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Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Journeyman

Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

First, I would like to say that I'm happy that Sprint finally joining the LTE party, but what about us that already have 4G phones and are on contract, and don't already live in a 4G area? Now we have to wait while Sprint plays catch-up, rolling out LTE in areas that already had WiMAX first. Let's say for the sake of argument that my city, Buffalo, NY gets LTE next year. Why should I have to buy a new phone to use 4G in my area when I already bought a 4G phone (Evo 4G) under the promise that we would be getting 4G sometime in 2011? (Yes I was promised this at the Sprint store.) I understand they are 2 different technologies, I don't need a technical explanation I already know how it all works. What I want to know is how is this at all fair? I would have to buy a 4G phone next year for this year's technology, and then I would have to buy another one for next year's 4G technology. I think these excuses of Sprint of it being different technology need to stop, in favor of fairness for the customer. My next upgrade comes in June next year, let's say I decide to get the Galaxy Nexus 2 or whatever happens to be out then. Then what happens next, Sprint starts rolling out it's LTE-Advanced, the next month and I would have to buy a new phone in order to use that. Whoops. Or let's say I wasn't on contract and bought the Galaxy Nexus now, and did live in an LTE covered area, then in like October, or so Sprint starts releasing 800 mHz LTE phones. Whoops. So basically, for the next few months, every time you buy a new phone you're screwed, unless you keep buying new ones.

Sprint needs to better communicate the capability of its phones, and their compatibility with the network, and Sprint's different network technologies. WiMAX phones, LTE phones, LTE 800 phones, Clear LTE 2.5 gHz phones, LTE-Advanced phones, that's a lot of quickly evolving network technology, and Sprint needs to seriously future-proof it's phones. This is why I will not be buying a new phone for a long time. My main point is that I don't think customers should have to replace their phones every few months to work with the latest Sprint network upgrade. Honestly, I think Sprint should replace customers' WiMAX phones when LTE comes to their area, if they live in an area that never had WiMAX before, especially the ones who were lied to. Selling WiMAX phones to customers who live in cities that would never get it seems like a scam to me, and I think Sprint needs to take responsibility and make amends for this. At the very least, I think Sprint should offer those customers early upgrades.

42 REPLIES 42
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Journeyman

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

I know it's frustrating, but remember: it's just a phone.  Why not upgrade every two years when your contract expires, taking advantage of the new phone subsidy and use whatever technology is available at the time? 

Also, the upgade game won't go on forever even though it seems like it from past experience.  The most data intensive application is real time HD video.  That can be done nicely with about a bandwidth of about 10Mb/s.  With LTE we're bascially there.  Sure we'll get some incremenatal benefits as the years go by, but we're about to go over the technological hump, the point of diminishing returns, so to speak.

I'm thinking if the price for unlimited calls and data doesn't drop considerably in the next two years, I'll go to a no contract plan even if it means buying the phones at full price.  I just won't need to upgrade as frequently after that point.

On to more productive things....

Sprint Employee

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Hello GForce-1, We did not setup to deceive anybody, and originally it was planned for Clear to rollout Wimax to many more markets. Unfortunately due to changes in the economy, and perhaps other factors Clear was unable to complete rollout to a broader footprint as planned. We made an effort to relay this information when we launched our Network vision project, which will enhance our existing 3G service, and allow us to start offering 4G LTE (we do make an effort to distinguish the difference in Wimax vs LTE.) you should see a steady rollout of LTE as we work towards completing Network vision. The biggest advantages to using LTE are higher speeds, higher capacity, and greater adoptions rates of LTE worldwide, vs Wimax. Which means with allow better roaming rates, and wider coverage while abroad, and faster & more widespread coverage here at home, and what’s more is that LTE phones are future proof since leading networking companies have stated that LTE – Advanced networks will be backwards compatible to allow LTE devices to use data. I hope this information helps you. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thank you, Chris.

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Journeyman

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Its not what you set up to do, its the fact that Sprint promised things and contracts were agreed based on those promises.  Now Sprint expects customers to abide by contracts when Sprint has no intention of providing what was promised.  Intended or not, thats where we are now.

From the looks of today's LTE rollout, its not getting better.  This time I do not intend to let Sprint get away with the broken promises.  Something is going to give.  Account credits for services not provided, contract end and go elsewhere, something but I am not going to continue paying for service not being delivered and neither should others.

Sprint Employee

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

LTE is rolling out relatively fast, in the short time we've been rolling out LTE we have it available in Atlanta metro, and several cities in TX. What promises do you feel were made by our corporation related to Wimax that were left unfulfilled?

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Journeyman

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Thank you for responding. I understand that Sprint didn't intend to decieve anybody when it decided to switch to WiMAX, but why were there so many promises made at Sprint stores nationwide about the availability of 4G up until Sprint decided to go with LTE? I think many firings are in order. I understand that the salesmen may be on comission or something, but when long term contracts are involved, lying on that scale is really low, and if you ask me, it just about constitutes fraud. I think Sprint should do some investigation into the behavior of its store employees, if it didn't outright tell them to lie, that is.

The second half of your response reads more like an advertizement, so let me just reiterate how I am happy Sprint moved on to LTE, and I know the advantages of LTE over WiMAX.  You also say that LTE-Advanced networks are backwards compatible with current LTE phones, but that response is the kind of ambiguity Sprint needs to avoid. What I asked is if LTE phones will be forward-compatible with LTE-Advanced networks; as in, will LTE phones enjoy LTE-A speeds on the LTE-A network. Please, note, as I have discussed that there are several flavors of LTE as well.

To make it easier for you, I will put my other uncertainties in list form:

1. Will there be a 800 mHz LTE network/phones?

2. If so, when approximately will they be released and which will be released first (the phones or the network)?

3. Same questions as above, except for Clear and it's TD-LTE network.

4. And again, as I asked above: Will LTE-Advanced requre new phones yet again in order to take advantage of its speed.

This is more of an opinion question, but I think it is important to address:

5. When LTE (whichever kind) finally arrives in their area, why should customers who never had WiMAX but paid for 4G phones (and the 4G tax) have to pay to upgrade their phones (again) to use 4G?

Wizard

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

First of all lets get something straight and the facts in order.

Sprint had no other recourse but to go Wimax back in 2008 due to conditions at the time set forth by the FCC such as using BRS 2500-2600 MHz spectrum and wimax was the only viable option at the time. Otherwise not doing that and waiting for LTE would have risk having those licenses terminated. Bottom line, Sprint would have lost spectrum. Wimax was known technology and already available. It also allowed Sprint to come to market first with 4G. True, it might not be true 4G as per the description and should be in my opinion 3.5, but still.

Also at the time, alot of European and US carriers hadn't decided to go with LTE. With Clearwire it saw the opportunity to bring 4G to its customers. Eventually they did and if those European and other US carriers did not choose Wimax (which by the way is used alot around the world) then Sprint would have been in a very good position to be ahead of the others with Wimax 2 (true 4G). Due to circumstances beyond Sprints control (cough Clearwire cough) the deployment of wimax was not as spread out as many wish it would be. But at the same time, Sprint never promised Wimax to be nationwide. They simply could not make it happen financially on a 2600MHz network.

While its true that Sprint could have gone the route of upgrading EVDO Rev A to Rev B instead of wimax, it didn't because you then you have other factors involved such as Qualcomm which makes the radios. They cancelled any research and development on anything after EVDO Rev B. Therefore going wimax was the only solution at the time.

But, before I continue to go off topic let me answer you..

1. Will there be a 800 mHz LTE network/phones?

Yes, there are a few already.

  • Samsung Galaxy S III,
  • HTC EVO 4G LTE,
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus,
  • LG Viper,
  • HTC EVO Design,
  • Samsung Epic 4G Touch,
  • HTC EVO 3D,
  • Motorola Admiral,
  • ZTE Fury,
  • Kyocera DuraXT,
  • LG Optimus Elite,
  • Samsung Conquer,
  • LG Rumor Reflex,
  • Kyocera DuraPlus,
  • Samsung M370,
  • Huawei Express,
  • Kyocera DuraCore,
  • Samsung Transform Ultra,
  • BlackBerry Curve 9350,
  • Kyocera Milano,
  • Kyocera Brio,
  • LG Marquee,
  • Samsung Trender

2. If so, when approximately will they be released and which will be released first (the phones or the network)?

The devices above are already out. Now mind you, by the time that Sprint has 800MHz operational in Network Vision, some of the devices may be at end of life. But for those that keep their phones for a long time, at least these mentioned above would be able to use the frequencies.

3. Same questions as above, except for Clear and it's TD-LTE network.

I don't follow? You lost me in that question.

4. And again, as I asked above: Will LTE-Advanced requre new phones yet again in order to take advantage of its speed.

Well, it is my opinion that by the time Sprint (or any carrier) gets LTE-Advance operational, most customers would be at the end of their 2 year contract, thus probably getting ready to upgrade to a new phone/device that would be LTE-Advance capable.

5. When LTE (whichever kind) finally arrives in their area, why should customers who never had WiMAX but paid for 4G phones (and the 4G tax) have to pay to upgrade their phones (again) to use 4G?

A: Well for starters, it's now marketed as a smartphone fee so if a customer has a smartphone they are paying the $10 fee. Some still think its for 4G (since Sprint started saying it and retracted), but its really a smartphone fee since a smartphone does way more than a regular phone.

B: As mentioned above, Wimax was due to conditions beyond Sprints control and conditions imposed by the FCC for spectrum re-distribution. Clear could not expand beyond their base and that pose a limit as to where Sprint can expand wimax, and Sprint never promised that it wold make wimax nationwide. With Network Vision having 3G, and 4G LTE, being deployed, it will be nationwide.

C: With Network vision, improvements are being made across the board. Customers will be seeing 3G improvements and speeds. Some have voiced the difference favorably in the forums and in other online discussion forums. Of course with anything, things take time. But with NV and 4G LTE in a few markets staring up this weekend, folks are starting to see that Sprint is sticking to its word, improving the network, offering great devices and has the best unlimited plans.

The unanswered question remaining is, "Will they stay", I hope they do.

TS

Journeyman

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Mmmneh... That was a nice little story about Sprint & Clear, but I really never asked what happened in the past. I don't think you really know what you are talking about when it comes to my questions, either. It's not like you work for Sprint, so some of those questions you  can't really answer anyway. Just answering by defending Sprint is kinda pointless. I don't want to get into the details; I'm not going to argue over whether there development choices were right or wrong, that's not the issue.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Hi...I am looking to upgrade to a smartphone and I am clueless. Do you have any suggestions? B

Journeyman

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

Hi, You seem to know a lot about this kind of technonogy. I still have a phone with no data plan and my contract w. sprint ends this week. I'd like to have a smartphone, but as I began to do the research, I found myself utterly overwhelmed.

Which smartphone is the best for a beginner? I also am hoping to upgrade cost-effectively.

Any insight would be appreciated.

B

Sprint Employee

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

I’ve been told that at this time newer phones will use 800Mhz for voice, I believe with FCC approval LTE will also be available through 800, unfortunately I do not have a hand in network design, or anything like that. So far there are several phones that had been release since last fall that can use 800 Mhz for voice service. I believe all phones going forward will be capable of doing this, and will be able to do so in areas of the country where Network vision has been completed, I don’t have information about Clear’s TD-LTE here, but I’ve read that they may not be. I will post back with that if I can get a clear answer, although clear’s TD-LTE shouldn’t be too important to us since we’ll be putting up our own LTE service I would imagine. I’m not sure how to answer your fifth question. There’s no “4G Tax” all smart phones pay the $10 premium data fee since Smart phones use so much more data than Feature phones. Even if you had purchased a Wimax capable phone this does not mean that the phone could not use data outside of a wimax coverage area, nor will it stop working because of Wimax’s availability. Additionally most users tend to upgrade whenever the opportunity arises, and in this situation if you had purchased a 3G only smartphone the situation would not be any different. I do apologize for the delay in responding, and Two spirits is a trusted member of the community, he shares a lot of good information.

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Sprint Employee

Re: Sprint LTE launched today... so what?!?

It really depends on what you aim to do. I would suggest the Evo 4G LTE, it's my current favorite that I've had a chance to play with, although many people have been talking about the Samsung Galaxy S III. for the most part all android phones will work similarly, so the question for an android is not so much beginner vs expert, but entry level versus high end. we have a selection of phones that use the blackberry operating system, and iOS. I usually suggest Android for it's ease of use, wide variety of low priced applications, and the great variety in the different models.

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