Dish and Sprint?

HipKat

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I loved Sprint when I had them in the early 2000's, but I never left the Buffalo area so I always had good coverage - other than random drop outs occasionally. How is it, over 15 years later, they still suck? Weren't they the largest provider once upon a time?
 

comfortably_numb

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How is it, over 15 years later, they still suck? Weren't they the largest provider once upon a time?
I think the Nextel purchase was their biggest mistake. Sprint could have (and should have) put that money into improving their network. I don't think there was any going back after that.

Their ads are deceptive, always saying there's only a 1% difference between them and Verizon.
 

Radioguy41

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Aug 7, 2008
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In 2004 Sprint was #3 when it took over #5 Nextel. You would think that would have bumped it up but quite the opposite, it was a financial disaster. First, they had two entirely different technologies and just as importantly, they didn't own their own towers. The companies that did disapproved of the merger so they were forced into a position of acquiring some of those companies. All this caused them to have to write off almost 80% of Nextels value and it's been a case of treading water ever since. Frankly I loved Nextel mainly because they had the instant walkie-talkie feature included on their phones. Back in the late 1990's-early 2000's we used them exclusively at work. No need to dial, just push the talkie button.

By the way, Dish could have had Sprint back in 2013 when it outbid Softbank. For some reason only Charlie knows they retracted that bid.
 

Tampa8

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Sprint was #3 for awhile. They have never lived up to what was expected. They were touted to be a major network by building their own network to have the fastest speeds. Neither fully happened and to this day has both less and more spotty coverage than the big three. Tmobile raced by them quite sometime ago to remain #3. Sprint is just like the company it bought at the time, Nextel - good if you happen to live where the have a good signal, and not good for travelers. I would use the off brand companies who use At&t or Verizon towers but offer less expensive options over Sprint if you did not want to use the big companies. Sprint was useless in New England when I lived there full time, and not much better even here in Florida where I am.

(Note - those no name companies will generally give you the same coverage as At&t or Verizon would but with less bells and whistles and a lower cost. On my back-up phone I get 500/500 for texts and minutes, and 1Gb 4G data a month for $100 - A YEAR on the At&t network. In fact I use the same gateway my At&t sim uses. There is no Wifi calling, not as many calling features including no call forwarding except directly to voice mail, and no call waiting. If I did not have a grandfathered discount with At&t I would use them (Red Pocket) for both my phones just get a more robust data plan.
 

comfortably_numb

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Note - those no name companies will generally give you the same coverage as At&t or Verizon would but with less bells and whistles and a lower cost. On my back-up phone I get 500/500 for texts and minutes, and 1Gb 4G data a month for $100 - A YEAR on the At&t network. In fact I use the same gateway my At&t sim uses. There is no Wifi calling, not as many calling features including no call forwarding except directly to voice mail, and no call waiting. If I did not have a grandfathered discount with At&t I would use them (Red Pocket) for both my phones just get a more robust data plan.
I have the 15 Gb plan through Verizon's own Prepaid service and my daughter has the unlimited, both on the same account. Total monthly bill $90. Coverage and speeds seem identical to me. In fact, they give you VoLTE and WIFI calling as well, but for a much cheaper price :)
 

EarDemon

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Dec 5, 2014
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I loved Sprint when I had them in the early 2000's, but I never left the Buffalo area so I always had good coverage - other than random drop outs occasionally. How is it, over 15 years later, they still suck? Weren't they the largest provider once upon a time?
Data speeds and quality of service have improved greatly since Network Vision in 2013. Coverage not so much. Many towers in the smaller communities in the Southern Tier like Dunkirk, Olean , Alfred, Wellsville were 1x only up until 2013, and they were upgraded early on to LTE. Dansville was one of, if not the first towns to get LTE in the Buffalo/Rochester area. Then it came to the Buffalo airport and Wales. Due to the proximity of Canada, there is no band 26 in the BUF/ROC markets (probably Syracuse as well), which would greatly improve coverage and personally give me robust service at home. So unless they put up more towers there will be no improvement in coverage. IBEZ was supposed to be taken care of back in 2017 to allow for 800 MHz to go live, but that never happened (to my knowledge) and there's been no update so that's one of the reasons why I switched to T-Mobile in 2018.

A month or two prior to me leaving Sprint, I noticed that on the corner for Transit/Lossen in Depew by Wegman's, I could hit over 200 Mbps down, on LTE, but the upload was or 7 or 8 Mbps. I think Sprint was testing carrier aggression on band 41 there. Never got speeds that fast anywhere else. When LTE initially came to a tower it was 30 Mb Down x 10 Mb Up with very little deviation. As time progressed seeing speeds increased, seeing 60 x 20 was not all that uncommon. I'd hit 80 to 90 down on the tower closest to where I live. I have somewhat of a weird fetish for this stuff. When Network Vision started, Sprint published every tower upgrade on their website. They had a map, with the exact location of every tower, along with it's upgrade status. As soon as a tower in the Buffalo/Rochester area was marked upgrade complete, the following weekend, I drive to it and do some speed testing and measure the distance of how far the signal traveled in various directions.

I was a Nextel customer from 2002 - 2011 or so. I always thought Nextel had decent coverage around here. When I got the iPhone in 2009, I did not port over to AT&T on purpose since AT&Ts coverage was so poor. I carried two phones for a few years, the iPhone and my first Android phones were my internet device and my Motorola iDEN flip phone was my voice device. Plus I found, and I still find smartphones extremely uncomfortable to hold to the ear and talk on. Give me a good old flip phone any day.

Bottom line, in WNY if you have a Sprint signal call quality is great and data speeds are decent to very good. If you don't have a signal you roam on to Verizon at 1x most of the time or have no service. Not sure how Verizon's decommissioning of their 1xRTT network will impact their roaming agreement with Sprint.
 

HipKat

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That's a good question. Here, in Central Illinois, about 5 years ago, US Cellular, who had really good service in more remote areas, sold off a large portion of their coverage area to Sprint - that's when I switched to Verizon - and feel like I sold out to The Evil Empire - but they have the best service, overall, in more rural areas.
 

ncted

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That's a good question. Here, in Central Illinois, about 5 years ago, US Cellular, who had really good service in more remote areas, sold off a large portion of their coverage area to Sprint - that's when I switched to Verizon - and feel like I sold out to The Evil Empire - but they have the best service, overall, in more rural areas.
This is mostly true. AT&T is a close second, and I expect them to at least match Verizon's coverage in the years to come with FirstNet. The big problem with rural coverage continues to be backhaul. The big telcos can usually find a property owner somewhere to let them put up a tower, and there is usually less NIMBY crap to overcome, but getting fiber to the tower is expensive.
 

NYDutch

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This is mostly true. AT&T is a close second, and I expect them to at least match Verizon's coverage in the years to come with FirstNet. The big problem with rural coverage continues to be backhaul. The big telcos can usually find a property owner somewhere to let them put up a tower, and there is usually less NIMBY crap to overcome, but getting fiber to the tower is expensive.
I'm currently in the southern Adirondacks connected to a Verizon tower that's microwave linked to a tower with a fiber backhaul.

 

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