Sprint Too Slow?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AP_piano295, May 9, 2012.

  1. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    #1
    Some friends and I are looking at getting a smartphone plan and were debating between carriers. They all want iPhone's I'm planning on getting an HTC One X or EVO 4G LTE (basically the same phone).

    The question I have is, is Sprint's data as bad as everyone is saying? And if Sprint's data is so terrible and at&t's is so good by comparison (especially for the iPhone compared to other carriers) why are they getting such terrible customer satisfaction reviews?

    Sprint Benefits:

    Sprint is significantly cheaper than at&t

    about 40 bucks a month cheaper (10 bucks per person).
    Unlimited data
    No activation fees saves each of us almost 40 bucks

    Plus we'll have more anytime minutes, though considering free mobile to mobile calling i doubt we'll really need the extra minutes.


    Sprint Cons:

    No LTE any time in the near future, really only a con for me but still worth mentioning at&t already claims to have LTE coverage in my area. Sprint isn't even predicting when coverage will reach my area.

    Then of course the widely talked about data issues...

    As things stand I'm think I'd be willing to go with at&t if they'll waive the activation fee. But I'd be interested to hear what current user feeling is on the difference between the two companies.
     
  2. AllieNeko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    #2
    Yup, it's really THAT bad. So is Verizon, though maybe a little better in some areas, around here Verizon is in that 0.1-0.5mbps loaded EVDO networks tend to hover around. In good conditions, 1.5mbps or so is reasonable to expect of EVDO (and 6+mbps for HSDPA 13.6mbps like on AT&T's iPhone).

    The iPhone isn't the fastest phone on any carrier. It doesn't support LTE, WiMax, or 64QAM / DC / MIMO (not used in US) HSDPA. AT&T supports 20.6 mbps (NOT 21.1) HSDPA by using 64QAM, the iPhone doesn't. So it's NO ONE'S speed demon phone. But it's worst on CDMA networks.

    Ok, so that long rant is to say, yes, it's bad. Think about this:

    AT&T. You're on an expensive carrier that pours money into their network sharing 13.6mbps channels that they generally have plenty of in most places.

    Sprint, you're on a cheap carrier loading shared 3.0mbps channels to capacity in most places.

    Which do you think will be a better experience? Also, those are PHY layer speeds. Due to overhead you will NEVER see 13.6mbps on AT&T iPhones or 3.0mbps on Sprint/Verizon iPhones, even if you're the ONLY one on a channel in a perfect radio environment.

    BTW, those aren't typos. Category 10 HSDPA is 13.65 (approx) mbps PHY layer speed, NOT 14.0 or 14.4 as even Apple has incorrectly said. EVDO rA is 3.0mbps exactly, NOT 3.1. 14.0 and 3.1 are easily explained by bad binary math (hard drive manufacturer and Apple starting with Snow Leopard style binary math, LOL). The raw PHY speeds are 13976kbps and 3072kbps respectively. If you incorrectly divide by 1000 instead of 1024, that gives you 14.0 and 3.1 when rounded to the nearest 1/10th mbps. I don't know where the heck the 14.4mbps number even Apple has misquoted comes from. The old days of 14.4kbps dial up modems? Same with 21.1mbps HSDPA. The raw PHY speed is 21096kbps. Divide by 1000 and round, you'll get 21.1. But you can't do that. You have to divide by 1024, since it's binary math.
     
  3. Arnezie macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #3
    I've been with sprint for 13 years up until last Friday. I switched but in my area it has gotten very slow , dropped calls. I went with AT&T because the service is great where I live and work. It is all about where you live.
     
  4. davidra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #4
    It's never been great. I've been on Sprint for over 5 years, though, and practically it doesn't have much effect in average usage. I can stream radio and even videos most of the time with little buffering. And there are 15 upgrades planned in my area over the next 6 months. Plus my place of work (a hospital) is completely wired for Sprint so the signal is strong everywhere, in places where there are no other signals at all. If you need lots of fast data, I wouldn't go Sprint, but if you're an average user, it's not that big a deal. Just avoid using Speedtest.net, because you'll get depressed.
     
  5. sk1wbw macrumors 68040

    sk1wbw

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    #5
    For me, Sprint has the best coverage where I live. Granted, the speeds are slow, but it IS a phone afterall.
     
  6. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #6
    Well this isn't going to happen so I guess your decision is made.
     
  7. Arnezie macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #7
    No activation for me when I started my new service last Friday. I went to an actual AT&T store if that makes a difference and I have a discount with work.
     
  8. eclipse01 macrumors 68020

    eclipse01

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Location:
    Eau Claire, WI
    #8
    I've been with Sprint for about 10+ years and up until about a year before the Iphone release on the network, my data speeds were usually a constant 1.2-1.5mb. Now it fluctuated all over the place and switches to 1x pretty often in my area.

    I heard this was the case because they lost there contract with some of Altel Towers (which VzN now has most of). (i'm not expert..this could be wrong)

    anyway I continue to keep them cause I never have dropped calls and my bill is dirt cheap compared to what I would get at VzN or ATT.
     
  9. kalex macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #9
    I was on sprint for 10 years and agree with poster above me. before iphone came to the network by speeds were good. I also was using nexus s 4g and used 4g when it was availble. 4g speeds were in range of about 5mbits. 3g speeds were above 1mbit. Then iphone came to the network and it went to ****. since iphone is 3g only I was getting 500kbits and that was on a good day. So finally i gave up and switched to straight talk. Using lumia900 now and have 0 issues with ST. Also saving around $50 a month over sprint.
     
  10. AP_piano295 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    #10
    Same here I've read that that they're willing to waive activation pretty frequently if you're a premiere customer.
     
  11. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #11
    I've been with Sprint for 9 years. The coverage is quite good in my area. But I was hesitant to get an iphone because of the poor data speeds. I made the jump, however, and discovered that even though it could be speedier, my data experience on the iphone still outperforms what I was getting on my BB. And, you know... when I really need the speed, I'm usually somewhere where I can tap into wifi. Over all, I am content.
     
  12. Sketchr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #12
    My biz cellphone was with Sprint until last year. I was then and am currently in their "4G wimax" area. I was using an EVO on the network and their 4G was slower than at&t's HSPA+. No longer with Sprint now. I currently have phones on both att and verizon, but the phones on verizon are 4G. I would not recommend any 3G phone on verizon as it's slow as molasses. LTE rocks, however...
     
  13. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    HR 9038 A
    #13
    That was an amazing explanation. I don't even live in the US and won't be deciding between these carriers for a while, if ever, and I still think I learned something from that - thanks.
     
  14. antman2295 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    #14
    I love my At&t service, they have great coverage in my area, and i can easily get 3-4mbps and if i go outside 5-7mbps with 2mbps upload. Sprint here isn't great MAX SPEEDS ive gotten were 1.5mbps and most people here constantly have dropped calls or cell issues. At&t will usually waive your activation fee if you call in. I have to say usually sprint isn't that much cheaper. Unless you call alot of land lines At&t is pretty competitively priced. Also you can check and see if your work place offer a FAN discount, and you can get anywhere from 12% - 25% off your voice and data plans.
     
  15. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #15
    Sprint isn't too bad over here. I often get 1.9mbps at work. Closer to (+/- .5mbps) 1mbps more towards the city.

    When I was in Raleigh for travel, it was near useless, though.
     
  16. mrbutters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #16
    All depends on your area. Go to your local Sprint store and run a speedtest on 3G. Its a joke out here in SoCal. 4G speeds aren't too bad though 12-14Mbps down
     

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  17. llfloyd79 macrumors regular

    llfloyd79

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA.
    #17
    I would agree with that....it just depends on area. I had Sprint for over 10 years. I don't have no issues with slow data in my opinion. Can't complain too much anyway since its unlimited lol. But I think any carrier has data issues....just depends on the area they are in.
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    I tried Sprint before they got the iPhone. Speeds were great in some areas, but abysmal in others. I finally opted to cut my losses after eight months, paid my ETF, and went back to AT&T. On average, I would definitely say it's the slowest network of the big three, but that depends on what you use it for. You should be able to stream music like pandora just fine. You will likely often have trouble streaming videos though. Loading webpages is a bit of a crapshoot depending on time of day, congestion, etc.
     
  19. Uguubot macrumors member

    Uguubot

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #19
    Sprint is pathetic in my area. I can barely download a song via iTunes match without it taking two times the length of the song to download.
     
  20. mrjef31 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #20
    sprint is horrible in my area (san diego)...just paid the ETF...sure am glad I kept my AT&T account open
     
  21. mattwallace24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #21
    I don't have Sprint as my carrier, but have been using the CarrierComp app frequently over the past month. For most of that test period, I've been in the northeast, primarily in CT and NYC.

    In no location I've tested has Sprint come back in the comparison rated anything other than poor. The app compares actual user tests within the app across the big 3 carriers (Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint). In the areas I've tested, AT&T usually has the best data results with Verizon a solid second in most tests. Verizon does occasionally beat out AT&T, but Sprint has never shown up any better than last place.
     
  22. mrbutters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #22
    Thats the thing. I have had Sprint for 6 years an speeds were awesome before the iPhone. They somehow throttled the entire 3G network.
     
  23. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #23
    Well, how many million phones have they sold? I don;t remember the number, but something like 50% of their total sale has been brand new customers.
     
  24. GMTGuy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #24
    I'm pretty sure Sprint has always been pretty bad, I read recently though that Verizon secretly doesn't want anymore IPhone users(not sure if true) because IPhone is 3g and apparently Verizon is having trouble throttling 3g, and have spent a great deal of money on 4g where they can throttle etc...very easily. Where as various Android phones are already 4g. Anyway hopefully next version of IPhone is 4g, my missus uses the latest one, and while it's annoying when shes playing games on it sometimes I do want her to have the best phone.
     
  25. eclipse01 macrumors 68020

    eclipse01

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Location:
    Eau Claire, WI
    #25
    no, back when Altel was around before VzN bought them out they were very good!
     

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