| Review by criggs |
member for 12.8 years, 814 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 2.4 years ago
- New York,New York,NY
- $60 per month
- (24 month contract)
- about 2 days
- "Speeds much faster than were possible with EVDO Rev A, and reasonably priced."
- "Tech Support is spotty and lazy"
- "Sprint's Mobile Broadband 4G is fast and cheap. Poor Tech Support is a significant minus however. Overall grade C+"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
I had narrowed down my 4G choices to Sprint and Verizon Wireless before I chose Sprint. I ordered their 4G/3G package, at $59.99, on December 2nd. I already had a Sprint 3G connection so my "order" consisted of requesting that my account be upgraded to the 4G/3G flavor. After the upgrade took place, I was unable to connect and Sprint was clueless as to why. Eventually, after 24 hours, I solved the problem. It related to the fact that my laptop came out of the box WiMax ready. That's sounds really peachy, doesn't it? Except that it ISN'T. You see, the onboard WiMax modem fights the Sprint USB modem!!! Eventually, at 4 in the morning, when I finally called my own computer manufacturer, Hewlett-Packard, they set me straight and walked me through the process of DISABLING the HP onboard WiMax modem. Beware all: if you have a laptop that is "WiMax enabled" that could cause more problems for you than it's worth. At the very least, disable the stupid thing. I regret to inform you I don't recall where the disabling menu was.
As for hardware, I originally wanted the Overdrive modem, but the local Sprint store only had the U600 so I got that instead.
With regard to good and bad experiences, let's get the bad out of the way first. From July 09 to September 28th 10 my 3G connection worked beautifully, an average 900k download speed and 700k upload speed. On the morning of September 28th 2010 my 3G connection abruptly went into the toilet, with average download speeds between 500b and 1k. No, those are NOT typos. To this minute, Sprint Technical Support has been unable to fix the problem, an incredible ten weeks plus that I've been stuck with an essentially unusable 3G connection. Lame, lame, lame.
Now, a good experience: my experience with WiMax has been very impressive. I've consistently gotten download speeds upward of 4.5 megs per second, well above the 3 meg per second minimum spec. And most of the time I get speeds way north of that, usually around 9 megs or so (I'm in Manhattan, NYC, by the way).
The upload speed has been both impressive and frustrating. It's impressive in the sense that it has always been fast and has always been rock-steady (no significant, or even insignificant, variations). It's frustrating because of what Sprint has done with it. Techno-nerds on this forum are well aware, I'm sure, that WiMax upload is capable of impressive speeds in the 5 to 10 mbps range, I believe.
But you can kiss any idea of getting that good-bye when on Sprint, because they have implemented a 1 meg per second cap on the upload speed; and that is, in fact, exactly what I've been getting, 1 meg per second upload speed. They claim that is to protect the network. That may very well be the case. Certainly the percentage of variation in download speed from hour to hour or from day to day is WA-A-A-A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y better than was the case with my 3G connection, even during the latter's best days. So the service appears remarkably solid and reliable.
Of course, a huge caveat with the foregoing is that WiMax is notoriously finicky based on distance and walls. The falloff from the local tower, apparently, is quite dramatic; one has to be pretty close to get good performance. In addition, the WiMax signal becomes quite weak if required to go through a few walls. As a result, Sprint has been forced to distinguish in their coverage maps between areas where they guarantee in-building coverage and areas where they only guarantee in-street coverage. So, if you have in-street coverage beware; you may have problems if you're trying to use it regularly inside your home or apartment. (I have no idea how they accomplish the in-building coverage; do they actually place towers on the sides and the roofs of skyscrapers?)
In my case, my intersection is right on the border between an in-street and in-building area. The Sprint folks warned me, therefore, that my performance would not be guaranteed. Gee, what a great out for Sprint if the connection starts to act up. All Sprint needs to say is "Sorry, you're in an in-street location, so we can't help you if you're using it inside a building." Like I said before, lame, lame, lame.
That said, I would say it's a fairly safe hunch that I've wound up on the in-building side of this border, based on my speed and reliability. Whew, that was a relief!
The bottom line is that if you have good reception you will be very pleased with the Sprint WiMax service, provided you aren't uploading files much larger than a gig. It works and it's stable. Overall grade however is only C+, based largely on their disappointing Tech Support.
Nice that Sprint 4G is good the reason why I say am research because eventually 4G will reach my Rural area in California. They want to blanket my area like they did with 3G. I have 3G for my Main broadband because I don't want to do eaither of the 2 choices in my area which is Dial-up or Satellite internet. My 3G during the day go from Dial-up"33.6 to 56K" to ISDN"non-bonded 64K" but at night after midnight it goes over 200KB/s. From the Load on the tower. I am on Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go $40 unlimited MB and I know I use way over 2GB. Once I get 4G I hope and I am able to start gaming again online since I moved from a area with DSL"1.5Mbps".
New York, NY
Re: Nice that Sprint 4G is good
said by Spikey :That is very seriously below spec for 3G. Have you spoken to your provider about this? Sounds like you're not getting what you pay for.
My 3G during the day go from Dial-up"33.6 to 56K" to ISDN"non-bonded 64K" but at night after midnight it goes over 200KB/s.