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Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?

nawells1 Regular Visitor
Currently Being Moderated

I just got my HTC Evo 4g yesterday (purchased directly from Sprint online).  I am a new Sprint customer -- have been with Verizon Wireless for a while using a Motorola Droid.


I am located in the northern part of Westchester County, NY.


The data connection speed (especially on the download side) I have been getting with the Evo using 3g (no 4g available in my local area yet -- so I can't comment on that) are not very good.  I have been testing this from my house which is located in a "good" coverage area (according to Sprint's coverage maps) and I have about 3-4 bars of signal strength indicated on the Evo (although it does fluctuate a bit -- as low as 1 bar as high as 5).

I still have my Verizon device (Moto Droid) so I was able to test them side by side simultaneously.


Using the SpeedTest.Net (Ookla) Android app on the Evo, I have tried a wide variety of servers.  This morning my download speeds ranged from about .1 Mbps to about .67 Mbps with the average being about .46 Mbps.


On my Motorola Droid (Verizon) I am also located in a "good" coverage area and average about 3-4 bars of signal strength (although the Droid only uses a 4 bar scale -- so perhaps my VZW signal is a bit better than my Sprint signal on the Evo). Using the same setup on the Verizon Motorola Droid my download speeds ranged from about 1.01 Mbps to 2.29 Mbps.


Now I never expected that Sprint would be as fast (and I realize that my signal might be a bit stronger on the VZW device) but this difference is astonishing !  On average, my download speeds over VZW are 3-4 times as fast ??!!


When actually browsing the Web using the standard (built-in) browser on both devices -- the difference is quite noticeable -- If I try to load a fairly intensive page (like something from the regular CNN site) the Droid is finished loading the page while the Evo hasn't even received enough data to begin rendering the page.  The latency is also much higher on the Evo -- one can sometimes literally wait 2-3 seconds before data starts being downloaded.


Signal strength issues aside (which in reality may not account for very much of the difference -- since one doesn't necessarily need many bars to get decent data speeds) how can this be explained ??


I'm still in my 30 day trial period with Sprint and I'm not sure what to do -- whether to stay with Verizon or not -- I prefer the Evo as a device over the Droid -- but a great device without a good connection is meaningless. I called Sprint Tech Support and they really didn't help much nor provide any explanation -- they simply had me pull the battery, updated my profile and reboot -- didn't really help.  They then tried to attribute my results to the Speedtest.Net app (saying it was an "unsupported 3rd party app") !!!  (even though (a) almost all apps one can install on the device are "3rd party" (b) speedtest (ookla) is industry standard software for data speed measurement (c) all other apps on my Evo also receive (and send) data slowly (d) doesn't explain why the VZW results were 4x as fast (since it is a "3rd party app" to that device/network as well)

This is the typical unresponsive pass the buck answer one might, unfortunately, expect.  I was under the impression that Sprint was trying to (a) improve their customer service (and its reputation) and (b) improve their network.


Does anyone have similar experiences ?  Is this all due to heavier than normal network traffic due to the Evo rollout ?? Is Sprint normally this slow ?

I'd be willing to accept that my speeds might go down a bit with Sprint, but I was expecting something like a 10-15% reduction in speed. As it is, Verizon is giving me speeds 3-4 times as fast.  I've been using smartphones on different carriers for years and expect differences, fluctutations, etc...

but this level of data connection is not really acceptable to me.  Will it get better ?? (other than waiting for 4g -- which probably won't come to my area for a long time, if ever -- since it is only scheduled to rollout in NYC towards the end of 2010).


Many people have complained about the $ 10 premium data surcharge for the Evo.  I am certainly not happy about it, but it becomes even more absurd when I can't even get decent 3g service while I wait for the possible eventual implementation of 4g in my area. I'd be happy to receive 3g speeds IN LINE with what Sprint publicly advertises for their 3g (see attached pic).  Since (a) I am in an area of supposedly good coverage according to Sprint's own coverage map and (b) they publicly advertise 3g speeds averaging between .6 and 1.4 Mbps (peaking at 3.1 Mbps) that is what I DESERVE to receive. If they don't deliver on this they are falsely selling a product -- they should either lower their advertised speeds or change their coverage maps.




Any ideas, comments much appreciated. I'd especially like to have a response from a Sprint employee which did anything other that deny the problem exists or pass the buck to an irrelevant, unrelated cause.


Message was edited by: nawells1


Message was edited by: nawells1


Message was edited by: nawells1


Message was edited by: nawells1

  • 1. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    emoose1 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    All day today and starting yesterday I started getting <300kbps down and 200-500 kbps up in Louisville Ky.


    I assueme there must be problems but don't know who to contact. Calling *2 seems like it would take a lot of time and the issue would not be fixed.


    The first few days I got my EVO I was getting 1.1-1.4 Mbs down reliably. now I can barely break 2-300kbps. Every once in a while it will pull out 900kbps.


    There must be somthing wrong.

  • 2. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    nawells1 Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated



    you are probably right -- but don't think it can hurt letting them know ....

    in my opinion, these days, .3Mbps is just not acceptable....

  • 3. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    emoose1 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    I opened a ticket with Sprint.


    Its terribly intermitent. I just tested 700k down but then will jump back to 300k down and my latency is ranging between 150ms to 999ms on Speedtest.

  • 4. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    nawells1 Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Interesting -- I just got a call from a Sprint rep. who asked me if my speed was any better since earlier today.  I told her "no, about the same".

    She told me she was going to refer it to someone -- but before she could finish her sentence, my wonderfully reliable Evo dropped the call !!

    She didn't call back (yet) -- maybe she knew what had happened and was too embarrassed !?


    If it keeps up like this -- I'm staying with Verizon (I literally could count on one hand the number of dropped calls I've had with VZW in a period of several years of daily use)


    Message was edited by: nawells1

  • 5. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    goygacon Silver Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    It's the network, always has been.   You can take 20 speed test and your results will be all over the place.

  • 6. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    nawells1 Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just spoke with 2 Sprint Reps. who told me there was an open trouble ticket in regard to network problems affecting the greater NY and NJ area.

    Has anyone heard this ??  Is it true ??

  • 7. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    kondarappassery Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Is this issue resolved? I am thinking of switching to sprint, and I am looking to see if issues like these are getting addressed by customer service appropriately and if the data network is so slow as stated or it is just a temporary issue. If it is NOT, then there is no point in getting EVO.

  • 8. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    3020fjr2 Bronze Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    nawells1 If I were you I would contact *2 and open a ticket with costumer service. I had this same problem but in Miami Florida. In my house and in the souring area all the Sprint Phone Internet would be extremely slow since I test with 6 sprint phone. I contact them and yes I will say it took a little long but in three week it was fix. Right After I call they contact me saying that my tower was overloaded. One week after I call I saw improvement and three week later it was all fast. This only happen in the tower near our house all the other tower in Miami Florida were acceptable speed.

  • 9. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    3020fjr2 Bronze Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    mithun1977 this problem only happens in certain tower. I do not think Sprint is overloaded in all the NY area. For me they fix my problem with my overloaded tower problem which was imposible to use the Internet on . Yes it took longer than I expected but it was done. This took Sprint about 3 week but saw improvement 1 week after I called. In Miami were I live it was only the tower were I live but all the other towers here in Miami were fine with good Internet speed.

  • 10. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ?
    kondarappassery Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank You 3020fjr for the info.  In any case nawells1 if you could post an update, when your issue got resolved with the new data speed details, that will be really helpful.

  • 11. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ? UPDATE *****
    nawells1 Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    The situation which I described in my original post has NOT BEEN RESOLVED in any way DESPITE my having made over 7 phone calls to Sprint (speaking with Customer Service, Technical Support and "Advanced" Technical Support) and having visited my local "official" Sprint store several times. One evening, from about 11pm to almost 1 am, I was on the phone with an "advanced technical support" person who insisted that I totally wipe my device (which I did, despite any logical reason to do so) while on the phone with her -- after almost 2 hours of "working" on the problem with this woman, we got disconnected and then she never even had the courtesy to call me back (even though she had my number) !!!  I have literally "wasted" what amounts to an entire day and a half's worth of time dealing with Sprint simply trying to obtain a single shred of reliable, honest information about either the cause/source of the local problem or whether/when it might be corrected.


    I have been given almost every possible "story" in the book (some of which are noted here below).  I have actually come to the conclusion that Sprint must adhere to some kind of policy (whether "official" or not) to some extent both "internally" and "externally" (dealing with the public) which limits access to information concerning the status of their network, their towers/equipment and possible outages.


    Every single conversation with a Sprint employee has involved at least one of the following:

    (a) a direct contradiction with information obtained from another Sprint employee (e.g., employee # 1: " hold on let me research this -- yes, there were 2 trouble tickets in your local area last week but they have been marked as closed;  employee # 2: "there have been no trouble tickets opened in your local area at all for quite some time"; employee # 3: "there is an open trouble ticket for your area now"

    (b) a self-contradiction (e.g., at the beginning of a conversation, the employee states that there is "no known" issue involving service to your local area and then 10-15 minutes later states "there are issues affecting your local service that are known to Sprint)

    (c) "fabrications" regarding ability to address the issues raised (e.g., "I can't open a new trouble ticket concerning your local area because there is a known problem affecting "New York") (c) attributing issue to user "error" or lack of knowledge (e.g., "are you sure you know how to use your handset ? ")

    (d) blaming the handset or software installed on it (e.g., "Sprint doesn't support the use of ""3rd party software""" or " it MUST be your handset" (even though nothong supports the idea that the handset is the cause of the problem since (1) 2-3 miles east of the problem areas I receive data over 3g at 4-5x the speed (2) there are no signs of ANY malfunctions with the handset

    (e) denial that having data service EVEN MATTERS : " you can still use your Evo as a ""device""" (in other words Sprint data service is irrelevant -- the fact that I can't, at a reasonable speed (1) browse the web (2) receive email (3) use navigation (4) stream audio or video etc.etc etc -- doesn't matter because I can still theoretically take a picture or use a "word processor" on the device !!!

    (f) false promises:( this actually occurred twice):  "I am going to open up a new trouble ticket for you but it will take me about 10 minutes to write it up and rather than having you wait on the phone, I will call you back in 10 minutes" (and I give the rep. my contact number -- which they have on file anyway) AND THEN THEY NEVER EVEN CALL BACK

    (g) (h)(i) etc --- I could go on and on !!


    Yesterday, Friday 6/11/10 -- I went into the local "official" Sprint store on Route 6 in Mohegan Lake, NY 10547 at approximately 3:50 p.m. In the presence of several witnesses I demnonstrated to 2 female store employees the following:


    I placed my HTC Evo 4g (running on the Sprint network) side by side with my Motorola Droid (running on the Verizon Wireless network).  I opened Speedtest (Ookla) application on both devices. I ran Speedtest several times on both devices connecting to a variety of servers in the greater NY/NJ area.  ON AVERAGE:  the HTC Evo (Sprint) got a result of about 300 kbps (.3 Mbps) for download speed;  the Motorola Droid (VZW) got a result of about 1800 kbps (1.8 Mbps).


    The Sprint store employees seemed "amazed" -- but this amazement seemed a bit strange since 2 minutes later 1 employee launched into a story about how a local tower had been hit by lightning last Tuesday afternoon (6/1/2010) and how both her personal Sprint service and that of the store had been interrupted numerous times since June 1st (at times going out completely) and how Sprint was "working" on the tower and how it had been

    restored to "81% of power" (whatever she really meant) -- Then she seemed confused and started telling me that perhaps the reason it wasn't being fixed (even though she had just said it WAS mostly fixed) was that "Sprint is going to be putting in 4g in this area very soon and maybe they are waiting for that so that they don't have to send out crews twice".  When I pointed out that 4g had not been implemented in NYC yet -- she told me that:  "it actually is available on the upper west side of Manhattan and they are putting it in here very soon" !!!!! (I have no idea of what if any part of this is true, since obviously no one knows what Sprint is doing ! )


    This Sprint store is located on a very busy stretch of Route 6 (frequent bumper to bumper traffic) and is almost in the center of the affected area.

    As far as I can determine the affected areas include, at minimum:  parts of all of the following localities:  Mohegan Lake, NY; Shrub Oak, NY; Jefferson Valley,NY; Yorktown Heights,NY; Peekskill, NY; Cortlandt Manor, NY; Putnam Valley, NY (and perhaps, others).

    (See attached image with affected areas -- all in "good" Sprint 3g coverage range.


    As far as I can determine, at least part of this service problem did begin on June 1, 2010 -- even though I was not using Sprint at that time, I do know for a fact that other carriers experienced outages after a thunderstorm that day.  Both my own VZW service was affected  (but it was fully restored on June 4,2010 and service of relatives using T-Mobile (fully restored on June 5, 2010).


    Since I can not (not for lack of effort on my part) seem to get any honest information from Sprint I probably will have to cancel my Sprint service.

    I don't know what other steps to take in order to avoid this and resolve this situation ... Perhaps posting a video of the two handsets running Speedtest side by side on Youtube and every other cell/smartphone related website I can find ?????  BBB and FCC complaints ????


    Message was edited by: nawells1


    Message was edited by: nawells1


    Message was edited by: nawells1

  • 12. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ? UPDATE *****
    3020fjr2 Bronze Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    nawells1 I understand you frustration. As a last option I would send a e-mail to sprintcares@sprint.comexplaining all you have done and what costumer service has said. Also but a link to this forum and the other forum you created in the community with this problem. This is there twitter page From the post above it seem the problem is with many tower and not just one. is that correct??? I have also seen a slow down since the evo was released here in Miami but speed are still acceptable sine it from 1mbps to .7mbps. Also costumer service before the Evo would answer instantly. Now you have to wate for them to answer. Also the sprint community has also been overloaded with Evo users and I now sometimes it slow at sign in adn to reply. Lastly I know here that att wireless is having problems in Florida and other states in the south east part of the United States with it 3g network. This past Thursday and Friday they have had network outages. I do not know how long it was on Thursday but on Friday from 12pm to 7pm. Hope this help.


    Update: Look at what is now poping up in the sprint community

  • 13. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ? UPDATE *****
    Currently Being Moderated

    I know just what you mean nawells.  We live in OH and went on a Sprint plan coming from Nextel cause it was suppose to be sooo much better.  HA!  We have no service and the maps shows all green.  Took phones back in to store before 30 days was up and we were told to update(like you) and everything would be OK.  Went out of town, came back and nothing--no service.  Of course 30 days was up.  They have sent us to 3 different stores,been on#2, emailed, tech support and all and have gotten NOTHING.  One tech support said to email her and let her know if everything came out OK and she would also call back.  NOTHING.  They actually don't care.  We have dealt with some of the rudest people and dumb also in the business.  If I was you, I would stay with Verizon.  We are stuck with almost $300. worth of phones and 2 year contract for nothing.

  • 14. Re: Very Slow 3g Data Speeds -- you too ? UPDATE *****
    D5WSTAT Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Nawells1, I live in the same area and I can attest that the speed drop off is real.  It is not the hardware as I have the same speed issues with my wifi and a data phone.  Both devices are useless in terms of Internet use.  I have just recently passed the thirty day return date and if I were still able I would have returned my mifi.  This decrease in speed is unacceptable and then tech support is clueless as to what is happening to their network.  I spoke with a tech and asked several times if it might be the network.  I was assured that it was not the network and that my mifi was damaged.  I said that seemed strange since the upload was working fine bit the download was 0.03 MPs at best.  Best we can do is make some noise on the forums and on Twitter.  Thanks for taking the time to write and visit the local Sprint store. D5wstat

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