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  1. What part of Sioux Falls were you in? It just seems like the speeds are terribly inconsistent in different parts of town. I agree AT&T isn't the cat's meow either. While I understand Cricket has capped speeds, my speeds were ok as long as I wasn't indoors. I thought the frequencies AT&T uses vs Sprint are supposed to be better for building penetration. In my experiences, it seems to be the opposite in Sioux Falls. I got zero signal on Cricket inside my employer's building in several spots. With Sprint, I get anywhere from half to full bars of service on my phone. At least Sprint has one thing going for it here. The signal strength is consistently good even if the data speeds are not.
  2. I assumed the ads were done locally because they were on the radio with local Sprint (Swiftel) store employees doing the voice-overs. I suppose Sprint corporate could have funded those ads. That seems counterintuitive though considering they won't fund tower upgrades. Promoting the crappy network is only going to hurt its customer satisfaction scores.
  3. Well, I am back with Republic Wireless. I have been enjoying the savings again going with the $10/mo plan. In the last couple weeks I thought I'd try the $25 plan with 5 gigs of 3g data just to see where Sprint is at in Sioux Falls. I can safely say, the improved speeds I had started to see were likely to many dropping Sprint alleviating the network congestion a little bit. Over Christmas time, I heard several local promotions for Sprint including the cut your bill in half deal. I am pretty sure a lot of people fell for it because 3g speeds are back to being as bad or worse as they ever have been. Speed is consistently below 0.5 kbps. It's amazing how absolutely idiotic and irresponsible it is to push these promotions knowing the network in this area is not up to the task of supporting thousands more users. Sadly, many probably sign up and it is ok for the first couple weeks and gradually slows down as more users sign up. By the time the 14 day return period is up... haha, we gotcha! More suckers stuck for 2 years. I would go as far to say what they are doing is downright unethical. They know the network can't handle the demands yet they continue to push the same national promotions that most areas enjoy decent data speeds. I'm really not upset. I'll go back to enjoying my huge savings on the $10 Republic plan. It would just be nice to justify switching to the $25 plan once in a while if I travel, but it makes no sense when the data is broken. I would say over 50% of the activity many smartphone users do involves media such as music or videos. When the data is BARELY fast enough to support loading web pages, how can anyone expect to have a reasonably good smartphone experience? It is almost comical at this point how bad the Swiftel network really is. It's too bad real people are being taken by the fact they don't know what they are getting into. Yes, people have the choice to sign on the dotted line or not, but I think Swiftel needs to be upfront about the data speeds to expect on a regular basis. Some of the national promotions mention high speed data. For Swiftel to advertise those same promotions and suggest you'll get the same high speed data as other parts of the country is just plain wrong.
  4. Yeah. I'm sure it's the same old song and dance. The rep said their supervisor was looking at the conversation and said they are looking to make improvements to the entire network . Not surprisingly, it was the same generic responses as usual. I actually may just go back to Republic Wireless and do the $10 plan with no cell data. The only reason I stopped was because my new job does not have public Wifi. I tried using the $25 plan with 3g data for a while. Then I decided to try a One Plus One on Cricket. I hate to admit this, but the cell coverage inside my employer on Sprint is almost better than what I get on Cricket. Building penetration seems to be better. I'm guessing it's a tower placement thing and the nearest Sprint tower is closer. Once Republic gets a new flagship, I'm going to sell the One and go back.
  5. Take this with a grain of salt, but I had a little conversation with a Sprint representative in an online chat regarding upgrade progress. While I got no specific time-frame or details on upgrades in the Swiftel market, the representative did a check in Sioux Falls and said the network status shows off-network roaming. Correct me if I am wrong, but that would be unusual (even this horrid portion of the Sprint network) to have this status. The only thing that would be logical to me is this means major work is currently underway to the towers here. Maybe I am being too optimistic. Anyway, it just seems too coincidental that I happen to randomly pick this day to check on updates and the network is showing up as off-network roaming. Maybe the overwhelmed, outdated tower technology finally got overloaded and took a crap. Haha. Now that's really being optimistic. Then they'd be forced to do something about this broken network. Anyway, I am hoping maybe the Sprint network will be a viable option in the near future. I'd love to at least have the option to utilize either Sprint or one of its pre-paid partners again in the future.
  6. Found this oldie - http://www.brookingsregister.com/V2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=76&story_id=5230 First piece of local info confirming the contract with Swiftel through mid-2018. I had Sprint in the late 90's early 2000's when I lived in Brookings, and I remember the call quality always being better than Verizon. I never had a smartphone on Sprint in Brookings, but it sounds like they have a decent network there. The only real chance of getting a decent network in the Swiftel market is to do what others have said... Sprint just needs to buyout the wireless portion of Swiftel. I cannot believe Sprint allows their name to be tarnished the way it has in this market. While it's a relatively small group of people under the Sprint customer base, it's still a very vocal group that has put up with this crap for a long time. This customer base tells one friend who tells another and one family member tells another. I know most of my friends and family (many nowhere near the Swiftel market) who won't touch Sprint with a 10 foot pole. I did give Republic Wireless a shot after leaving Sprint and swearing I'd never use Sprint again. I only did so because at the time I was able to utilize their $10 plan without needing any cellular data (which happens to be Sprint if you get a plan with cellular). I got a new job which does not have wifi in the building, and went to the $25 plan on Republic. I was hoping maybe Swiftel at least bandaided the network a little since I left a few months ago. Nope... same crap, different day. Can't even go for a run and use Pandora or any streaming music service. Want to show a friend a funny 30 second YouTube video... make sure they have the afternoon free first. Want to use "Ok Google" to find the nearest Applebees... sorry Google services aren't available... for the next 40 years. I am on GSM pre-paid now and couldn't be happier. I have the freedom to switch plans anytime I want, and I have usable data. I also can't accidentally make a rash decision to choose Sprint or a Sprint MVNO.
  7. So there is an assumption that those who have smartphones must also have a home ISP. Really? Are you kidding me? My wife and I get by fine using just our phones. I'm not constantly downloading music or large files or streaming for hours at a time. I do like to be able to use Pandora or YouTube once and a while. I am a musician and they are great tools when the network isn't overloaded. Usually when I need to listen to something as an example I'm away from home and wifi is not available. If wifi is available of course I use it. It's faster and according to Sprint uses less battery. Why should I pay for Internet twice when my usage is mostly away from home?
  8. I wish they could treat Sioux Falls as a separate location instead of the Swiftel market as a whole. I agree much of SD is vastly unpopulated, but Sioux Falls should be like any other decent sized city. I believe Rapid City and Pierre have REAL Sprint owned area and they are quite a bit smaller than Sioux Falls. I'd like to once here the inner discussions that go on at Swiftel. It'd be real interesting to know their reasoning for stifling progress for both them and their customers. The whole affiliate market thing sounds like it was a bad idea from the start. Between this and the Clearwire debacle, maybe Sprint will learn to avoid similar mistakes in the future. The funny thing I didn't mention is one Sprint rep said they were totally confident they could fix my issue. They offered a free Airwave. Once I found out how they work and need a separate ISP to work, I thought that was laughable. Really, using someone else's high speed Internet to boost your own data speeds. They really don't see an issue with that? One of the only reasons I took the smartphone plunge was I got rid of home internet to cut costs. I guess I need a home ISP so Sprint can piggyback onto it to boost their slow data speeds. I'm sure Sprint would love it if the ISP's did the same to Sprint.
  9. Thanks for the knowledgeable response. It's sad you seem to know more than the local stores or sprint reps. What you've said pretty much sums up the bits and pieces I've gathered from searching the Internet. I was being a little sarcastic saying 5-10 years. I honestly don't see the benefit to Sprint, Swiftel, or the consumer in the current arrangement. It's obvious the consumer suffers. I can't believe Sprint totally has its hands tied. In this day of complicated contracts to protect a company Sprint should have some power in protecting their name. All this stagnation by Swiftel only tarnishes Sprint's name. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. Does it to you? Maybe I'm missing something. The only party benefitting in some way is Swiftel by not having to spend money. They must not want to grow and increase long-term profits by investing in the short term. Surely the brunt of costs could be covered by Sprint. I did contact Swiftel regarding the issue. I complained but in a professional manner. I even complimented Sprint's plans on having a lot of value compared to the other major players. They didn't even have the decency to respond and say they don't know or can't comment. The no response just further proves to me they don't care. Sprint should do something for the sake of Sprint's own reputation.
  10. Being a Sprint customer in South Dakota is very frustrating. I could go on and on about it, but I'll try and keep this to the point. From my understanding, Sprint towers are controlled and operated by a local utility company called Swiftel based out of Brookings, SD. Sprint coverage (actual Sprint towers) are very limited in eastern SD. They are along I-29 from the Iowa border to Watertown, SD. Sioux Falls has a population of over 150,000 and it has a VERY small Wimax area near downtown. Up until just a couple months ago the actual "Sprint Stores" in my area (which are not corporate Sprint stores even though they look like they would be), were finally allowed to sell 4g phones. The decision not to allow sales of 4g phones, whether it be Sprint or Swiftel, totally baffles me. When you have Att and Verizon selling top of the line phones, how do they think they can compete when they are selling 5 year old technology phones? Ok, enough with the rant. Will South Dakota get any LTE love? Or will it continue to operate as it did 15 years ago? It's like Swiftel doesn't want to invest any money in improvements. I have a hard time believing their numbers are anything to be proud of. If they put a little effort in the network, or pushed Sprint to do so (not sure who is more at fault here), they could really be doing well against Verizon and ATT. Almost everyone I know around here has Verizon with a fair number of ATT customers. I almost NEVER see a person with Sprint. Sprint does have an awesome plan in their unlimited plan. It includes a lot for good price compared to the other two. The problem is, when everyone is pushing smartphones and their capabilities and Sprint is trying to differentiate themselves by promoting unlimited data for your incredibly capable smartphone, there becomes no value in Sprints plan when you can't do half the things a smartphone is meant to do. During peak usage (evenings) I often am lucky to get faster than dial up speeds. I'm talking 50-100 kbps. It's not possible to use Youtube, Pandora has trouble streaming, and anything that involves media is basically useless. What is frustrating is I can get 1 - 1.5 mbps early morning or late night. This makes it quite obvious it's a capacity issue. When it's a daily occurrence and it happens during the same time windows, it's clear the towers aren't keeping up as usage increases during peak times. Is there any hope for this area of the country? Verizon already has LTE here and I'm guessing ATT will not be far behind. As usual, Sprint is about 5-10 years behind the competition.
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