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Mixed Early Reviews For Sprint's New LTE Network
Postcards From The Bleeding Edge
by Karl Bode 11:59AM Thursday Jul 19 2012
Sprint last weekend launched their shiny new LTE network in portions of Texas, Missouri and Georgia, and early impressions are decidedly mixed. The company's official support forums contain the usual assortment of complaints from the bleeding edge. Users in Atlanta for example say they have a hard time finding any LTE signal despite the supposed launch there, while users in markets that can find signal (like Athens, Georgia) say they're having a hard time staying connected to the LTE network. Sprint's LTE coverage map, like most wireless coverage maps, doesn't really seem to adhere to the laws of reality, suggesting Sprint's initial light up is much more constrained than their announcement would allow users to believe. If you're a Sprint user with an LTE-capable device in an LTE launch market, we'd love to hear your impressions (and see your speedtests) in our comment section below.

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alicant310

@rr.com

Incorrect

No, you just didnt listen to details of the launch. Initial coverage will be street level like coverage. over the next months it will get denser.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Incorrect

Sprint shouldn't show LTE coverage on the maps for the entire metro when only 20% or less is complete.

But it is interesting to see what they will target compared to WiMAX. When looking at the Sprint coverage map for KC, you can click LTE only and WiMAX only. The LTE coverage expected is quite a bit broader than WiMAX (for KC).

»coverage.sprint.com

mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07

Re: Incorrect

That is because Sprint is upgrading to LTE, not Clear.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Incorrect

Yes, and because LTE is on 1900Mhz vs 2500Mhz for WiMAX.
Valicore
Premium
join:2008-06-10
San Jose, CA
Well, Wimax was being done by Clearwire as "it's own thing" - LTE is part of Network Vision which is a total network overlay. Anywhere Sprint has native coverage now they will have LTE.

mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet

Coverage is OK if...

You stick to main streets and avoid underpasses.

Test Date: Jul 18, 2012 7:56:26 am
Connection Type: Lte
Server: Overland Park, KS
Download: 15.00 Mbps
Upload: 8.47 Mbps
Ping: 68 ms
Latitude: 39.01469
Longitude: -94.71489

A detailed image for this result can be found here:

»www.speedtest.net/android/213990295.png

And a map of exactly where I took the test is here:
»goo.gl/rfkzv
--
Ich habe kein Mitleid - Me
You're a daisy if you do. - Doc Holliday
And as always, have nice day.

whfsdude
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Washington, DC

Lack of IPv6 Support

Sprint's LTE network lacks IPv6 support. Silly Sprint, rolling out a "next generation" network without support for IPv6. Fail. (both VZW and T-Mo are running v6 now, not sure about AT&T).

Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: Lack of IPv6 Support

I would hope that they built the network in a way that allows them to easily flip a switch and go to IPv6. I mean, it's a brand new network, and they have to know that the transition is inevitable, so they must have known it would have been idiotic to build it any other way. Of course, you know what they say... if you hope, the answer's nope.
--
to whoever anonymously gave me premium membership... thanks!

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
It's crazy they didn't turn on IPv6 on day one because IPv6 is so widely used right now...

root@battleop#service stop sarcasm
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

whfsdude
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Washington, DC
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: Lack of IPv6 Support

said by battleop:

It's crazy they didn't turn on IPv6 on day one because IPv6 is so widely used right now...

Major websites running it:
Wikipedia
Google (including youtube)
Bing
Yahoo
Netflix
Imgur
engadget

Google also shows 1.34% of their users in the US [ »www.google.com/ipv6/statistics.h···adoption ] are now defaulting to IPv6. While it might not seem like a lot of users, that's not an insignificant amount of traffic.

Of course the real question is why is IPv6 not turned on by default? Their LTE network is going to last how many years? 5, 10?

IPv6 adoption is only going to increase. You've got a brand new network. Do it right, dual stack it!

vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA

Re: Lack of IPv6 Support

I'm guessing they figured it would be easier to debug issues if they didn't roll out a new network layer protocol at the same time as they were rolling out new link & physical layer protocols.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Clinton Township, MI

1 recommendation

Re: Lack of IPv6 Support

said by vpoko:

I'm guessing they figured it would be easier to debug issues if they didn't roll out a new network layer protocol at the same time as they were rolling out new link & physical layer protocols.

However, Sprint has been working with IPv6 for a while. It's not new, just not "flipped" on. I doubt they feel a need for it right now till everything is inplace.
»ipv6.com/articles/general/Sprint-IPv6.htm
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Sprint needs to manage expectations better

They should just turn sites on and let users use them before announcing a market. It would alter the expectations to what's coming rather than setting expectations too high with full coverage. They shouldn't officially announce a market until it's at least 50% covered like Verizon does.

Speed is great where I get it but they have a ways to go to cover downtown/midtown KC well. Ping is awesome, sometimes below 40ms. 3G performance also improved to about as fast as EVDO can go.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

Sprint is announcing markets at 40% completion.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

Hmm.. I question that. Maybe 10% of downtown/midtown KC have LTE.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

AFAIK it's 40% but it may be less due to such high demand from customers.
ydoucare

join:2003-03-12
Lafayette, IN
40% completion is in reference to the number of cell sites, not coverage area.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

said by ydoucare:

40% completion is in reference to the number of cell sites, not coverage area.

I question that too. There are a bunch of cell sites in downtown KC but it appears only 1 site has LTE. Same with Plaza area, appears to be only 1 site.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

Which phone do you have?
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

sg3, but that's an old post. Most of midtown/downtown KC now have LTE so Sprint is indeed expanding.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: Sprint needs to manage expectations better

Okay, I figured you had the EVO LTE which has a lot of problems connecting to LTE.
OwlSaver
OwlSaver
Premium
join:2005-01-30
Berwyn, PA

Are any of the LTE networks compatible?

I know that Verizon said that their network is not compatible with AT&T but are any of the other US LTE networks compatible?
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: Are any of the LTE networks compatible?

No because they all use different LTE bands (different swaths of spectrum.). LTE Phones can't yet support more than about 2 LTE bands without compromising on a lot of things like battery life and phone size.
Gami00

join:2010-03-11
Mississauga, ON
hmm, i'm pretty sure that they're designing these LTE networks to be Incompatible with everyone elses.
OwlSaver
OwlSaver
Premium
join:2005-01-30
Berwyn, PA

Re: Are any of the LTE networks compatible?

So, they come up with a standard but implement it in such a way that it is incompatible. What is the point of the standard then?
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24
I'm not sure if you're retarded or just being sarcastic. You just can't have more than one band in a LTE Device at this time without major sacrifices and AFAIK Qualcomm doesn't have any decent Multi-band LTE radios yet. You can't have multiple Cellular carriers using the same spectrum. Cellular companies own spectrum which gives them exclusive rights to use it. LTE is a standard that can be deployed on various different parts of radio spectrum, that doesn't mean they're trying to make it incompatible with other networks, at this point the phones just can't connect to other carriers allotted spectrum due to radio limitations and the fact that each carrier owns vastly different spectrum at least looking at it from what LTE radios require.

Phones would have to support a majority of these bands to be movable from carrier to carrier. »niviuk.free.fr/lte_band.php

rit56

join:2000-12-01
New York, NY

1 recommendation

Sprint Network

To be honest when my contract with Verizon expires I'm going to Sprint as long as they stay unlimited. Verizon and AT&T can go gouge someone else.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Sprint Network

I'd like to switch to Sprint, if they deploy a good LTE network, that has good coverage (indoor and outdoor) in my area and they keep the rational data pricing (note I didn't say they had to stay unlimited). Which are two pretty big if's.

They have to prove themselves first. paying less for phone service that doesn't work or is ridiculousness slow, when I want or need to use my phone to isn't a deal to me. Sprint has a lot of work to do still.

gballer

@reyrey.net
Yeah I said the same thing when I was on AT&T..

2 years of dial up speeds on Sprint and I'm now back on AT&T but through Straight Talk..

Offering unlimited on dialup probably isnt very hard.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Sprint Network

Straight talk is a great value for someone who doesn't use a lot of data, quite a savings in comparison to a post-paid AT&T plan, and you still get the same network. I'd definitely recommend them over Sprint.

jhacker

join:2001-12-11
Peoria, IL
said by gballer :

Yeah I said the same thing when I was on AT&T..

2 years of dial up speeds on Sprint and I'm now back on AT&T but through Straight Talk..

Offering unlimited on dialup probably isnt very hard.

I was on Sprint for 2 years, and couldn't wait to leave their dial-up speeds. In order to make a comparison, this is what I tell people: Imagine having a river of water (unlimited data from Sprint) that you have to suck through a straw. It's going to be impossible and unpleasant to suck that river dry through a straw, and you're probably going to give up. Now, imagine a 55 gal. drum (a normal network from anybody BUT Sprint), and trying to suck the water through a 2" PVC pipe. It's not going to take long to suck that drum dry, is it?

My cousin recently came over to my house with his Sprint iPhone. I asked him to download the Speedtest app. Well, on Sprint's network he waited several minutes and it wouldn't complete the download. Finally, when he hooked up to my wi-fi, it downloaded almost instantly. He finally got to do his speed test. After a long server response, he finally got 160kbps download. For comparison, I tested USCC's 3G on my Android. I got an instant server response, and 1200kbps. Then he asked me if I knew how he could get out of his Sprint contract. I just laughed!!

I will never trust Sprint again, 4G or no 4G!!
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Latency is fantastic, often below 40ms

If testing from Android, don't use the speedtest app, use a real ping app for Android like 'Network Tools' and then ping www.google.com.

Speedtest shows 60-100ms depending on test site for me while a real tool shows 40ms to google.

Browsing is much quicker than WiMAX because of the lower latency even though throughput is about the same (from my location).

pjcamp

@comcastbusiness.net

It comes and goes

But even when it is gone, Sprint still beats the snot out of T-Mobile, whom I just left.
ydoucare

join:2003-03-12
Lafayette, IN

LTE 800

I wish they could dump iDEN a little sooner so we won't have to wait so long for LTE on the 800 mhz spectrum to roll out.