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.