Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

Summary: Just about a month ago, I stepped into a Sprint store to learn more about the Palm Pre and walked out ready to switch from Verizon to Sprint, thanks to a knowledgeable clerk who shifted the conversation from devices to plans. It turns out that Sprint's plans are so competitively priced that I could find myself saving about $100 a month on my existing five-phone family plan.

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Just about a month ago, I stepped into a Sprint store to learn more about the Palm Pre and walked out ready to switch from Verizon to Sprint, thanks to a knowledgeable clerk who shifted the conversation from devices to plans. It turns out that Sprint's plans are so competitively priced that I could find myself saving about $100 a month on my existing five-phone family plan.

I know I'd never consider switching to AT&T, given the poor experience I had earlier this year with an iPhone I bought and returned. But I didn't know enough about the reliability of the Sprint network to make an educated decision about a switch to Sprint

But a news release from Sprint this afternoon has given me the information I need. According to 3G reliability tests conducted by PC World, Sprint beat both AT&T and Verizon in 13 major markets, including Silicon Valley.  From the release:

The PC World tests took place in March and April this year in 13 major markets across the country, including Boston, Baltimore, New York, Orlando, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, San Diego and San Jose. In each location, testers measured download speed, upload speed and reliability. In every market, Sprint bested AT&T for reliability. And, overall, Sprint proved more reliable over Verizon with a strong connection 90.5 percent of the time, according to the results. In Boston, Denver and Seattle, Sprint earned perfect scores – 100 percent reliable in connection tests.

Sprint’s Now Network is not only the most reliable according to the PC World 3G tests, it also was applauded for its speed. In most markets, Sprint was competitive with Verizon and AT&T on download speed and was notably faster with better reliability compared with both competitors in the major West Coast cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Portland and San Diego.

Sprint has gone through some rough times in recent years, falling off the radar a bit as both Verizon and AT&T have launched high-end devices that received a lot of publicity, notably the Blackberry Storm and the iPhone.

Palm made a big splash when it announced its new OS and the Pre smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. For me, it raised my awareness of Sprint and the service plans that it offers. Maybe it's time to give Sprint one of those 30-day cancel-if-you-don't-like-it tryouts.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Smartphones, Telcos, AT&T, Verizon, Wi-Fi

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17 comments
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  • Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

    That is great if you live within those metro areas. Get out into the suburbs and tell me what kind of signal these people are getting. I'm about 3 miles off the highway and on Verizon's network the bars drop quickly.
    Loverock Davidson
  • Absolutely FLAWED!

    You have to be kidding me. First off all, while the tests showed a landslide victory over AT&T for reliability (no surprise there) the difference between Verizon and Sprint was nill. In fact, Verizon kick's Sprint's tail on many download speeds!

    But the real flaw was that this was in major cities. The real test of a carrier is when you go home. Or travel. Let's do *that* and test! Since people in my family have Sprint and drop calls all the time when traveling on the road, I'll bet Sprint's numbers would be so low one would die laughing...
    MicroNix
    • You are Flawed!!!

      I have travelled up and down the east coast many times each year from New York back to Florida most of the time with friends or relatives. Having friends and relatives with both ATT and Verizon I know from personal experience that Sprint beats both networks to a pulp.LOL even if you just loved Verizon for some reason,Sprint actually Roams on Verizons Network so you could in fact if you wanted to,Make your phone always roam and use Verizons network all the time.I wouldn't recommend this though as you will not have as good a signal in many areas as you would with Sprint. I live about 90 miles out from Orlando and it is a small city and I still get great reception.You can't even compare prices between the different networks either as Sprint kills both ATT and Verizon in Price. Sorry to burst your bubble though,realy I am but it is for your own good. Switch or try it out,my sis is finally going to switch over from ATT now that her over priced plan is ending.OUCH ATT doesn't give FREE unlimited Roaming to everyone like SPRINT does?My sisters bill was over $300 for the Roaming and regular charges.Sprint would have been $70 because roaming is included along with everything else. DOUBLE OUCH!!!! FAIL!!
      quixel
      • WRONG!

        Sprint does not Roam off Verizons 3G service. Sprints 3G is no where near the size of Verizons. Not to forget, Verizon always beats Sprint is customer service, voice coverage, and 3G data coverage. The 3G may be faster because eveyone is dropping Sprint! They loose mosre customer each Quater because they SUCK.

        Your sir have FAILED!

        Sprint will be gone in 2 years. No one is using WiMax. Everyone is going to LTE. Verizon is still the best network in the US.

        And Sprint does not Roam all the time on Verizon. And I live in Huntsville, and Sprint doesn't have 3G here. Even tho the map says one tower does, it doesn't at all. My friend had sprint until last week and never had EVDO service.

        Suck on that!
        tylervzw
        • laughable

          Sprint does in fact roam on Verizon's tower. I
          have traveled all over the United States and
          have received perfectly fine Sprint signals.
          Obviously, like ANY carrier, Sprint will work
          better in some areas than others. Your Verizon
          service is included in that fact as well.

          Your friend probably didn't get good signal do
          to your stupidity jamming the area.
          mclieberman
          • Agreed....

            Sprint has the largest networks of all the cell carriers... period... That is a simple fact. I used Sprint when I drove from NY to CA and I had calls the entire way (granted some of it was roaming, but sprint gives free roaming so long as it is less than 50% of your monthly calls)

            The only reason the rest of the carriers have any reliability and coverage is that they lease from sprint.

            I am hoping Apple disolves that lame AT&T exclusivity in October because I would love to give Sprint and an iPhone a shot.
            i8thecat
          • Youre dumb

            Sprint does not have the largest network at all!

            We own Alltel and Unicel. We have the largest calling area and 3G data coverage area. You=FAIL.
            tylervzw
        • WRONG? eheh

          sucks to be you, i have 4G network in Portland here. LOL not to
          mention WIFI if i need on my Pre. Verizon? Comon!

          Customer service? Really, how many times do you call them? I
          haven't called them in years! in fact only when I have to upgrade or
          to change plans. Why? Because I don't have phone or bill issues thus
          never having a need to ever call.
          GDaddyBig
  • RE: Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

    Not surprised. I've been with Sprint since 1998, because their system has been very reliable and fast over the years.
    jilbcl
  • Really? That has not been my experience.

    I had Sprint before VZW because my credit was bad. As soon as it was better, I switched to Verizon. My work cell is Sprint and it does not work as well as my Verizon phone and my VZW is a PDA phone and they are not known for good range.
    jbach67
  • RE: Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

    I will never understand fanboys and there juvenile dedication. Sprint has issues, but why would you deny the facts and praise a higher priced service, especially one that has a SMALLER 3G footprint. Check your facts before you reply. Smaller in geographical area. Smaller in number of cities and airports. Smaller in people served. The only thing that's larger about the 3G network is the traffic and if you like that so much go drive in NY or LA.
    bokfu74
  • As bad as ATT customer service is ....

    ATT and T-mobile's GSM networks are the only ones who's devices can work anywhere in the world.
    Small nich players (like Cricket) can beat the big guys hands down if you don't wander too far off the beaten path. Texas is so large that ATT & Verizon are the only ones to cover most of the state (for us that is local).
    kd5auq
  • areh

    erheh
    mclieberman
  • RE: Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

    Verizon is starting to have more and more GSM/CDMA phone for those who travel. Many people are switching to us because of that and that we have the larges 3G data coverage. We will have SIM cards in all phone when get LTE 4G up and going at the end of 09.
    tylervzw
  • RE: Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

    I AGREE. SPRINT IS THE BEST. SPRINT GETS A BAD WRAP EVER SINCE THEY MERGED WITH NEXTEL, WHICH ONLY RUNS OFF OF A 900 MEG SYSTEM. MOST NEXTEL USERS HAVE SWITCHED TO VERIZON, AND ONLY HAVE THAT TO COMPARE TO. SINCE THE NEXTEL PHONE SERVICE WAS SO BAD THEY THINK THE VERIZO SERVICE IS THE BEST. I HAVE HAD BOTH AND SPRINT SERVICE IS BY FAR BETTER.
    hulk0056
  • RE: Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

    What the hell do you mean we? You don't own a single
    damn thing. Sprint does not own the biggest network,
    but their network covers everywhere I have ever gone.
    So I really dont know where AT&T and Verizon are
    covering that Sprint doesn't. Maybe the desert where
    no one goes?
    mclieberman
  • RE: Sprint beats Verizon, AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests

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