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.
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.
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.