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4G phones should land this summer

There are two camps in the upcoming 4G wars in the United States. Right now, the only 4G network that is commercially available comes from Sprint and Clearwire. Other major producers are testing competing 4G networks around the country and hope to start limited rollouts late in 2010.

Sprint and Clearwire backed WiMAX for their 4G technology while all other major providers like AT&T and Verizon are backing LTE for 4G. The only benefit of WiMAX over LTE is that WiMAX was faster to market. Sprint and Clearwire offer WiMAX in a number of large cities around the country and the two companies are rolling out coverage to more cities all the time.

Five new WiMAX markets came online in November 2009 including Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, and three North Carolina markets. The big catch so far for the 4G covered areas is that connectivity has been limited to USB modems for computers and no mobile phone supporting 4G have been offered. Sprint has said the devices were coming, but so far, none have materialized.

Forbes reports that Sprint has now announced new 4G compatible handsets will be coming sooner than previously believed. The new handsets are said to be launching in the first half of 2010, which is a few months earlier than previously expected. The handsets will be dual-mode phones capable of operating on the limited availability 4G network and on the Sprint 3G network in other areas.

Sprint is counting on the new 4G phones to help it grow and gain on major rivals like Verizon. Sprint has been hemorrhaging subscribers badly and losing market share to both AT&T and Verizon as customers leave the Sprint network in droves. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that 2010 is the year of 4G and Sprint is working with manufactures to embed 4G into a number of devices.

There is no word at this time what company will be making 4G handsets for Sprint.

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I don't get it
By djkrypplephite on 2/19/2010 11:55:43 AM , Rating: 5
I just don't see why everyone hates Sprint so much. I've never had any problems with them, and the simply everything plan is a pretty good deal.

RE: I don't get it
By koenshaku on 2/19/2010 11:57:47 AM , Rating: 1
It is a pretty good deal tmobile is chaper though and their phones are just as crappy.

RE: I don't get it
By cocoviper on 2/19/2010 12:04:12 PM , Rating: 5
Actually if you're comparing apples-to-apples T-Mobile isn't cheaper, even with the project black changes from late last year.

If you're using a Smartphone/data Sprint is hands down the cheapest and the fastest.

Average Download Speed
Sprint: 1361kbs
AT&T: 933kbps
T-Mobile: 786kbps
Verizon: 701kbps

Average Upload Speed
Verizon: 322kbps
Sprint: 267kbps
AT&T: 180kbps
T-Mobile: 177kbps

RE: I don't get it
By Gio6518 on 2/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: I don't get it
By Gio6518 on 2/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: I don't get it
By Drag0nFire on 2/19/2010 1:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the prices for Smartphone/data were pretty much constant across VZW/ATT/Sprint.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I really don't know. Can you explain why Sprint is cheaper?

RE: I don't get it
By Gio6518 on 2/19/2010 1:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the prices for Smartphone/data were pretty much constant across VZW/ATT/Sprint.

well lets take an iPhone on AT&T for starters against HTC Hero on Sprint

everything data so thats unlimited everything
DATA i mean everything is $99
(should say $69 since unlimited mobile to mobile hard to get to 450 min.)

but we'll stick with $99

an iPhone on AT&T for all this is $159

now lets say a droid eris on Verizon unlimited talk and Data
is 135.98

t-mobile we'll go with a my touch 3G
$59.99 unlimited talk
$30 must have data pkg
$10 unlimited text
not sure if they charge for GPS

RE: I don't get it
By cocoviper on 2/19/2010 1:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
And as an additional example for Sprint in the above example:

$69 gets you GPS, Text, data, and unlimited calls to any mobile number + 450 minutes to landlines. Sprint also has unlimited landline minutes after 7pm vs. everyone's unlimited Mobile and landline minutes not kicking in till 9pm.

RE: I don't get it
By really on 2/19/2010 4:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually you can put it this way too.
Everything that Sprint offers is included in the Everything plan. Hence the name.
Included and Unlimited
Mobile to Mobile no matter what network they are on
Unlimited Messaging, text, pictures and video
Unlimited Data
Sprint TV, Pandora, GPS Navigation, NFL Mobile Live, Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile
The only time the plan minutes are used is when calling or receiving a call from a land line.
Unlimited anytime minutes, nationwide long distance and no roaming charges

I just upgraded today from a Rumor to the Samsung Moment, expect to get it in the mail next week.
I have been a customer with Sprint for 10 years. I've never had any problems with them and the services have only gotten better with time. Since I've been with them for so long I also get some other benefits as a premiere customer like getting $150 instant saving when I upgrade my phone once in a 12 month period as opposed to the 18 months everyone else gets.

RE: I don't get it
By EasyEEE on 2/19/2010 4:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, my contract is about up. I don't have insurance on my current Sprint phone - 4th replacement (5th one of this model) as the screen kept going out. No longer under warranty, Sprint replaced it with a refirb discontinued model free of charge. I didn't have to re-sign, pay for phone, etc... "Here, no charge for your troubles. No extension/new contract."

Provided rates stay same with Sprint, my bill AFTER taxes, with 4 lines of the Sprint Smartphone - ie HTC SuperSonic - will be $179 - after 15% discount, for 1500 anytime minutes (ie to land lines - except for 1-800 numbers, who calls land lines!?), unlimited MOBILE to MOBILE (not just Sprint), Unlimited Text, Unlimited Web - $179 - 4 lines.

I honestly was about to leave if they didn't come thru with a new phone soon.. and because initially they said would be $90 to fix my phone.

Anyway.. I've been with Sprint for years. Never had a problem. If they messed up on a bill, they fixed it.

My issue has always been quality/cool phones.. lack there of.

I'll be staying .. looking forward to Supersonic!!

RE: I don't get it
By atlmann10 on 2/20/2010 2:27:46 AM , Rating: 2
Plus the big thing when they drop this phone is going to be 4G. Most people don't know anything about 4G yet in the US because there's no existing unit's phone wise.

Technology 3G 4G
Frequency band 1.8 - 2.5GHz 2 - 8GHz
Bandwidth 5-20MHz 5-20MHz
Data rate Up to 2Mbps 100Mbps moving - 1Gbps stationary
FEC Turbo-codes Concatenated codes
Switching Circuit/Packet Packet

Where the frequency band also equals signal distance from what I understand which will be much longer throw, and the data rate stands for itself a 500% difference at minimum basically.

If Sprint can get this phone to market and operational as well as being a solo carrier for at least a quarter I would say there should be some good return. There reliability in 4G markets should also be much better.

RE: I don't get it
By Diesel Donkey on 2/20/2010 3:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
Higher frequency means higher data rates but LOWER signal distance. That's why radio waves go so much farther than cell phone signals.

RE: I don't get it
By cocoviper on 2/19/2010 1:21:21 PM , Rating: 2

It's because when you buy an unlimited data plan with Sprint it also includes a Voice plan + unlimited messaging (text and MMS), unlimited GPS (which they have on all their post-2008 phones for free), nights and weekends that start at 7pm vs. 9pm for the other guys (getting 7pm typically costs another $5-10) and unlimited calls to any mobile network (everyone else is just within their own customer base i.e. Att-to-Att, vs. Sprint being Sprint-to-any mobile).

So if you're just wanting the cheapest possible plan- T-Mobile or a Prepaid (i.e. Virgin Mobile, Boost, Cricket, etc) will be cheapest by $5-15. But if you are looking for the cheapest relative to what you're getting, Sprint is $20/mo cheaper outright compared to Att and Verizon (their unlimited data plans with messaging start at $89/mo). Then once you add on GPS navigation, earlier nights and weekends, that raises everyone else's prices another $15-20/mo so you're now over $100/mo vs. $69 still for Sprint. Factor in unlimited calls to any mobile in the US and you will hardly use any minutes- to get something similar on everyone else would require purchasing a higher priced minute plan.

So in general, to make an apples-to-apples comparison, Sprint's Everything Unlimited ($69) plan is going to be cheaper than T-Mobile's equivalent plan by about $15/mo and cheaper than Att and Verizon by about $40/mo.

Multiply that out over 2 years and you're looking at savings of $360-$960.

RE: I don't get it
By RamarC on 2/19/2010 5:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
and don't forget the semi-unlimited multi-line plans. we have 1400 minutes shared over 4 phones for $160. text/data is unlimited on all phones. since sprint started the free mobile to mobile we hardly use more 500 minutes and that includes my 22 yo son who lives in another state and doesn't have a land line.

RE: I don't get it
By PAPutzback on 2/19/2010 11:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
Because they try to screw you whenenver they can. I am sure they all do but to what extent I don't know.

My Palm Treo Pro would always lock up when using Exchange, I took it to the sprint repair center and they found a tiny little crack in the shell and told me it would be 100 bucks to replace it, knowing damn well it was a software issue. What the hell am I paying and additional 6.95 for insurance for. So I did some research and found out I could change the OS\ROM easier than I can on a PC. So once I upgraded from Windows Mobile 6.1 to 6.5 everything works.

Who's to say they didn't drop the phone and make that little crack, but some jerk behind the window with no sense and I am sure some strick rules says the crack causes exchange to fail.

RE: I don't get it
By Gio6518 on 2/19/2010 12:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
What the hell am I paying and additional 6.95 for insurance for.

please dont get offended im not calling you a liar...

but in my experiences, i had a blackberry that i bricked, all due to fault of my own, it was replaced on the spot with a brand new one...

next time try calling sprint retention @ 877-775-4886

all my experiences have been the absolutely best with sprint, and ive had every major carrier except verizon....

1) best plans at the very best prices
2) exceptional customer service
3) almost never had a dropped call
4) most reliable service 2009

even at my house which is the only place i ever got poor reception (and to be fair all carriers suck by my house)
i called sprint to complain about it the gave me a free sprint Airave with free monthly service

RE: I don't get it
By rudy on 2/19/2010 7:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem is that you have to call retentions and that should not be, customers should get retentions level service anywhere they call or at the store. That is sprints biggest problem. However I do not know if it is worse with other carriers. I stick with sprint because the everything data plan 1500 never racks up a single other charge. I have a 27% discount each person on the plan averages 34$ per month not bad for a plan which we have never gone over anything on. We all have high end phones touch pros, TP2s or bb.

RE: I don't get it
By Jabroney701020 on 2/19/2010 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
I can't say that I agree with you. I've been a Sprint mobile phone customer for years now and I've been having a better and better experience with their customer service as time goes on.

Yeah about 3-4 years ago I would have to fight with customer service reps about discrepancies about text and picture data and such but as time went on their customer service people got nicer and nicer, more formal and more willing to listen and help.

As far as the problems in the first place, the issues have been getting less and less and just recently I've had no issues with them. My wife's phone was stolen and she had a brand new one at our doorstep the very next day, reactivated it immediately and we were very happy.

I really have no reason to leave Sprint other than the fact that they don't have the Pre Plus right now but I am sure that will change soon.

I am very happy with the fact that they recognize their problems and are flexible enough to meet the customer's needs more and more as time goes on, that's what I want in a service.

RE: I don't get it
By nunya on 2/22/2010 12:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree as well. I bought a Treo on eBay about two years ago. After 6 months it stopped working. I called Sprint to see if I had any credit to get a new phone and they walked me through 10 minutes of 'check this....check that....' and then said they'd be sending me a replacement Treo free. That's for a phone I bought used. Can't get much better than that. If it weren't for the fact that Sprint still only offers Edge here I'd still be with them.

RE: I don't get it
By TheRequiem on 2/19/2010 1:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where your getting "everyone hates Sprint" from? I know they haven't had the best devices in the recent year, but being the first company to offer 4G coverage for your devices is nothing to sneeze at, not to mentiont he rgeat deals they constantly have. I have the simply everything plan to and I love it. I'm still waiting for a HTC 4G Google Phone... or even a 4G WinMo 7 would be nice this year. =)

RE: I don't get it
By inperfectdarkness on 2/19/2010 2:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
+1. sprint had an exclusive contract with sanyo for the longest time...and sanyo had the highest rated phones for 5 years or so (unfortunately, kyocera now owns this division).

one negative thing i'll say about sprint is that at times their customer service could be MUCH better; however, i think that applies to all carries, not just them.

on the positive side, i've NEVER had any serious issues with coverage.

RE: I don't get it
By therealnickdanger on 2/19/2010 2:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
I've never understood the negative perception either, but then I've always been treated fairly. I know Sprint went through some growing pains with its billing department consolidation. That took a couple years to get everything merged together into an easy-to-use format that is very nice to use. Navigating Sprint's website to pay my bill used to suck donkey balls, but it's much better.

I've been with Sprint since 1996 (or 1997) and almost left once, but they gave me an offer I couldn't refuse.

+1 to Sprint.

RE: I don't get it
By kkwst2 on 2/19/2010 3:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I've had a pretty good experience with Sprint too. However, their recent change in the structure of their family plans has ticked me off. It used to be that you could take a standard voice plan and for $15 per phone, add a data plan to the phones you want. Now, if you want data/text on one phone on a family plan, you have to get it on all the phones. Since I only want data on 1-2 phones, I don't want to pay for it on all of them. It would cost me an extra $50 over the old plan.

Very annoying.

RE: I don't get it
By Diesel Donkey on 2/20/2010 3:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. This is a huge deal-breaker for me. My family has two lines with data and two lines without. We are not on Sprint anymore for that reason and because we've decided to stop suffering under Sprint's horrific coverage everywhere outside major cities in New England and PA.

Verizon is more expensive in general, but less expensive if you want to mix data/no data phones on a family plan. They've also got the towers in the northeast US necessary to get the job done. I do hope Sprint pulls their act together at some point because I wouldn't mind returning to them if they'd fix the family plans and somehow invest a huge amount of money they don't have into expanding their coverage.

RE: I don't get it
By truk007 on 2/19/2010 4:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
I left Sprint three years ago due to terrible service (dropped calls, bad reception, and awful customer support). I went with T-mobile for a couple years and have given up on them. I've tried AT&T in the past and hated it. I'm giving up on the big companies. I don't need em anyway.

RE: I don't get it
By AlexWade on 2/19/2010 9:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
These are my personal experiences with Sprint. I have a friend with a Sprint Nextel phone. 99 times out of 100, when I call him it goes straight to voicemail. After he called me back, I would ask if he was using the phone. The answer every time was no, he was not using the phone. It just didn't ring. My dad had Sprint, past tense. This was not Sprint Nextel, but just Sprint. One day I heard him talk to customer support to get a reprint of the bill. He was transferred several times before I heard him loudly say (in disgust) "because I want to pay the bill, that's why."

Different markets has a different service qualities. When choosing a cell service, I would ask people in your market what they have and their level of satisfaction.

RE: I don't get it
By oslama on 2/21/2010 3:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint's customer service sucks they change plans and add unneeded services without customer's knowledge or approval.

It takes 4-5 call to CS department to get these billing issues resolved.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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