New cash and spectrum give Sprint lots of potential, but it still needs to execute on its (Network) Vision

We've known about the impending shutdown of Sprint's legacy iDEN network for a long time now, and this is finally the last full day of service for the network. There are likely very few handsets, and even fewer running Android, up and on the iDEN network today, but Sprint flipping the switch is still an important story. Sprint's post-iDEN plan is to quickly repurpose the spectrum from the old network for its steadily expanding LTE offering.

The iDEN network was running in extremely valuable 800MHz spectrum as well, adding to the importance of this transition. With an influx of cash from an all-but-complete SoftBank merger, Sprint needs to put its new found resources to work and do it quick. While the Now Network has been talking up its LTE network since its launch, customers and potential customers alike haven't been encouraged by its progress.

Moving through the second half of 2013, Sprint has the opportunity to seriously improve its shaky network -- let's see if it can follow through.

 
There are 91 comments

astarling10 says:

there was no Nextel service in my area (Manhattan, KS) so I won't likely benefit from the shutting off of the IDEN stuff but it's good for everywhere else that had that service. I switched from AT&T to Sprint last August and so far I'm regretting it. Yes I have LTE but it's far too inconsistent. I got better data speeds on AT&T 3G in the same areas. Lesson learned!

DWR_31 says:

My Sprint GS3 in Houston Texas really rocks. On average I use about 20+ gigs of data a month. I've seen a lot of people switch over to Sprint after seeing that I don't worry about LTE data caps. But me being me, I try to stay ahead of the curve and my next insight is paying attention to which future handsets on Sprint's network will take advantage of the refarmed 800Mzh LTE spectrum. As it stands right now Sprint LTE devices only take advantage of their 1900Mzh spectrum.

I'm looking forward to the refarming and the new devices that take advantage of the new spectrum. And don't forget that most if not all of the Sprint devices being sold right now will be able to take advantage of the 800Mzh spectrum on CDMA side of things.

From the DARK AC App!

mwara244 says:

My friend uses sprint in st.louis here and likes it a lot, but Sprint still has no LTE in St.Louis, even though their HQ is in KC MO and was first to get LTE. If Verizon ever kicks out us grandfathered unlimited data, I'll be going to sprint too, their coverage is way better than ATT and T-Mo here in MO and Il. If you get outside of a city or town or away from a highway by 2 miles you will get no signal from T-Mo.

Markieb says:

BTW its HQ is in Overland Park, Kansas not Kansas City, Missouri 2 totally different places.

ILBBfan says:

They're only 11 miles apart, so in the grand scheme of things... no. Not two totally different places.

stephenmg says:

Just a short drive and Overland Park is part of the Kansas City, MO metro.

astarling10 says:

yep! I was over at Town Center across the street from their campus and barely had a 3G signal on my HTC One. shameful! Hopefully it will get better sooner rather than later.

Sprint has been slowly rolling out their LTE service in St Louis.

People up in the areas near Lambert airport have been telling me their devices have been picking up LTE on their devices.

AT&T and Verizon are still the coverage and data champs here.

T-Mobile just picked up some spectrum here in St Louis as well which should help get their LTE up and going by the end of the year.

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TyrellCorpse says:

Sprint LTE rollout started in STL months ago. There is quite a bit but not nearly the whole metro yet. Check sensorly website for coverage reported by users.

DaEXfactoR says:

This is really encouraging to hear. I've always been a proponent of Sprint but the network was just too dang slow. Hopefully this will help them to become more of a contender and competition for the big two. Even T-Mobile seems too be enjoying more goodwill from consumers . This should hopefully help them to deploy their LTE network and get them back in the game. Keeping my eye on this story.

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crxssi says:

The problems with many areas being slow was not due to bandwidth or frequency. It was being over-subscribed for the number/type of towers. The 800Mhz will help with coverage and penetration.

TyrellCorpse says:

A bigger problem has been backhaul to every cellsite. Part of Network Vision rollout is significant backhaul upgrades.

crxssi says:

That is true too. I am not sure what, if anything, Sprint is doing about this. I can't imagine they would be adding HUGE LTE bandwidths and not upgrading the backhauls, however.

It depends on the site, but Sprint is focusing on fiber for backhaul and using microwave in fiber-inaccessible areas.

nikoaudio1 says:

I signed up with Sprint less than a week ago and was told they were turning on their LTE network here in central California within the next 30 days. I was privy to this info because I helped the salesman in the store unlock the bootloader, root, and put stock Android on his HTC One. :) Hope it's true, cause their 3G is pretty awful. I'll report back when and if it happens.

Based on talks with technicians online and in the wild, your source is right. Sprint (finally) picked up momentum on their network enhancement schedule within the past six months, and techs are surprised that the work is actually proceeding ahead of schedule in central and southern California. I hope that we'll both enjoy more than test areas in random spots soon.

I wish I could hear something like that about Ohio.

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Bigsike says:

Ohio has the worst Sprint coverage I've ever seen, anyone I know who has it absolutely can't stand it.

lwatcdr says:

We are supposed to have LTE here in Port St. Lucie Florida but less than half the area they claim to have LTE does and in the area where there is no LTE the networks is useless. I mean under 100k down and sometimes under 50k down! There coverage map is so off the FCC and FTC should fine them for fraud.

Mikey47 says:

If this doesn't happen, please remember the "source" of this information. "Sprint" did not say this, some sales guy who wanted you to help him said it.

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Their LTE rollout is like a slug! It might be a couple more years before I see it here in Salt Lake City.

jarobusa says:

One reason I switched to T-Mobile. T-Mobile is working LTE in SLC and there are live sites. Check out Sensorly.

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That's because it's not just an LTE rollout. It's a compete network overhaul. Every tower in their network is being upgraded, not just for LTE, but also with new 3G and 1x equipment. This is in stark contrast to the Verizon and AT&T rollouts, in which they're only upgrading a third or so of their towers, and the only thing they're doing is tacking on some extra LTE equipment. Of course Sprint's rollout is going to be slower. Why would you expect differently?

Anyway, considering the scope of the rollout, I'd say they could speed it up a bit, but "like a slug" is definitely too harsh, especially since they're keeping up with AT&T (whose rollout requires a quarter of the work) in some places.

Some people need to learn patience and perspective.

NYCHitman1 says:

Well said, ED.

buffdaddy72 says:

Ditto, I know there's been a lot of hate on Sprint lately. Some of it is well deserved, but as someone who lives in the Chicago metro area Sprint has been pretty good.

I guess it all depends where you live (like all carriers). Hopefully with the Nextel shutdown, the end of this silly Soap Opera between Dish and Clearwire and the FCC giving the final ok on the merger between Sprint and Softbank things will be looking up.

Sprint is essentially doing a complete teardown and rebuild of their network. Not an easy task by any measure. But it will help future proof the network.

techymarkbo says:

I dealt with Sprint's growing pains since 2010 with their promises of 4G speeds. Service was horrendous on my new EVO Lte at launch. It would not receive calls but would call out, all while other cheap phones were working fine. Forums were full of this exact issue in multiple areas that were upgrading. They were very slow to admit to the problem and would not credit me for the service issues. Months later lte was slowly showing up at ridiculously slow speeds. Not worth the wait at all.

Went to T-Mobile where I have already seen their lte come online at 3 times the speed. The hspa+ is faster than Sprints lte..... So long.... Good riddance. To each their own.

thebizz says:

I'm thinking of leaving sprint when my contact is up just because of the service. Sprint's lte is far to inconsistent in my area spotty and in most cases no better than T-Mobile 3g in my area.

crxssi says:

In no area is Sprint done with their LTE rollout (to my understanding). This means each area is far below the finished (designed) LTE coverage. They are trying to hit enough towers to make and impact and then fill it in.

cptsales says:

After over 8 years of being a loyal S customer my patience is running thin. As they announced the merger with Nextel I said that Alltel was the better choice as they were both CDMA networks, but what do I know.
They promised to shut down the iDen network fast and almost 10 years later finally it is happening. I just don't see S has a corporate vision to really do anything with what they have. Everytime I am having issues with their network and call they try to blame my phone even though I have done steps 1-9 that tech support has me do. Why can't they just take my word for it that their network sucks hairy balls?
I see that S LTE deployment seems to only to be on the east coast and in small to medium sized towns. Nothing really has been done in the mountain west.
Mcontact is up in the next few months and I am seriously considering switching carriers.  If I'm going to get screwed I might as well get screwed by a company that can provide service!

Sprint sucks sprint out of their contract.

sprint4lyfe says:

There were a lot of times when I got Nextel service where no one else did. I guess it is time to trash my 2 Nextel phones.

Agreed. There were many places where the only carrier that worked was Nextel and I sat there with my Verizon phone looking for service.

Gekko says:

i plan on leaving Sprint when my contract is up in a few months. Sprint's coverage has been ok and their pricing is good BUT i don't like the prison chains of CDMA and contracts anymore. my plan is to buy the next new Nexus direct from the Play Store and pair it with that new AT&T Go Phone Prepaid $60 Unlimited Talk/Text 2GB Data Plan. i like the freedom of GSM and no contracts and getting OS updates immediately and direct from Google.

Orion78 says:

I'm right there you. The thing is, I really have no problems with Sprint. I've had LTE since last December. But the areas with 3G has been getting worse for some reason. All in all I would have no problem staying with Sprint. Now I'm at the point were GSM is the way to go. T-Mobile is sounding good to me right now and I don't want to stay on two year contracts anymore. It's either Note 3 or the next Nexus for me. I want freedom.

NYCHitman1 says:

I don't care too much about the freedom since like you, I have never had an issue with Sprint coverage. For me, it's all about wanting the Nexus experience and it's unlikely that we'll ever have that again. Basically, I'll be switching to T-Mo in the fall for the next Nexus phone.

Gekko says:

for me it's also the freedom GSM brings which allows you to quickly change and update phones via SIM card. and the freedom to update to a NEW phone (Nexus) every year for ~$300 without having to spend the ~$600 carrier early upgrade price. so basically with Nexus i'm getting the 2 year contract subsidized price without the contract - and saving money every month on the service - that monthly savings with prepaid should pay for a new Nexus every year!

crxssi says:

There is nothing inherently "freeing" with GSM. The technology of GSM doesn't make it any less or more open. CDMA could be just as easy to move phones between other CMDA carriers (Alltel, Verizon, Sprint) it is just that the carriers don't WANT to and make it impossible.

There is also no reason why phones couldn't be made that work on ALL the USA networks and frequencies.... right now. But there is no incentive to do so. It is too bad there wasn't consumer-friendly legislation to force it so:

1) All phones work on all networks
2) No locking of phones, ever
3) No phone subsidies

The whole landscape would have changed- offering consumers far more handset choices and for lower networks. And that portability and lack of subsidy contracts would also greatly heat up competition, lowering service contracts and improving service.

Oh well.

Gekko says:

GSM = GSM carriers.

Gekko says:

the advantages of signing a contract in the past was twofold -

1. subsidized phone every 1-2 years.
2. cheaper monthly rates vs. prepaid.

with the Nexus and the new prepaid plans, these advantages have evaporated.

I know what you mean about GSM freedom but Sprint pretty much gets most top phones, excluding the Nexus 4. All new Sprint LTE phone now have SIM cards as well to allow for international roaming and use in some US based GSM networks. We are getting closer to being able to use our phones across US based networks with multi-band LTE chipsets from Qualcomm.

Jay Holm says:

I wonder how Sprint's 800mhz spectrum compares to ATT & Vzn's 700, with regards to bandwidth capabilities. Once the refarming is done, will Sprint's LTE network all of a sudden be putting out 30+mbps?

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NYCHitman1 says:

No.

Paynefanbro says:

Not until carrier aggregation and LTE-Advanced gets rolled out later this year.

crxssi says:

The speed capacity of 800 Mhz is actually higher than 700 Mhz (the higher the bandwidth, the less penetration power/range but the higher the speed potential). But it is unlikely it would be faster, in practice... it depends on the protocols.

Anyway, I have already seen 30Mbps on Sprint's LTE network. It is not typical, but possible.

I have seen 30+ mbps on Sprint's LTE network quite a bit, not all the time but they are just now beginning to roll out LTE. Most markets are not even 50% complete. So as Sprint adds LTE to additional towers it will increase capacity whcih will even out speeds.

Additionally, Sprint's new Network Vision tower panels can be remotely tilted and they have yet to apply down-tilt to developing markets. Once the market is complete or almost complete, they will down-tilt the radio panels on the tower to achieve greater coverage and speeds.

crxssi says:

If they tilt the panels down, it will reduce the range/coverage/penetration, not increase it. But that makes sense once there are more towers completed, because each tower will not have to cover such a large area. But I know what you mean.

That's what I meant. Speeds not coverage.

wyldemf says:

Their LTE coverage is so weird. I have it in little Fall River MA and parts of rural Rehoboth MA. But nothing Providence RI. That's just weird. I'm not complaining, it's just weird.

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The smaller towns/cities most likely had more lax zoning regulations, so they started a lot sooner. Add to that the fact that they'll invariably have a fraction of the number of towers of the big cities, and it makes sense. They're upgrading whoever lets them first ASAP, not prioritizing certain locations over others (except for their headquarters, Texas cities for testing purposes, and Chicago for spectrum reasons). Smaller locales generally have much more efficient governments, so the zoning/permits gets taken care of quickly.

NoNexus says:

Not only that but it is easier to upgrade 10 towers and say 'xx, PA has announced lte' than upgrade 1000 towers. Most large cities on Sprint have lte it is just spotty and in the middle of rolling out. Not enough to announce that is is there but enough to show progress. Check sensorly you will see it.

I got mine about 8 months ago and at first it was spotty, three months later, decent, now it is pretty great. I hope the the 800 band it goes through walls better. I don't get lte in my favorite dive bar because the building is like a fallout shelter

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imanexus says:

This + Softbank at the reins + possibility of Clearwire takeover = me sticking it out with Sprint beyond my November contract expiration to see what happens. Although the pull to gsm is strong with Nexus devices currently being exclusive to that cellular band, I'm unsure about T-Mobile and can't stomach AT&T.

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starztruk says:

+1

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jmbburg26 says:

I have been tempted to jump ship from Sprint recently. My contract is up but I'm starting to get LTE in all the places I need to go here in Michigan. After 8 years, I think I'll stay. My Note 2 rocks and can't wait to see what else is coming.

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Hiberny says:

I still have a year and a half on my T-Mobile contact. By the time it's up Sprint should have LTE on two bands, if not three and handsets to support them. If they keep unlimited data I'll probably switch at that time, but I wouldn't go right now.

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droidhead_1 says:

Sprint you only have until November to impress me.

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TyrellCorpse says:

You'll need to get an 800Mhz LTE phone to get full advantage of the new rollout, they won't be coming out until Oct/Nov. Also check sensorly website for realworld LTE coverage reported by users.

OhioCalling says:

The switchover to LTE with the complete rebuilding of towers and equipment is actually running ahead of schedule. Some areas are all ready using the 800Mhz and with the shutdown many more will be turned on as the equipment has all ready been installed but not turned on due to Nextel and other reasons.

If you want to see some of the LTE coverage go to sensorly.com and check the coverage for any level of each carrier as mapped by actual users.

If you want more information about Sprint Upgrade to LTE you need to go to s4gru.com and investigate it there. If you become a sponsor you can access even more information including maps showing the location of every Sprint Tower and what frequencies they support. If your sponsor level is high enough you can receive updated list almost daily with every tower update that has been accepted by Sprint.

It is actually a lot better that the average user or store employee knows.

Had Sprint for ten years. Ditched them 2 years ago for Verizon. I will NEVER go back.

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Hvacmanjc says:

Now you are paying twice as much for data.

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Channan says:

How? 450 minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited data is $80/month on Sprint. None of that is optional. It all comes bundled at that price. The same thing on Verizon is $90, but you could drop texting and pay $10/month less than Sprint.

Since he switched two years ago, I'm assuming he still has unlimited data.

TyrellCorpse says:

I get up to 30Mbps on Sprint and use 6-10GB/month. Sprint is unlimited data so ATT/VZW is absolutely out. But I can understand for those in poor service areas, they should switch and check Sprint again in another couple years after 800Mhz rollout is complete.

ILBBfan says:

People always say this carrier is better or that carrier is better. Everyone's coverage varies, so it can't be a blanket statement. When I visit a friend of mine in Indiana, Verizon has *ZERO* coverage for miles and miles. AT$T and US Cellular are the predominant carriers, with Sprint roaming onto USC. In most areas I go to, the Verizon and Sprint non-4G coverage, reliability and speed are about the same. I have both VZ and Sprint phones.

Sprint was the first with any sort of 4G. Their partners weren't as dedicated to the cause, so they faltered. Now they're playing catch up with LTE, but in a big way. They already have equivalent LTE coverage to AT$T and AT$T started on LTE long before Sprint did.

The equipment Sprint is deploying is capable of 800, 1900 and 2500 MHz. Most NV areas already have 800 MHz voice, 1900 MHz voice\3G and 1900 MHz LTE. Now that Nextel is done, 800 MHz LTE will be added with a quickness. No devices currently support 800 MHz LTE, but devices have been announced for fall delivery. WIth the reabsorption of Clear into Sprint, I'd imagine the 2500 MHz TDD-LTE will be launched soon as well. Devices have been announced for fall delivery. 800 MHz and 1,900 MHz will have similar maximum speeds, but 2,500 MHz will be higher. Even without 2,500 MHz, your speeds will be higher than on other carriers. With some users on 1,900 MHz and the ones with poor connection quality on 800 MHz, fewer users on either band means more available speed. No carrier has plans for services that will have higher maximum speeds than Sprint's 2,500 MHz. "we are still forecasting to have the majority of the sites on-air by the end of 2013 with expected completion of Network Vision deployment by the middle of 2014."

Check out S4GRU for information\updates on the Sprint 4G upgrade process.

carraser891 says:

So are you freaking telling me that my current Sprint LTE device will not work on the 800 mhz spectrum?

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NYCHitman1 says:

That's exactly what they are saying lol.

DWR_31 says:

Current Sprint LTE devices have support for 800mzh spectrum on CDMA only right now. Did you know that phones as old as the Evo 3D have that same support? Newer devices will come with those bands available for LTE.

From the DARK AC App!

carraser891 says:

Wtf! I'm sick of Sprint switch to new shit. Why can't they just come out with something and stick with it? Why didn't they just make current LTE devices compatible with the 800 mhz LTE spectrum if they knew they would use that in the future???? I don't get it...

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leerage says:

There are probably several factors involved... the big one is money. Why would they need to pay for devices to support bands 26 and 41 when they don't even have LTE 800 or 2600 networks publicly available yet?

crxssi says:

The current LTE devices *are* compatible with 800Mhz, but not for LTE. It will be compatible for [faster than typical] 3G data, voice calls, and texting. This is still a hugely positive thing.

Yes, it would have been better had they also supported LTE on that band in these existing devices, but it would have cost a bit more and there might have been too soon for certain details to have been worked out.

For most people it won't matter, because they will be getting a new phone every one to two years and by the time the 800Mhz is in full force, they will have an 800Mhz LTE device anyway.

TyrellCorpse says:

Current Sprint phones (last couple of years) do support 800Mhz voice and 1X data. They don't support 800LTE. New phones coming this fall will support 800LTE. So anyone with modern phone will get huge improvement with voice coverage and will at least get data in hard to reach areas.

BTW, there is an app called SignalCheck that will tell you the SID of tower you are on. If it's 24xx, you are on an 800Mhz site.

TyrellCorpse says:

It sucks but Sprint had to stop WiMAX rollout when LTE ended up being industry standard and then they couldn't pursue 800Mhz LTE until it was approved, which didn't happen until now. Some of that wasn't in there control but they could have re-purposed 800 voice maybe faster.

randall2580 says:

I owned the very phone in that commercial, unfortunately

BrianBaker says:

This whole iDen crap should have been re-purposed a long ass time ago.. I'm hanging in there with Sprint but my patience is running extremely thin.

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Lanhoj says:

Nextel. Done.

ro1224 says:

All the talk and focus on LTE is troubling because the majority of phones still operate on some other wireless standard in addition to LTE and not LTE alone. LTE only phones are still part of the distant future, so it's terribly frustrating to see all the talk about LTE and nothing about the CDMA or GSM technologies that some carriers seem to have all but forgotten. As I see it, Sprint's biggest problem is their lackluster 3G network which so often needs the aid of microcell devices piggy-backing off of a customer's broadband internet service. That's troubling at best and if Sprint doesn't address this then no amount of money or LTE spectrum will save them. I'm with them now and can no longer economically support a $90 monthly bill for "unlimited" service which has a great tendency to underperform when needed most. Sprint has promised to enhance its network through Network Vision for much of the time I've been a customer yet it still remains unfinished work. I'm on the verge of departure and while this news is welcomed I don't know that it will fix the problems or give me a reason to stay and wait.

zer00x says:

My contract is up in October and I'm jumping off this already sunk ship. I'm sick of paying a 4g fee, and not getting 4g. i can see why they offer unlimited data because they know you can't possibly use that much in there slow 1 bar 3g. I checked my account yesterday and they allowing me to do a two year upgrade 3 months early, but there's no way I'm staying on board.

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crxssi says:

There is no 4G fee and never has been. There is a smartphone fee, which applies to all "smart phone" devices, regardless of if they support 4G or not or are in a 4G area or not.

You will pay more on another carrier (with a "real" plan that includes roaming) regardless of where you go. The end. If your area has poor Sprint coverage and/or speed, then do consider leaving, but don't expect that you will pay less because you will not.

Razieltov says:

You're not serious are you? "There is no 4G fee and never has been" You must not have been on Sprint for very long. When the Evo and Epic first came out and they where the cool new 4G phones everybody was talking about if you upgraded to a 4G phone not a 3G phone then you pay a $10 premium data fee. It only applied at the time to 4G phones. Whether you had 4G or not. Then after many complaints from customers Sprint decided to change the fee to all phones so that it no longer is a 4G fee. Just a fee for smartphones. Because they new they would stop selling 3G smartphone and you would be forced to upgrade to a 4G phone. So in fact this premium data fee is a 4G tax. Whether you can use 4G or not.

jreuschl says:

While I can be a Sprint apologist, the $10 fee did start out as a 4G fee, then they changed the name so that they had an excuse to charge it to users who would never see 4G.

crxssi says:

Have you not read ANYTHING about Sprint's "Network Vision" project? *ALL* the towers are being upgraded, and for *ALL* services, not just for LTE. The CDMA 3G is being improved for better range, capacity, and speed. And during all that, many of the Nextel towers are being turned into Network Vision, AND with 800Mhz CDMA and 800Mhz LTE too. It is a win on all fronts. It is just taking a significant amount of time to do it.

In my experience, this means absolutely JACK SQUAT. The tower nearest my home was "upgraded" about 10 months ago, and comparatively speaking, it was glorious. I was enjoying 3G download speeds of 1000-1200 kbps, which was FAR faster than I had previously had.

Know where that same tower is now? 80ish kbps down...right about where it was prior to the "upgrade". I'm in the burbs of Columbus. A local commercial area, lots of stores, restaurants, etc...when attempting to access data? Always, and that isn't an exaggeration, -ALWAYS- times out. No data whatsoever. We have 6 lines with Sprint. I can't WAIT to show them my backside. Their BS Network Vision is a complete joke, and I've been a customer for over 10 years.

If you're considering switching to Sprint from another carrier, DON'T. Their list of broken promises is endless.

well i have sprint and this can only help. i have the htc one and love it. they recently improved the lte connection here in opalocka fl. i now have great lte inside the house where before i had to go outside and away from my builing to get a really good signal. but so far miami fl has great signal wit lte in most area that go to

yankeesusa says:

I'm definitely looking forward to more spectrum and money. Today for first time I went into Walmart and didn't have to force roam into Verizon. I actually had 4g for most of the time. Can't wait for more improvements.

Via Android Central App from a Galaxy Note 2

Razieltov says:

Maybe you should stop shopping at WalMart.

etnpnys says:

Best. Commercial. Evar.

KKILLION79 says:

Love the commercial, just as much as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX1iW6kmqdE

: Search engine refers to the collecting of resources and also practices which acquiesce one armpit to get developed cartage from chase engin (Google, Yahoo, Bing). Search engine optimisation are disconnected into both money areas: off-page Search engine optimisation (work that gets abode abstracted from the web site) and also on-page SEO (web site changes to accomplish your own website rank improve).And more..http://www.onlineearningataur1.blogspot.com

ntborg says:

I show 4g coverage in my area even get a full 4g signal. but the speed is 00.1 kb down and 00.2 up lol 3g is better. I have to force the phone into 3g mode just to use data. I called opened tickets all the reps say we show you having 4g LTE. So I had to escalate it and finally had a tech tell me the maps on the site are future service and I wont have LTE until December ????? Whaaaa ???? I called before I bought my device in 2012 and they said oh yes you have great LTE coverage. Sham on Sprint for duping it's customers. Beware that the maps on the site lie and so does Sprint. I was also told in December I would no longer need my airwrave as the new 800 MHz signal will be amazing, sigh another lie.

norsairius says:

Well, if it means anything, I just happened to get a sampling of 4G signal while I sat outside for lunch in downtown Milwaukee today. Coincidence? I have no idea.

I previously would get 3G that came in at a low of 0.2 KB/s down to a high of maybe 30 KB/s (and that's if I ran the test early in the morning). That's also all assuming the data connection would be working. I got "Network Communication Issues" error messages in the speed test app a lot.

The 4G speeds came in at around 140-180 KB/s down and maybe around 20 KB/s up. It's still slower than what I'd get with AT&T, but it's a MASSIVE improvement. In general, 3G seems to have been behaving better since I noticed the 4G while I was outside too. No 4G while indoors for me.

I doubt my data connection woes are behind me though since they're working on the towers here. However, it was nice to see some real evidence of the work being done!!!

Edit: I have an HTC Evo 4G LTE alphabet soup phone.

Edit 2: Spoke too soon. 3G is back to misbehaving. Errors in the speed test app, really high ping, very slow speeds. Ahh well. It was still nice to see that improvements are indeed being worked on now and should hopefully be coming soon!

jreuschl says:

Check www.sensorly.com There is currently a 4G tower live in Milwaukee around Miller Park as well as Bay View, so likely you were getting a faint signal from one of those towers.

That means 4G LTE is not ready in your market yet. As Sprint begins to upgrade an area you will see periods of LTE signal showing up and disappearing. Speeds will also be inconsistent until testing is complete. No joke, you may see 40mbps from an uncongested tower one second and 30 minutes later you see < 200kbps.

Sprint may continue to test or optimize individual towers throughout the build-out and even after the market is officially launched but not yet complete.

PLEASE! I bricked my Epic earlier this year and had to pony up for a GS3. It's been one of the biggest waists of money. I have no 4G connection and the 3G that I did have has gotten considerably worse since February.

I live in the NJ subburbs of Philadelpia. My Epic had 4G Wimax and had fantastic speeds. Even the 3g on that was not as bad as it is on my GS3.

I don't have the time, but I'd love to get something back for this. In hindsight, I should have looked for a used Wimax phone and put CM on it.

I feel so alone about this too. Is anyone else in the NJ/Philadelphia area experiencing the same?