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Sunnyvale, CA
reply to criggs

Re: Is U600 Modem Unfair To 3G Network?

I have an Overdrive now, trading up from an older Novatel U727 which I had for the prior two years. Honestly, my 3G speeds have continued to decline, most precipitously over the past 6 months or so. Once 4G "lit up" in my area, speed has been much faster than 3G as long as I am in range.

4G is still spotty, and Clear doesn't seem to have the funding to build out the rest of their area. When I drop to 3G, I have never seen 1Mbps in the last year. The Overdrive is no worse, perhaps better, since I can move it to a better window than I could with the USB stick that was restricted to where I worked on my laptop.

Honestly, Sprint is having serious problems with 3G. My company used to recommend, in fact require, Sprint for company data cards due to their better coverage and performance. That just isn't the case anymore.

Perhaps EVDO was fine until all these smart phones joined, the same problem AT&T had when they had to service all of the iPhones. Now I have no sympathy for either Sprint or AT&T since they are charging a lot every month, and ought to be building out their service to provide what they sold.


New York, NY

said by seaprobe:

Honestly, my 3G speeds have continued to decline, most precipitously over the past 6 months or so.

In my case, while I had speeds that were unusable between October and December, outside of that period my speeds have remained relatively unchanged, usually between 700k and 1 mb on the download, 500k to 700k on the upload.

My big problem with 3G has been these connectivity issues.


New York, NY

My Sprint 3G Saga Ends, With Mixed Results

Well, my Sprint 3G saga has come to an end, with a disappointing resolution.

As per my previous message, I decided to give the U250 one last try on 3G.

For three days it was perfectly stable, and with good speeds.

Then yesterday the speed started to deteriorate. I was not experiencing any of the problems that had plagued me since January, like dropping to 1XRTT, suddenly losing all connectivity even though Smartview says it's still connected, or having the connection drop completely. So, to that extent, I still suspect that the U250 is the best 4G/3G modem when it comes to 3G. However the speed drop finally convinced me that 3G is just no longer a viable option for my needs at home, and that it was time to draw the curtain on my long-term testing of Sprint's 3G.

Which left one loose end: The Sprint store had told me they suspected that I might get better 3G results with a 3G only modem, and it just so happened that I still have the modem I used last year on my 3G only plan, the 598U. So they suggested I talk to the resolution person who's been handling my case for the past two months, Melanie, to see whether they would agree to add a third device and/or additional plan at a discount. I followed up and ran that idea by Melanie later that day. She said she would get back to me the next day.

Yesterday she called back and politely said "F**k you." If I want a 3G only plan I will have to pay for it, and I will have to pay full freight for it.

I told her that if I was to have a plan which only gave me satisfactory performance on 4G, not 3G, that I felt I should be charged accordingly.

She offered me a $20 a month cut, to $39.99 a month, not bad. But the condition was that I would have to return the Overdrive.

Well, as I may have mentioned, I do volunteer work about once a week, and need to have my fellow volunteers' laptops on the 'net as well. Sometimes we find ourselves without wifi, which is why I've set up a wireless ad hoc network on my computer for them to use, piggybacking off of my Sprint connection.

Except that wireless adhoc network is VERY unreliable. When they gave me the Overdrive last Tuesday, while there was no improvement in performance, it just so happened I did some volunteer work Thursday night, and discovered the Overdrive accessibility for my fellow volunteers was SIGNIFICANTLY superior to the wireless ad hoc network I'd been having them use.

So I told Melanie I did not want to return the Overdrive. She then made a counter-offer: a $10 monthly cut, to $49.99.

I accepted.

And so ended my 3G saga. Last September 27th, 2010, was the last day I had a reliable and fast 3G connection. On April 1, 2011, I finally accepted that Sprint 3G would no longer afford me a fast, reliable connection anywhere in my travels with laptop throughout Manhattan.

The pluses are that I'm really lucky that I have 4G available in my apartment and at least that is working fine for me at the moment, and I have an apparently reliable means of sharing my web connection with anyone I wish when I travel, and I didn't have to pay anything for the Overdrive. Of course, for the most part, that means depending on Sprint 3G in my travels (since the Clearwire/Sprint 4G network is only about 30% complete around here), and New York's Sprint 3G now offers effectively only an EVDO Rev O connection, with typical download speeds of 400k and upload speeds of 200k.

And that's the way it is.


Winona, MN

When I first got my 598U back 2 Decembers ago my connection was flourishing with -96dbm(coffee can mod), now I use the grid and get -77dbm. I have not had a problem with my speed, but my latency. I think when all the smart phones came out along with broadband2go unlimited, that is when speed has gotten worse. The network became flooded with users, and that's what happens I guess. Perhaps in 3G/4G areas, they slow down 3G to increase 4G performance or something.


New York, NY

said by Dexter1992:

Perhaps in 3G/4G areas, they slow down 3G to increase 4G performance or something.

You know, I'm almost ready to believe something like that myself. I know that on September 28th, when my 3G abruptly and unceremoniously fell into the crapper and has basically stayed there ever since, it was just a few weeks later when 4G went on line here, and I've always thought about the possibility that the 4G rollout here somehow screwed up the local 3G.