Should Sprint ditch unlimited to ease network congestion?

CrimsonKnight

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Original poster
Apr 15, 2013
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You know, I have been thinking what is the point of having an iPhone or any device on Sprint with unlimited data when its dial up speeds?

I was thinking, if Sprint stopped offering unlimited data, maybe this would help with data congestion? I know this is one of sprints selling points, but... I'd rather have fast 3G/4G Speeds than unlimited 3G running at 100 K down.


Wanted to see what you guys thought?
 

Zaft

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Jun 16, 2009
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Brooklyn, NY
You know, I have been thinking what is the point of having an iPhone or any device on Sprint with unlimited data when its dial up speeds?

I was thinking, if Sprint stopped offering unlimited data, maybe this would help with data congestion? I know this is one of sprints selling points, but... I'd rather have fast 3G/4G Speeds than unlimited 3G running at 100 K down.


Wanted to see what you guys thought?
Sprint has actually improved a good amount recently. I have LTE in my area so the unlimited data is helpful with 5 lines.
 

AutoUnion39

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Jun 21, 2010
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Instead, I think that they should kick off the idiots who abuse the network and use copious amounts of data also. Same thing with TMobile. That plus strict bandwidth management system (QoS.)

There is no reason why people who pay so little should have the luxury of using 50+ gigs of data monthly. Completely ridiculous.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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You know, I have been thinking what is the point of having an iPhone or any device on Sprint with unlimited data when its dial up speeds?

I was thinking, if Sprint stopped offering unlimited data, maybe this would help with data congestion? I know this is one of sprints selling points, but... I'd rather have fast 3G/4G Speeds than unlimited 3G running at 100 K down.


Wanted to see what you guys thought?
Maybe a little history might help explain this and why I disagree.

2005 Nextel merges with Sprint. Nextel has oodles of 800mhz wireless spectrum. Sprint starts to shut down Nextel. A little while later the FCC tells Sprint you have to use that spectrum or lose it. Sprint GIVES AWAY the spectrum to Clearwire.

Because of Gary Forsee who did zero network upgrades Sprint has equipment dating back to 1998. Because of the Nextel merger Dan Hesse and Sprint have NO money and narrowly avoid bankruptcy in 2008.

Clearwire and Sprint develop WiMax, but Sprint gets charged out the wazoo for Wimax devices to use Clear's network and Clear thinks Sprint isn't helping as well as it should be. So, Clear stops expanding WiMax at 40% of rollout. Sprint has to develop alternate plans and part of that is GETTING BACK THE SPECTRUM IT GAVE AWAY! But Sprint can't just take it because it only owns half of Clearwire.

Now, because of Forsee and Nextel and the neglect of the network along with Dan Hesse's mismanagement and the explosion in popularity of smartphones (including the iPhone) we have this mess.

I do not want to get rid of unlimited. I want Sprint to fix the mess they created. We would NOT be having congestion if Sprint had NOT allowed things to go down this way.

Put another way, I don't believe I should pay the price of losing unlimited data because Sprint screwed up royal in the early to mid 2000s.
 

osofast240sx

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Mar 25, 2011
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You know, I have been thinking what is the point of having an iPhone or any device on Sprint with unlimited data when its dial up speeds?

I was thinking, if Sprint stopped offering unlimited data, maybe this would help with data congestion? I know this is one of sprints selling points, but... I'd rather have fast 3G/4G Speeds than unlimited 3G running at 100 K down.


Wanted to see what you guys thought?
Do u have proof that stint has data congestion?
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Instead, I think that they should kick off the idiots who abuse the network and use copious amounts of data also. Same thing with TMobile. That plus strict bandwidth management system (QoS.)

There is no reason why people who pay so little should have the luxury of using 50+ gigs of data monthly. Completely ridiculous.
Ah yes. This old argument.

There seems to be two camps. One camp says "What part of Unlimited do you NOT understand" while the other camp believes that unlimited means something else.

If we kick off "idiots who abuse the network" then we are not offering unlimited data. We are offering a finite amount of data that most people will never consume the full extent of.

Bandwidth management. I.E, throttling.

I'm not one of these "idiots" I'm just commenting is all. Sprint advertises unlimited data for one price (that's the price by the way and Sprint set that price regardless of data consumed). If kicking off the idiots is what we want to do then Sprint should advertise data plans with caps and throttling. Want more, pay a higher price for the next higher up plan.

I am not advocating either way, although I do like unlimited. But I am a stickler for truth in advertising. If Sprint says it's unlimited - it's unlimited. End of story. Don't use the word unlimited if you are wanting to attach limits to it. That makes it NOT unlimited.
 

osofast240sx

macrumors 68030
Mar 25, 2011
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instead, i think that they should kick off the idiots who abuse the network and use copious amounts of data also. Same thing with tmobile. That plus strict bandwidth management system (qos.)

there is no reason why people who pay so little should have the luxury of using 50+ gigs of data monthly. Completely ridiculous.
lmao
 

AutoUnion39

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Jun 21, 2010
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Ah yes. This old argument.

There seems to be two camps. One camp says "What part of Unlimited do you NOT understand" while the other camp believes that unlimited means something else.

If we kick off "idiots who abuse the network" then we are not offering unlimited data. We are offering a finite amount of data that most people will never consume the full extent of.
You bring up a valid point, but this is a huge problem. Sprint's network can't handle it. Its users are well aware that Sprint's network is crap, yet have no problems wasting data. Of course, Sprint has no excuse because everyone saw what happened to AT&T, but decided not to do anything about it.

There are no "caps" on your home broadband, but that doesn't mean you can host a server and blow through terabytes of data. They'll kick you right off. This is the same thing. Just because you have "unlimited" data on your phone, doesn't mean you can torrent on it

It's pretty pathetic when people come on here and brag about how much data they use. There is no reason for someone to be streaming netflix/pandora, etc on it 24/7. Chances are you have wifi, if you can sit around and stream that much media.



I have no issue with Sprint/Tmo offering "true" unlimited data, but they should charge accordingly (i.e. a lot of $$.) That would ease congestion because there would be less incentive for the lower class on TMo/Sprint to abuse their $30 data plan. VZW/AT&T still have unlimited plans to big businesses, and they pay $$$$ for it. Charging $70/month with unlimited data doesn't cut it. It's not a good long term business model. They can't afford the network enhancements that need to be made to sustain high data users on LTE, etc
 
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blackhand1001

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Jan 6, 2009
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Its not the unlimited that makes sprint slow. Its the fact that iphones for some reason use more data than android and blackberry for no reason and sprint needs to build their network up better.
 

robanga

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Aug 25, 2007
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Oregon
From a marketing standpoint, the trailing carrier has to have the best best prices and least restrictions. Their 4G network is still tiny, they have little to go on other than their customer friendly plans etc.

From that standpoint alone, it has to continue until the network improves a lot or they gain ground on the other three subscriber wise.
 

loon3y

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2011
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sprint sucks, and if they get rid of unlimited they'll suck more and go out of business.



lol they started going online with the LTE antennas what? a couple months ago?


these guys get rid of unlimited people are gonna dip.
 

AutoUnion39

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Jun 21, 2010
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Its not the unlimited that makes sprint slow.
I don't believe this at all. With the true-multitasking of Androids, there are infinitely more background processes running and pinging for data. My data went way up after switching to Android.
 

blackhand1001

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Jan 6, 2009
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I don't believe this at all. With the true-multitasking of Androids, there are infinitely more background processes running and pinging for data. My data went way up after switching to Android.
Android 4.0 and above made data usage much lower and also made it much easier to track.
 

eyoungren

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You bring up a valid point, but this is a huge problem. Sprint's network can't handle it. Its users are well aware that Sprint's network is crap, yet have no problems wasting data. Of course, Sprint has no excuse because everyone saw what happened to AT&T, but decided not to do anything about it.

There are no "caps" on your home broadband, but that doesn't mean you can host a server and blow through terabytes of data. They'll kick you right off. This is the same thing. Just because you have "unlimited" data on your phone, doesn't mean you can torrent on it

It's pretty pathetic when people come on here and brag about how much data they use. There is no reason for someone to be streaming netflix/pandora, etc on it 24/7. Chances are you have wifi, if you can sit around and stream that much media.



I have no issue with Sprint/Tmo offering "true" unlimited data, but they should charge accordingly (i.e. a lot of $$.) That would ease congestion because there would be less incentive for the lower class on TMo/Sprint to abuse their $30 data plan. VZW/AT&T still have unlimited plans to big businesses, and they pay $$$$ for it. Charging $70/month with unlimited data doesn't cut it. It's not a good long term business model. They can't afford the network enhancements that need to be made to sustain high data users on LTE, etc
Actually, there are caps on my home broadband. I pay about $100 a month just for broadband alone (50mbs, Cox's Ultimate package). I have a 400GB/month cap.

But the difference between Sprint and Cox is that Cox does NOT advertise their service as Unlimited while Sprint does. As to WiFi, while I get what you mean I'm just not onboard with paying Sprint for unlimited data to use my home broadband that I'm already paying Cox over $100 a month for. Again, I am not an abuser, but I'm used to leaving WiFi off on my phone and just using the phone. I was never streaming movies or anything like that. Just music sometimes and never 24/7. But if we are going to limit those that do do this, then we have to stop calling the plan unlimited. I had to stop doing any of that with my iPhone 5 though as 3G has slowed to a crawl.

I want to keep unlimited on Sprint, but either way Sprint goes I would prefer to see honest advertising. That's all I'm trying to say.
 

AutoUnion39

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Jun 21, 2010
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I want to keep unlimited on Sprint, but either way Sprint goes I would prefer to see honest advertising. That's all I'm trying to say.
Don't think that's possible :D

Prime example is TMo's nationwide 4G advertisements. They have less HSPA than AT&T and VZW have LTE at this point.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Its not the unlimited that makes sprint slow. Its the fact that iphones for some reason use more data than android and blackberry for no reason and sprint needs to build their network up better.
This was a double-edged sword for Sprint and Dan Hesse knew it.

I would disagree with your statement, but I can't argue against it as I have nothing I can point to directly to refute it. But in any case, Sprint had to get the iPhone to stay relevant. Customers were leaving and many were avoiding Sprint precisely because Sprint did NOT have the iPhone. I myself have waited since 2008 for Sprint to get the iPhone. Had they not had one in September of last year I probably would have walked as I was already a year and a half out of contract anyway WAITING for the iPhone 5.

However, Hesse also knew that getting the iPhone would bring a whole new host of issues. The iPhone 4 and 4S alone had tons of threads in the BAW forums about slow 3G.

My biggest fault with Sprint on the iPhone is that the learned NOTHING from AT&T's problems.
 

AutoUnion39

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Actually, there are caps on my home broadband. I pay about $100 a month just for broadband alone (50mbs, Cox's Ultimate package). I have a 400GB/month cap.
I have RCN and they really don't say anything explicitly.

Honestly, the best way is to just dump unlimited data and give us a generous "bucket" of data. (Not the stupid prices that VZW/AT&T charge), but something more reasonable.

5gb for $20, 10gb for $30, not the $20 300mb that AT&T offers

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However, Hesse also knew that getting the iPhone would bring a whole new host of issues. The iPhone 4 and 4S alone had tons of threads in the BAW forums about slow 3G.
Yeah, I remember when the iPhone came out on Sprint last year. People were freaking out on MR because the network was so damn slow.

My biggest fault with Sprint on the iPhone is that the learned NOTHING from AT&T's problems.
Even before the iPhone, they had a chance to upgrade. I remember when my buddie's got the EVO 4G. Network was ok for the first few months, and then it just fell apart. iPhone just amplified that problem. There's no excuse for them to not upgrade all these years and not have the proper backhaul in place. If TMo can do it in major cities, Sprint can to.

We all know that VZW "prepared" themselves for the iPhone and AT&T went from super slow to fast in a very short amount of time. Why not Sprint?
 

eyoungren

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Don't think that's possible :D

Prime example is TMo's nationwide 4G advertisements. They have less HSPA than AT&T and VZW have LTE at this point.
LOL!

OK. Maybe then just not mentioning things. I'll go back to Cox.Cox does not advertise that they have unlimited. They don't say they don't, but they also do not say they do. You have to look to see that you have a cap. And they've set it high enough that it's impossible for most people to exceed.

Don't know how that'd work in Sprint's case though.

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Even before the iPhone, they had a chance to upgrade. I remember when my buddie's got the EVO 4G. Network was ok for the first few months, and then it just fell apart. iPhone just amplified that problem. There's no excuse for them to not upgrade all these years and not have the proper backhaul in place. If TMo can do it in major cities, Sprint can to.

We all know that VZW "prepared" themselves for the iPhone and AT&T went from super slow to fast in a very short amount of time. Why not Sprint?
I'm not a Sprint apologist, but I don't fault Dan Hesse for this. He came in in December of 2007 after Gary Forsee had let things go to hell. Sprint narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 2008 and was forced to use Clearwire's Wimax spectrum by the FCC or lose it.

Now from 2008 on though I do blame Hesse for everything else. He even made a comment once that 3G was good enough for Sprint. Lots and lots of things he could have done differently and better since 2008 instead of sitting on his hands and continuing to let the network slide even more.
 

eyoungren

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Network Vision should fix the strain on Sprints network, granted its going to take some time.
It will. But there are a number of issues with NV.

First, Sprint never should have had to undergo this. With the exception of a few towers the reason it's taking so long is because Sprint has to run the backhaul (fiber optic cables) to the site. If the backhaul had been done over time as it should have been this would have been much faster.

Secondly, Sprints contractors signed their respective contracts in December of 2010. Sprint did not actually start turning on LTE sites until early to mid 2012. That's a full year and a half. Lots of that was the permitting process, but it was also because the vendors couldn't get their stuff together and get parts.

Some vendors also operate differently. Phoenix, the market I am in is covered by Alcatel-Lucent. They do their 3G upgrades first and only when 3G is accepted by Sprint will they come back and do LTE upgrades. So, PHX is being upgraded, but only with 3G right now. Additionally, the vendors STILL have issues as Sprint recently wrote about in their SEC filing.

Next, Sprint has adopted a whatever tower they can get to first approach. This means that the one or two towers that exist in Podunk, USA get done first before the several hundreds in major metro areas like LA, NYC, Chicago, or San Fran. That makes Sprint look like it's only updating towers in remote locations. At the same time Sprint claims a market because it turned on the single upgraded LTE tower in Podunk. It's a BS way to do the upgrade and should have been thought through and implemented much better but it wasn't and now you have ticked off customers.

Lastly, and this is a personal observation, all three vendors Sprint contracts with (Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung) are major vendors and do the same work for the other telcos. Both AT&T and Verizon never seem to have any problems getting these vendors to do their work quickly. Yet Sprint gets nothing but delays from these guys. Right now, NV is six months to one year behind. In the first quarter of this year Dan Hesse personally lost over $200,000 in stock because these vendors are behind. He lost money stock in 2012 as well because of this.

To give you an idea, six months ago the completion date for Phoenix was January of 2014. Now it's July of 2014. I expect it to slip further.
 
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AutoUnion39

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Lastly, and this is a personal observation, all three vendors Sprint contracts with (Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung) are major vendors and do the same work for the other telcos. Both AT&T and Verizon never seem to have any problems getting these vendors to do their work quickly. Yet Sprint gets nothing but delays from these guys. Right now, NV is six months to one year behind. In the first quarter of this year Dan Hesse personally lost over $200,000 in stock because these vendors are behind. He lost money stock in 2012 as well because of this..
Bingo. I wonder if Sprint is paying them less. AT&T released a list last month of 79 markets to be done by end of summer '13. It hasn't even started yet (6/21 is summer) and 50/79 markets are complete and up.

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-blames-vendor-execution-reason-network-vision-delays/2013-05-07

I think it's ironic because even TMo uses the same vendors and their LTE has been lighting up all over the place. Granted they seem to be using the same "get a couple towers up first" method that Sprint is using.
 

eyoungren

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Bingo. I wonder if Sprint is paying them less. AT&T released a list last month of 79 markets to be done by end of summer '13. It hasn't even started yet (6/21 is summer) and 50/79 markets are complete and up.

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-blames-vendor-execution-reason-network-vision-delays/2013-05-07

I think it's ironic because even TMo uses the same vendors and their LTE has been lighting up all over the place. Granted they seem to be using the same "get a couple towers up first" method that Sprint is using.
Well, like I mentioned earlier, both AT&T and Verizon maintained their networks. Naturally, I'd expect it to be faster from that standpoint. The backhaul was already there. Sprint never did anything about maintaining the network so when it came time to put LTE in they also had to put in the backhaul. They like to tout this as if they are doing some major upgrading but in reality it just shows how shortsighted and lazy the company is about maintaining the network. But even if the vendors had to put in backhaul for AT&T and Verizon it would STILL be faster than the time they are taking with Sprint.

Yeah, Sprint probably bought it all on the cheap so the vendors aren't in a hurry.

T-Mobile as I understand had the network placed BEFORE they announced. Something Sprint could have done itself and would have been better off for it. But no, they announce first and then do the work bringing us all along for the great big pain ride.

Note to anyone reading my posts. I'm a Sprint customer. Just so there's no misunderstanding of where I'm coming from.
 

CEmajr

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Dec 18, 2012
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Well Sprint is in a tough position when it comes to unlimited data. Since their network coverage doesn't compare to AT&T and Verizon and their data speeds don't compare to any of the other 3 carriers, they have to offer some incentive to get people to join the network. The already have lower costs than AT&T/Verizon but T-Mobile matches or exceeds them in the cost area. They also had a good full year of being the only carrier to offer unlimited data but as of last September they lost that advantage as well.

Since Sprint and T-Mobile are unable to compete with Verizon/AT&T in terms of network coverage they have to compete on price. Then since their prices are similar they have to offer additional incentive to get customers to choose Sprint over T-Mobile or vice versa. If Sprint drops unlimited data then what's to stop people from choosing T-Mobile over them since the pricing is similar?

So even though their network is unable to handle the data, they have no choice but to keep offering it in order to compete. With T-Mobile offering it as well now I see Sprint in a tough position as they have nothing that gives them a competitive advantage in the mobile arena.