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Sprint or Tmobile?

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True what you're saying. I just hope Dish doesn't buy Sprint.

 

Hmmm... I am still not finding the answer I am looking for but you guys all have made great points.

Me too. Dish wants the spectrum. If it does happen I will go to att. I really dislike dish!

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I recently made the jump to the $30 prepaid T-Mo plan with a Nexus 4. I'll probably make the jump back once Raleigh has NV fully rolled out. Here's what I've found:

  1. Downtown and in urban Raleigh, the HSPA+ speeds are fantastic. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to be able to load Google Maps and Rdio.
  2. Forget about data on the ground floor of a "tower" (what counts for one in Raleigh) once you get a few rooms in. The building penetration just isn't there, likely due to the higher frequencies in use.
  3. GrooveIP is not consistent enough to use over HSPA+, and in some cases even over WiFi. I've opted to add $10-$20 every couple of months to add voice minutes. These minutes roll-over for 90 days.
  4. The Nexus 4 is a phenomenal phone. It is also slippery.
  5. The second you are out of a city, you will be on Edge. However, Edge speeds are roughly equivalent to Sprint 3G in the Raleigh area, but Raleigh just may have the worst Sprint 3G speeds in the country. Less than 100 Kbps is what you can expect for both in the areas I frequent.
  6. There is no roaming with the $30 pre-pay plan. You are on T-Mo, or you are not in service.

Hope this helps someone.

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Had to add that in. 2g Edge is no better than legacy 3G in many cases and is what T-mobile falls back upon if the area don't have LTE. T-mob LTE is an overlay of their existing HSPA+ footprint. If you don't get T-mobile LTE then you probably won't get HSPA+ which mean you get Edge which is a huge shocker in comparison to Network Vision 3g or unburdened legacy 3g sites in the rural.

 

If you have to be explicit about "if you get it", then that still applies to Sprint too. EvDO Rev A where I am tops out at a measly 90Kbps down and 60Kbps up. Even T-Mobile's EDGE beats that at a solid 200Kbps down and 90Kbps up. That being said, I do have access to HSPA+21 here, though I frequently access EDGE-only locations, too.

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T-mobile's network will not compare with Sprint's completed NV network until they have sub gigahertz frequency for LTE. Assuming Sprint phones with 800 Lte support roll out and the 800 Lte RRU's are turned on fairly quick.

AJ, do you know how many markets have 800 RRU's installed already? All of the towers I've seen out here so far have all 4.

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If you have to be explicit about "if you get it", then that still applies to Sprint too. EvDO Rev A where I am tops out at a measly 90Kbps down and 60Kbps up. Even T-Mobile's EDGE beats that at a solid 200Kbps down and 90Kbps up. That being said, I do have access to HSPA+21 here, though I frequently access EDGE-only locations, too.

 

The interesting thing is that Sprint and T-Mobile have basically the opposite problems. In a city (or college town), Sprint EV-DO may be slow due to capacity issues -- airlink, backhaul, or both. Meanwhile, T-Mobile HSPA+ is quite fast. But go 10 miles outside of the city, and T-Mobile falls back to GSM, while Sprint EV-DO is unloaded and delivering a decent 1.5 Mbps.

 

With LTE and advanced backhaul for EV-DO, Network Vision will ameliorate Sprint's problem over the next year. What remains to be seen is how many years it will take T-Mobile to bring its rural network up to speed (pun intended) while it also works to "modernize" and deploy LTE across its urban network.

 

AJ

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Keep your Sprint line, get a $30 prepaid plan and test T-Mobile along with Sprint. Test and compare both, and decide yourself.

 

This is what I did. And after paying the device cost, the $30 per month extra cost is nothing. So now I just keep both. I use Tmo in urban/secondary markets and Sprint in tertiary and rural markets (where I spend most of my time).

 

But as NV comes to my area, I will probably use Tmo less and less I'm guessing.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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I would wait until November and see what you want to do. By that time, NV in NYC should be more than half way done. If that's the case, I would stick with Sprint.

 

If your contract was up now or next month, I would have told you to go to t-mobile and come back after NV finishes in 1-2 years. So much dropped calls and data issues while towers are being rebuilt and for someone who needs reliable service, it's a pain.

 

But since you are still on a contract until November, why worry about it now? Either way, I would wait to see what the next iPhone would be and then decide if service in your area has gotten better and if so, upgrade. If not, then leave and come back later when NV is 100% done.

 

I have high hopes for NV and Sprint getting better. It's just the pain of going through the upgrades that is killing me.

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Had to add that in. 2g Edge is no better than legacy 3G in many cases and is what T-mobile falls back upon if the area don't have LTE. T-mob LTE is an overlay of their existing HSPA+ footprint. If you don't get T-mobile LTE then you probably won't get HSPA+ which mean you get Edge which is a huge shocker in comparison to Network Vision 3g or unburdened legacy 3g sites in the rural.

 

I don't know if it's true everywhere, but in the places I go where Tmo is on EDGE or GPRS, Sprint 3G is solid between 1-2.5Mbps. These sites tend to be the least burdened on the Sprint network and can even run just fine on legacy backhaul. Like the one next to my house.

 

I don't think I've ever had an instance where my Sprint 3G didn't far exceed the performance of Tmo EDGE. And I carry a Tmo Nexus 4 with me every day/everywhere. And there are many Tmo sites here in New Mexico that do have HSPA+ on them in rural areas, but it still runs at 500k to 1.5Mbps, because the backhaul hasn't been upgraded.

 

However, if I go to Santa Fe or ABQ, Tmo is handily better than Sprint in performance. Well, I should say outdoors. Because Sprint has better indoor coverage. It seems like the number of buildings where I get zero coverage from Tmo inside is 3x more than on Sprint. And that can be frustrating to me. If I'm within 1 mile of a Tmo site, then there is no problem. But beyond a mile or so, indoor coverage in commercial buildings is a plague for Tmo in their current network configuration.

 

There are so many variables and different needs for each person, it is almost impossible to make recommendations. You need to do a side by side comparison. The differences are many, and the weight you will apply to each difference is very personal. Tmo is a worthy competitor. It just comes down to what is important to you.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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Does anyone think that Sprint will follow in Verizon's footsteps and take the early upgrade at 20 months?

 

Also, Sprint allows you to upgrade at 20 months. But your contract is for 24 months. So you cannot leave before 24 months without paying an ETF.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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The interesting thing is that Sprint and T-Mobile have basically the opposite problems. In a city (or college town), Sprint EV-DO may be slow due to capacity issues -- airlink, backhaul, or both. Meanwhile, T-Mobile HSPA+ is quite fast. But go 10 miles outside of the city, and T-Mobile falls back to GSM, while Sprint EV-DO is unloaded and delivering a decent 1.5 Mbps.

 

With LTE and advanced backhaul for EV-DO, Network Vision will ameliorate Sprint's problem over the next year. What remains to be seen is how many years it will take T-Mobile to bring its rural network up to speed (pun intended) while it also works to "modernize" and deploy LTE across its urban network.

 

AJ

 

In downtown Boston, T-Mobile's carriers are actually pretty overloaded, at least relative to areas around downtown.

 

For example, where the Boston bombings took place, that area is notoriously overloaded (it's the area where I work, so I am very familiar). Sprint for the past 5+ years has been completely burdened and has trouble breaking 100kbps/sec over 3G. T-Mobile is also burdened but I'll typically get over 1000kbps (when my nexus 4 latches onto T-Mobile's unburdened PCS band, performance is about 8Mbit in the city). When I get about a mile outside of Boston, speeds on Sprint's 4g LTE network average about 8Mbit while T-Mobile's DC-HSPA+ average 14-18mbit. It's scary because Sprint's LTE network is fairly new and I'm watching the speeds flip around where uploads are faster than downloads... which isn't good at all.

 

All carriers seem to be pretty slow in Boston proper. Too many people, not enough cells, not enough spectrum. Go 1-2 miles around the city and things fly.

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In downtown Boston, T-Mobile's carriers are actually pretty overloaded, at least relative to areas around downtown.

 

For example, where the Boston bombings took place, that area is notoriously overloaded (it's the area where I work, so I am very familiar). Sprint for the past 5+ years has been completely burdened and has trouble breaking 100kbps/sec over 3G. T-Mobile is also burdened but I'll typically get over 1000kbps (when my nexus 4 latches onto T-Mobile's unburdened PCS band, performance is about 8Mbit in the city). When I get about a mile outside of Boston, speeds on Sprint's 4g LTE network average about 8Mbit while T-Mobile's DC-HSPA+ average 14-18mbit. It's scary because Sprint's LTE network is fairly new and I'm watching the speeds flip around where uploads are faster than downloads... which isn't good at all.

 

All carriers seem to be pretty slow in Boston proper. Too many people, not enough cells, not enough spectrum. Go 1-2 miles around the city and things fly.

 

I think you can specify PCS-only either in settings or the same menu that not too long ago allowed LTE selection?

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I think you can specify PCS-only either in settings or the same menu that not too long ago allowed LTE selection?

 

No, there was no specific option. I thought I could force it by switching it around but it didn't seem to stick.

 

I would love a PCS only option :-/

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No, there was no specific option. I thought I could force it by switching it around but it didn't seem to stick.

 

I would love a PCS only option :-/

 

How do you know when your HSPA+ is on PCS? Is it just an educated guess based on performance, or do you have some means to verify channel or band that I haven't yet discovered on the Nexus 4?

 

Robert

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How do you know when your HSPA+ is on PCS? Is it just an educated guess based on performance, or do you have some means to verify channel or band that I haven't yet discovered on the Nexus 4?

 

Robert

 

The speedtest reports cellular and speeds go from crap to 8mbit+. I can be in the same spot, toggle from WCDMA only to auto and run a speedtest and it will go from very slow to blazing fast. It has different cell info under 4636 and runs great.

 

I am thinking a droid DNA is the way to go... that's PCS only and might be the best for me in Boston on T-Mobile.

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I recently made the jump to the $30 prepaid T-Mo plan with a Nexus 4. I'll probably make the jump back once Raleigh has NV fully rolled out. Here's what I've found:

  1. Downtown and in urban Raleigh, the HSPA+ speeds are fantastic. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to be able to load Google Maps and Rdio.
  2. Forget about data on the ground floor of a "tower" (what counts for one in Raleigh) once you get a few rooms in. The building penetration just isn't there, likely due to the higher frequencies in use.
  3. GrooveIP is not consistent enough to use over HSPA+, and in some cases even over WiFi. I've opted to add $10-$20 every couple of months to add voice minutes. These minutes roll-over for 90 days.
  4. The Nexus 4 is a phenomenal phone. It is also slippery.
  5. The second you are out of a city, you will be on Edge. However, Edge speeds are roughly equivalent to Sprint 3G in the Raleigh area, but Raleigh just may have the worst Sprint 3G speeds in the country. Less than 100 Kbps is what you can expect for both in the areas I frequent.
  6. There is no roaming with the $30 pre-pay plan. You are on T-Mo, or you are not in service.

Hope this helps someone.

 

Wow so I guess I should stay with Sprint. Sucks if I can only be on edge when away from the city

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I am thinking a droid DNA is the way to go... that's PCS only and might be the best for me in Boston on T-Mobile.

 

On T-Mobile, I would not use any device that lacks AWS. One, "modernized" PCS W-CDMA is not a complete overlay and likely will not be for a few years. Even then, loads will even out as time goes by -- I would love to know what kind of hashing scheme or load balancing algorithm T-Mobile is using for AWS and PCS W-CDMA. And, two, no AWS means no LTE.

 

AJ

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If your profile is correct, and you're living in Queens, I feel your pain when it comes to Sprint. Out of all the boroughs I've frequented, Queens is the toughest for Sprint service. Once you start getting in buildings, you find coverage holes. I know a few folks who switched over from T-Mobile to Sprint, and they all say the same thing. Sometimes it's really the luck of the draw in terms of where cell sites are deployed, and who has a site closer to the places you frequent.

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On T-Mobile, I would not use any device that lacks AWS. One, "modernized" PCS W-CDMA is not a complete overlay and likely will not be for a few years. Even then, loads will even out as time goes by -- I would love to know what kind of hashing or load balancing algorithm T-Mobile is using for AWS and PCS W-CDMA. And, two, no AWS means no LTE.

 

AJ

 

Yeah, it's just a cheaper solution as I can get a DNA for fairly cheap nowadays.

 

Ideally, I would like to have a Sprint HTC One that I can run CDMA on and keep my T-Mobile SIM loaded and switch between CDMA and HSPA under settings as I desire. For 70/month I would have a far superior user experience than anything AT&T and/or Verizon could offer for more.

 

I called Sprint and asked if they would unlock my phone for international use. I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, I can use a T-Mobile SIM (guessing not).

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I'm in the EXACT same boat, my contract also ends in November and I'm torn between the two. I live in Queens as well, and I too have an iPhone 4S.

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Yeah, it's just a cheaper solution as I can get a DNA for fairly cheap nowadays.

 

Ideally, I would like to have a Sprint HTC One that I can run CDMA on and keep my T-Mobile SIM loaded and switch between CDMA and HSPA under settings as I desire. For 70/month I would have a far superior user experience than anything AT&T and/or Verizon could offer for more.

 

I called Sprint and asked if they would unlock my phone for international use. I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, I can use a T-Mobile SIM (guessing not).

 

If Sprint does continue the disgusting practice of incorporating an MCC block on the GSM/UMTS radio, then you probably can't. That being said, I have no idea since I don't have an HTC One. :(

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If Sprint does continue the disgusting practice of incorporating an MCC block on the GSM/UMTS radio, then you probably can't. That being said, I have no idea since I don't have an HTC One. :(

 

What's a MCC block?

 

When I scan I can see T-Mobile and AT&T, I just can't connect because of the simlock.

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I know that the Evo 4G LTE has the ability to connect to GSM networks via the MSM8960. But, I am only able to make emergency calls on the network. If I try to switch to WCDMA or GSM, it'll switch me to LTE/EVDO mode.

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What's a MCC block?

 

When I scan I can see T-Mobile and AT&T, I just can't connect because of the simlock.

 

Historically, CDMA operators in the US incorporate a block on the baseband software of so-called "global phones" that prevents them from authenticating to networks that have the MCC (Mobile Country Code) for the US. The MCC makes up one half of a UMTS network's identification. The other half is the MNC (Mobile Network Code). The US uses MCCs 310, 311, and 316. MCC 316 is reserved for Nextel, while MCC 311 is typically used by CDMA operators deploying LTE (though not always). MCC-MNC numbers are unique to the operator globally.

 

For example, AT&T Mobility typically uses 310-410 (which may also be written as 310-41) for the MCC-MNC number. That identifies AT&T. T-Mobile uses 310-260 (which could also be written as 310-26). That identifies T-Mobile as a network.

 

If the MCC value of 310 is blocked, then you can't authenticate to AT&T or T-Mobile.

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Sprint uses 310-120 for their network.

 

Sent from my little Note2

 

 

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Sprint uses 310-120 for their network.

 

Sent from my little Note2

 

Obviously Sprint's own MCCMNC numbers would be whitelisted. ;)

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