What's better: Sprint or T-mobile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macguy360, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. macguy360 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2011
    I am trying to decide on which provider to switch to and I wanted to get inputs from people that actually have the service currently.

    I heard that even though Softbank purchased Sprint, not much has improved in terms of actually providing fast data services. You can have LTE but still be getting only 1-2mb download speed and 1mb upload.

    On the other hand I heard that Sprint has the most spectrum out of all the carriers and so within a year or 2, they could actually be the best carrier once spark gets rolled out nationwide.

    I have also heard that T-mobile is really good in terms of data speed if you are able to get hspa+ and LTE.

    I am just tired of getting wrung for all my money by ATT. Please tell me your experience with either provider but don't go back further than 9 months please.
  2. eyoungren, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014

    eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I would check sensorly.com to see coverage in your area by carrier.

    I can't speak to T-Mobile but as a 15 year Sprint customer I can tell you a few things.

    If you happen to be in an area where there is LTE and it's pretty much complete you'll get decent speeds. Around 16-20mbps. Sprint's next upgrade starts this year and will go much faster. That will include 800mhz and 2600mhz, but you have to have a triband device to fully utilize those frequencies.

    If you are NOT in an area that has LTE or are in a market like Phoenix where completion is low you are likely to get 3G speeds on LTE and see spotty service. 3G in the area tends to be around 1mbps or less. I suffered with 0.2kbps for about a year. Note that Sprint is about 6 months behind in NV (Network Vision) 1.0 rollout.

    One of the biggest problems Sprint is having is that they have made upgrades, but the vendors have not delivered the fiber optic cable. Without the backhaul there is nothing to hook things up to.

    Customer Service: Do not believe a word out of Dan Hesse's mouth when it comes to customer service. It's terrible, it has always been so and I don't see it changing unless Masayoshi Son throws the lot out. You will be lied to as a Sprint customer at some point. This is because performance for Sprint employees is based on how many customers a rep processes and how quickly, not on problems solved or quality of service.

    Go in person to a Sprint store. It's much harder to be lied to face to face where you can get a name then it is to prove that somebody on chat told you "X". And even then, the internet/call division is not on the same page as the store division. What they tell you over the internet or on the phone you cannot rely on when speaking in person to a rep.

    Be careful of Sprint third party stores. These are non-corporate stores and Sprint treats these like garbage. Their motivation to help you and the tall tales they may tell you to make a sale are some of the worst.
  3. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    if you go to rootmetrics.com and check carrier reports you'll notice the following trends on carriers:

    1st/2nd place is usually back and forth between ATT/Verizon depending on market. Score is usually between 92-98
    3rd place is Tmobile score around 85-95
    4th place is always sprint, score around 60-70.

    Bottom line, Sprint sucks. Their LTE speeds are the slowest of the 4 carriers to.
  4. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    I think if you had to go with one I'd go tmobile right now. They seem to be delivering in their plans and they're aggressive with marketing. Plus tmobile is gsm so once unlocked its interchangeable with AT&T and other gsm carriers. Sprint locks u down to their network only even if a device is paid off.

    Lte advanced is coming for tmobile and they're making spectrum purchases to improve the network. And so far based on the past year I'd be inclined to believe their timeline over sprint whose constantly behind schedule
  5. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Price aside personally I'd avoid any CDMA network ie Sprint.
  6. eclipse01 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2011
    Eau Claire, WI
    Another 15 year Sprint customer here, I have actually had nothing but good luck with their customer service over the years. Service was at its peak right before VzN bought Alltel, then Sprint lost 90% of their towers and went back to horrible service.

    They have been slowly rebuilding back up over the years and are way behind. As stated above if you are luck enough to be in one of their LTE areas I say go for them.

    Tmobile is horrible in the country areas where I live so I would never consider them coverage wise.
  7. mripadmini macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2013
    Sprint is a lot better where I live. It all depends who was the most cell towers in your area
  8. Z8beema macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2013
    If the merger goes through.. They will be one in the same
  9. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Where will you be using your device?

    I want to say that generally you'll be better off with T-Mobile but it's not always true - it depends on the area. But T-Mobile 3G/HSPA+ is really fast. So in areas you don't have LTE you'll fall back to their 3G and still have great speeds. Sprint 3G is terrible.

    Granted, you need to be within T-Mobile coverage.

    Also, Sprint iPhones have terrible (relative) resale value. They can't be used with any other carrier in the USA and aren't worth as much as Verizon AT&T or T-Mobile iPhone.

    But if you can get LTE most of the time with Sprint, it'd be worth considering. Don't know of anyone who actually has Sprint LTE 100% (or anything close to that) most of the time though. But like I said, depends on your area.

    This too. I hate CDMA. For a few reasons: slow 3G speeds, no data and voice, annoying SMS splicing, conference call limitations etc
  10. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I'd choose T-mobile too. I hate CDMA and the proprietary behaviors displayed by both Verizon and Sprint. You can't unlock a CDMA phone and expect to use it on any CDMA carrier. That's BS.
    However, if Sprint works in your area, then you have to go with a crappy solution.
  11. Prise macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2008
    It really depends on your geographical area and where you plan on using your phones. All things being equal, T-Mobile should work fine in urban areas, while Sprint may have the better coverage in rural ones.

    If given a choice, I prefer GSM phones over CDMAs. This getting the permission of the carrier to activate is just not going to work of me.
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    T-Mobile is the better provider. Of course if Sprint buys T-Mobile as there were rumors recently about that possibility, then I'd say stick to AT&T and Verizon.

    One note... remember that in your area you have to find the provider that covers you best.
  13. ugcop macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2012
    Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
    "Which is better TMO or Sprint"

    These threads make about as much sense as asking:

    Should I buy a corvette or a pickup truck?

    We don't know how or where you intend to use this. If you work ask those you work with. If you are in school ask other students. Ask your neighbors. All those people can give you advise that pertains to your area. Asking a forum of users that covers the US and several foreign countries without giving your specifics gains you nothing that is relevant to your situation.
  14. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Long time Sprint user here as well.

    The price is right for what you get. Here, it's a tie.

    Considering that it roams on Verizon where there is no Sprint service, there is hardly a single place where I can't place a phone call or send a text. Data is another story. Here, I think the advantage is with Sprint. Tmobile has good coverage in cities, but I hear it's lacking elsewhere. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, roaming on ATT or regional carriers is NOT free.

    3G is a dice roll with Sprint. Sometimes I get good data, sometimes it's slower smoke signals. LTE is great when you get it. Here, Tmobile has the advantage. From what my tmo-using friends tell me, the HSPA+ is quite fast and available nearly throughout major cities; almost as fast as LTE.

    Also, the whole no contracts, bring your own phone, and other features of TMO make it the advantage. I plan on switching to tmo next time I can afford a new iphone.
  15. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2013
    Which leg would you rather cut off, your left or your right?

    Jokes aside, T-Mobile is better right now slightly. I wouldn't recommend Sprint to my worst enemy.
  16. CrimsonKnight, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    CrimsonKnight macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2013
    Denver, CO
    Depends on your location.

    Best to do some research and check out sensorly maps and Root Metrics to see what type of coverage and data speeds. In terms of price, they are both pretty close, but I believe T-Mobile wins out.

    In most cases, your choice will be T-Mobile. They have a strong HSPA+ network, and very fast and reliable LTE in many markets.

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