So Network Vision is slowly but immensely improving the overall experience on Sprint. Luckily living in the Bay Area a large amount of this work has already begun and is continuing each day. For a while I was seeing improvement and loved Sprint for every moment. At the begging of this week all of this suddenly disappeared, being an avid reader of this site I assumed it was an upgrade and just continued on with my day. Now it's near the end of the week and no improvement whatsoever. Basically I would like to know if this is a device related problem (iPhone 4, iOS 6.1, PRL 51094) or if it's an network upgrade which I'll just ignore.
Everything in your post is consistent with my T-Mobile roaming experience, except that I could not connect to Band 12. I'll be back in that neighborhood early next week, so we'll see if that's changed at all.
This doesn't kill the merger talk. This is just 4G. Sprint is going to need a lot of money if they want their 2.5 Ghz spectrum to really work.
There are still too many outdoor spots were 2.5 Ghz doesn't reach in major markets today. I don't think I have seen a new Sprint macro tower go up in my area in ages now. Hopefully after the merger, the EBS/BRS band is put to good use.