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Sprint's LTE Network Finally Arrives
Large Chunks of Georgia, Texas, and Kansas
by Karl Bode 02:53PM Monday Jul 16 2012
After announcing their intention to build an LTE network last October, Sprint today announced that the company has launched LTE services in portions of sixteen different cities. According to a Sprint press release, LTE service has gone live in Athens, Atlanta, Calhoun, Rome, Carrollton and Newman, Texas; Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury-Hood County, Houston, Huntsville, San Antonio and Waco, Texas; and Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri. If you're in those markets, Sprint is offering a coverage map that claims to be specific down to the street address. As we've previously noted, pricing for the new network mirrors the company's existing WiMax pricing, and Sprint remains -- for now -- the last of the large wireless operators to offer unlimited smartphone data.
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xenophon

join:2007-09-17

1 edit

Only 20% coverage to start with

Good to see the rollout beginning but none of the starter metros are more than 20% covered. Sprint probably shouldn't announce a market until it's 70% covered.

The performance is great where you can get it, some reporting over 30Mbps. I get 15-20Mbps at times. The latency improvements makes more of a difference as apps/web browsing only needs a few Mbps but low latency will have more impact.

3G performance has also really improved, about as fast as EVDO can go.

But it will probably take 5-6 months longer to complete larger markets. At least it's happening. Sprint will be in great shape when the entire rollout is complete on their entire footprint.

They'll standout if able to continue unlimited AND have competitive performance.

Edit: Most get 10-20Mbps, some get over 30. But it's the latency that makes it look better than WiMAX...

»forum.xda-developers.com/showthr···8&page=3
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

You should come on over to S4GRU...or are you already over there under a different username?

VZ, AT&T etc. announce markets at 50% deployment or so, so 70% is well above industry standard. Sprint kinda rushed to get the first bunch of markets out (as you said, the percentages are really low right now) but my guess is they had to have something to show for their LTE hype, and they're working quickly to bring additional sites online in those markets.

My bet is that the next round of markets will be launched at a higher completion percentage, since deployments will get quicker as time goes on and Sprint hasn't bound themselves to a completion date for any more new markets yet.

Heck, Chicago already has 35% of its cell sites online, albeit many only with 3G...and that market is probably two months away from launch. If things keep up the way they are, I wouldn't be surprised if it launched at 50-60% complete.
mwebb1984

join:2003-10-20
San Antonio, TX

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

If you look at their coverage map for San Antonio, their site actually shows >100% of the san antonio area (it goes WAY past where I would expect it would start at / coverage past anything most would consider a suburb and covering some very rural areas and nearby cities that I think most would not consider as part of the San Antonio area). I got the S3 on saturday and LTE was already active, although in the default startup of device LTE on the phone was disabled in the settings. However, in driving around doing speedtests, I would estimate 800MB data from it from 30 tests or so (in the areas with the faster LTE, other tests in slower areas but those would use less data)

Hopefully their towers aren't all upgraded yet that it shows on their coverage map, otherwise the poor coverage (if it's the end scenario) would be very disappointing and similar to wimax. Guess I have 10 of 14 days to decide to stick w/ them or not. Overall considering that probably almost no one using it yet and only a few places with the really high speeds... looks poor compared to initial wimax rollout that gave consistent 6-12Mbps everywhere I tested, although the LTE works somewhat better in buildings. That said, if they can even keep it at >3Mbps it would still blow away the competitor's offerings with unlimited vs the tiny caps. The speeds on V/ATT make little sense, you pay $1(100MB at $10/GB) to use 30Mbps for 27 seconds.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

The coverage maps show the end target state of LTE rollout, not the current rollout state. San Antonio could be more complete though.

LTE will get better coverage than WiMAX since LTE is on the same band as voice. After rollout is complete, if you get a voice signal, you'll get LTE - not the case with WiMAX. LTE latency is also a lot better than WiMAX.
mwebb1984

join:2003-10-20
San Antonio, TX

1 edit

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

Good to know, their website seems to give the impression that's the current state not the end state... what use is the end state when looking if you're covered at your house/etc?

I'm not sure I see a large latency difference but maybe the towers I connect to are far away or they have them routed strangely? I see 90ms/100ms now on LTE from speedtest.net app on the SIII (and have seen higher/lower) and I'm in the city/probably less than a mile from a tower. On wimax I think I was usually at 110 or so from 5mi+ from the tower where my fixed modem is at, and saw both higher and lower from my Evo. My fixed modem with Clear Wimax routes me through WA with most websites like speedtest.net, and I'm guessing Netflix/etc, (because the IP range/location is linked to there) and was always under 110ms unless there were bad network problems.

The 5Mbps upload IS nicer than ever was on wimax, and if they can maintain that will make using dropbox/uploading photos/videos much more useable... Now if only there were an easy workaround to prevent the horrible compression to a tiny fraction of the MMS size limit if you send an MMS with a photo.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

Workaround: use e-mail

Seriously though, my guess is that Sprint's LTE coverage will match their map in San Antonio in a week or two.

As for latency, check which speed test server you're using. I'd try testing to SoftLayer in Dallas rather than the default, since not a lot of networks in central TX are directly connected to SprintLink.
mwebb1984

join:2003-10-20
San Antonio, TX

1 edit

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

Yes the problem with email is OTHER people dont use email on their phones but MMS/texts rather than attaching photos to email. (at least in my experience)

I tried some various alternate servers... the Softlayer Dallas was the same. But, Houston/Comcast reported 50ms/58ms/49ms but curiously with lower throughput (limited by the server I assume)--> all these tests were with 3/4 of 6 "4g bars" signal quality; -100dBm 39-41 asu.

ok, I can confirm firsthand seeing lower latency in tests in SA (50ms!) than the wimax.

The additional tests pushed the speedtest.net mobile data since saturday to 1.3GB...
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Only 20% coverage to start with

Heh, lots and lots of mobile data usage

Then again, I'll be surfing up a storm come Wednesday, when I touch down in Fort Worth. I'll be away from WiFi (unless it's of my own making) until Sunday, so my phone, iPad and T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 will be getting a workout.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

How Is 3G There?

I would love to know how the 3G service is in those new LTE areas. Any improvement due to the new radio's and back haul or still as lousy as ever?
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

scavio
Premium
join:2001-07-14
Melmac

Re: How Is 3G There?

Posts that I have read have stated 3G is much better. For expmple, 2.22Mbps »twitpic.com/a6xc0v
xenophon

join:2007-09-17
3G is significantly better, about as fast as EVDO can go when having a good signal.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Good Luck Sprint

If your LTE network gets to central NJ and you have good coverage and still have unlimited data, or at least more reasonable LTE data plans, I may consider switching, until then I'm holding on to unlimited LTE with Verizon as long as I can.

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21

Why does it say the LTE downloads are 6-8 Mbps?

I thought this stuff was supposed to be 30 or 40 Mbit? I see double their 6-8 Mbps on HSPA+ and without the battery usage penalty.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Why does it say the LTE downloads are 6-8 Mbps?

That's the marketing rate since most people won't get the peak rate. I think Verizon markets LTE at 5-7Mbps. Not many people will get the peak rates, especially when LTE iPhone comes out. A smartphone app doesn't need more than a few Mbps anyway. The lower latency is where there is significant improvement.

Web browsing at 3-4Mbps at 50-60ms should be faster than 15Mbps at 150-200ms.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Why does it say the LTE downloads are 6-8 Mbps?

Don't knock T-Mobile too much. I've seen 22ms (I kid you not) pings on their HSPA+ network, though that was awhile back. These days, you're looking at 50-100ms. The catch here is that TMo's H+ signal falls off quickly as soon as you head outside town, whereas Sprint is doing market-wide rollouts so that, when a market is complete, every place where you used to have 3G will now not only have LTE, but that LTE will have slightly higher signal strength than 3G used to...and 3G will have higher signals and better throughput as well!

delusion ftl

@comcast.net

Re: Why does it say the LTE downloads are 6-8 Mbps?

In my last swing through the colorado markets I was amazed an how well put together t-mobile's network was there. Nearly all of my tests showed pings around 50-60ms.

Jon Geb
Wal-Mart Sucks

join:2001-01-09
Howell, MI
Verizon LTE rarely drops below 12mbs. I usually average 12-30mbs, even in major cities it hangs at 10mbs+.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Why does it say the LTE downloads are 6-8 Mbps?

Many Sprint users are getting 10 to 30 Mbps too but just wait until LTE iPhone comes out. It would be foolish for carriers to market 4G at >10 or 20 Mbps avg.
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN
My VZW Mifi Jetpack with either my laptop or just my iPad get under 12 Mbps all the time. Its not too often I can get near 20Mbps. Recently while in KC/Overland Park Area, my Galaxy Note smoked my VZW mifi spot.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
Sprint is intentionally lowballing LTE speeds to account for a loaded network and outer-cell performance. In many cases speeds will be above what you're seeing for HSPA+, both for downloads and uploads, despite the fact that Sprint is using a single 5x5 MHz carrier for LTE, versus T-Mobile's DC-HSPA+ system (2x 5x5 channels).

As for the battery usage penalty, at this point LTE is mature enough that there isn't a huge battery penalty anymore...now that you can get a SoC that handles CDMA+LTE all at once with a small (28nm) process.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Athens, Atlanta, Calhoun, Rome in Georgia - not Texas

quote:
Athens, Atlanta, Calhoun, Rome, Carrollton and Newman, Texas;
It is Newnan, Georgia, not Newman and the rest are in Georgia, not Texas.

--
»www.mittromney.com/s/repeal-and-···bamacare
»www.mittromney.com/issues/health-care

mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

Re: Athens, Atlanta, Calhoun, Rome in Georgia - not Texas

Thanks Mitt.
francoisatl1

join:2010-03-09
Atlanta, GA

4G LTE IN ATL

really well i got it in Canton GA of exit 20 on Saturday i live in the city of Atlanta lindbergh and can not get it i called sprint and tech told me to take my galaxy s3 back and get a new one we have 2 in the house and nobody can get LTE come on sprint do better

e_dub
franknbeans
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-12
kickin ass
kudos:2

Re: 4G LTE IN ATL

I was off of Lindbergh earlier today and the LTE worked fine on my EVO.
mwebb1984

join:2003-10-20
San Antonio, TX
have you checked your phone's "Network Mode" settings? I picked up the SIII on saturday and mine was set to CMDA only out-of-the-box. I had to manually set LTE/CDMA and the phone had to reboot to apply the setting.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Poor Sprint

It's too little too late, at least for now. We'll have to see if they start working on their coverage problem after NV. With the SMR spectrum, they could easily out-build Verizon for coverage, but that will take capital...

toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR

Re: Poor Sprint

said by BiggA:

It's too little too late, at least for now. We'll have to see if they start working on their coverage problem after NV. With the SMR spectrum, they could easily out-build Verizon for coverage, but that will take capital...

They are including the 800 Mhz in the same build out schedule, no more capital needed.
The first phones that include 800 Mhz LTE won't be available until next year.
Talis

join:2001-06-21
Houston, TX

Re: Poor Sprint

What? You mean the new EVO LTE that I purchased doesn't support LTE at both frequencies?
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Poor Sprint

Sprint's new LTE phones support 800Mhz voice/3G but not LTE because LTE on 800Mhz hasn't been approved yet - expected next year.
Talis

join:2001-06-21
Houston, TX

Re: Poor Sprint

So to get the benefits of 800Mhz I need a new phone? Or is this just a firmware upgrade?
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Poor Sprint

800Mhz will work for voice/3G, but not sure about LTE. Probably not upgradeable. 800 LTE may not appear until 2014 so if you upgrade regularly, you'll likely have a new phone by then.

scavio
Premium
join:2001-07-14
Melmac
New phone... doesn't have the radio to do it.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
A lot more capital would be needed to have the coverage that Verizon has. Right now Sprint is maybe 1/3 of what Verizon and AT&T have.

Some phones already have SMR support. Some don't. Obviously not upgradable unless it's an SMR phone that has SMR disabled in software.

Jovi
Premium
join:2000-02-24
Mount Joy, PA

Silly picture

I am getting the listed LTE speeds with Wimax now. I hope it jumps up by the time it rolls out here.
--
"Some people have no respect for logic."

LightS
Premium
join:2005-12-17
Greenville, TX

home has LTE!

Woohoo!
I grew up in Granbury, TX and they have always had abysmal cell phone coverage (except for AT&T). I'm glad that Sprint has finally decided to give them some love.

Also, they have it here in Waco!
Alas, I have Verizon.. which I'm very happy with