I live in Phoenix Arizona. I'm sure you know that Phoenix is Huge. In fact, it is the 5th largest city in the US. We apparently are the red headed step child when it comes to 4G service. I just reviewed Sprint's newly posted coverage map and compared it to a list of the nation’s largest cities. Here is what I found:
Why do we not have 4G? About 18 months ago I upgraded to the HTC Evo 4G. My thought was that since I lived in a huge city like Phoenix, my chances were pretty good that I would get to use my 4G service. Well, I’m happy to say that last month I finally got to use my 4G service. All I had to do was fly 3000 miles to the island of Maui. With 144,000 people, Maui has only 4% the amount of people compared to 3.25 million people in the metropolitan area of Phoenix. Maui received 4G in December of 2009.
So why not us? How much money is Sprint losing by not getting 4G into Phoenix? How many customers are they losing?
Phoenix, while being one of the largest cities in the country, it may not be directly proportional to Sprint's largest customer markets. The 4G LTE network is likely being lauched first in areas that Sprint has the highest percentage of customers, it just makes business sense. So the largest percentage of Sprint customers will have coverage first. Forexample, if you are going to pay $xx amount of money t oconvert the entire network to Network Vision/LTE, I would start at the areas where the return on investment is highest. I would start with cities that I alreayd have hte largest customer base because for hte same amount of expenditure, I cover more people. So while Dallas may be smaller than Phoenix (doubtful since Dallas/Ft. Worth and the surrounding area is considered one phone market if I remember correctly), it may have a larger percentage of the population that has Sprint service.
I don't haveany specific information that I can give about the LTE deployment other than the information already released about the first 6 markets going live mid-2012. However, there are unofficial third party websites that are tracking Sprint's Network Vision and LTE rollout like www.s4gru.com
Note that these sites are not sponsored or endorsed by Sprint in any capacity and often are using leaked, rumored, or speculative information subject to change, delay, or cancellation. Also keep in mind these sites often have very low tolerance for trolling, defamatory, and overal negative comments since they are primarily for constructive discussion and criticism, and reporting of real world usage by users on towers being deployed and tested.
Here's a novel idea, make launching LTE in a massive city with lower percentage sprint customer base a priority to increase market penetration, and provide coverage for the hundreds of thousands of existing customers! I feel for San Diego as well...
This doesn't explain why a small island like Maui has 4G. Unless the Hawaii government paid Sprint directly to get coverage.
Hawaii doesn't require nearly the number of towers that a major mainland city requires for adequate coverage. It's all about size and how much it will cost to deploy the network versus the number of people that will get coverage and use the network.
You start with the cities that require the least number of towers to get adequate coverage for the majority of users.
The entire Island chain of Hawaii may not require as many towers as say the Dallas/Ft. Worth market alone. Hawaii has 4G WiMax which was deployed by Clearwire, snd Sprint uses that network for our previous 4G devices, but Hawaii is not in the intial launch markets for Sprint's 4G LTE network.
Sprint is starting by covering the largest number of our current customers with the latest technology for the lowest cost, and working our way through our entire 3G network market by market. Smaller markets where we have less customers are going to be lower on the list. The LTE deployment is not exclusive. IT IS Network Vision. We aren't just taking our old 3G network and adding LTE. We are taking the entire 3G network down and replacing it completely while adding additional backhaul and data speeds and then also adding LTE to it as that happens.
I've most definitely become fed up with Sprints service here in Phoenix, and I'll be switching to Verizon in September when my contract is up and the iPhone 5 is announced.
1) The 3G service is absolutely *terrible* anywhere I go....I feel like I'm using a 28.8kbp modem on my phone and 2) I get charged extra for something I can't even use properly.
I'd rather have a data cap that runs fast and smoothly in comparison to unlimited data that's total crap. Me and my 2 other lines of service (soon to be 3) will be heading off to Verizon before the end of the year.
I'm tempted to do the same...if I wasn't grandfathered on a ~$55/mo SERO plan, I'd likely have jumped ship already. I used to break 1Mb/sec on 3G with my Palm Centro on Sprint years ago. Now that 4G is the new hot thing, 3G speed has plummeted. Convenient coincidence to push 4G upgrades?
I have had sprint since 1999 and as of today am no longer a customer because the service in Arizona is so bad. I have been buying 4g phones for 3 years now and have been insulted with speeds of 0.09 mbs. Who needs about an unlimited plan if you don't get any data? I have switched to verizon and was happy to pay an early termination fee. If Sprint doesn't care about Phoenix why should i care about being loyal to them?
I couldn't agree more with all of the sentiments expressed here about Sprint. The coverage in Phoenix and surrounding areas is beyond crappy. Let alone expecting any type of 4g coverage. I am waiting out for the iphone 5 when it is released and will be switching all of my lines as well. I shouldn't have to be on wifi all the time to get data. I shouldn't HAVE to have a spot in my house using MY Internet connection to use my cell phone!
So the question is left unanswered for over 3 years now. Can you please let us know when Sprint is going to give Phoenix the service it deserves? October 1st is just around the corner and I need to make a decision. EVO 4G phone is no fun without the 4G!