Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Official: Sprint's network stinks

Article first published as It's Official: Sprint's Network Stinks on Technorati.

Last Friday, my wife and I received our new iPhone 4S phones after pre-ordering them on We chose Sprint because it was the cheapest plan and offered unlimited data with the iPhone. After spending 4 days with the iPhone 4S on Sprint, we are canceling and switching to AT&T. Sprint's 3G data network is terribly slow when compared to AT&T, we only get 1 signal bar at home, and we've dropped almost all calls today from our home.

This evening, we tested an iPhone 4S side-by-side on AT&T and Sprint, and it was very telling (see this speed test comparison for further validation). Sprint averaged about 1 Mbps or less on download while AT&T averaged around 3 Mbps. I went to the Sprint store to return my phone, and while waiting, I ran a speed test (with a full 5 signal bars) and sadly got the following dismal results (543ms ping, 0.14 Mbps download, 0.01 Mbps upload):

I attempted several everyday tasks from various locations within a large suburban area, such as checking email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, web browsing, etc., and quite frequently received server "time out" messages or aggravatingly slow responses such as this one on the Facebook app for iPhone:

I called Sprint customer service twice and they both informed me that the towers in my area "look good." One representative offered to have a cell "booster" installed at my home which would plug in to my high-speed Internet connection (a solution I politely declined).

I also noticed that battery life seems to be extremely short with the iPhone 4S on Sprint.  I started using the iPhone 4S at 6:00 am this morning and by 3:00 pm in the afternoon, I was below 20% battery capacity and was forced to charge. Another iPhone 4S user on AT&T, however, reported 32% capacity at about 7:30 pm this evening (he started using his phone at about 7:15 am this morning). Whether there's a glitch in iOS 5, or there's a problem with Sprint or CDMA in general, remains to be seen. Regardless of the reason, both my wife's and my iPhone 4S's were drained by mid-afternoon.

Luckily, it looks like Sprint is going to let us out penalty-free (which is contrary to what another Sprint representative told me on the phone earlier today, who said we'd have to pay about $80 to terminate our service). Now the challenge is finding an iPhone 4S as they appear to be sold out at all carriers and Apple stores in my area:

1 comment:

  1. I am also having trouble with my phones, I cant use them at all. loose many words in conversation. took phones back to service center and teck told me the towers were being rebuilt. maybe would be repaired by july?aug. this is a joke. dont know what to do. hard to get through on phone. joke-select one two three four, wow this is a joke. talk to a machine. email, no help. cant use phones still getting charged same, sound like a joke huh???????