AT&T phone will arrive tomorrow. I'll start testing them tomorrow and I'll be updating this thread with my progress.
 
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barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,094
1,801
Manhattan
It's great you found a carrier that works well in your area. However, I think you could have saved yourself some trouble by looking at the coverage maps of the carriers you were considering first--and then asked your friends about their service.

On average, coverage between Sprint/TMO and AT&T is like night and day. TMO is great within large cities but sucks outside of them--while Sprint only has small pockets of good service.
 

Black Magic

macrumors 68020
Sep 30, 2012
2,135
798
Just like the title says, I had sprint and was sick of the subpar 3g and LTE service in my areas(work in Mclean, VA and live in Martinsburg, WV). Its great that you get unlimited data but the fact that its at 1Mbps isnt a luxury, its a hassle. I have 2 iphones, a black 32gb iphone 5 and a pink 16gb iphone 5c and have about 15 months left on my contracts. The ETF's are about $300 per line. I was tempted by TMO because they also have unlimited data, they pay your ETF, and they give you money for your phones after you trade them in. This was perfect. New Network. New phones, and money back. After looking at the TMO coverage map my home was in the 2G speed area, which didnt really bother me because I'm rarely at home and when I am home I'm on wifi. So I ordered an iphone 5s and an iphone 5c for my wife. While waiting for the phones to be shipped I ran into 2 friends at work. One had TMO and the other AT&T. I immediately started doing speedtests at work, and sprint was better than TMO roughly 1Mbps vs. .8Mbps. Not impressed with either, I tested the AT&T phone and good god 38Mbps (faster than my wifi at home). After the speedtests I had absolutely no faith in TMO or Sprint and had my eyes on AT&T. I looked at the coverage map and surprisingly both of my locations were in 4g LTE areas. On top of great coverage, AT&T is offering $100 credit per new line of service until 3/31. So I ordered AT&T iphones. Now my plan is to sell the sprint iphones to pay the ETF's and be free and clear of sprint as well as return the TMO phones. But before i return the phones i plan on doing random speed tests at my work and home and points inbetween to see who has the best coverage between the 3 carriers atleast for me. The TMO phones arrived today and the AT&T phone will arrive tomorrow. I'll start testing them tomorrow and I'll be updating this thread with my progress.

I already tested between Sprint and AT&T in my area and I'll just say this, AT&T is the winner by a long shot. AT&T's 4G service (not to be mistaken for LTE) is WAY BETTER than Sprint's LTE service.

I can't wait to dump Sprint for good.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,284
13,125
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
So…what you're saying is that your sole criteria for service is based on speed tests and you use coverage maps to verify the results of your speed tests.

No consideration for customer service, plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans.

You go wherever the speed test tells you the "fastest" carrier is because faster means better.

Got it!
 

chuffman15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
116
0
Martinsburg, WV
So…what you're saying is that your sole criteria for service is based on speed tests and you use coverage maps to verify the results of your speed tests.

No consideration for customer service, plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans.

You go wherever the speed test tells you the "fastest" carrier is because faster means better.

Got it!
I considered all those things, im not going to write about them. I think my post was already too long. everybody knows about the plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans. ATT is leaps and bounds ahead in most categories. why should I write about common knowledge?
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,888
900
No consideration for customer service, plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans.
Besides plans, I think AT&T is right up there with VZW for customer service, network reliability, network expansion, etc :)
 

yanki01

macrumors 68040
Feb 28, 2009
3,499
1,485
Texas
thankfully, since owning the original iPhone with Cingular (now at&t) I've had ZERO problems with network and customer service. My speed has been consistent throughout. I'm also looking into them when buying a house for Cable and Internet service. I'm limited right now living in an apartment.
 

Black Magic

macrumors 68020
Sep 30, 2012
2,135
798
thankfully, since owning the original iPhone with Cingular (now at&t) I've had ZERO problems with network and customer service. My speed has been consistent throughout. I'm also looking into them when buying a house for Cable and Internet service. I'm limited right now living in an apartment.
UVerse is damn good. Only downside is the price. You have to call every year threatening to leave for them to apply discount promotions to your account to save some nice money. I have a yearly reminder on my iPhone to call them.

Service wise, I rarely have outages.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
I considered all those things, im not going to write about them. I think my post was already too long. everybody knows about the plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans. ATT is leaps and bounds ahead in most categories. why should I write about common knowledge?
Well, I am with the guy who said you could have avoided this by looking at coverage maps but at least you settled on a service. As for post length, you could probably write about your whole experience in a new paragraph. ;)
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,284
13,125
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I considered all those things, im not going to write about them. I think my post was already too long. everybody knows about the plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans. ATT is leaps and bounds ahead in most categories. why should I write about common knowledge?
The way your original post was written you made it seem that speed tests were all you were concerned about.

By not mentioning that you had other criteria because "everybody" knows about the plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans you assume that everyone knows what you know. Then you justify your assumption by saying it would have added to a post that was already too long.

And then you wonder why you are being questioned.

----------

Besides plans, I think AT&T is right up there with VZW for customer service, network reliability, network expansion, etc :)
I don't disagree with you. I just think that the OP might have mentioned he had other considerations. Without mentioning that, it just looks like speed tests are his only criteria.
 

yg17

macrumors Pentium
Aug 1, 2004
15,000
2,480
St. Louis, MO
The way your original post was written you made it seem that speed tests were all you were concerned about.

By not mentioning that you had other criteria because "everybody" knows about the plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans you assume that everyone knows what you know. Then you justify your assumption by saying it would have added to a post that was already too long.

And then you wonder why you are being questioned.

----------


I don't disagree with you. I just think that the OP might have mentioned he had other considerations. Without mentioning that, it just looks like speed tests are his only criteria.
Cost wise, it shows you get what you pay for. What good is $30 for unlimited everything or whatever T-Mo is offering if your speeds are barely better than EDGE?

I'd say Sprint loses the limitations argument with their inability to do simultaneous voice and data (or maybe they've finally fixed it? Last I checked, they haven't).

Ultimately, the best service is what works best where you spend most of your day - work and home. Today it's one carrier. If he moves or gets a new job, it might be a different one.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,284
13,125
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Cost wise, it shows you get what you pay for. What good is $30 for unlimited everything or whatever T-Mo is offering if your speeds are barely better than EDGE?

I'd say Sprint loses the limitations argument with their inability to do simultaneous voice and data (or maybe they've finally fixed it? Last I checked, they haven't).

Ultimately, the best service is what works best where you spend most of your day - work and home. Today it's one carrier. If he moves or gets a new job, it might be a different one.
Absolutely!

Go wherever meets your needs. I just questioned the OP because speed tests are not (IMO) a good metric to base your final decision on. Speed tests are subjective and should be just one part of other factors in the decision.

But the OP has now stated that there was other criteria. That being the case, it's good he found a carrier that meets his needs.
 

crzdcolombian

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2010
756
113
And I complain about my ~20mile commute to McLean....
is that in the middle of no where? :D. I think anything more than a 5 miles is another country. It's like what do you mean I can't walk there !!!

Still your at&T 4g speed is crazy. Mine is like 14 in Boston and 9 in CT. If I was able to get 40mb/s I would just get rid of home internet and use the little 4g router thing they have.

Went to T-mobile and the speed is very similar to what it was in AT&T and voice is the same. Wasn't a huge change other than what you end up paying per month. It really depends on your location.
 

Bacong

macrumors 68020
Mar 7, 2009
2,148
365
Westland, Michigan
So…what you're saying is that your sole criteria for service is based on speed tests and you use coverage maps to verify the results of your speed tests.

No consideration for customer service, plans, limitations, costs, network reliability and expansion plans.

You go wherever the speed test tells you the "fastest" carrier is because faster means better.

Got it!

do you have a script that alerts you any time someone mentions sprint?
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,396
1,597
Florida
My area - Dunedin, Florida

Sprint and T-Mobil failed. Lousy coverage

Verizon and AT&T had the best.

Coverage researched with both Sprint and T-Mobil showed it would be good but that was not the case, so I do not rely on those coverage maps anymore, nor the reps that are pushing their product.
 

PsstGreek

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2010
3,772
58
Tampa Bay
My area - Dunedin, Florida

Sprint and T-Mobil failed. Lousy coverage

Verizon and AT&T had the best.

Coverage researched with both Sprint and T-Mobil showed it would be good but that was not the case, so I do not rely on those coverage maps anymore, nor the reps that are pushing their product.
I haven't been down in Dunedin lately but T-Mo coverage around New Port Richey/St. Pete/Clearwater is excellent.
 

chuffman15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
116
0
Martinsburg, WV
ok, its been an eventful 3 days. i received the tmobile iPhones (5s and 5c)on monday and the att iphones(5s and 5c) on tuesday. and i already had sprint iphones(iPhone 5 and 5c.).
i decided that i would test all 3(TMO, ATT , and Sprint) going to work on wednesday as well as testing at my home and work.
here are my test subjects:
Sprint iphone 5 32gb black md660ll/a running 7.1
ATT iphone 5s 32gb black me308ll/a running 7.1
TMO iphone 5s 32gb black me326ll/a running 7.0.4

i tested at my house, and at work in several locations as well as these passing cities:
Martinsburg,WV(home)
Kearneysville,WV
Shenandoah Junction, WV
Ranson, WV
Charles Town WV
Paeonian Springs , VA
Leesburg, VA
Ashburn, VA
Potomac Falls, VA
Great Falls, VA
McLean , VA
at work i tested at the front gate where i work security as well as the front desk and my main office
 
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chuffman15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
116
0
Martinsburg, WV
The SpeedTest Results Are In!

The results are as follows:

Martinsburg, WV
Sprint 1.81 D 1.15U
ATT 4.37D 0.65U
TMO 0.09D 0.08U

Kearneysville, WV
Sprint 3.88D 1.52U
ATT 4.29D 2.18U
TMO 0.02D 0.24U

Shenandoah Junction,WV
Sprint 0.67D 0.27U
ATT 4.28D 1.90U
TMO NO DATA

Ranson, WV
Sprint 15.17D 3.63U
ATT 7.31D 1.42U
TMO 0.03D 0.06U

Charles Town, WV
Sprint 12.93D 2.30U
ATT 5.27D 1.48U
TMO 0.02D 0.24U

Paeonian Springs, VA
Sprint 0.20D 0.24U
ATT 10.83D 2.01U
TMO 16.08D 4.75U

Leesburg, VA
Sprint 0.07D 0.48U
ATT 9.25D 3.36U
TMO 13.39D 6.50U

Ashburn, VA
Sprint 6.59D 0.36U
ATT 6.47D 4.63U
TMO 6.47D 6.64U

Potomac Falls,VA
Sprint 20.39D 6.07U
ATT 24.22D 8.76U
TMO 16.84D 13.32U

Great Falls, VA
Sprint 0.73D 0.94U
ATT 18.83D 6.37U
TMO 41.83D 19.54U ASTOUNDING

McLean, VA
Sprint 0.23D 0.54U
ATT 25.44D 5.93U
TMO 0.58D 0.29U

Front Gate @ work
Sprint 0.12D 0.46U
ATT 16.33D 3.80U
TMO 0.39D 0.84U

Front Desk @ work
Sprint 0.11D 0.51U
ATT 35.64D 5.80U
TMO 0.94D 0.99U

My Office
Sprint 0.38D 0.32U
ATT 25.65D 5.51U
TMO 1.23D 1.01U