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Thinking of Switching to Sprint, How's the 3G Network?

Discussion in 'Sprint' started by Arcadia, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Arcadia

    Arcadia Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I've been thinking of switching from T-Mobile to Sprint so I can get the Epic Touch. One thing that worries me is their 3G network. I've heard many people say it's flat out terrible and they average DL speeds of 300Kbps. I average around 2-8Mbps on T-Mobile's 3G network so this would be a HUGE step down for me. I know their 4G network is better but turning it on apparently kills the battery.

    What are you guys' honest opinion about Sprint's data speeds? Is the 3G network even usable or do you find yourself having to use 4G? How fast does WiMAX kill your battery?


  2. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Its a solid and reliable 3G network, but can be slow at times. I average 500k to 1.5 megs per second down throughout Phoenix and its many suburbs. Definitely fast enough to steam music and watch NetFlix without any buffering. I've been pretty satisfied with the 3g. my brother used to have T-mobile.. He just switched to Sprint and he's been happy.. He lives in Norfolk, VA. He also got the 125 dollar credit from sprint for porting. www.sprint.com/switchtosprint Supposedly Sprint has some big network upgrading going on now... Google: Sprint "Network Vision."

    And yes, the Epic Touch (Galaxy S II) is Awesome... I just got it.
  3. jsward12

    jsward12 Android Enthusiast

    Just a bit off topic... How is the SGSII ET 4G compared to the photon Ben. As for Sprint, its solid. Great plans and have had no issues. My wife is always having issues with her IP4 on ATT.
  4. Gavisann

    Gavisann Android Enthusiast

    IMO the ET 4G is better.

    3G speeds vary greatly depending on your location. My 3g speeds are 200-350 kbps, but if I move close to a window I can get a 4G connection which gives me 1.5 mbps.

    My highest 3G speed was 1582 kpbs down(~1.5 mbps)
    My highest 4G speed was 9023 kpbs down(`9 mbps)
  5. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Sorry, haven't used the Photon.. But the SGS II is simply awesome.. I've got an EVO 4G and a Nexus S 4G.. And the SGS II is hands down the way to go. However, I've heard Great things about the Photon.

    And understand your ATT concerns.. My dad switched to Sprint from ATT and has been happy.
  6. Bmxant

    Bmxant Well-Known Member

    I actually went to my local sprint store today to test out 3G/4G speeds.

    3G Average: 300kb download / 80kb upload

    4G Average: 4.0mb download / 2.0mb upload

    Hope that helps, I was thinking about switching from AT&T to Sprint, but have been hesitant due to the terrible 3G speeds.
  7. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw Well-Known Member

    In my town, 3G speeds are very slow. The 4G speeds are fine, but not available in most places, and very vulnerable to getting trimmed down by being inside buildings.

    I like Sprint, but it ain't the data network that keeps me there, and losing the annual phone upgrade I used to get is tarnishing my loyalty further.
  8. ovrrdrive

    ovrrdrive Android Expert

    It depends on where you live and how well sprint's coverage is there... In my town there are places I would pay extra to get a 300k download in. As a matter of fact, the entire south end of town you can't get data in at all. I do have one tower that has 4g on it that I found by accident and I can get a 9mb speedtest on it, and overall I'd say I get ok speeds around town but there are definitely dead spots.

    If your town has good coverage ymmv.
  9. tennispro4ever

    tennispro4ever Well-Known Member

    Like other have said your speeds will Vary. When I first signed up with Sprint last year the 3G speeds were on average between 1.5-2.0 MBPS. I had just jumped from Verizon and I was very excited. Now the 3G speeds are lucky to be on average 500KBPS. but 4G speeds are usually between 5-8MBPS
  10. Woosh

    Woosh Well-Known Member

    Take the 14 day test drive of the device to see how good it is for you. Its def the slowest 3G network though and has no current plans for the future.

    I rarely had a pleasant experience with them and I don't like their policies much either.

    But if coverage is good where you live then it might be worth the switch.
  11. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Sprints "Network Vision" upgrade that just started sounds like plans for the future.

    Sprints also having an announcement on the 7th of Oct that is regarding "major 4G plans."

    Edit: This is what I've been getting in various locations in and around the Phoenix suburbs on Sprints 3G. Not the fastest, but coverage is solid throughout Phoenix, and 3G speeds are more than enough to stream media (video or audio) without a problem.

    Attached Files:

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    shmn likes this.
  12. Woosh

    Woosh Well-Known Member

    Yes, the "Network Vision" is A plan. It'll also take about 3 years to complete.

    I agree about the Oct announcement though, which is why I used the word current. Atm they only borrow 4G and charge their customers more because of it. Not to mention the 4G they do borrow is absolutely terrible from my experience.

    If the network is good for you then its worth looking at since the price is somewhat smaller then their competitors. Even though that gap is closing as well. Which is why I suggested the 14 day trial to be SURE that coverage is where you need it. If you look at Sprint native coverage map its pretty sad and this so called "network vision" will take a while to build out.

    Getting out will cost a good $350 so be sure its worth that 2 years and the phone is worth sticking out for 20 months. :)

    In comparison to T-Mobile....Where I live, the T-Mobile 3G speeds are miles ahead of Sprint but Sprint wins in reception/call quality.
  13. jbsg02

    jbsg02 Well-Known Member

    I live in Dallas, and I know it varies city to city. The best word I can use to describe it is inconsistent. During peak hours of the day when the network is being used the most, speeds are pretty lousy on 3g. I just did a test (it's about 2:00 pm now) and got 314 kbps down, 250 up. The best I usually get on 3g is about 1.2, but that's usually late at night when network traffic is slowest. 4G is almost useless to me because I rarely get a good signal, getting 4g signal indoors is nearly impossible. I'm really hoping this network vision plan will increase bandwidth soon, or I will more than likely be leaving for Verizon. I really do like sprint as a company, but I think they stretched themselves too thin on their network usage.
  14. CarrieK

    CarrieK Android Expert

    I live about 10 miles outside of Nashville TN and my 3G and 4G coverage has been a lot better the last 3 weeks or so. I even get 1 to full bars of 4G at my house. I believe they are already rolling out the Vision changes and I am very happy with my service awhat I pay when compared to other providers. I was able to stream the RedZone channel from DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket app last Sunday afternoon while tailgating and during the Titans game.
  15. simcha

    simcha Android Enthusiast

    I live in a "good" coverage area and my 3g speeds suck. They are abysmal and there is no excuse. I live in a densely populated area of the tech savvy Bay Area. Verizon is king here.

    Oh, and forget about 4g on Sprint. It's a joke. The speeds are sub par and the "network coverage" is very limited even here where we are allegedly an active 4g service area. Also even if you are "lucky" enough to be near a 4g tower on Sprint, you'll notice that 4g cuts on and off constantly for no reason at all. Oh, and let's not forget that Sprint chose wimax as it's 4g technology so don't expect to get 4g inside a building because wimax doesn't penetrate walls well at all. So if you are on Sprint and you want to use 4g, you should go outside and don't expect to stream anything due to the erratic connection you'll have.

    The only reason I stay with Sprint is because it's cheap and has unlimited data. If Sprint caps data and increases rates I'm leaving Sprint
    zombdroid likes this.
  16. Kori_Tamashii

    Kori_Tamashii Android Enthusiast

    So far, I haven't had any problems with the 3G. A few dead spots, mostly inside my local Walmart. Other than that, it's been decent. Nothing to pee my pants over, but I have no major complaints.
  17. zombdroid

    zombdroid Android Enthusiast

    From my experience in the Orlando area, Sprints 3g network is much slower than ATT. I stay with them because of pricing and unlimited access.

    To clarify, compared to friends of mine using Android and iphones, the speed is about 50% of ATTs.
  18. dornier

    dornier Member

    In Louisville KY, 3G data speeds are slower than a 300 baud dialup modem from the 80's. At work I get 80-170 kbps. At home I'm averaging 200 kbps. Don't get sucked into the unlimited data claims unless you test the network in your area, otherwise you will be frustrated for two years.
  19. RoboMonkey

    RoboMonkey Android Expert

    I live in Sprints home town and the voice is solid, but the data speeds suck on 3g and 4g. I mean they suck so bad I'm thinking about switching to ATT since we just got LTE.
  20. viber

    viber Android Enthusiast

    I get about 2.7M/.90k at work, and around 800k/.500k at home.

    4G varies from 5M to 1.5M
  21. rivera02

    rivera02 Android Enthusiast

    Off topic, but I upgraded to the evo 3d when it was releasEd (June?), and I was wondering if anyone knew the early termination fee for my contact. I know they raised it sometime around September, but I think it would be less than the current $350 for me.
  22. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Would be less for you... 200 i think. Double check your contract though.
    rivera02 likes this.
  23. KnowProblem

    KnowProblem Member

    If data is what you are after, then I would strongly advise against starting new Sprint service in Norfolk (or anywhere else in Hampton Roads). This is due to the lack of 4G, with Hampton Roads being the largest metro area on the Eastern Seaboard without Sprint/Clearwire 4G service. There's only a tiny "test" 4G network in the area and whose footprint hasn't grown in a very long time. The lack of 4G also slows down 3G since folks' data usage isn't being offloaded from 3G to 4G for those people with 4G-capable devices and therefore the 3G network in the area is more congested than other regions. Don't even try to ask Sprint when 4G is finally coming to the 1.7 million residents of HR - no one over at Sprint seems to have a clue.

    However, if you are only looking for voice coverage and very light data usage then Sprint is fine in Norfolk.
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