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Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

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Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

I have been having issues with my data speed for the last 6 months, at least, and finally called customer service. I was told "sorry" and "it could be the time of day slowing the speed down". I have 3 phones on my account (2 of them are iPhone 4s) and they are all very slow. Also told to take all 3 phones in for service. Customer service is not only useless, but very rude. Is anyone else experiencing painfully slow data speeds? I did the speedtest.net and the results were .04Mbps (download), .04Mbps (upload) & 658ms (ping), is this the norm on 3G service? We still do not have 4G available in AZ.

5 REPLIES 5
Journeyman

Re: Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

I have the Epic Touch, and in Midtown I usually get .04mbps... its pathetic. I'm investigating the speed of T-Mobile who also has unlimited 4G plans... Tucson is 33rd in the entire country, and we don't have any plans for 4G yet. Sad...

Master

Re: Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

davidedwards73 wrote:

I have the Epic Touch, and in Midtown I usually get .04mbps... its pathetic. I'm investigating the speed of T-Mobile who also has unlimited 4G plans... Tucson is 33rd in the entire country, and we don't have any plans for 4G yet. Sad...

So much misinformation spread around the internet. Giant wall-o-text incoming with facts rather than hearsay and mis/dis-information.

Sprint already announced an entire network overhaul called Network Vision. Almost ALL Sprint towers nationwide are going to be upgraded (less than 100 will not be due to limitations outside Sprint control). The towers will have all panels, cables, wiring, etc. replaced with new equipment. The backhaul to the tower to get the data back to the main network will be upgraded (this is the biggest reason for slow data speeds, current backhaul was not designed for the massive data consumption of today's devices, and with Clearwire's sudden stop of rolling out 4G WiMax, the network has higher usage than was anticipated). Current backhaul is usually a few T1 lines (1.5Mbps each) to the tower, the upgraded backhaul will provide a MINIMUM 100Mbps that can scale up at Sprint's request as the need arises).

In addition, as new panels are added they will support 4G LTE as well. Sprint is still the only provider with plans to upgrade almost every tower to 4G LTE across our network nationwide. Other carriers are only upgrading a fraction of the towers to provide general coverage, filling in the gaps will not take place for several years most likely, based on their current deployment speed.

Sprint has already announced more than 125 cities with 4G LTE either live or planned in the next few months. The rest of the network will follow, but Sprint has not given a specific timeframe for these other than the original end of 2013 for all markets to at least be started, with work finishing mid-2014 most likely.

Network Vision was planned to be a slow rollout in the beginning to figure out gowing pains/difficulties in a network replacement of this magnitude (Chicago being a good example with incompatibilities discovered between the old legacy equipment and the new equipment). Sprint is the first provider to replace their entire legacy network with new equipment proactively before it fails. As the first phase of NV starts to come to a close and the subsequent phases begin deployment speed is scheduled to increase.

There are three vendors working nationwide on these deployments: Alcatel-Lucent, Ericcson and Samsung. Due to the massive nature of a complete 3G network overhaul and entirely new 4G LTE network deployment, permitting, etc. take time and have different requirements in different cities.

The appearance of random towers coming online in major cities as NV progresses nationwide is likely due to these permitting delays and being granted access to different towers. Many towers are built on buildings that already existed, water towers, skyscrapers, etc. that require access by a different company/property manager that Sprint does not have control over. Most carriers do not own the towers their equipment is on, they just lease the space from another company where they need it. Until a date/time can be worked out to have the NV vendor there and have the property open for work with all of the equipment necessary and the backhaul in place, it may be delayed in favor of another tower that can be accessed immediately. Backhaul in many cases is provided to the tower by another company and putting the new equipment up without upgraded backhaul does not provide any noticeable improvement, so that site may be delayed for a later time in favor of another site that has the backhaul upgrades already. LTE cannot be turned on until the upgraded backhaul is available, and the 3G improvements would not be noticeable to a customer because that is where most of the speed limitations are currently anyway.

Add to this the shutdown of the Nextel iDEN network and refarming of the 800MHz spectrum previosuly used by that, and once NV is complete Sprint's coverage will expand. 800MHz signals can travel further and better penetrate buildings compared to the 1900MHz currently in use. The 800MHz spectrum will be used for 1xRTT-Advanced voice upgrades, and also LTE deployment. Post-Network Vison, Clearwire is also adding 2500MHz LTE "hotspots" in major metropolitan areas that further help congestion in areas where spectrum is at a premium due to population density.

Here's a link to an post I made a few months ago that illustrates the differences that NV and the 800MHz refarm will provide as far as coverage is concerned: http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/88840

Journeyman

Re: Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

I don't know if you work for sprint, but if you do, you are being outright deceitful about what exactly sprint is doing.

Sprint has been making claims identical to this one for the last two years. If you look at their network map in Mesa, AZ they indicate perpetually that upgrades have come or are coming within a six month period. They have done this for over two years now, yet the quality of service has been steadily decreasing: Increased dropped calls and slowing data rates. Just to give you an idea, sprint's "premium data" that you pay $10 extra for provides 3g services that are slower than T-mobile's 2g EDGE speeds. I should know because I just switched to t-mobile.

Every time I asked when the 4g service was coming, they always say it's just around the corner, e.g. a few months away. They've been saying this ever since they claimed to be the first 4g network. Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the US, yet sprint offers no 4g coverage. Every other major carrier, including the smaller MVNO's, offer 4g in Phoenix. Yet sprint does not.

Also, sprints LTE coverage claims are extremely misleading if not outright deceptive. In spite of what you claim, sprint doesn't actually provide full coverage in a given market that they claim to cover. Rather they add a few towers to create LTE "islands" and then stop development of that market. A former sprint employee called them out on this.

http://www.fiercebroadbandwireless.com/story/sprint-critic-defends-his-research-lte-coverage/2012-10...

He tested the actual coverage against the graphics you linked in your post and found them to indicate coverage where no coverage is present. In sprin's official statement, they said they aren't disputing his claims. That alone should tell you something is wrong with sprint's network vision plans.

Sprint lies through their teeth about these matters. In addition, they lie through their teeth about quality of service to their customers. GET THIS: I had a CSR tell me that my service quality was 100% according to their metrics in spite of getting dropped calls, and insisted that the calls being dropped were by the people I was talking to on other networks. Well, while I was talking to her, my call was dropped. She actually did call me back, and when I asked what that was, she said she didn't know, but insisted that my service quality was perfect.

Sprint is NOT an honest company by any stretch of the imagination. They're hemmhoraging customers for a reason. They're operating at a net loss in the 10 figures every quarter for a reason.

You don't have to believe me if you don't want to, but I do have data to back up everything I am saying. If you do work for sprint, I'd suggest not making these claims as it will open sprint to consumer lawsuits. In fact, a class action lawsuit is currently being started over exactly this (sprint's misleading 4g claims,) so I'd suggest for sprint's sake that you avoid adding fuel to the fire.

Journeyman

Re: Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

@ halcyoncmdr123:  Cool story, bro.  Meanwhile everyone I've ever talked to in Phoenix who has Sprint says their data is all but useless if they aren't on WiFi.

Here, let me do a quick speedtest on my Galaxy SIII. 

http://i.imgur.com/sqk6P0e.png

Care to brag about all your upgrades anymore?  The proof is in the pudding, and in this case the pudding is 90% horse-$#!+.

Would you care to come back here in six months and I can post another speedtest result showing no improvement?  Based on all the false promises of the past, I can guarantee it'll be the same or worse.

Journeyman

Re: Is your data speed painfully slow? Tucson, AZ

I can attest to what FireyFate says completely. Sprint 3g is basically useless in phoenix. In fact, I am not sure whether it's just a bad signal or what, but when google play is doing app updates, my phone got really hot and the battery dies FAST.

I switched to t-mobile a month ago....wow, the speed is soooo much better. And the call quality is outstandingly good (t-mobile supports the new HD voice standard that newer android phones have.) Plus, t-mobile LTE just went live in Phoenix. I don't know about the quality of service in other areas, but if you are in Arizona and are thinking about dropping sprint...stop thinking now, just do it. T-mobile just switched me to a new plan with 4 lines with unlimited everything for $100 a month, no contract. And unlike MVNO's, you get full roaming service. Also, portable wifi hotspot usage is now free as well. Their new policy is to permit you to use whatever device you'd like on your line, in whatever way you'd like to use it. Nothing like sprint's BS policy of "that phone isn't compatible with your plan."

When I was on sprint, I was paying $300 a month for SLOW data and 1500 minutes. Ever since sprint first launched wimax a few years ago, they've always been promising that 4g was just around the corner in my area. Every few months they would say it is just a few months away. How much you want to bet that Phoenix won't see it for at least over another year from now?

EDIT: Oh, and t-mobile doesn't have contracts anymore.

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