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iPhone 4S on 3G data network too slow to be useful

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Journeyman

iPhone 4S on 3G data network too slow to be useful

This is the speedtest screen capture I did on my brand new iPhone 4S.  As you can see, I got .016Mbps down and 0.05Mbps up.  For those of you want to say maybe the network is just slow in my area.  I did the same test with Samsung Epic Touch with 4G turned off at the same spot.  It's 3 times faster.  Is sprint crippling iPhone data rate, or there is something wrong with iPhone CDMA radio itself.

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2,896 REPLIES 2,896
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Journeyman

The speed is completely unbearable. I switched 5 lines over to Sprint from AT&T and picked up three of the iPhone 4S. It's basically the same speed as edge. Something has to be done because even sending picture messages are a chore. My friend on AT&T iPhone 4S sent a picture message way faster then mine, especially since often times it won't even send. Here is a screenshot of a speedtest.Photo Oct 28, 7 24 53 PM.png

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Patron

True, scf48. Network Vision rollouts, 1X Advanced, and more available spectrum via 800Mhz reallocation to CDMA can't come soon enough (not to mention FD-LTE in 2H2012, and phones that can actually utilize all everything listed)

Still though, its a shame that in the same spot, my EVO on 3G gets usable (if still slow-ish for CDMA) speeds connected to the same tower, while my iPhone is worthless. Although 0.3 Mbps and 0.03 Mbps is 'just' a decimal difference, its all the difference in the world.

And I'd probably be less ornery (well, maybe not) if my iPhone's battery weren't somehow magically worse than my 1 year old EVO with 4G enabled all day.

Somewhere in Cupertino or Overland Park, an engineering team definitely has some 'splanin to do.

Journeyman

Terrible speeds here in Duluth. I get anywhere from .21 - .28 on the down, and less than that on the up a lot of times.

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Journeyman

Any data is basically useless on 3G.

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Journeyman

sprint 3g data is the worst of all carriers, i have spoke with them before and was told my service was working fine in my area, shelton,ct. we also have 4g here but forget trying to use it even if you put your phone by a window. i know that i have little over one year left with them and will jump ship at that time, look the bottom line here is yes sprint still has unlimted data, but if you have to wait for speeds that i remember in dial up service back in the day then it will be worth paying more with a company that has the speed of real 3 and 4g and that is with every other carrier out there....... sorry sprint loved you for many years but its time to say goodbye.

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Journeyman

I joined sprint with a tax ID and everything, went through all these hoops and now this. I'm incredibly disappointed.

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Journeyman

I did a bit of testing, comparing an iPhone 4S on AT&T to an iPhone 4S on Sprint. The simple answer is, in NY, you're better off with Sprint. Much better off. Here are the more detailed results:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/115450369001355623660/posts/fnUknV9YjVV

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Wizard

Well a decimal difference is a ten fold increase. Specifically it is 30,000 bits per second vs. 300,000 bits per second. I'll take ten times more speed any day. Yours is yet another example of the iPhone 4S not stacking up, indicating a more specific problem.

mehisuppose wrote:


Still though, its a shame that in the same spot, my EVO on 3G gets usable (if still slow-ish for CDMA) speeds connected to the same tower, while my iPhone is worthless. Although 0.3 Mbps and 0.03 Mbps is 'just' a decimal difference, its all the difference in the world.

Somewhere in Cupertino or Overland Park, an engineering team definitely has some 'splanin to do.

BTW, I left Northeast Ohio and am now in The Kansas City, MO area, not far from Overland Park. I know you guys love speed tests so here is one from my current location with my EVO:

Down 1.16 Mbps

Up 0.23 Mbps

Once again, quite useable for most any normal device data function purposes.That high down speed was the first test. I did a couple more with less than half that speed. All random and quite pointless. Take 'em with a grain of salt for any accuracy or really proving anything. Waaay too many variables involved.

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Wizard

This is interesting a.c.d., thanks for posting. For years Sprint got a bad rap for not working well around tall buildings. Maybe in NYC Sprint got the better spectrum to use? Lower being better. (That's why that 700 Mhz TV spectrum space was so coveted by the wireless companies in the last FCC auction). Could be a lot more to it than that though.

a.c.d wrote:

I did a bit of testing, comparing an iPhone 4S on AT&T to an iPhone 4S on Sprint. The simple answer is, in NY, you're better off with Sprint. Much better off. Here are the more detailed results:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/115450369001355623660/posts/fnUknV9YjVV

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Journeyman

Data speeds on the iPhone 4s still slow here in SoCal (San Diego). The last time I called them I talked to a supervisor and he actually acknowledged the problem and confirmed that Sprit was working with Apple on a solution but was not able to tell me anything in detail. I was told to email [...] because they knew more about the issue. They're supposed to be some kind of special technical group or something. Well I went ahead and emailed them provided them my ticket number and here's how that went

My email to them:

"Hi, I have been having issues with my iPhone 4S data speeds on your network. I was given ticket #18886659-111020 and was told to contact you guys for more detail of what's going on and what's currently being done to resolve the issue with the slow iPhone 4S data speeds. If you could provide me with some information as to what's going on, I'd really appreciate it. I know I'm not the only person with this issue and you've probably been dealing with this from many Sprint subscribers and I'm pretty sure this issue is pretty widespread.

I have been given the run around. Some reps have told me there were outages in my area and things would be back up shortly, and some have said that there was no issue at all. I don't believe it's an outage in my area because I'm getting ridiculously slow speeds throughout all of San Diego county. Plus while testing my iPhone 4s along side another Sprint phone (Evo 4g with 3G off) the speed tests on the Evo would be in or around the 1mbps area and mine hover at a abysmal .01-.30 Mbps. To say that this is not an iPhone data on Sprint issue is kind of hard to believe. Not just me, but all of Sprints iPhone 4s would really appreciate it if you could give us some info."

And their reply:

"Currently we have a service alert for the issue and the estimated date of repair (tentatively) is set for October 29,2011 @ 17:37:00CT. Your ticket will remain open until resolution and we will contact you once we get any updates.

Thank you for your time and patience,

Dee J[...]

OKC Queue Control"

Sounds like the typical answer that I and most of you been getting from everyone at Sprint.

Message was edited by: wingland - removed internal info from public post.

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Journeyman

Honestly to everybody in general, my Evo 3d is suffering major slowness on 3g and 4G. bECUASE OF THIS IPHONE CRAZE THAT SEEMS TO BE NOW FAILING. Honestly, i was told by a sprint employee that the 4g doesnt really work and never has on the net work you jsut dont notice when you ahve mobile net work running and wifi and 3g running ..., that verizon has the true 4g and well its pointless to buy the iphone 4s, becuase if u have the 10 4g addon it wont work on your phone so your going to pay extra for nothing. The 3g has been garbage for a while now. And honestly seeing all this  thinki about back when the first few iphones came out on at&t . Memeber when the older iphones didnt work unless they had wifi or if you steped out the 3g area your phone was basically a paper weight. Same thing that going on now. Sprints 3g is crashing on iphones on evo and god know what else. Sprint the only reason i stay is becuae your cheap plan other than that i would be at verizon going nuts on the new iphone and you gusy know it. I constanly remind you when i call after alll that horrible customer service the unexplained reaso  why my number was change and you couldnt even tell me and then making my disocunt disappear.

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Journeyman

The past couple of days proved to be a good, reliable and fair test with enough data to back my theory that I believe it is indeed Sprint's network and NOT the iPhone 4s. I do not doubt, nor am I minimizing anyone else's experience but here's mine:

My job requires travel and this time I was accompanied by two co-workers - an engineer and my boss, on a sales/tech  visit to MA (Brookline, a Boston suburb), our home base in NYC  (including Manhattan and Brooklyn) and CT (New Haven and Hartford).

I, of course, have a Sprint iPhone 4s, my boss an AT&T iPhone 4 and  the engineer, a Sprint HTC EVO 3D. Unbeknownst to me prior to the trip (till the topic was  brought up, plus ensuing tests) the engineer said that Sprint's network coverage on his EVO is abysmal throughout NY and CT, either 3g or 4g. My boss, certainly not a techie, was quite happy with AT&T's network speeds, though, of course that's all relative. So, we decided to test our respective speeds  throughout the 3 states (my boss needed to download Speed Test).

The  engineer and I, both on Sprint but with different phones, nearly mimicked one another's speed throughout the test....MOSTLY poor  speeds.   There WAS a stretch in Wallingford, CT where we did get 1.8 mbps (I was amazed), but that was the exception and not the rule. For the most part, we hovered around .10-.30, with a low of .02 on mine and .01 on his (tested in the same area).

My boss, with his AT&T iPhone 4 (not 4s) consistently hit 2.0 mbps and better, regardless of location. When  the engineer and I hit our lows, he incredibly hit 3.4 on his iPhone. In  NYC, where our Sprint was weakest, his lowest speed was over 1 mbps.

CLEARLY  in the above cases it was the Sprint network and NOT my iPhone 4s. As  for the gentleman who blogged that Sprint scored higher speeds than  AT&T in NYC, am I the only one who noticed that he measured the network speeds via laptops that his phones were tethered to? Is that really a good test indicative of the phone/network speeds? There are environmental factors including the laptops he used, their speeds, applications installed and configuration, all part of the equation - not to mention how reliable or successful the phones tethered to the laptops. A nice effort but essentially meaningless, especially in light of what I discovered with the ACTUAL phones themselves.

Again, I am not doubting anyone else’s experiences, but my tests pretty much cemented my belief that the slow speeds are undeniably Sprint's network and not the iPhone 4s.

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