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Considering switching to Sprint and looking for input


convict2324
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Hello everyone, I want to start by apologizing for the long post and if its in the wrong section. I have been lurking this site for a long time now and a few months ago donated to see the sponsor maps and I have been tracking sprints upgrades religiously since then, despite the fact I don't nor have I ever had Sprint service. 

 

I am always looking for the best deal and this Framily option at the 25 dollar rate after 7 people intrigued me. I use about 5-6 gigs of data a month so I am a pretty heavy user on Tmobile's unlimited plan so Sprint is really my only other option realistically, plus I also don't want to sign contracts anymore which is why I haven't considered Sprint until now. 

 

The reasons I was considering switching were potentially better coverage/reliability. In Boulder, CO where I live, Tmobile is excellent and I spend a decent amount of my time here so I never have issues. It's when I visit my family who live in Colorado Springs or travel to Illinois/Wisconsin to visit extended family that I tend to run into issues. The speeds are excellent when I have them and wifi calling helps, but there are quite a few dead spots in Colorado Springs in places I frequent that are annoying to have no service at all in. Sprint has almost fully launched LTE/800/NV in all of Colorado Springs as well as the areas I travel in the midwest(Rockford/Chicago, IL and Door County, WI) so where I travel seems to be covered well by sprint.

 

My question is how big of a difference has NV made to their network. I use a lot of Netflix streaming so as long as speeds are quick enough consistently to browse the internet and stream music/netflix I don't care what those speeds are. I always see like .02Mbps down speed tests from Sprint haters but I take them with a grain of salt because typically people only take time out of their day to complain rather than praise. I'm aware mileage may vary. I have spent a lot of time scouring rootmetrics for their reviews in all the cities I have or am potentially going to and it scares me but I figured a lot of those were done pre NV or during NV. I also have been going through sensorly on nearly every street I've been or go on frequently and that gives me more hope but I don't know how accurate or what it really means in terms of reliability.

 

I live in apparently the last city to be started here in Boulder (which is just outside of Denver, CO) and I know literally no one with sprint to ask. The maps show no work has even started on the towers in my area and Denver is only partly in progress. My fear of switching is taking a huge step back in the place where I live only to potentially gain benefit in the places I travel. Obviously my town will be converted like the rest and I can wait if the end product is proven to be a quality one. All I read all over the internet is pure Sprint bashing and Tmobile praise. I am not loyal to any company and go with who is offering me the best product for the price at the time and I'm wondering if Sprint is that option.

 

I don't really know any way to test the network like I did with Tmobile because of their limitations on phones. I just used a pre paid sim card in an unlocked AWS capable iPhone 5 for a few months while keeping my ATT line before I made the switch a few months ago to Tmobile. I also like to have 2 or 3 phones at any one time and when I was on Verizon I ran into the issue of not being able to switch between LTE and cheap 3g phones like I like to do if I'm going someplace where my phone could be potentially damaged or lost. How would this work on Sprint if I bought a cheap phone to switch between, I know it's like Verizons old 3g phones where I can't just swap sims like I'm used to on ATT and Tmobile but how does the sim card factor in if switching between an imbedded SIM LTE phone and a removable one or an LTE phone and a 3g phone?

 

Any input is welcome and appreciated, I will edit this later if it's hard to read, I typed it all on my phone but wanted to get it posted before this evening.
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Buy a Nexus 5 https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_5_white_16gb

 

Throw it on https://ting.com/ with a new number.

 

Carry a second device. If you can deal with it as is, you have your answer. If it sucks for you now, deactivate Ting. Turn it back on Ting in a few months. Rinse and Repeat.

 

That's what I would do at least ;)

 

EDIT: Sorry forgot the get a Sprint SIM Card step. Add that in there too.

EDIT #2: Looks like Sprint may not allow Nexus 5 on their MVNOs I'd look into further if I was in your situation.

Last EDIT I promise: Looks like Sprint wised up!

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Also don't forget that the Sprint Framily plan is $25 a line and that includes unlimited talk, text and 1gig data. To get unlimited data that would be an extra $20 for each line you want it on.

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Buy a Nexus 5 https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_5_white_16gb

 

Throw it on https://ting.com/ with a new number.

 

Carry a second device. If you can deal with it as is, you have your answer. If it sucks for you now, deactivate Ting. Turn it back on Ting in a few months. Rinse and Repeat.

 

That's what I would do at least  ;)

 

EDIT: Sorry forgot the get a Sprint SIM Card step. Add that in there too.

I thought of this but unfortunately it was after I had already sold my Nexus 5 to go back to my HTC One which I much prefer. I am a broke grad student and $370 dollars was too much for a second phone. I was considering a used HTC EVO 4g LTE to test it even though it lacks Band 41. 

 

Also don't forget that the Sprint Framily plan is $25 a line and that includes unlimited talk, text and 1gig data. To get unlimited data that would be an extra $20 for each line you want it on.

Yea I factored that in, I figured if i get the 30 or 25 dollar rate + 20 for unlimited + 15-20 for phone financing I would be where I'm at on Tmobile without a phone financed and as soon as its paid off I would be quite about 20 bucks cheaper.

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I also like to have 2 or 3 phones at any one time and when I was on Verizon I ran into the issue of not being able to switch between LTE and cheap 3g phones like I like to do if I'm going someplace where my phone could be potentially damaged or lost. How would this work on Sprint if I bought a cheap phone to switch between, I know it's like Verizons old 3g phones where I can't just swap sims like I'm used to on ATT and Tmobile but how does the sim card factor in if switching between an imbedded SIM LTE phone and a removable one or an LTE phone and a 3g phone?

 

For the time being, you will not be able to swap SIMs among Sprint handsets -- even if they all have removable SIMs.  You can certainly switch among Sprint handsets, but full CDMA2000 authentication requires that you switch the handsets in your account online, via chat, or over the phone.  If that is a big inconvenience for you, Sprint may not be a good fit.

 

AJ

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I was considering a used HTC EVO 4g LTE to test it even though it lacks Band 41. 

 

The EVO LTE is an RF challenged handset.  It will leave you with unduly bad impressions of the Sprint LTE network.  The Nexus 5 is your best bet, as it is the current RF champ.

 

AJ

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For the time being, you will not be able to swap SIMs among Sprint handsets -- even if they all have removable SIMs.  You can certainly switch among Sprint handsets, but full CDMA2000 authentication requires that you switch the handsets in your account online, via chat, or over the phone.  If that is a big inconvenience for you, Sprint may not be a good fit.

 

AJ

It doesn't bother me really, if I understand you can just pull up a list in my account of previous phones and activate it which honestly is easier than dealing with sim card adapters that I'm currently doing. My concern was do I need to get a new sim card if I switch to a 3g only phone or an embedded sim phone from a removable sim phone. This was why I left Verizon is because I couldn't switch between my 4g android phone and my iPhone 4s without getting a new sim card every time I wanted to go back to an LTE phone.

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If you get a Nexus 5, do not buy it from Tmo.  It will not work on Sprint.  But if you buy it from Google or Sprint, it will work on Tmo too.

 

Robert

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EDIT: Sorry forgot the get a Sprint SIM Card step. Add that in there too.

EDIT #2: Looks like Sprint may not allow Nexus 5 on their MVNOs I'd look into further if I was in your situation.

Last EDIT I promise: Looks like Sprint wised up!

 

You fixed it before I could correct you... Ting's website is great btw. I get a kick out reading the Nexus 5 page there.

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If you get a Nexus 5, do not buy it from Tmo.  It will not work on Sprint.  But if you buy it from Google or Sprint, it will work on Tmo too.

 

Robert

Man all these quick responses is great, this community is the other reason I forgot to mention about why I was considering a switch. Back on topic, I would definitely buy from Google play if I were to do it again since its 100 bucks more at Tmobile, unfortunately I really can't afford a 350 dollar phone just to test the network considering it's not the phone I would use assuming I switched. I want the new HTC One since I love my original HTC One and would switch as soon as it came out or just buy it through financing on Tmobile if i don't switch, I wanted to potentially test or at least get an idea of what I can expect on the other side before the new One comes out.

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It doesn't bother me really, if I understand you can just pull up a list in my account of previous phones and activate it which honestly is easier than dealing with sim card adapters that I'm currently doing. My concern was do I need to get a new sim card if I switch to a 3g only phone or an embedded sim phone from a removable sim phone. This was why I left Verizon is because I couldn't switch between my 4g android phone and my iPhone 4s without getting a new sim card every time I wanted to go back to an LTE phone.

 

No, if say you have multiple Sprint handsets, just leave the SIMs seated -- as if they were embedded SIMs.  You can switch freely among them at your online account, via chat, or over a different phone.  You will typically need to do a profile update each time you switch, but that can be accomplished OTA on the handset, requiring only 30 seconds or so.

 

AJ

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No, if say you have multiple Sprint handsets, just leave the SIMs seated -- as if they were embedded SIMs. You can switch freely among them at your online account, via chat, or over a different phone. You will typically need to do a profile update each time you switch, but that can be accomplished OTA on the handset, requiring only 30 seconds or so.

 

AJ

Well that doesn't sound bad. It is hard to beat the flexibility of SIM cards but I don't buy international unlocked phones since I can't afford them so it doesn't help that much. Mainly I want consistent data coverage which I was hoping to gather some insight from people who know about networks and what Sprint is doing.

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

 

 

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Well that doesn't sound bad. It is hard to beat the flexibility of SIM cards but I don't buy international unlocked phones since I can't afford them so it doesn't help that much. Mainly I want consistent data coverage which I was hoping to gather some insight from people who know about networks and what Sprint is doing.

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

This isn't going to be the best decision, but may be the best financial decision for you. Just buy the new Sprint HTC One 2014 and sign up for Sprint, financing the device.

 

I can't say your Sprint service is going to be great immediately, but I can tell you, it's going to be a hell of a lot better than T-Mobile is ever going to get. I don't know how many sites are in your city that you need, but if its 100 sites and most of the surrounding area is done, it won't be long until Network Vision is ready, and with where progress is right now as a nation, they may be deploying LTE 1900, LTE 800 and LTE 2600 simultaneously. Here in Columbus, they're already permitting for LTE 2600 on new sites that never had WiMax before.

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This isn't going to be the best decision, but may be the best financial decision for you. Just buy the new Sprint HTC One 2014 and sign up for Sprint, financing the device.

 

I can't say your Sprint service is going to be great immediately, but I can tell you, it's going to be a hell of a lot better than T-Mobile is ever going to get. I don't know how many sites are in your city that you need, but if its 100 sites and most of the surrounding area is done, it won't be long until Network Vision is ready, and with where progress is right now as a nation, they may be deploying LTE 1900, LTE 800 and LTE 2600 simultaneously. Here in Columbus, they're already permitting for LTE 2600 on new sites that never had WiMax before.

That's what I was hoping to determine, is if post NV network quality will beat Tmobile mainly when it comes to reliable data, not necessarily lightning fast. Speed is nice and that will come from band 41 obviously. I don't even think my market would be a fair representation of Sprint in the slightest considering NV is barely underway according to the maps. I'm more curious how it is in markets that it's nearly complete or fully complete so I have an idea what to expect. The closest place I could test a mostly modernized network is Colorado springs but I won't be back there for a couple more months.

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

 

 

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Service in Boulder has to be awful right now.  I would wait at a minimum for the Boulder cluster(s) to get 3G accepted and sites starting to go live with LTE before moving to Sprint.  That's my two cents.

 

Robert

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That's what I was hoping to determine, is if post NV network quality will beat Tmobile mainly when it comes to reliable data, not necessarily lightning fast. Speed is nice and that will come from band 41 obviously. I don't even think my market would be a fair representation of Sprint in the slightest considering NV is barely underway according to the maps. I'm more curious how it is in markets that it's nearly complete or fully complete so I have an idea what to expect. The closest place I could test a mostly modernized network is Colorado springs but I won't be back there for a couple more months.

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

 

 

In my market (Jacksonville, Fl), I have LTE 98% of the time on my iPhone 5. This market is almost finished with NV1.0 deployment and is also a launched Spark market (B41). My iPhone 5 doesn't have B41 or B26 capabilities, so any LTE I get is the standard B25. That being said, my speeds are generally never below 5mbps and usually always between 6-25mbps while peaking in the 30-35mbps range. Keep in mind, this is only on B25. B41 is very widespread here and B26 has yet to be deployed. B41 LTE has fills in very nicely in our market and has much better propagation characteristics than we originally thought. B26 LTE will fill in all the gaps and give amazing in-building penetration, even though my in-building coverage is really good, post NV1.0. If I do fall back to EVDO (3G), my speeds post-NV are usually in the 1.5-2.5mbps range with sub 100ms pings (this is a drastic difference from pre-NV).

 

B41 speeds are usually in the 50-65mbps range in this market but this will increase as soon as Sprint starts to aggregate more B41 20mhz TDD-LTE carriers (in 2015). Sprint has an amazing amount of B41 spectrum, which puts them on-top of pretty much all other carriers in capacity and eventually, speed. The only issue with carrier aggregation is that it requires LTE-Advanced (which is not an issue on the network side), but it does require phones capable of LTE-A and Carrier Aggregation. Currently, none of the Tri-band phones are capable of CA. Phones will start coming out soon with this capability. Once this happens and Sprint starts to deploy more B41 carriers and aggregates them, the speeds will really start to pick-up for those that have CA capable Tri-band phones.

 

In-other-words, a completed Network Vision market will out-perform T-Mobile in all metrics, minus maybe peak speed (for now). What you'd really gain over T-mobile in a completed market is coverage, especially in-building (once B26 is deployed). In this market, Sprint's B25 LTE has better in-building penetration than t-mobile and in some instances, B41 does as well. B26 will be the game changer and will put Sprint on the same footing as Verizon for in-building coverage.

 

As for traveling, TMO cannot come close to comparing to Sprint in rural coverage. Also, if you do run out of Sprint's native coverage, you can roam on Verizon's network. This is a huge advantage over TMO, IMHO.

 

Side-note: each market will be different. I can only give you an example of how my market is, post NV.

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Whatever Robert and AJ suggest is likely spot on.  In fact, it IS spot on.   So consider their awesome information wisely.

 

On another note, I was at a Sprint store in Buckhead last night here in Atlanta (had to get a replacement battery because my significant other decided it'd be fun to dunk my GS4 in beer at my birthday party on Friday night) and I had the chance to try out 3 spark enabled phones.  All of them were connected to band 41 at the time even though Atlanta hasn't yet officially launched as a Spark market.

 

The three phones were: the LG G Flex, the Samsung GS4T and the Samsung GS4 mini.  All were pulling download speeds in excess of 42 mbps with the G Flex topping the list at over 49 mbps.  I was BLOWN away.  I got my new battery and fired up my GS4 (on only 1900 mhz) and was still impressed at around 9 mbps.  That's more than enough for anything you're gonna do on a cell phone but to give you and idea of what can be...well, 40+ mbps is what can be!  

 

You've got a decision to make.  Hopefully the info you've gleaned here as well as from the Sponsor maps will aid you in your decision making progress.

 

Happy Wednesday!

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Thank you both, it does help indeed. How are the 3g speeds post NV for the time when LTE isn't available? Also does Sprint care if I'm switching phones up to 2 times a day for a lot of the week? Also is EVDO still only on 1900 and 1xA/LTE the only things on 800?

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

 

 

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Thank you both, it does help indeed. How are the 3g speeds post NV for the time when LTE isn't available? Also does Sprint care if I'm switching phones up to 2 times a day for a lot of the week? Also is EVDO still only on 1900 and 1xA/LTE the only things on 800?

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

 

Typically 3G is good on sites where LTE is active, because they share the high speed upgraded backhaul.  3G tends to be bad at sites where LTE is not active, because they are typically on legacy backhaul.

 

Robert

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i have a friend that has a htc one that he is not using cause he just got the g2. I think he is trying to sell it. Let me know if you are interested. I am in Thornton was just in boulder and my phone worked just fine and 3g was a little slow but did the job for what I needed. So it will get better but I cant complain about service in Boulder. 

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i have a friend that has a htc one that he is not using cause he just got the g2. I think he is trying to sell it. Let me know if you are interested. I am in Thornton was just in boulder and my phone worked just fine and 3g was a little slow but did the job for what I needed. So it will get better but I cant complain about service in Boulder. 

Thank you, I think I'll probably just wait and buy the New HTC One if/when I switch, its being announced in a month so it probably would make more sense to just stay with my Tmobile one for now. If he wanted to let me borrow then that's a different story :), however I have a strong feeling he wouldn't. It is good to hear from someone they don't have any problems in Boulder with sprint though, where about town were you roughly?

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Also does Sprint care if I'm switching phones up to 2 times a day for a lot of the week?

 

If you need to switch handsets that often, this is nothing against you, but you are at least five standard deviations removed from the mean.  Honestly, you probably will not be happy with Sprint.  The online or over the phone swap is not always quick and easy.  Doing that twice a day would probably drive you batty.  So, you might be better served by sticking with a 3GPP centric provider.

 

AJ

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If you need to switch handsets that often, this is nothing against you, but you are at least five standard deviations removed from the mean.  Honestly, you probably will not be happy with Sprint.  The online or over the phone swap is not always quick and easy.  Doing that twice a day would probably drive you batty.  So, you might be better served by sticking with a 3GPP centric provider.

 

AJ

Yea I know I'm an outlier haha, to be fair I feel like pretty much this whole site caters to outliers though since most people don't even know what OS their phone runs let alone the network technology their carrier is running. However, what kind of issues are there when switching online frequently? If I had to call CS every time it would certainly be a no go but I don't mind logging in to my account to switch assuming its a relatively painless process.

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Yea I know I'm an outlier haha, to be fair I feel like pretty much this whole site caters to outliers though since most people don't even know what OS their phone runs let alone the network technology their carrier is running. However, what kind of issues are there when switching online frequently? If I had to call CS every time it would certainly be a no go but I don't mind logging in to my account to switch assuming its a relatively painless process.

Online would be pretty easy because it has an option to pick previously activated devices on the account.
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