Android Central

Today Sprint announced the activation of 4G LTE networks in Chicago suburbs (Addison, Bolingbrook, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Kankakee, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Palatine, Plainfield), Illinois; Wichita Falls, Texas; New Bedford/Fall River, Massachusetts; and Hutchinson and McPherson, Kansas. Combined with other LTE expansions since the initial launch this summer, this brings Sprint's LTE coverage to 32 cities total, which includes Atlanta, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and plenty of others on the way

Sprint recently purchased a controlling stake in Clearwire, which was a necessary step to keep moving forward with their LTE plans. Any Sprint customers in these new markets happy to get some 4G lovin'? How about those of you still left in the dark? How long are you willing to wait for LTE before switching over to the competition?

Source: Sprint

 
There are 74 comments

munnarg says:

I'm in the process of switching over to AT&T since there has been no mention of my market (Providence)in any of these recent updates. Even with Wimax the rollout here was pretty crappy. Maybe I'll be back once Softbank turns things around.

estockda says:

With how much I pay, I'm sticking with Sprint even if I don't have LTE until 2014.

dswatson83 says:

Same here. I'd love to switch to Verizon but it would cost me $40 more per month. Not worth it yet.

Gekko says:

agreed. i'd rather bank the savings every month and send it to my mutual fund every month rather than send it to those bastards at Verizon or AT&T.

my phone is fast enough and LTE is a proven battery killer anyway. even when LTE comes to my area i will probably only toggle it on as needed - ie big download or video stream etc.

NelsonTitua says:

Thats the thing people dont understand.. LTE is a battery killer.. people dont know what to complain about anymore.. if they had lte then they would complain about the battery sucking.. i had the og evo and i toggled 4g only when i was trying to download a video or something but the rest of the time i was on 3g..my coverage is good enough to get me through the day and about 85% of the places i go have good wifi signals.. NO COMPLAINTS here been a sprint ustomer since 2007..

dingwall1 says:

Well, the OG EVO didn't even have LTE, it had WIMAX. What phone do you have that has LTE, that the battery has drained on?

EVOJoe says:

I've been an OG EVO guy since it's release. What hit the battery the hardest was searching for which signal to use when you toggled into 4G. A recent update enabled the EVO to locate the best signal (including Wifi), and battery life improved significantly. I'll stick with my EVO until they bring LTE to my neighborhood (Greater Cincinnati).

joebob2000 says:

This was only really true of frankenstein first-gen LTE handsets from 2 years ago. Modern LTE chips are just as fast and efficient as their 3G counterparts, and they spend a lot less time trying to send/receive data so there is a net gain. You know what's a proven battery killer on my s3? Not being in a 4g area and having to download HD youtube videos at a pathetic 1 Mbit.

Gekko says:

really? there's no battery life difference between a Verizon Galaxy Nexus on 3G vs. 4G LTE - even in a 4G LTE market? i doubt it based on what i hear in the forums.

joebob2000 says:

People will complain about everything killing their battery, solar flares, proximity to cats, 4G networks, you name it. I know from my own experience that drain in 3g or 1x areas is far worse than drain in 4g areas, and that's good enough for me. The fact that my phone only has to wake the radio for about 5 seconds to get a video or upload a photo on 4G, vs the 30 seconds to 1 minute in a 3G area, is pretty clear cut proof that 4G is doing what it's supposed to do. Take it or leave it, but now that there are integrated LTE radio chipsets there is no actual reason for a handset to soak more battery in 4G mode.

Mikey47 says:

Proximity to cats? Really? Sorry Trixie, time to go....;-)

popologuy says:

I concur! Cats have been man's foremost impediment to a multitude of technological advances, solutions and discoveries! Who would disagree that but for the interference of those awful feline pests, we would have our flying cars and even warp drives by now?!

Sincerely,

Lassie
Rin Tin Tin
Beethoven
Toto
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Olive the other Reindeer
Marmaduke
Snoopy
Benji
Estate of Marley

On d the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon isn't a new generation of LTE chipsets. It runs the old battery sucking setup.

My One X on AT&T gets the same battery life on LTE or 3G.

terrell88 says:

The galaxy Nexus uses the Texas instruments chip which is separate from from the LTE chip while the new S4 qualcomm chips have lte built in eliminating the battery drain problem

Gekko says:

isn't there still two radios running? 3G CDMA for voice and 4G LTE for data?

it's my understanding that voice still uses 3G CDMA.

munnarg says:

With my corporate discount for AT&T, I'd be paying pretty much the same thing I pay Sprint now.

Gekko says:

Sprint has corporate discounts too. i pay $74/month after all fees and taxes for unlimited everything.

nobody else can touch it!!!

nikkisharif says:

That's about what I use to pay too when I had Sprint but my phone barely had a signal. It wasn't worth it for me to stay. I travel way too much for my signal to be out much of the time & when I did have signal it was slow as heck!

dtreo says:

+1

crxssi says:

Even with a corporate discount on AT&T, it will STILL be more expensive than Sprint.

In my case, I get a *SPRINT* corporate discount, and that REALLY makes the two miles apart in pricing.

I had it in the niles area since last monday. Ive already burned through 30gb, in that time. I think im happy

putertech says:

I'm in Rhode Island as well....nothing so far as far as LTE

putertech says:

Zilch, zero, nada.....even using sensorly, nothing found

It's sporadic, but if you're in a decent LTE zone, the speeds are FAST.

Check out Sensorly, http://www.sensorly.com/map/4G/US/USA/Sprint/lte_310sprint - it's a nice community driven app that lets you see where others who have contributed have picked up LTE signals.

Adam G says:

Not necessarily. A handful of towers are turned on in Lakeview and the speeds are typically 3mbs down and >1mbs up. Beats the crippled 3g we've been living on though.

Metro Detroit area is a GLARING omission... yet again,, Sprint keeps ignoring their major markets in this rollout.

It's adorable that people from Detroit still think they're important.

you're an idiot.

camiller says:

At least the "East Michigan" market (includes Detroit) is on the schedule. West Iowa/Nebraska isn't even in the plans.

I'm not even on Sprint, but I think its been a horrible LTE launch for them. Seriously lacking in so many Major areas. No wonder Sprint's board agreed to the Softbank merger.

camiller says:

Yes, but verizon has been rolling out their LTE for how long? Yet still this month they announced another "market" getting LTE. These things take time. I don't expect to see LTE in Omaha (43ed largest city) until 2014. With the money I save on Sprint I'm fine with that, if my employer discount ever ended I'd reconsider. There isn't really anything that I need 4G for, yes it would be nice but I have managed for a long time without it.

crxssi says:

Larger markets are MUCH more difficult and time consuming (more expensive, more towers). It is far faster and easier for them to roll out to smaller markets first, especially when they are still essentially in the testing/new phase.

Can't say I am all that happy about it, since I live in one of those larger (1.5 millon) people areas. And one that never got WiMax. And one that has pretty dismal 3G speeds.

el_chiefo says:

I dont know why people call the suburbs chicago. I live in the downtown area of chicago and do NOT get any LTE whatsoever and wimax is pretty shitty penetrating all those buildings. When is actual Chicago supposed to get LTE?

For once I don't think they've actually marked this as them turning on LTE in Chicago... they're calling it the suburbs, which I think is accurate.

As for rollout in Chicago, the maps that I have seen have shown them moving inward to the city. I imagine that they wanted to have their crap together before pissing off every sprint user in the loop, with their upgrade taking longer than it needs to. One of the towers near an area I frequent was down for like two weeks during this upgrade, although that was back in may toward the beginning of the market rollout. There was just NO service back then at all.

Adam G says:

There's 50 or 60 LTE sites up and running within Chicago city limits. Sprint turned on 130 new towers in the Chicago area last week alone. They are moving pretty quickly now. What intersection are you by? I will find the closest towers to you.

Alternatively, download the Sensorly app that was previously mentioned. That is helpful.

pscherry78 says:

I'm wishing they had a timeline for the St Louis area. It would convince me to stay with Sprint. But right now T-mobile is making me an offer that gets me their 4g, and a slight pricing discount too.

Can anyone confirm if the coverage and 3g is any better? That's what I'm interested in.

nikkisharif says:

In the Cleveland area its not. I don't have Sprint anymore for this reason but my best friend & a few family members have it & their reception sucks. Sometimes I have to send messages several times in order for them to get them. Its a mess!!

I'm talking about the network vision upgrades. I know in Cleveland it sucks, they haven't seen the upgrade yet. I want to know if network vision changes things like Sprint is claiming.

crxssi says:

In the areas where they have completed "Vision" upgrades, the 3G is far, far better. People on the forums are reporting 3G speeds being 5 to 8 times what they were. Less information about coverage, though.

I've been following the rollout pretty closely since I got my GS3 in June. I have to say that the coverage 3G have drastically improved with the upgrades. I work in Lincolnshire and commute from the northwest. We've had active LTE on my drive for about three weeks now, and last monday LTE was activated at the tower closest to my work. The town I live in has not received any upgrades at all, and the 3G speeds and voice coverage are to say the least, embarrassing. In areas that we upgraded before LTE went life I was seeing reasonably decent 3G speeds (2.5-3mBit). Now with the LTE active I've seen speeds as high as 30 mBit. I typically pull down 20-25 mbit at my desk at work (I'm on the 5th floor, and the there is only about a building between me ant the tower). Even in the bathroom/smelly tornado shelter, I get about 10 mBit. It's definitely not shabby. However I will have to mention that coverage right now is spotty, this I think can be shown by the lack of LTE on my work tower until last week. I don't care, Verizon, ATT, and TMobile haters beware, Sprint means business now.

Pretty sad for your Sprint LTE considering I get 20 to 25Mbps on T-Mobile's HSPA+42 on a regular basis and its not even LTE, can you imagine the speeds we'll get with our LTE Advanced next year w/ HSPA+42 as a fall back, its going to be insanely awesome. I pity you sir ; )

Actually its pretty sad that you are trying to compare an existing network to one who is in the process of being rolled out. Its a shame to know you don't even understand that initial speeds aren't the same as what the speeds will be once the entire network is out.

And you called me an idiot... I have no problems with my 20-25mBit connection.

bwithey11 says:

What's going to be insanely awesome about it? Being able to tweet one thousandth of a second faster? If I had all the time some of you waste playing on your phones...

crxssi says:

It is also pretty sad that T-Mobile's coverage is just a small fraction of Sprint's...

I travel all over these areas and have been getting LTE for the past couple of weeks. 3G has been much better too. As far as battery drain goes I really don't notice that much of a difference. I am also rooted and running MeanRom.

lanypr says:

I have a GS3 and having 4g LTE near indianapolis airport. It seams like it is in the testing phase because Im getting 4 Mbits/ sec download and 1 upload.

Joescan09 says:

I'm in East Providence/Riverside RI, My wife does work in Fall River so i'm going to teach how to run a speed test on her GS3. I'm running a NS4G and work on the east side so I have pretty decent WIMAX coverage. I know sprint is going to be huge within he next 12 months. I expect Sprint to compete with Verizon with network coverage by the end of 2013.

poosh2010 says:

I'm living in Omaha, NE. We didn't get Wimax and we have yet to even be announced for future LTE development. I know we'll get it eventually, but damn Sprint is trying my patience!

setitoff215 says:

This Bs The Next Deployment should've been Philadelphia Sprint needs to stick up to there plans and stop going left all the time smh..

I went to the Verizon store yesterday and with the discount they give for public service employees (EMS for me) it's the same price as I pay Sprint now. Albeit, that's only for 2 GB's but for the past 2 years with Sprint I have never even gone over 1 GB. I'm sick of Sprint's atrocious 3G speeds for the past 4 months. For over a month now I've even seen 1x come up more times than I'd like to admit. Completely unacceptable. I'm in the LA area on my weekends and I have yet to see anything light up. During my work week I'm in the IE (Riverside County) and Sprint considers this area a 3rd round market. Verizon already has LTE out here and ATT has HSPA+ right now and is going to light up LTE very soon.

If Sprint would have kept their word and kept lucent in check with tower upgrades, I'd be staying. Looks like I'll be selling off my EVO4GLTE to cover the ETF. GOOD RIDDANCE SPRINT.

crxssi says:

Sprint gives me a 20% discount... I guess you are not special enough? (Hint: Sprint has just as many discounts available to just as many people as Verizon. There is a BIG price difference, and no data caps)

But yeah, if you gotta have more speed now and don't mind the restrictions and price switching off Sprint might make sense.

Fred1022 says:

They haven't even mentioned CT yet. Come on sprint. You now it's bad when I'm considering switching from my gs3 to a phone thats over 2 years old just to get wimax

hmmm says:

I live in MN and depending how long this LTE roll out takes and what it really means when they state that LTE is live is what decides whether or not I switch to one of those T-mobile pay full price for the phone plans.

If LTE going live means I will not get it 90% of the time then I will switch. Right now I basically have a smartphone that I can really only use while on wifi.

BruhMan says:

If it's anything like LTE coverage in North Dallas, you may as be a man with no arms and no legs competing in a triathalon

Wow! A full 32 cities, total, for Sprint. That's a lot!

That's almost as many as Verizon's current 415 LTE 4G markets!
(Soon to be 500+)

(Not sure why anyone would pick the *WORST* coverage maps, instead of the BEST, if they actually want a working, extremely high-speed, LTE 4G connection.)

I love those Verizon commercials. The one with the amorphous colored bars representing the number of LTE Cities covered by each one, as if that is the only thing to think about when choosing service. I'm okay with Sprint only having LTE coverage in only 32 cities, so long as one of those Cities is where I am. There are other issues that matter to people as well like price, and voice coverage. I'm happy with my Sprint service. I have LTE now. When I didn't have LTE, I was still happy with my Sprint service. Sure, it's nice to have a 20-25 mBit connection at my desk at work, but there are other important things.

crxssi says:

Maybe because they don't want to pay 25% more?
Oh, maybe it is because they don't want restricted data plans?
Or maybe they want better customer service or a certain phone?

I just can't imagine why...

Let's rewind time and see how many 4G sites Verizon had when they started, YEARS after Sprint was already offering 4G (WiMax) to millions of customers...

Really intelligent post, Betty.

> Maybe because they don't want to pay 25% more?

Many 2-year contracts don't cost that much more or less from each other. Besides... I need QUALITY. (I.E. A connection that actually works.)

> Oh, maybe it is because they don't want restricted data plans?

90% of the country doesn't come anywhere near hitting their "limit"... so "unlimited" doesn't really matter to them. (Do you know that a car speedometer that is printed with 120MPG or 140MPG doesn't really matter to most drivers.)

> Or maybe they want better customer service or a certain phone?

Why are you calling customer service so many times? (I never have any need to.)

Why doesn't your carrier often MANY phones instead of "just certain ones"???

> offering 4G (WiMax) to millions of customers...

... and we see there WiMax is these days. Even Sprint is switching away from it... moving to LTE 4G instead. (Years too late, but, that's Sprint. Always behind the times.)

There's a reason.

EVOJoe says:

Maybe because I can make a call, while my Verizon friends walk around with their phones in the air looking for signal... ;-)

I'm at Diversey & Southport and I've had the Vision Network upgrade, including LTE, for a little over a week and it seems to include upgraded 3G. Our office downstairs is where mobile signal come to die altogether. It's like a tomb. I can't get a 4G signal, but I can get a usable 3G signal, where I couldn't even get that before. Outside the office, my 4G (LTE) signal is consistently 4-5 bars. About half a mile away, my 4G signal is still strong. My data speeds are fast, fast, fast.

TheDonJ77 says:

Live in the Md, DC suburbs and have had crappy 40-80 kbps d/l speeds for months, went up to met life stadium this wknd to watch my Gmen play and had NO BARS W/NO 3G signal in or near the stadium. Nothing, nada, zip but my wife next to me who has vzw had full bars of lte and plenty of speed. I get what i pay for. Im tired of complaining, I will be leaving sprint. Perhaps in a few years once they get it together I will re consider. I'll pay the xtra for fast and reliable service

cedpme says:

I have had Sprint since May of this year. I had a Samsung Galaxy S2 (E4G Variant) and had one place that had 4g Wimax close to where I live. I would use it once or twice a month. Now I have a Galaxy Nexus (4g LTE), but no 4G LTE here. I get, on a good day, 0.6 Mbps down, I know, on 3G (my Nexus has two radios, CDMA and LTE). On a bad day, I get around 0.1 Mbps down. My brother has AT&T, he has LTE on his Note. We tested them side by side, he got 4 Mbps on low LTE, I got 0.11 Mbps; pathetic. So, this weekend I went to Verizon, got a JetPack with LTE to shared data with someone else, I will pay the difference for now until Sprint activates the LTE in my area, MA (no, I don't live near the new activated sites here in MA), and pay the cancellation fee. I need speed to be able to use my "unlimited data" I am paying for. I need to be able to play a video for my toddler to keep her entertained, or when she's asleep, I can watch a YouTube video, or Netflix, while shopping around with my wife. Currently, given the 0.1 Mbps speeds, I can't do any of it, and I can use Pandora after it buffers for at least two minutes. I have four lines in my plan, so leaving Sprint is out of the question. I did call Sprint and told them that I am paying for a "Data Premium fee", but I have no premium data. I have less than desired data. Three calls, three consecutive days, same result. "Sir, if you are experiencing problems with your phone, bring it to a service store, they will make sure your phone is set up correctly. Other than that, we can not help you". So, they are fine taking my money and provide me with hair pulling speeds. Before my Verizon JetPack, I was embarrassed to use my Galaxy Nexus because I couldn't even upload a picture to Facebook with out it hanging up for 10 minutes and later giving me a triangle with an exclamation point; "Your upload failed". Now with my Verizon JetPack, I get consistant 8 Mbps down. Not the fastest, but more than enough for me.

crxssi says:

You actually quite well defined why Sprint's 3G went down the toilet:

*I need to be able to play a video for my toddler to keep her entertained VIDEO
*I can watch a YouTube video VIDEO
*or Netflix, while shopping around with my wife. VIDEO

Video is a HUGE bandwidth hog. Sprint got caught behind the ball when mobile video started to really hit hard.

cedpme says:

Unlimited data should be unlimited data. I know video is a data hog, you must be a rocket scientist! Bravo you made my day...nitwit.

Oh, by the way, everything is video now. You must own a flip phone, given your understanding of, here comes a big word, brace yourself, technology.

> Sprint got caught behind the ball when mobile video started to really hit hard.

It's ok to be a little behind. But when you continue to sit on your hands... and not upgrade your network... and you watch more and more video being needed... and higher and higher speeds being needed... and simultaneously needing more and more users online at once... and you *STILL* don't upgrade your network... that's bad.

Then you wait 6 MORE months... and watch your customer-base leave.
and Sprint STILL does nothing.

Then you wait 8 MORE months... and sit and watch other carriers improve.
and Sprint STILL does nothing.

Sorry Sprint, (far) too little, (far) too late.

I'll check back again in 2015. (Or course, the company will long since be gone.)

skiskilo says:

Here in Houston, the coverage and speeds are much improved. And to the guy complaining about them missing major metro areas, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Antonio and Austin are pretty major. For everyone else wondering about the schedule s4gru.com has excellent information.

moda.root says:

Thank you for the info I will consider the trade to vzw but I am really excited to hear about everyones great experience about 4g lte on sprint I think sprint is trying their best at getting 4g lte deployed everywhere here in the great usa where we all live so please get along and have some patience sprint is working hard at their developmental 4g lte plaforms.

goggles6 says:

Also available in Northbrook, IL and Glenview, IL and Wheeling, IL (essentially Cook county, IL) (little bit flickery, but official on coverage mapas too.)

Mobius360 says:

I'm not planning on leaving until my contract is up, about 18 more months. If I still have no LTE by then I will switch to probably whatever combo makes sense with an unlocked phone from Google. I stayed because I thought my market in Southern California would be launching by the end of this year. It looks like that won't quite happen but it should be alive and well before my contract is up. I do worry Sprint may pull a fast one on us and switch the unlimited data plans once LTE is a major part of their network. That part would piss me off because Verizon's network (LTE) in my area is unbelievable.

Overall I like Sprint, I decided to stick with them because of the LTE markets announced coming to my area so I hope it pays off as the right choice for me. We are starting to see activity in Los Angeles which is a good sign.

ameadows252 says:

I'm a little annoyed St. Louis hasn't seen any kind of LTE from Sprint. St. Louis was one of the first to get WiMax, so I guess it's one of the last to get LTE? Kinda disappointed I picked up an LTE device and have yet to see any kind of LTE signal :(

Do it, make it , harder, better, faster, stronger.

deparson says:

Reports from Sprint LTE users in the Loop today say it is matching Verizon's 33+ mbps down that we see from time to time.

Of course, there are likely only a few hundred users in all of the Loop today but still it is a good start.