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PCMag Tests Sprint's LTE Network


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One thing they are correct on. I don't need or want SUPERFASTULTRA LTE. I want super consistent LTE. If I can stream Netflix/Youtube etc on it that is sufficient for my high bandwidth use.

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I question the legitimacy of the test. Was PCMag the only third party that was allowed to run tests at that time? Or were multiple outlets all testing the network simultaneously? If the latter, then a bunch of tech journalists all running speed tests at the same time on a cluster of only five LTE sites could generate a network load even greater than the real world average.

 

AJ

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From the article:

It's not a totally fair comparison, of course. For our

Fastest Mobile Networks

project, we tested ordinary retail phones on loaded networks, and we didn't tell the carriers where we were going in advance. For this Sprint test, we used phones tuned by Sprint's engineering team at pre-approved locations. They knew we were coming.

 

 

But what they didn't count on was all the S4GRU users (lke themuffinman) who were probably running speed tests at exactly the same time. :lol:

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I've long believed that "any press is good press" but I don't like this article. Specifically, the last paragraph

 

But not knowing when LTE is coming is a big problem for Sprint customers. The carrier's 3G network is the slowest of the major wireless providers, and even high-end phones like the new EVO 4G LTE are stuck on 3G for now. Sprint has to provide more clarity quickly on where LTE is rolling out or risk losing high-end smartphone users to LTE networks that actually exist.

 

This attitude is resonating with multiple tech outlets. It clashes completely with the "under promise and over deliver" mindset they want to take with NV. This article should have ended with "sprint continues to upgrade backhaul and connectivity at 1000's of sites, coast to coast as well. Check network.sprint.com for expected improvements in your area"

 

This article will cause many pissy customers to conclude "The only thing that can help me is LTE and they're not going to do it here soon enough"

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This article should have ended with "sprint continues to upgrade backhaul and connectivity at 1000's of sites, coast to coast as well. Check network.sprint.com for expected improvements in your area"

 

Sprint has promised to do this and has completed some work, but none of the sites are actually officially up and running, are they?

Also, network.sprint.com does not even show the network vision upgrades, and official Sprint communication about when particular cities will be upgraded has been extremely sparse. Many areas will not see NV improvements for a year and a half, reviewers cannot in conscience recommend a phone sold on a 2 year contract under these circumstances.

 

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

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I am as excited about upgrades as the next guy, but it's the same issue as don't buy a phone because Motorola swears it will get ICS "someday", you may be waiting longer than you think. A reviewer would be doing a disservice to the readers if he were to take these companies at their word about upgrades.

 

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

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Sprint has promised to do this and has completed some work, but none of the sites are actually officially up and running, are they?

Also, network.sprint.com does not even show the network vision upgrades, and official Sprint communication about when particular cities will be upgraded has been extremely sparse. Many areas will not see NV improvements for a year and a half, reviewers cannot in conscience recommend a phone sold on a 2 year contract under these circumstances.

 

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

 

NV and the upgrades listed at network.sprint.com are two completely separate projects, both improving the overall network. Users should only be buying new devices based on information that Sprint has publicly released (the five or six launch markets). If a user wants to buy a new device out of those markets, then they should expect only 3g and nothing more until their market is announced. I can say that those band aid fixes from network.sprint.com do appear to be showing improvements. I have better data coverage at my office due to an additional data carrier that was added.

 

Now that being said, Robert has some excellent data here that gives better ideas when towers are coming live and when regions may be available. Sprint is completely rebuilding every piece of their mobile network from the ground up except for the tower structure, they don't know if their might be weather delays or equipment shortages or other issues. The current speculation of the LTE blocking is the EVO LTE having a connectivity issue. We don't know that is the only issue, but as reported here, there is something with that device.

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Many areas will not see NV improvements for a year and a half, reviewers cannot in conscience recommend a phone sold on a 2 year contract under these circumstances.

 

If that is reviewers' logic, then why should they give AT&T a free pass? How can reviewers in good conscience recommend AT&T LTE? Has AT&T promised when top 100 markets Seattle, Portland (OR), Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Denver, Tulsa, Omaha, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, Memphis, Nashville, etc., are going to get LTE?

 

Sprint gets looked at askance because it carries the stench of failure. If that perception does not change, not even Network Vision can save Sprint.

 

AJ

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Sprint has promised to do this and has completed some work, but none of the sites are actually officially up and running, are they?

Also, network.sprint.com does not even show the network vision upgrades, and official Sprint communication about when particular cities will be upgraded has been extremely sparse. Many areas will not see NV improvements for a year and a half, reviewers cannot in conscience recommend a phone sold on a 2 year contract under these circumstances.

 

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

 

I disagree. I bought my Epic because it was the best phone I could get, even though I don't get WiMAX locally. The Samsung Transform would be what I would have been stuck with had I bought my device based on connectivity alone, and I think that the Epic was the clear winner there.

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I disagree. I bought my Epic because it was the best phone I could get, even though I don't get WiMAX locally. The Samsung Transform would be what I would have been stuck with had I bought my device based on connectivity alone, and I think that the Epic was the clear winner there.

 

Dear god no, I made the biggest mistake ever buying that POS Transform for my Mom, what a garbage phone. I can't wait for her upgrade to get her something new (with a slide out keyboard ;)).

 

As long as the Sprint rep or other saleperson selling device doesn't sell you a bill of falsehoods (I.E. upgrades soon, new software by this date, 4g in a few months, etc) to make the sale, then you should know exactly what your device can and can't do when you walk out of the store.

 

Sprint is doing great things and we just need to be patient as the network rebuild occurs.

Edited by jefbal99
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Dear god no, I made the biggest mistake ever buying that POS Transform for my Mom, what a garbage phone. I can't wait for her upgrade to get her something new (with a slide out keyboard ;))

 

I bought it because I knew I'd have it for 2 years, so might as well get the best I could get.

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If that is reviewers' logic, then why should they give AT&T a free pass? How can reviewers in good conscience recommend AT&T LTE?

 

They don't typically. They say it's a nice bonus if it's in your area but don't count on it otherwise. The difference is that AT&T phones fall back to a 3g network that is actually quite good, and about 10x as fast as Sprint's 3g. Sprints entire value proposition right now is based on promises of future upgrades.

 

Again, these are promises I choose to believe, but I'm not a professional reviewer, just an enthusiast.

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They don't typically. They say it's a nice bonus if it's in your area but don't count on it otherwise. The difference is that AT&T phones fall back to a 3g network that is actually quite good, and about 10x as fast as Sprint's 3g.

 

Ah, I do not think that is a solid generalization. AT&T's W-CDMA network gets quite a bit of criticism for being painfully slow in many markets. The difference is that HSPA has the potential for considerably higher peak speeds than does EV-DO. And people, reviewers included, go gaga over speeds that they never reasonably require.

 

AJ

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Ah, I do not think that is a solid generalization. AT&T's W-CDMA network gets quite a bit of criticism for being painfully slow in many markets. The difference is that HSPA has the potential for considerably higher peak speeds than does EV-DO. And people, reviewers included, go gaga over speeds that they never reasonably require.

 

AJ

 

For what it's worth, AT&T's network isn't even all that fast in many places. I speed-tested an uncle's iPhone 3GS an hour north of West Palm Beach, FL and got less than 2 Mbps. Granted, my Sprint phone wasn't any better, nor was my Verizon iPad (no LTE at that point, though the device caught a whiff of LTE a couple times, with drastically faster speeds). However to say that HSPA is always faster than EvDO is disproved by this little episode (though, with next-to-no signal inside said uncle's house, my T-Mobile HSPA+ aircard cranked out a solid 5 Mbps down and around 1 Mbps up).

 

If people are buying a device today based on actual service rather than promises thereof, Verizon (or in many big cities T-Mobile) is the obvious choice. If you're buying based on "the future" the choice shifts in favor of Sprint, since they're doing a full LTE overlay on PCS (AT&T might, or might not, eventually do this on a combination of 700MHz and AWS). AT&T is in an awkward in-between state; they aren't turning LTE markets up nearly as quickly as Verizon, to the point that Sprint could theoretically pass them on LTE pops covered in under a year, starting from zero. That's saying something.

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Ah, I do not think that is a solid generalization. AT&T's W-CDMA network gets quite a bit of criticism for being painfully slow in many markets. The difference is that HSPA has the potential for considerably higher peak speeds than does EV-DO. And people, reviewers included, go gaga over speeds that they never reasonably require.

 

AJ

 

That's why I'm sticking with Sprint.

But I apologize--we are now on a strange tangent about what constitutes a responsible and professional review of a phone. Not really what you or I believe.

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But I apologize--we are now on a strange tangent about what constitutes a responsible and professional review of a phone. Not really what you or I believe.

 

The relevant problem, though, is that many of the professional reviews coming out -- both of Sprint LTE devices and of the LTE network itself now -- seem to carry an unnecessarily cynical vibe, simply because the LTE network will be available in only some markets this year. And that even slightly negative publicity does not bode well for Sprint.

 

AJ

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The relevant problem, though, is that many of the professional reviews coming out -- both of Sprint LTE devices and of the LTE network itself now -- seem to carry an unnecessarily cynical vibe, simply because the LTE network will be available in only some markets this year. And that even slightly negative publicity does not bode well for Sprint.

 

AJ

 

Considering the WiMAX fiasco (perceived or otherwise) and the current state of their 3G network... the easy conclusion to make is that sprint doesn't have a good network. People are lazy - they will just look at past performance. All sprint can do is prove them wrong.

 

Now, media loves peak speeds because it shows measurable numbers that anyone can understand. It's not vague, hard to grasp, or confusing. It's a simple, completely irrelevant number that charts well.

 

Regardless of what average speeds are, marketing revolves around top speeds and coverage - just take a look at Verizon's marketing:

Nation's fastest 4G LTE network

Verizon's 4G LTE network is larger than every other 4G LTE network combined

7397310010_3039ac27ce_c.jpg

 

Now, regardless of if you never travel to where Verizon has 4G LTE, people like the marketing story - they feel like they are getting the best. Normal people don't run speed tests every day, monitor network coverage, and post about it in forums.

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