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sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Journeyman

sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Hi everyone. I've been a sprint customer for just over a year, and though I'm quite happy with call quality and reliability, 3G data seems to be hit and miss in areas I've been.

Recently, I visited family in the Bakersfield, CA area over the holidays. With my iPhone 4S, during much of the day, 3G speeds were anything but 3G, ranging from 20kbps to around 200kbps depending on time of day.

Early in the morning once I got 869kbps download. But my average on 3G was somewhere around 96kbps or so. I've visited this area several times in the last year, and data speeds have always been this slow, from the day I got my phone. Since I purchased my phone in 2011 while visiting Bakersfield, I figured the slow data speeds were a temporary issue for the area. When I returned 4 months later, I was shocked to see that the same slow data issues I experienced before were still present. In my most recent trip to Bakersfield this past holiday, I had a chance to compare sprints 3G with Verizon's 3G, thanks to a friend who had an iPhone 4 on Verizon. I was expecting similar results to what I see on sprint with my iPhone 4S, since as far as I know, the same CDMA technology is used.

On sprint, I saw between 50kbps and 90kbps when running tests on download. when I tested with my friend's Verizon phone though, I nearly fainted with amazement. The lowest test was 1.4mbps, and the highest was 2.3mbps. The connection with the Verizon iPhone 4 was much more solid and actually felt like 3G when compared with my sprint iPhone 4S on sprint. In both cases, signal was good, with my sprint phone having 3 or 4 bars of signal, and Verizon having full bars.

Even here in my normal location in Palmdale, CA, I get about 200-300kbps on sprint on average, with my peak being just over 1.0mbps. I'm just curious, since VZ and sprint use the same technology, why is sprint 3G so much slower than Verizon. Granted, I haven't been able to test Verizon 3G here in Palmdale, but the comparison I was able to do in Bakersfield was eye opening for me and got me thinking.

Is sprint 3G data so slow because of lack of bandwidth at the towers? My theory is that the area of Bakersfield I was in, is possibly being served by a single T1 line or something, since data speeds are so slow for much of the day there. I know many folks across the country have issues with incredibly slow 3G data, and the problem doesn't seem to be getting better. So I'm curious what people's thoughts are on why sprint's 3G network isn't as good as Verizon's, or at least better than it is currently. At times when I go to my sister's place in Bakersfield, it takes several tries to even get a data connection. And once I downloaded an iTunes track that was about 7.3 megabytes in size, and I kid you not, it took over 40 minutes to download it!

And sadly, there is no wifi at or near my sister's place, so 3G sprint data that was more like dial-up or sub-dial-up at times, was all I had. So just wondering what people's thoughts are on why this is such a problem on sprint.

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16 REPLIES
Journeyman

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Here in St. Petersburg my lowest is around .80 mbps highest was 2.4 mbps. My average is 1.5 mbps. I think it's all about where you're at.The have started rolling out the LTE here so I think I'm benefiting from the upgraded network. 

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Journeyman

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Thanks for that useful info. I wondered if there was any good sprint 3G areas, since so much of what I've seen and read is about how awful sprint's 3G data is. I'm looking forward to being able to upgrade to an LTE capable phone this summer, so I can see what kind of speeds I get when in an LTE area. Since sprint 3G gives anywhere from .02 mbps to 0.9mbps, I expect LTE should give something around actual 3G speeds, lol.

Journeyman

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Thanks for that useful info. I wondered if there was any good sprint 3G areas, since so much of what I've seen and read is about how awful sprint's 3G data is. I'm looking forward to being able to upgrade to an LTE capable phone this summer, so I can see what kind of speeds I get when in an LTE area. Since sprint 3G gives anywhere from .02 mbps to 0.9mbps, I expect LTE should give something around actual 3G speeds, lol.

Journeyman

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Thanks for that useful info. I wondered if there was any good sprint 3G areas, since so much of what I've seen and read is about how awful sprint's 3G data is. I'm looking forward to being able to upgrade to an LTE capable phone this summer, so I can see what kind of speeds I get when in an LTE area. Since sprint 3G gives anywhere from .02 mbps to 0.9mbps, I expect LTE should give something around actual 3G speeds, lol          .    

Journeyman

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

Hopefully network vision will start in your area soon. I don't have LTE at my house yet, but I have picked up an LTE signal when I was out and about, I've gotten better than 20. Mbps.

GrandMaster

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

there are quite a few areas out there that have yet to see any NV upgrades and get those speeds..better yet att's speeds in my area arent much better than my current data speeds..my speeds are by far not impressive..

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I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
Journeyman

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

on average speed here in 07306 "usually at after 830pm" I would get great speeds from my S3 on 3G from minimum 1.45mbps-2.23mbps

But during the daytime it's HORRIBLE I get speeds of 0.10-0.37Kbps I hope sprint would fixed this & maxamize the capacity of the signal towers here during the daytime to recieve this perfection 3G speed

see my pics

Wizard

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

It does have a lot to do with your location and the way the technology is deployed. Our Network Vision project incorporates many new technologies that reduce signal degradation, increase signal power and communicate with devices to choose what signal is most efficient depending on the task which in turn optimizes the signal in the area as a whole. LTE of course brings brand new architecture that allows much faster data transfer that can also incoporate voice; so its a stand alone network which takes pressure off the EVDO towers and boosting coverage and speed on 3G.  Also remember we have Nextel 2G towers too; they are coming down, we are reallocating the spectrum and can put more 3G towers up, increasing the amount of radio energy available on that technology standard. Very new things bringing a new and better wireless experience to our customers.

Andrew

Sprint Social Care

GrandMaster

Re: sprint 3G data VS. Verizon 3G data, why such a difference?

on average where im at im well within the ranges posted by sprint...once other people in this town start waking up its a different story lol..im lucky to break 100kbps..still needing many more capacity, speed and backhaul upgrades..ditto for your area..your speeds of 1.45mbps-2.23mbps is actually above what they advertise..its ranged in the "with bursts of speeds " area.

Compare Data Speeds

     

Average Speeds

CoverageDownloadUpload

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Sprint 3G On NetworkSprint 3G On Network600 kbps - 1.4 Mbps350 kbps - 500 kbps
Sprint 3G RoamingSprint 3G Roaming400 kbps- 700 kbps50 kbps - 70 kbps
Nationwide Sprint NetworkNationwide Sprint Network50 kbps - 70 kbps50 kbps - 70 kbps
Nationwide Sprint Network RoamingNationwide Sprint Network Roaming50 kbps - 70 kbps50 kbps - 70 kbps
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I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
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