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EDITORIAL: C'mon people, you really do want access to the LTE network early, right?

S4GRU

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by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 5:01 PM MDT

 

I am taking a moment and breaking from our normal Network Vision news and educational pieces to write an editorial. I try not to bloviate, but I feel like I am at a breaking point here. This weekend was a moment of great joy for many of us Sprint Network Enthusiasts as 4G LTE started going live at hundreds of sites across the country in a few select markets. However, our geek party was frequently interrupted by incessant whining.

One of the chief frequent whines I heard around S4GRU was related to LTE coverage. And it still is populating our forum posts, my e-mail box and our social media sites. You folks need to wake up and get a grip. The world is not ending.

S4GRU has been out there building expectations among our members and readers from the beginning. We have written hundreds of articles on Network Vision/LTE deployment. Anyone who actually reads our content knows that Sprint is targeting 40% market completion at market launch. 40%. That means 60% of the sites within a market do not have LTE at the time a market is planned to launch. Sprint did not quite even get to 40% with these July 15th markets, but proceeded any way based on demand from customers wanting access.

 

You hypocrites!

You know, I find it very interesting that so many people were pushing Sprint to stop blocking LTE connections. There was a large battle cry from most Sprint LTE device holders in active deployment areas for Sprint to stop blocking completed LTE sites. "Let me use my LTE, darn it!" This was heard over and over again. We even were championing for Sprint to open up their LTE network at completed sites for customers to use.

Finally, Sprint does exactly that. Instead of rejoicing, there was whining en masse. "I live in the San Antonio market. And the block where I live behind the Piggly Wiggly doesn't have LTE right this very second. Sprint sucks. I'm leaving!" Really? Are people that messed up??? Many of you should be ashamed of your self-centered ridiculous tantrums that you posted, publicly embarrassing yourself. You act as if Sprint actually went through maps and hand picked who would win and who would lose in early deployments. This is far from reality.

 

Early access or comprehensive coverage? Pick one, you can't have both

The question I have for you folks is this...

Should Sprint have waited until these markets were 100% complete later this year to allow the completed LTE sites to be used, or should they open up the markets now where at least the completed sites can be used?

This is a no-brainer! Open them up now and every additional site that goes live every week, as they are complete! These markets that have launched are not done. They are still active deployment zones and additional sites will come live every week until completed. And we will update the progress here at S4GRU.

This ridiculous moaning and complaining will just make it more likely that Sprint will not allow other markets to go live early. If all they hear from their customers are the whiny bunch, then they will think their customers don't want LTE until it is completely ready, with no bugs and completely 100% deployed. You may not like it, but the complainers are speaking for all of us.

 

Time to stand up and go on the offensive

If you want to continue to have access to the LTE network early, then you need to stand up and start posting out there the counter story. The tech sites, blogs and forums are being inundated with these people speaking on your behalf. Complaining about all the problems of an early launch and early access to LTE. You may even have to go to the Sprint Community Forums and help defend the intelligent decision to open up LTE early. The counter point needs to get out there.

It's time for the Wireless Nerds to take our rightful place. We want access to the network early. We would rather live with a few bugs and limited coverage than to not have access to Sprint's LTE network at all. Sprint needs to continue opening up their LTE network even in more places where they can. And they will be afraid to do that in the next markets if we don't take a stand.

I know this editorial may be a little over the top for some of you. But I am mad as hell, and I'm not going to let the whiners speak over our voices any more. We are Sprint, not them!

 

Signed,

Robert

Leader of the Nerds

 

EDIT: Changed the two references to bitching. I violated my own rules.

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This was an excellent, well written editorial. People seem to forget that Verizon had much more issues when they launched LTE.

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I think this is easily my favorite piece that you have written. Thanks Robert for having the balls to stand up and say what (desperately) needed to be said. I don't think many people would publicly publish a piece like this, but I'm really glad you did.

 

I am going to be a fan of this site for a long time to come.

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Well said.

 

Maybe it is the generation of "I want it now" people, or the people who just have nothing better to do.

 

You can't turn on over 38,000 sites at once.

 

Now, I get people's frustration - many were incorrectly promised WiMAX and never got it but that doesn't give people the right to be lazy or impatient.

 

I think the biggest message here is that this is a full network overhaul. The markets that have launched are not anywhere NEAR done but at least you get a taste of what is coming.

 

People may say "well that's what happened with WiMAX" but honestly, it wasn't.

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Well said, Robert.

 

And +1 pulling out bloviate. Don't run across that one every day.

 

Have a nice vacation.

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Most of the coverage complaints come from users with less than 20 posts, some much less than 20. I think we are seeing a flood of new users who are not yet familiar with what NV is. I think this will probably continue through the NV roll out as sprint turns on new markets. At this point I think should leave new towers unblocked and not "Launch" markets. Some people will never understand why they don't have 100% coverage on launch day.

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Robert, I love your work and all, but in my opinion this editorial unjustly lashes out at people who don't have coverage.

 

Here's the problem in your argument: Sprint officially launched LTE in several markets. As far as people are concerned, Sprint launched LTE. They didn't launch 40%. Not 30%. Not 20%. They said they launched it as far as its customers are concerned and were communicated.

 

What Sprint is "targeting" is something consumers are not privy to. It's not something that's communicated to them.

 

So yeah, when people don't have LTE in a city that was promised to have one, they're going to be upset. And rightfully so. Of course, most of them overreact and behave like little children (actually, worse - this is the Internet), but I don't find it entirely unjustified and needing some pretty harsh words above.

 

My 2 cents.

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Robert, I love your work and all, but in my opinion this editorial unjustly lashes out at people who don't have coverage.Here's the problem in your argument: Sprint officially launched LTE in several markets. As far as people are concerned, Sprint launched LTE. They didn't launch 40%. Not 30%. Not 20%. They said they launched it as far as its customers are concerned and were communicated.What Sprint is "targeting" is something consumers are not privy to. It's not something that's communicated to them.So yeah, when people don't have LTE in a city that was promised to have one, they're going to be upset. And rightfully so. Of course, most of them overreact and behave like little children (actually, worse - this is the Internet), but I don't find it entirely unjustified and needing some pretty harsh words above.My 2 cents.

 

I too appreciate your site and your work. And I understand your points and definitely considered a lot of that before posting this. I think one of the points I may not have made clearly in my editorial is not so much the whining from people who are ignorant, but those who whine to me. People who follow S4GRU and read what we write.

 

Thanks for your counter point, Artem. It deserves to be heard and seen as well.

 

Robert

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Great post. It seems to be the fad to bash Sprint's coverage/data speeds on sites such a XDA/Engadget. I simply can't wait until Sprint is done rolling out LTE and then 1x advanced/LTE over 800mHz. Quick questions, is Sprint going to stick with the 5x5 mHz block even in the 800mHz spectrum???

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Great post. It seems to be the fad to bash Sprint's coverage/data speeds on sites such a XDA/Engadget. I simply can't wait until Sprint is done rolling out LTE and then 1x advanced/LTE over 800mHz. Quick questions, is Sprint going to stick with the 5x5 mHz block even in the 800mHz spectrum???

 

Yes. The LTE carrier will be 5x5 as well. However, it is assumed that Sprint will start employing Carrier Aggregation with LTE Advanced some time in 2014 that will allow two 5x5 carriers to act more like one 10x10. Sprint also has room to add another 5x5 LTE carrier in PCS spectrum in many markets. Also, starting in the second half of 2013, Clearwire will start rolling out its 20MHz TD-LTE carriers that will be available to Sprint customers.

 

Robert

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Well i can only speak for myself. I do not live in a 4G LTE market. However i do have a 4G LTE phone. Sprint outright lied to customers on the old 4G network, that i never got to take advantage at my home. Sprint has no choice in the matter but to move forward. For heavens sakes Metro PCS has 4G LTE in my city. I can see where some people would be upset that they dont have LTE coverage. But they need to think, its a NEW NETWORK. Its not gonna work everywhere. At least there is our slow 3G data. From what i have seen. The places that have LTE are throwing out data speeds at 20 MBPS. Thats as fast as the average internet in your home. We are TWO days into the new network, be glad your getting it this year. I may not see it till this time next year.

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Well i can only speak for myself. I do not live in a 4G LTE market. However i do have a 4G LTE phone. Sprint outright lied to customers on the old 4G network, that i never got to take advantage at my home. Sprint has no choice in the matter but to move forward. For heavens sakes Metro PCS has 4G LTE in my city. I can see where some people would be upset that they dont have LTE coverage. But they need to think, its a NEW NETWORK. Its not gonna work everywhere. At least there is our slow 3G data. From what i have seen. The places that have LTE are throwing out data speeds at 20 MBPS. Thats as fast as the average internet in your home. We are TWO days into the new network, be glad your getting it this year. I may not see it till this time next year.

 

The last time I checked the average Home ISP in America has download speeds under 6Mbps. However, some cities are really blessed to have much higher speeds. I agree that people need to keep Sprint LTE performance in perspective.

 

I also live in a market that will not begin deployment until next year. Unless Dan Hesse decides to upgrade the site in El Valle de Arroyo Seco, NM early just for little 'ol me. ;)

 

Robert

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This article will probably get 100 comments! I bought my OG EVO day one because it came with that Snapdragon and not that 525mhz piece of junk. I knew I wouldn't turn the Wimax on.

 

More on topic, you probably wont get sympathy if you are in a launch market. Most of us are like, "You get to drive a couple blocks to test out this new toy, awesome! You should go test it and tell us how fast it goes, and don't forget to take pictures of the tower!"

 

Sprint is not leaving these markets with 20-40% coverage. As Robert has stated many of these markets get 6-12 towers completed every week with the pace increasing. Tomorrow morning you could wake up with 4 bars of LTE, and deep down you know it, especially if you've read the articles.

 

Other than the haters coming out of the woodwork, I find this network renovation amazing on a grand scale.

 

Sprint should really close comments on their Facebook page though :)

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I'm only mad they decided to go to WiMax markets first.

 

As far as living in a market that is launched but not having coverage goes, buy an amplifier! It works wonders and to borrow a term from the late Steve, its magical. I get service in areas well outside of Sprints coverage map. The wilson Sleek is only $70 too! I'm actually about to buy another one tonight.

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The last time I checked the average Home ISP in America has download speeds under 6Mbps. However, some cities are really blessed to have much higher speeds. I agree that people need to keep Sprint LTE performance in perspective.I also live in a market that will not begin deployment until next year. Unless Dan Hesse decides to upgrade the site in El Valle de Arroyo Seco, NM early just for little 'ol me. ;)Robert

Oh Robert, I like ya but really...you know your last for all of this :)

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I understand completely where this article is coming from. My only disappointments are that I figured they would have more than 20 or so towers active across Houston when they launched. I can count the amount of active towers on the whole southwest side with one hand. I believed the June site map, and maybe thats why I was severly let down.

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I understand completely where this article is coming from. My only disappointments are that I figured they would have more than 20 or so towers active across Houston when they launched. I can count the amount of active towers on the whole southwest side with one hand. I believed the June site map, and maybe thats why I was severly let down.

 

There are 82 sites live in the Houston market as of the last update we received on July 15th.

 

Robert

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I sense you are holding back Robert, don't hold it in, let it out man, let it all out. :P

 

All joking aside, I agree with the article.

 

TS

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Well said and well written. I am not one of the complainers but I will say that I hope that Sprint does not let us down again. Many were promised 4G service and never got it, ended up leaving behind legacy plans that for the most cases gave them higher bills, and ended up with a $10.00 dollar charge for premium data all because they were promised something that never came. I understand the circumstances of WiMax but it still hurt tons of customers who believed. I was in Tampa and was always fine with it but I do wonder about those people.

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I see your point however Sprint doesn't really listen to its critics.So as upsetting as this may be for you, I don't think that any complaining will influence Sprint at all. I doubt they will delay any launches because if they did, it would look like a big failure and probably destroy their stock value.

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I see your point however Sprint doesn't really listen to its critics.So as upsetting as this may be for you, I don't think that any complaining will influence Sprint at all. I doubt they will delay any launches because if they did, it would look like a big failure and probably destroy their stock value.

 

Richard...as usual, we disagree on some points. (I had to re-read your comments, they didn't absorb tonight)

 

Robert

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Very nice article I thought. It was a little harsh but I think many people deserve it. I also appreciate Archon's comments. You really brought up a good counter point and I thought delivered it without drama.

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