by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Friday, August 3, 2012 - 4:25 PM MDT
There has been a lot of discussion around our forums, and certainly in many other places, how Sprint's LTE coverage maps of launched markets have been pretty overly optimistic. To say it nicely.
Today I decided to create some LTE coverage maps for St. Joseph, Missouri for our members usage, and for grins, I pulled up the Sprint LTE coverage map for the same area. The difference is pretty noticeable.
In our map, we used data that we have from Sprint about each of the live sites, including tower height and downtilt. So we can enter in as accurate information as possible. We use the coverage creators that are provided from our friends at CloudRF.com. You can see the differences below.
S4GRU St. Joseph LTE Coverage Map. In the map above, you can see the LTE coverages for Sprint from the live sites in the area. This was produced by S4GRU using CloudRF.com. Green denotes Sprint 4G LTE Coverage area.
Sprint St. Joseph LTE Coverage Map. In this map you can see the LTE coverage as reported from coverage.sprint.com over the same area. Orange denotes Sprint 4G LTE Coverage area.
We recognize that this is far from a scientific analysis. The data used to create our map is accurate, however we are dependent on the modeling used by the coverage generator at CloudRF. We feel that CloudRF though has been very accurate in previous analyses we have conducted including our own field verification tests. So we feel pretty confident in our results posted here.
It appears that Sprint has indeed posted very flattering LTE coverage in its maps so far. At least in regards to St. Joe. However, this was already supported by dozens of comments by our members as well. For the time being, I would not consider using Sprint's LTE coverage maps for very defined coverage of a specific neighborhood or street, but rather just to know if they have some live sites in a general area.
EDIT 6:30 PM MDT: S4GRU Writer, A.J. Shepherd, was in St. Joe this evening and reported a new live site that was not on our maps. We have added it and changed the coverages to reflect this recent addition.
FURTHER READING FOR S4GRU SPONSORS: We have an interactive version of our St. Joseph coverage map in our Sponsor section, and have a discussion thread posted there.