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3G & 4G data rates in 19067 area (Yardley / Newtown PA)

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Journeyman

3G & 4G data rates in 19067 area (Yardley / Newtown PA)

My wife and I both have Samsung Epic 4G phones.  For the past 2-3 weeks, we've been experiencing absolutely abysmal data rates on both 3G and 4G in the 19067 zip code -- specifically, the Yardley / Newtown area, around I-95 and route 332 (Yardley-Newtown Road).

The rates make it almost impossible to use the Internet on the phones during business hours.  Things are better in the evening hours, but, as I said, data on the phones is practically useless during the day.

Is anyone else in the area having similar problems?  Is there a known capacity issue?

What's odd is that we didn't experience any problems like this until just recently.  Not once.

Now, there basically isn't a business day when it's not an issue.

Any help, information, or pointers on how to deal with the issue would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

5 REPLIES 5
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Journeyman

Just a quick bit of additional information relevant to the question that I just posted ...

You may be wondering if the data rate issue I've described only occurs in situations involving a lot of bandwidth.  Unfortunately, that's completely not the case.

The issue comes into play regardless of the kind of websites we try to visit, and even websites that are lean and don't require much bandwidth at all can take looooooong times to load when this problem is occurring.  Google searches will stall and sometimes not execute fully.  Websites on servers that are just around the corner, and which involve only simple html with a few images, will timeout.

We actually wouldn't mind if this were just an issue with Youtube videos or other high bandwidth applications.  But it's not.

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Journeyman

I have not tested the data, but I can tell you that I have more problems with voice than I ever had. I was used the dropped calls on Route 1 coming from NJ, near Snipes farm, and for some reason a little section coming off the ramp from Oxford Valley Road onto Rt 1 towards NJ. But now its gotten worse. I can't even talk on the phone on Route 1 without having dropped calls and then roaming. Also, on Big Oak Rd in langhorne. Its so bad.

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Journeyman

Thanks, GINGRKITTI79, for the information about your experience with voice calls.

To be honest, the voice coverage from Sprint in the area has always been so spotty and unreliable that my wife and I don't even bother to carry out voice calls when we're traveling around locally. 

True, the I-95 corridor coming up from central Philadelphia has always been okay, at least since we got our phones about two years ago.  But the section of I-95 between the PA/NJ border and U.S. route 1 in Lawrenceville / Princeton, for example, is completely unreliable.  You are almost guaranteed to have a phone call dropped if you try to maintain a conversation on that section of I-95.  So we don't even bother trying anymore.

I remember the first time I had a call dropped on that section of I-95.  I couldn't believe it.  I tried it a few more times and it kept happening.  So I went to Sprint's coverage map and, lo and behold, it showed that coverage in that area was, in fact, very limited at times.

I was blown away because I never would have imagined that a major cell phone carrier would NOT have coverage on such a heavily traveled highway.

I felt like I did about 15 years ago when I bought a small boombox with a CD player.  I had assumed that it would have shuffle play because, hey, what CD player doesn't?  But it didn't.  I couldn't believe it.

Let me add that, to be completely fair, that until recently Sprint's data service in our area had been awesome.  There were times this spring when the 4G service allowed us to achieve download speeds of 2.5 Mbps basically anytime of the day.  That's fast.  Like cable Internet or FIOS fast.

Now, however, you can't even contemplate getting those kinds of speeds during weekday business hours.  I could live with that if the speeds were, say, half of the usual maximum, or even a quarter.  But the speeds generally drop to such a ridiculously low and unreliable rate that, as I said in my original posting, the data service is just about useless.

I hope these postings prompt someone from Spint to do something about this problem.  My service is coming up for renewal soon and, if this problem continues, I won't even consider staying a Sprint customer any longer.

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Journeyman

alek-b,

I've also noticed a degradation in coverage in the Yardley-LowerMakefield area (Big Oak/StonyHill Roads).

Prior to a couple months ago, it was weak (1-bar), but recently, I've had consistent drop-outs to either zero (0) bars or simply a "No Service" message.

Also, simply sending a text message now, I get a "transport error" about half the time.  Prior to that, I never saw such a message.

Apparently, Sprint doesn't care, but with so many people in this area, it's absurd to have such horrible reception around here, and quite frankly, after almost ten years with Sprint/Nextel, I'm starting to look for other options.

Oh, FYI---regarding reception just across the river in NJ.

Princeton has an issue with cell-towers.  They always have.

The result is bad coverage in many areas around Princeton/the Route-1 corridor.

Other areas of reliably regular drop-outs include:

Route 1 Southbound near Neshaminy High school.

Street Road West just prior to Bustelton pike.

*Either of these locations, you can bet rent money your service will drop out completely.

(And again, both locations have such a volume of people there, 24-7, it's ridiculous that Sprint doesn't get it right.)

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Journeyman

Hi systumseng1,

Thanks for the information on your experience.

Things have definitely gotten worse since I first posted about this two months ago.  There are times during weekdays where the Internet access on my phone will just cut out completely when I'm at home in the Newtown / Yardley area.  Nothing will work for a minute or so, and then the Internet connection gets reset and things start to work again (but very slowly).

I've also noticed that access on weekends is also difficult at times, as well.

The ridiculous thing is that, in these situations, it's actually better to use the 3G connection on my phone than the 4G connection.  The 4G connection is basically useless during the times when congestion is causing a problem.  So why am I paying $10 extra per month for that 4G connection?

True, speeds can be great late in the evenings or VERY early in the mornings.  But that just makes it clear that Sprint has a major issue with congestion other times of the day.

I also noticed the other day for the first time the issue you mentioned about text messages.  I sent a text message and it didn't go through.  Never had that happen before.  Had to resend it.

Any, speaking of basic cell phone coverage, if I recall correctly, Sprint coverage in the Yardley borough is spotty, at best.

I had hoped that, by posting this feedback, someone from Sprint might see the complaint and let us know that Sprint is working on the problem.  I assume that, since we haven't heard from anyone at Sprint, that's a sign that this problem won't get addressed for a very long time.

That's unfortunate, and means I'm going to have to seriously consider other alternatives when my plan comes up for renewal late this year.

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