Verizon Wireless or Sprint

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KJmoon117, Oct 15, 2011.

?

Which carrier is worth giving my soul to for two years?

  1. AT&T

    17 vote(s)
    29.8%
  2. Sprint

    9 vote(s)
    15.8%
  3. Verizon

    31 vote(s)
    54.4%
  1. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #1
    I'm currently on AT&T w/ an iPhone 3GS and the quality is atrocious. I love the data speeds but the number of dropped calls I've been getting is a bit annoying. (Then again I lived in South Korea for the past three years.)

    But now I hear that Verizon and Sprint both allow their GSMs to be unlocked after a certain amount of time, which will be useful when I head back to Korea for a visit this summer. The problem is that I'm a college student and I need help deciding between Verizon or Sprint for the iPhone 4S.

    I get 20% off Verizon and 23% off Sprint because I work for the university. Doing the math, is saving $10 every month work not going with Verizon? My campus is blanketed in Wifi but I want a carrier that's reliable, cheap/affordable, has decent data speeds, and will expand in the future since I want to be one of those long term members.
     
  2. phillyphill macrumors 6502

    phillyphill

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    lorton
    #2
    Check their coverage maps and see what gives you better service and compare the plans and see whats best for you. People are going to tell you what their choice is. I've had both and haven't had any issues with them as far as service goes. Im currently on VZW with 5 lines 2 iphones and 1 other smart phone and they treat me pretty well.
     
  3. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #3
    This^^^

    I'm on Sprint and never have problems, but my usage and yours will be quite different.
     
  4. jbouklas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    I've been with Sprint for the last year or so, I switched from AT&T (they really pissed me off when they took away the unlimited data option from my iPad that I bought a month prior). The service is very good- much better than AT&T was. And Sprint has plans that are MUCH cheaper than Verizon, especially for families. (Google Sprint Employee Referral Program and Russ McGuire, you'll get something like a 25% discount through a special program.)

    But the thing that I really love with Sprint is the unlimited data. Can't get that at Verizon or AT&T anymore. Even if you're grandfathered in, both AT&T and Verizon now throttle you if you go above 2GB, so they've effectively eliminated unlimited data. I'd definitely go with Sprint.
     
  5. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #5
    Thanks guys :) At Chapel Hill, every carrier has perfect coverage and I doubt I'll be travelling anywhere (other than LA perhaps).

    But in terms of pricing, Sprint is $79.99/month and Verizon is $89.00/month. And I'm just wondering if any of you Sprint/Verizon users have trouble with dropped calls or unavailable service?

    Plus, I heard from another post that Sprint is screwed in terms of future growth due to bad investments. Is this true?
     
  6. bjb.butler macrumors 6502a

    bjb.butler

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    Reports of service/dropped calls are only relevant if the people live in your city. Most people on here don't live where you do, so if I told you I drop calls all the time, it's irrelevant.

    Ask people in the real-world.
     
  7. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #7
    It seems that both Verizon and Sprint have dog slow networks.

    Just curious but does Verizon have unlimited mobile to mobile minutes or is this deal only to other Verizon customers? They don't say specifically on their website. Because right now, it seems that an AT&T plan would be a better deal if it weren't for the fact that I'd have to pay $849 for an iPhone.
     
  8. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #8
    No, Verizon doesn't offer unlimited mobile to mobile but they let you choose 10 phone numbers to call from any carrier/landline without using any minutes. They also offer $5 texting plan which is far better than AT&T.
     
  9. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502

    mjoshi123

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #9
    if you are planning to go with family plan and can get coverage of Sprint in places where you use your phone than go for Sprint. They gives you more for your money in terms of rate plans. I've never had sprint in last 10 years of my cellphone usage but had to get it when moved to upstate NY because it was the only carrier that worked in the place I was staying. Never had any problem with them in last 3 years. I pay $129 for 3 smartphones with my discounts, same thing with discounts will cost me $198 on Verizon.
     
  10. strobeable macrumors newbie

    strobeable

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose
    #10
    thanks so much for sharing this. the monthly discount & extra minutes compared to the "regular" low-end everything data plan is a good deal
     
  11. mralmostpopular macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    #11
    It all depends on what coverage is like in your area. Talk to others in the same area. I have Sprint and my father has Verizon. He's getting double my data speed in some places, but in other places, he can't get any 3G coverage. I'm getting pretty consistent speeds wherever I go, albeit slower than Verizon's fastest speeds. My point is that my area has some dead spots for Verizon, and some hot spots, as well. Sprint on the other hand is fairly consistent through my area. You might be in an area where it's the exact opposite.
     
  12. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #12
    Thanks all.

    I'm an individual college student so I probably won't be getting a family plan (I'm in an F1 visa). But what I do want is unlimited text. Data I don't care so much about (it would be nice to have), unlimited minutes would be nice but not necessary, but I want to be able to stick with a carrier for a long time and have it be current.

    As for unlimited minutes, I've used 550 minutes (anytime, 293, mobile to mobile 100, night time and weekend 150) and that was with calling A LOT of landlines regarding a job.

    Regarding coverage in my area, it seems that it's AT&T > T-Mobile/Verizon > Sprint. I heard of dropped calls happening on Sprint around here and Verizon/ATT/TMobile are planning on upgrading the entire school network sometime this year. But would you guys pay the extra $10 a month for better reliability?...

    Man... it's such a hard decision to make for the next two years.
     
  13. jbouklas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #13
    No problem. I've had the plan for a year, it's much cheaper than Verizon or AT&T. Sure, I had to deal with an Android phone for a while, but in a few days, that'll be changing for me.

    I live in Long Island and I can safely say that Sprint service is very good. It's at least as good as Verizon or AT&T. I get the same coverage as my friends on other services, without the dropped calls I would get on the same stretch of highway for years with AT&T. Switching was a great decision.
     
  14. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #14
    That's exactly why I just switched to Verizon from AT&T, only in my case the dropped calls weren't a "bit" annoying, they were extremely annoying. I'd say at least 1/3, maybe closer to 1/2 of the calls I made on AT&T had some sort of problem (network not found, network found but couldn't call, call connects but one side can't hear the other, echoing voice, noise, or the very common call just drops off). It was maddening.

    So far, so good on Verizon. I do miss the simultaneous voice and data on AT&T, but the Verizon coverage is rock solid and I have yet to drop a call or have any of those other issues with calls yet. Voice quality sounds very good. So far I'm seeing download speeds of about 2 Mbps and upload speeds a little under 1 Mbps. Not spectacular, but it seems snappy enough for web surfing (4S). One thing I noticed with AT&T over the years is while they have high data rate numbers, they tend to freeze up momentarily while loading web pages. Netflix playback is smooth on Verizon, but I do sometimes notice it dropping down to a lower bit rate for a few seconds (more compression artifacts).

    Bottom line is I think AT&T has better speed for big, continuous downloads (movies), but Verizon is more consistent for many small network requests (web surfing). So it is a tradeoff either way you go, but so far I'm liking Verizon's compromises better than AT&Ts.
     
  15. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #15
    Thanks, as long as I don't get dropped calls often it should be good.

    I'm thinking maybe using AT&T's HSPA+ network and buying an unlocked 4S would be better. I'll have to do the math on that. But does anyone else have any experiences with either carrier?
     
  16. beret9987 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #16
    I'm on Sprint right now and haven't had trouble. Like anything, it can be slow sometimes but I haven't had issues using Siri or anything over the 3G. Last time I was in LA(in August), I actually got great speeds around UCLA and Koreatown over 3G(1.2-1.5Mbps). Good coverage in Santa Monica as well. Was a bit iffy sometimes in-buildings, but was still perfectly acceptable(was able to call,text, surf). Anyways, hope this helps!
     
  17. iprime macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    #17
    If call quality/reception is good for AT&T in your area, then go for it. They provide better speeds. I got abysmal speeds with sprint so had to return the iphones before they could rack up activation fees.
     
  18. acarney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    #18
    First check to see if you're a "4G Broadband" area (the HSPA+ deal) on AT&T's site. While almost the whole network has been upgraded software wise, they have to put in more backhaul to actually support HSPA+ speeds and those are only in like 50 to 90 markets nation wide or something. It's the darkest blue on their coverage maps that doesn't say "LTE".

    Speaking of, if you're outside a contract right now unlocked might be smart for you since it'll also hold a higher resell value. Stick with AT&T right now for the faster overall data, unlimited text option, and decent to good service you've been having.

    If you're jumping ship for sure, I would go to Verizon, simply because they're pushing so hard on LTE build out and there's a good chance next year or the year after we'll have an LTE iPhone. Might as well just worry about buying new hardware then having to worry about the new phone PLUS having to switch networks again. I'm sure AT&T will only have a small handful of cities by middle of next year while Verizon will be well over 200 unless they drastically slow down their build out. Sprint... eh... I just keep hearing bad things about Sprint's data network and honestly they've made so many bad mergers and buy out's that they're having to work with about three or four technologies and will take a while to condense them all down and focus on their LTE build out. It'll happen, but not as fast as Verizon and probably not as solid (believe it or not) as AT&T.

    ----------

    My area hasn't had the upgraded backhaul and often the network is pretty bogged down (one sure fire sign is that it takes a decent bit (15 to 20 sec) to establish the data connection) but my speeds are STILL almost always above that range. "Great" AT&T speeds seem to be 3.5 to like 6.5Mbps on enhanced backhaul (HSPA+ areas) or even just areas that have good capacity and well spaced towers.

    I'm not knocking Sprint, but I've just noticed most their users think great speed is around the 1mbps number or a little above. I kinda expect now a days to be around 2.5 or so and great being 3.5 or above. (1.5 or so was around what I was getting back in the iPhone 3G days! That's what, two years ago? Three?!)
     
  19. KJmoon117, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #19
    I'm in an area with HSPA+ with backhaul. It's dark blue all around me :D

    My only beef is that to get an unlocked 64GB GSM phone, I will have to shell out about $1000. *sigh* But the plan is cheaper than Verizon by far and will be much faster and reliable than Sprint.

    I'm not sure if I'll jump ship yet though. It's just a thought that's been on my mind... heh

    The math I've done for two years. (no discounts included)
    AT&T:
    $74.99/month
    450 Minutes
    200MB
    Unlimited Text & Mobile to Mobile Calling
    + $1011.99 iPhone
    = $2811.75

    Verizon:
    $89.99/month
    450 Minutes
    2GB
    Unlimited Text (and calling to other Verizon phones...)
    + $532.67 iPhone
    = $2692.43

    Unlimited mobile to mobile minutes, HSPA+, simultaneous browsing/talking
    vs
    1.80GBs w/ slow data compared to HSPA+, save $200-300 over two years, more reliable network...

    What makes it even harder to choose is that both Verizon and AT&T will be upgrading their towers at my school to give pretty much a PERFECT coverage, along with the fact that my school already has EXCELLENT WIFI everywhere. I'd get a contracted AT&T but I don't quality for an upgrade price and I would really want the GSM to be unlocked since I'll be travelling overseas every summer for a couple months.

    Will I even notice the HSPA+ in terms of how fast websites load or calling quality (assuming that I have excellent/perfect coverage in my area)? What if I move out to LA or Seattle (or any congested city)?
     
  20. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
  21. DiamondMac macrumors 68040

    DiamondMac

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #21
    Your location dictates the answer.

    In DC, I loved AT&T and hated Verizon (had both)
    In New Orleans, I can't stand AT&T with a deep passion
    In Atlanta, I preferred Verizon over AT&T

    Yes, my business gave me a work phone (Verizon) and personal phone (AT&T)
     
  22. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #22
    Thanks :)

    Assuming if coverage for my location were equal for both providers. AT&T provides HSPA+ in my area with back haul and I was wondering what would be the better investment. Or what would be the investment you guys would make.
     
  23. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #23
    AT&T because of HSPA+. you can just use your 3GS whenever you go to South korea. If it's important that you're using your 4S (gsm unlocked), then I'd go with Verizon next
     
  24. KJmoon117 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #24
    Verizon will unlock my GSM as well after 60 days, and I'll be heading over there for a visit in the summer so that's plenty of time.

    But I'm mainly curious, is HSPA+ night and day with it comes to Verizon? And does it improve call quality? And does it justify the cost of paying for a full unsubsidized phone?
     
  25. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #25
    HSPA+ is basically faster internet. From the forums, people have been hitting 5-7 Mb/s on HSPA+ (on average). Verizon and Sprint have hardly been hitting 1Mb/s due to CDMA technology. It's not as bad as it sounds though.

    It won't really improve call quality. Just faster data.

    In the OP, you said quality was terrible with AT&T. You should go to a local store and see how well HSPA+ works. if it's still not good enough, then try Verizon or Sprint.
     

Share This Page