Good and EVO

You have spotty Sprint 4G LTE coverage in an official launch market? Here’s why

lte coverage map sprint1 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

If you’re not very satisfied with the level of LTE coverage you’ve seen so far on your HTC EVO 4G LTE or other Sprint LTE-enabled device, here’s why: Sprint isn’t quite finished with the LTE build out in those markets where it’s been launched. In other words, Sprint isn’t waiting for 100% of the towers to go live before launching in a specific area.

This isn’t really new information for most of us, but it does stand repeating, given the number of complaints we’ve noticed here on Pocketables, and on other tech sites.

In fact, a recent interview with Sprint’s senior vice president of networks should shed some some light on Sprint’s LTE strategy. According to Bob Azzi, “We weren’t planning to wait until we had all our cell sites covered … [but rather] when we determined that we had a sufficient footprint that enough people could find it in enough places.” Although Sprint doesn’t have a specific percentage on how much each market should be covered before launch, “We focus on street-level coverage … although it obviously has in-building coverage in there as well.”

Azzi says that customers will notice improved LTE coverage as more areas are filled in, and Sprint will continue to rapidly announce new cities as LTE coverage reaches acceptable levels for their initial deployments. He also reiterated Sprint’s promise of being largely done with the LTE roll out by the end of 2013, although he also notes, “We won’t stop until until we have a footprint that covers our CDMA cell sites.”

Sprint is also expected to have 12-15 LTE devices available by the end of 2012.

This all sounds good to me, but Sprint has got to make sure it stays on schedule. Sprint cannot afford any more screw-ups or missed deadlines as the end of 2013 approaches. I believe Sprint has what it takes to succeed in its mission and be one of the top players again, but in order to do that, it absolutely must keep its promises this time around.

[Light Reading MobileThanks, Bill!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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29 thoughts on “You have spotty Sprint 4G LTE coverage in an official launch market? Here’s why

  • They bettter… The end of 2013 is a good while away.

    • Avatar of Darth Obama

      I live in Houston which is supposed to be a launch city. The coverage map shows complete saturation. I have seen the 4g icon pop up 2 times since launch. It stayed on for less than a minute both times. With the WiMAX fraud and now this, I have know idea how sprint has been able to avoid a class action lawsuit for false advertising. UGH

  • My corporate rep said Dallas is 35% rolled out. Pathetic.

  • Their lack of staying true to a committed time frame in the past, makes me question if I want to stay with them, or not. My upgrade is on August 1st, and with their extremely disappointing 3g speeds of late, I am honestly thinking about moving to Verizon. I have been with Sprint for a long time and have tried to be the loyal customer that I am. But seriously, their atrocious 3g speeds is getting harder for me to handle everyday.

    • I agree with you, though I locked myself in when I upgraded to the EVO 4G LTE… I am shocked recently at how much worse my 3G speeds have gotten. Even at 1.0 mbps I was ok – not happy, but tolerant. It’s dropped to a dismal 0.30 mbps on average now (I live in Santa Clara, CA). Not that one customer makes much difference but I’m going to ride it out until 2014 and if they’ve improved by then I will stay… otherwise I see no reason to stick around when Tmobile is about the same price and supports the GSM Nexus program.

      • Avatar of Ray Spencer

        I agree with you! I too have been with Sprint for a long long time, in fact since Sprint came to Dallas and I’ve gone through the the good, the bad and the ugly with them. But this crap with showing my area on their coverage map with 4GLTE and there not be a single tower lit up in a 2 mile radius is criminal!

  • Avatar of RockwellJacobs

    Fact. The back up batteries for Sprint’s 4G LtE cell locations are reported to be fire hazards and have to be replaced. I spent another hour of my life on the phone with a customer service. 3G constantly dropping, sms errors as well. Yeah, some roll out.

  • Well, my contract is through the end of this year. I’m pretty happy with Sprint overall and if they can get all this rolled out and people are pretty happy by 2013, I’ll probably get whatever the best Android phone is at the time, or an iphone5 if the screen is more than 4″ big. Otherwise, I’ll likely go Virgin or Boost for a year to save my pennies and move back with a “new customer” discount after they get all their markets rolled out.

  • Sprint has dropped the ball yet once again. So much for a roll out. They should not even say they are going to bring lte out until they have their announced city’s saturated. What a marketing ploy to get people to buy the lte phones. I paid at least $240 ($10 monthly) not including taxes when I had the OG eVo for what was suppose to be 4g well we all know where that went. Now I have the feeling lte is going to be the same way. I hope I’m wrong though. I really do. Because as of right now it’s not looking to good. Way to go Sprint for flopping again. Thanks

  • at speeds in the daytime of 15-35kbps down on my Evo LTE I don’t know if I will be holding my breath til the end of 2013. My 4 lines are out of contract. I don’t want to but it looks that I will be kissing sprint goodbye soon.

  • So by the end of 2013 we could all hope to get poor Ltd coverage? Sneaky Sprint! Lol.

  • Avatar of Paul E King

    It worries me that they claim these cities as operational. Seems like lying through teeth.
    “Oh yes, we have coverage in city X” – coverage only works in an 8 block radius, but man it works.

    • That is so true! Their coverage maps indicate the full coverage – but customers simply cannot get coverage in most of the area. They should update their coverage maps to indicate current coverage (and maybe add a new color to show future coverage). It isn’t brain surgery!

  • I’m in Allentown, yesterday i was seeing download speeds of .20 mbs and .30. Last night through this morning I’m getting over 2.30 mbs download speeds. So i think they’re keeping their promise on these upgrades. Oh and those are my 3g speeds. N o LTE yet.

  • Avatar of Chaoticwhizz

    I am slowly seeing LTE becoming more available here in Kansas City. Sprint’s coverage maps as they currently stand are very misleading on their current LTE coverage. Also, I have yet to see 3g speeds over a meg.

  • Avatar of Ytsejamer1

    I am under no contract right now and want a new phone, but I am quite hesitant to re-up with Sprint for two years. 3G here in NH has become pathetic (.2 or .3mbps at best).

    I like the price plus “unlimited” data, but why pay $90/mo for .2mbps when I can get much better performance on Verizon’s 3G for $10-$15 more and LTE all over the place too.

    • Switch now!!! I’ve switch from Sprint to AT&T and am SO happy! I was worry about paying more and not having unlimited data, but having the internet speed that actually works! (I got 0.1 most of the time with Spring, and 5-10 mbps now with AT&T0

  • Keep in mind that, according to S4GRU, this is pretty common for market launches with all the carriers – even Verizon usually only waits until it has 30-40% of the market complete before announcing LTE in a certain city.

    • Also, if Sprint were to wait for 100% completion, people would be complaining that it’s taking too long. Would you rather have LTE as it’s made available, or have to wait up to 6 more months until it’s completely finished in your market?

      • Would prefer they not make an announcement and just keep turning the LTE towers on until they get to…. 75% coverage, then make an announcement.

        • Also, in a city like mine where there might be 20% 4G coverage now, they would stop claiming my city has 4G coverage when it’s really almost not even there except for a small area around a few tower locations.

      • John
        FYI I have driven all over Houstona nd never got 4g. I call sprint on a a daily basis for their crappy service, just tomake sure it was notated. Been waiting 2 years for upgraded tower that was always broke. They know its so bad they let me out of my 2 year agreement for free.

  • Avatar of Easymoney

    All I see are people complaining and complaining and COMPLAINING! If you don’t like a company’s service….then do the most powerful thing you can do….STOP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY! If how they do business is that big of a problem to you, then get out of the contract! Simple as that. Complaining doesn’t get anything accomplished. These companies don’t care about your complaints….guess why….cause while you’re complaining today…you’re still paying your bill tomorrow! Everybody knows that there is no perfect cell phone service provider…if there were, we would all be subscribing and there wouldn’t be all these different companies that are claiming to be the best. Yall act like none of this was a business ploy to get more people to buy into what they were selling! Gimme a break! Everybody knew that Sprint wouldn’t have their LTE rolled out at 100% when they said they would and that when the initial foll-out came, it was likely that coverage would initially be shoddy….so who’s the fool for locking themselves into a 2-year contract and then wanting to piss and moan all day!

  • So glad that I ditch Spring for AT&T. Even though Sprint have unlimited data, but the data is really useless because for the most part, I can’t even load a youtube video!!
    AT&T in my area is sooooo much faster, so even paying for a little bit more, it’s worth every pennies!!!!!!

  • Well said.
    And yes my 3g speeds are terrible and no lte.
    Wimax came but spotty (and all its quirks) fairly fast though.

    St. Louis, MO

    ? Have no clue (while sharing a state with KC/headquarters)
    And surely a big enough longstanding sprint market. (we just won another world series) – cubs suck:-)
    That we can’t get some better overall service from Sprint and coverage coming outta our ears.

    But they are a company and I willingly pay for their services in a free country with options and I can only hope they come through.

    If it all fails then yes I’m sure plenty will find another solution and Sprint will probably fold. But I really don’t see that happening.
    Fingers crossed(around my sweet evo lte :-P)

  • I am eligible for an upgrade now but I guess I am waiting a few more weeks to read all the reviews from people in LTE areas have to say. I live in the Bay Area CA and I don’t think we’ll see LTE here until january or so. After being 100% disappointed with WIMAX which does not work 99% of the time you try to connected and when you do if you move one inch to the left or right you loose the signal I don’t want to get another phone from Sprint unless I hear LTE is actually working. I had the chance to use a Verizon MIFI LTE here in the bay area, it works beautifully. If I could sue Sprint for selling me a service (WIMAX) that does not work I would, I can’t speak for the other areas but here in San Francisco you’re lucky if you stay connected for more than a minute.

  • Avatar of Justin

    I can watch 720p live streams on sprints 3g with no problems so… I’m staying.

  • Avatar of steadywalking

    its tough to believe that Sprint would roll-out 4g lte in 8 puerto rico cities instead of the U.S. mainland where cities like San Diego, Portland, any city in Ohio, etc. could have been developed.

    maybe Sprint could have choosen 1 city in Puerto Rico, and then went to 7 different U.S. cities that had no 4g lte development and cities had populations over 200,000, i.e., only half of the top US cities with populations over 365,000 are covered by Sprints 4g lte.

    if US population is over 300 million, how does that fact get overlooked by an island of 3.7 million people?

    major u.s. cities skipped:

    phoenix, az with population of 1.5 million
    dallas, tx with population of 1.2 million
    san jose, ca with population of 945,000
    columbus, oh with population of 787,033
    detroit, mich with population of 713,777
    el paso, tx with population of 649,121
    seattle, wash with population of 608,660
    denver, co with population of 600,158

  • Avatar of Raven Buck

    I live in Va. Right on the I81 corridor and my EVO 4 LTE. Service stink. I got this with Sprint thinking I would have killer service and between the freeze-ups, error messages and no bars I’m now in a two year contract and not happy. I told them that since we don’t have 4 g they should give us a discount until they do. I got a one time 30 dollar. Credit. Fresh


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