Sprint's 3G Is Garbage!!

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,824
4,507
"Between the Hedges"
There are many threads already discussing this with people expressing their thoughts
A search will reveal a lot of pro and con opinions

It depends on your coverage area and a number of factors
 

verwon

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2011
2,676
2
Seattle
There are many threads already discussing this with people expressing their thoughts
A search will reveal a lot of pro and con opinions

It depends on your coverage area and a number of factors
^^^ This! I rarely have problems with it.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
Yeah, Sprint's 3G is pretty terrible for the most part. Some places get good results though.
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,251
973
San Antonio, TX
It really does depend on where you are; unfortunately everywhere it really sucks is usually where you want to use it the most. For example, I had great 3G speeds about a mile from my house in the middle of nowhere, but when I got into San Antonio proper my 3G speeds tended to drop pretty substantially; we're talking in the 150-200Kbps range (on a good, normal day). At one of the newest and most popular malls in north San Antonio, you could forget having any bars at all; same goes for being inside any buildings too.

I had Sprint for a year; all Android phones, but I can't imagine that you're going to see much different with an iPhone either. It's a shame, because they still (for now) have the best plans and pricing. In the end I had to go back to AT&T though just because the network is superior (and Verizon can't provide coverage at my house).
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,410
0
It really does depend on where you are; unfortunately everywhere it really sucks is usually where you want to use it the most. For example, I had great 3G speeds about a mile from my house in the middle of nowhere, but when I got into San Antonio proper my 3G speeds tended to drop pretty substantially; we're talking in the 150-200Kbps range (on a good, normal day). At one of the newest and most popular malls in north San Antonio, you could forget having any bars at all; same goes for being inside any buildings too.

I had Sprint for a year; all Android phones, but I can't imagine that you're going to see much different with an iPhone either. It's a shame, because they still (for now) have the best plans and pricing. In the end I had to go back to AT&T though just because the network is superior (and Verizon can't provide coverage at my house).
Same xperience here with Sprint.
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,544
171
Connecticut
A) Why do you have Sprint?
B) If you were going to have Sprint, why would you get a non WiMAX phone?
C) Get AT&T. Until the LTE iPhone comes out, the iPhone belongs on AT&T.
 

russell2

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2011
32
0
I swear somethings wrong with the CDMA iPhone I had a Verizon iPhone 4 and know iPhone 4S and I must say that the 3G speed is about half of what it was on my original Droid Incredible takes about double to do any data related tasks.

Sometimes I swear their is an issue and all the time I go to load a webpage and it just sits there spinning next to the 3G icon for 30 seconds and and I have to click x and then refresh to get it to load.
 

pilot1226

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
595
13
USA
On one of the northern NJ sprawling suburbs out near New York City. Sprint's 3G is fine. Aside from a dead zone I always have near Giants Stadium, I've had no issues with calling, data, or Siri.

It's also worth mentioning that I get better service with Sprint 3G than some of my coworkers on Verizon 3G and AT&T HSPA+. I guess it's just a matter of where the antennas are pointed. Seems like they often get stuck on 2G/EDGE speeds whereas I almost always have the 3G icon.

So, I would say it's not really about fancy big numbers, it's more about practical service. I could care less at this point whether or not I have 0.1 Mbps down and up so long as I can quickly do whatever it is I'm trying to do. Obviously there's going to be some lag time if I'm trying to download a 100 MB app, but I'd probably do that over Wifi anyway, regardless of my cell carrier speed.

I'm streaming "Higher Quality Pandora" over the Sprint 3G connection on my 20-30 minute commute to and from work, and it's never skipped. It's a dramatic improvement over the Blackberry Curve I had (duh).

Obviously any carrier is only as good as their signal. Since you just got your iPhone yesterday, I'd consider returning it in accordance with their 14-day money back guarantee. The day you ORDER it counts as day one, whether or not you got it at 11:59 PM or earlier that day. Make sure you plan accordingly if you do want to return it.

I know that AT&T has a 30-day return policy but there's a restocking fee for the iPhone if it's opened.

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A) Why do you have Sprint?
B) If you were going to have Sprint, why would you get a non WiMAX phone?
C) Get AT&T. Until the LTE iPhone comes out, the iPhone belongs on AT&T.
I'll contest A from the point of some fanboyism;

Sprint was very good to me. I threatened to cancel over activation fees and delayed upgrades, and they went out of their way to keep my business. Sprint's voice is fine for me, I've maybe dropped 1 call every six months. Maybe even less frequently. Sprint's data is fine for me too. I've never found an issue where I was like, "Ugh, this is so slow!" Everything works. Siri works. Youtube streams almost instantly.

Moreso the point is the plans. I get far more for my dollar with Sprint than I do with any of the other big two carriers. AT&T's family plan for a comparable plan to Sprint would knock me down nearly half of my minutes, nights and weekends start later, and of course, I have a data cap to worry about. Verizon doesn't offer an unlimited mobile to any carrier mobile feature, so I'd need a bigger calling plan that would push me close to $50 more per month, and again, no unlimited data package.

I'm not saying Sprint is perfect, I'm just saying just because it has bad service in a few locations doesn't mean that it's bad everywhere. That goes with ANY of the carriers.

I'd contest B and C outright:

While Sprint does offer non-WiMax phones, they are not going to support them anymore in a few years when they actually turn off the signal. They're doing this because of their changes for their network in supporting 4G LTE. So, that non-WiMax phone will be shot soon after the LTE rollout's done, which is in 2013. Even though 3G is considerably slower than any variation of 3.5G or 4G, at least it's more future proof in this sense that I'm not scrambling to get a brand new phone.

Here's hoping there's enough retail value left in my iPhone 4S that I could potentially consider selling it or trading it in towards a new one.

In regards to your "C" point, perhaps this particular user's browsing habits would not be that good for a bandwidth-capped plan. Unlimited is a wonderful thing. There's no disputing that the AT&T iPhone is king of the hill, but Sprint and Verizon are just below at the next base station. It's not like they haven't even started the climb yet.
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,544
171
Connecticut
I'll contest A from the point of some fanboyism;

Sprint was very good to me. I threatened to cancel over activation fees and delayed upgrades, and they went out of their way to keep my business. Sprint's voice is fine for me, I've maybe dropped 1 call every six months. Maybe even less frequently. Sprint's data is fine for me too. I've never found an issue where I was like, "Ugh, this is so slow!" Everything works. Siri works. Youtube streams almost instantly.

Moreso the point is the plans. I get far more for my dollar with Sprint than I do with any of the other big two carriers. AT&T's family plan for a comparable plan to Sprint would knock me down nearly half of my minutes, nights and weekends start later, and of course, I have a data cap to worry about. Verizon doesn't offer an unlimited mobile to any carrier mobile feature, so I'd need a bigger calling plan that would push me close to $50 more per month, and again, no unlimited data package.

I'm not saying Sprint is perfect, I'm just saying just because it has bad service in a few locations doesn't mean that it's bad everywhere. That goes with ANY of the carriers.

I'd contest B and C outright:

While Sprint does offer non-WiMax phones, they are not going to support them anymore in a few years when they actually turn off the signal. They're doing this because of their changes for their network in supporting 4G LTE. So, that non-WiMax phone will be shot soon after the LTE rollout's done, which is in 2013. Even though 3G is considerably slower than any variation of 3.5G or 4G, at least it's more future proof in this sense that I'm not scrambling to get a brand new phone.

Here's hoping there's enough retail value left in my iPhone 4S that I could potentially consider selling it or trading it in towards a new one.

In regards to your "C" point, perhaps this particular user's browsing habits would not be that good for a bandwidth-capped plan. Unlimited is a wonderful thing. There's no disputing that the AT&T iPhone is king of the hill, but Sprint and Verizon are just below at the next base station. It's not like they haven't even started the climb yet.
Ok, customer service is good, maybe, but that doesn't make up for having the worst network of any major carrier in the US. T-Mobile has a terrible network too, but at least they have some spotty HSPA+.

Sprint is only about $10-$15 cheaper than AT&T, and their service is terrible, and their entire network is smaller than just the 3G portions of AT&T's network.

What? I think you mixed up some words, but first of all you get an upgrade every two years, and secondly, a WiMAX phone won't just not work when they shut WiMAX off, it will just fall back on EVDO Rev.A, which will be more than enough for the dinosaurs who still have the phones.

EVDO is just pokey. They are selling a ton of them because people on Sprint and Verizon family plans who don't know CDMA from GSM are snapping them up, and probably barely use them, but for people in the know, HSPA+ is the way to go. That being said, I probably wouldn't have on in the greater NYC area, my experience with AT&T there has been... well sluggish. I'd probably have Verizon 4G LTE if I was in that area, although everyone down there seems to have an iPhone, even with the lack of a fast network to support them on any carrier.

Lastly, browsing habits have jack to do with bandwidth, no one is going over because of web browsing, as much as Sprint's false advertising might want you to think so. It's basically impossible. Streaming radio and podcasts have the capability to push you over. AT&T now has 3GB for $30, and Verizon has the 4G data deal for 4G Android phones where you get double data (4GB for $30), so really, the whole limited data thing isn't a valid concern, as either 3GB or 4GB is enough, even for large amounts of music streaming.

All that Sprint bashing aside, the one case I can see for Sprint is Virgin Mobile. I recommended it to a friend who had a Tracfone, and he upgraded, he basically wanted unlimited texting, but they give you unlimited data for free, so he has the Optimus V and it works well for him. He's grandfathered in with unlimited data and texts and 300 minutes for $25, which is the same I pay just for 2GB of data. In his case, a crappy network didn't bother him, so for that price, Sprint is definitely worth it. I wish they had kept the price points so low though, as it made a compelling case for giving up decent coverage.
 
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