Sprint\ATT in Houston\Chicago

kevindosi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 16, 2006
191
0
I'm looking at signing up for a family plan (4 iPhone 4s's) on either Sprint or ATT. My family is split between major cities (Houston and Chicago), so I was wondering how the internet compares between the two carriers. I've seen a video on youtube that makes sprint look unbearably slow.
Any other things I need to consider when choosing a carrier?
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,907
8,970
Austin, TX
I'm looking at signing up for a family plan (4 iPhone 4s's) on either Sprint or ATT. My family is split between major cities (Houston and Chicago), so I was wondering how the internet compares between the two carriers. I've seen a video on youtube that makes sprint look unbearably slow.
Any other things I need to consider when choosing a carrier?
Large metropolitan areas = go AT&T.
 

beret9987

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2005
125
0
San Francisco, CA
Honestly, I'd probably test drive them. Sprint speeds are getting better and I personally don't have any qualms with the service I receive(I pull 1.8-2Mbps down on a regular basis) but indoor penetration can sometimes be sketchy depending on the building. I wouldn't call them garbage though. They're a pretty good nationwide carrier that offers a good value especially if you're on the phone a fair amount(which I personally am).

I'd also toss in Verizon into the equation if you're also considering Sprint, as Verizon does have excellent coverage and a robust data network.
 

mark-itguy

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2007
106
0
Think About Voice Too!

I know you asked about Internet speed, but don't forget about voice quality too! Houston is a very large city. My brother lived near downtown and claimed he never had a single dropped call with AT&T. I on the other hand lived out near Cypress, (at adjoining suburb), and the dropped call rate was almost funny. Around 65% of the time I was on a call (where I received or initiated it) it would drop. Even out on the driveway I would only get 3 bars.

We switched to Verizon and I don't think I ever had a dropped call from my end, (just 2-3 where the caller called back apologizing it was them).

So like I believe someone else stated, try! I would imagine you'd get at least a week to make a return with out cancellation fees. Pick one and make a bunch of calls at home to see.

As an FYI, when I called to complain, it was decided that the tall pine trees in my area were why I could not get a good signal, so I could not get out of my contract until it ended. Funny though, switching carriers solved the problem!
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
Sprint is a joke. The only way Sprint makes sense is their cheap pre-paid, but that's all Android, so it's irrelevant here.

Chicago is an AT&T town, and AT&T is the best iPhone carrier, since they have HSPA+.
 

pilot1226

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
595
13
USA
As a Sprint user I'm looking forward to my upgrade later this week to an iPhone.

Sprint's return policy gives you 14-days with no restocking fee. Remember, the day you ORDER it counts as Day 1, even if you buy it at 11:59 PM. So, make sure if you truly aren't happy that you return it on around Day 10 to be on the safe side.

AT&T's return policy I believe gives you 30-days, but there's a $25 restocking fee per iPhone.

So, you can try them both for the cost of $25, plus your data plan.

I've found Sprint is pretty good in my area near New York City... I'm able to Stream Pandora on my Blackberry Curve on my ~20ish minute commute with out any interruptions, and I very seldom have a dropped call. Once every few months.

I honestly don't know what the big deal is about the Sprint data speeds. The only thing you're using that speed for is to race closer to your data cap. Incoming overages and/or throttling! As long as your phone can do whatever it is that you do without buffering or stuttering, then who cares? If the content you're viewing utilizes, say, 250kbps down, what difference does it make if I'm on AT&T or Sprint or Bob's Cell Phone for that matter? I don't really need to download a 1 GB App in 10 seconds. And if I did, I'd use a Wifi hotspot.

To each their own.

Try Sprint, it's free.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,904
3,476
Boston, MA
Can't say anything about Houston, but ATT is miles ahead of Sprint in Chicago IME.

----------

my $65 unlimited everything data plan says otherwise...
Where are you located? We are talking about Houston and Chicago Specifically. I can say Sprint is garbage in Chicagoland area from personal experience.
 

kevindosi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 16, 2006
191
0
I thought 2gb would be enough that I'd not have to worry about going over. No?
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68030
May 16, 2011
2,522
271
Eau Claire, WI
I thought 2gb would be enough that I'd not have to worry about going over. No?
I go over 2gb's every month, but I stream Pandora and I<3 radio all day pretty much every day at work.

if you are home a lot and are around your wifi, more then likely 2gb's is more then enough
 

pilot1226

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
595
13
USA
I agree. 2 GB is probably okay for regular surfing and uploading to Facebook and things like that. The one thing that might put you over the top is iCloud and potentially iTunes Match if you use them extensively.

Like what was said above, I'm a big fan of just not having to worry about it. I can do everything I want to do on Sprint and just not have to worry about the cap.
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
I like actually getting service... so I have AT&T. Verizon would work on the service side, not so much on the data speed side of things. That, and I wouldn't have an iPhone in NYC, as in NYC there is the bad way, the even worse way, and the worst way to get iPhone service there. LTE is where it's at for NYC.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
Any reason why you're not considering Verizon?

I used to have Sprint in Chicago and it seemed okay. Not sure if they got any better though since I've been long gone from there. I'm sure with a bit of googling you might be able to find some Sprint numbers for Chicago.
 

fox10078

macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2009
467
86
I honestly don't know what the big deal is about the Sprint data speeds. The only thing you're using that speed for is to race closer to your data cap. Incoming overages and/or throttling!
How fast the stuff you're downloading doesn't effect how much you are downloading, only you can do that.
 

iag48

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2008
219
0
I know your asking about Houston and Chicago but I just wanted to say that here in New York City Sprint is great. Yes, my friend's AT&T iPhone 4s pulls in 5mb on the Speed Test and I only pull 2mb BUT when we load pages we are equally fast! I compares Netflix streaming quality and it is identical, except he only has 2gb and has to watch his usage.

This phone is very fast on 2mb, no buffering on streaming Netflix and browsing is just as fast as the AT&T version. Once again this is in New York City.
 

Preed08

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2011
183
253
I don't wanT to hate on my carrier..but..I stay in Houston..and I will tell you to STAY AWAY from sprint. Never get consistent speeds since I got the phone I. Launch day..EVER. Sometimes it's so slow I can barely do simple things like tweet or load Facebook. When I had Tmobile I used to tether and watch YouTube and the likes..I gave all of that up here with sprint. Streaming video? Forget about it. Speeds usually cant even handle pandora..
 

iag48

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2008
219
0
That sucks Preed. Well the OP has fifteen days to try it out. Give it a shot and try it out. I have my wifi network but I'm surfing and watching videos on my iPhone's 3G because its the same believe it or not.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
Any other things I need to consider when choosing a carrier?
Coverage where you need it most. Should actually be everyone's top concern. Ignore the pointless blanket comments that have no support for their statements ("X sucks", "X is better than Y", etc).

Houston is a very large city.
^ This. Coverage with any carrier can vary quite a bit depending on specific location.

Houston is great for ATT...except when I'm in school....damn hospitals.
...and there's an excellent example. I was once in the Med Center with family and those on at&t had no coverage at all where we happened to be. Verizon was just fine. I'm not saying Verizon > all others. As I said, make sure you have coverage where you need it.

I thought 2gb would be enough that I'd not have to worry about going over. No?
Depends on your usage. Usage can vary quite a bit from person to person.
 
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