01
Nov
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Over the past week, I've been in contact with Sprint about the demise of their network's data speeds, especially in the 3G department. As many of you were also in the same boat, we saw quite a bit of interest and started collecting information on the situation, which resulted in this knowledge dump on Sunday - read it if you haven't yet done so.

Among the tidbits of info Sprint techs let out, one was especially interesting - a round of tower upgrades that were supposed to be completed on October 31st. We were skeptical. Many of you were as well. But could it be... did Sprint actually roll them out on schedule and they actually helped?.. (I want to hear gasps here, people!)

This morning we've received multiple tips, including this GoodAndEVO post, of EVO 3Ds self-triggering profile updates (from what I understand, a profile is a set of parameters that tells the phone how to connect to the network) and subsequently seeing much improved data speeds. Having heard that, I started running tests in the Bay Area locations that recently dropped to less than 100kbps, using both my EVO 3D and the Epic 4G Touch.

The results were a mixed bag, but one thing is certain - network throughput and congestion have certainly improved, and by a whole lot in some places. Seeing lower latency and speeds above 500kbps put a twinkle in my eye - it's still not where 3G is supposed to be, but the network is actually usable for me again today (not everywhere, but in many places it wasn't only a week ago, but then again - it could take a week or two for all upgrades to go through).

wm_2011-11-01_10-06-42 wm_SC20111101-100742

And here is me using Wi-Fi tether:

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Now, I realize these results could be limited to the Bay Area (congratulations, BA folks), but it seems like the network improvements rolled out far beyond it - it looks like October 31st was the magic date more than just here. So, how about you? Please update your profiles (Settings > About > System Updates > Update profile, then test your speeds a few times using the SpeedTest.net app, try a couple of servers around you, and report back with your locations (and, ideally, screenshots).

We've also reached out to our Sprint contacts to get some clarity and possible confirmations of any network upgrades.

Don't stop here, Sprint, and maybe we'll stick with you after all. The most important thing you can do now is not slow down, keep the upgrades rolling, and catch your network up to at least the levels you yourself advertise.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Steve

    How are you using WiFi tether? I thought Sprint blocked all of those apps from even running.

    • todd

      All they did is block them from being downloaded in the Market. Nothing to stop sideloading.

      • chris ponciano

        its built into CM7, i tether gigs a month

  • Tommy

    I would definitely like to know if there are any planned upgrades for the Houston area. Walking downtown today and did a few tests. Several results were below 200kbps with some even below 50kbps, with one random jump to 820kbps. I will get pics up soon.

    • jonathan3579

      I live in Houston myself and it's 100% a mixed-bag here! 4G is not *bad* but 3G kicks rocks...

      I say all of this without comparing to my T-Mobile service, of course. Lol. Sprint can't compete with the speed there. (I average 14-18mbps)

  • Ross

    I've noticed an improvement in the Los Angeles area as well

  • elrubiroso

    not in the harrisburg, PA area, i was not aware of an net update but since yesterday i dont even have internet on my phone at time is just shows 1x, also unable to make calls

  • Anon

    HUGE improvement in Baltimore:
    <80ms; almost 2mbps down; almost 1mbps up.

  • Justin

    76kbps down, 223kbps up...Seattle

  • Justin

    still slow. 76kbps down, 223kbps up in Seattle

  • Justin

    still slow. in Seattle. 76kbps

  • caliber

    I was really excited to see this post.

    I'm in the middle of New York City, and just ran SpeedTest. 28kbps.
    http://i.imgur.com/9kdMg.png

    It's 1992 again on the Now Network.

    In unrelated news, anyone want to trade me for a Sprint Galaxy S2?

  • Dan Bobke

    Just ran two tests...averaged 1.30 Mbps up and 1 Mbps down. This has been typical in my area for as long as I know. Looking forward to the future LTE network.

    Isn't it funny that we have a T1 in our pocket and we want MORE!! With the bandwidth we get at home and work, a T1 doesn't cut it any more...but 10 years ago we would have been blown away.

  • http://www.DrewKasler.com DKasler

    Slow as hell. I used to get 1.2, 1.3 megs down. Now I can't break 300k

  • Bealsey

    Still slow in Portland 'Burbs: 1600ms ping, 125k down, 168k up

  • http://www.daewootech.net chris ponciano

    Ok just tested in north San Jose/ Santa Clara area near SJC airport, so after your orig post my speed inside my house was 0.23Mbps/0.56Mbps and right now im inside my office and only have 1-2 bars but i got 1.35Mbps/0.79Mbps, but then it jumped down to about .56/.60 and .54/.36, so its faster than it was but its still no lightning speeds.

    just for reference my 4G speed inside the same building with only 1-2 bars was 6.7Mbps/0.81Mbps on the first run, 7.85Mbps/0.75Mbps on the second run

  • http://www.daewootech.net chris ponciano

    on a side note my co-workers epic 4g touch sII duo unicorn edition whatever phone has got about 1.3-1.4Mbps through three runs ON 4G, wiered...

  • ScottyFEZ

    120ms, 500kbps, 400kbps: Eugene, OR

    These are normal speeds. No improvement here at all.

  • mike

    My phone been roaming all the time I live in Allentown Pa 18103 and very weak signal!! The other problem is lots of drop calls

  • Prboy

    Haven't seen any improvement in the Michigan area :(

  • carlos

    How do i update the iphone ?

    • Kent

      Settings--updates--update profile. That should take care of it.

  • Kent

    I'm absolutely disgusted! I live in San Jose, and my 3G speeds have decreased ridiculously. After this October 31 event, I still have pitiful speeds. I just checked several times with the Speedtest.net app and my down is 168kbps and up is 50kbps. That is an average of the seven tests that I did. It's disgusting that I live in the heart of the tech capital of the world and have such crappy service, especially when Sprint continues to advertise their "rich" 3G data speeds. I'm seriously considering paying the ETF and going to Verizon after 14 years of loyalty to Sprint.

  • Genius of the Crowd

    significant improvements on my Photon for me in NYC. Was getting 150-300kbps download before, now 800-1000kbps. Good goin Sprint.

  • http://www.daewootech.net chris ponciano

    I just updated the profile and Prl of my coworkers epic touch 4g and his speeds went from .46 to 1.10mbps on 3G, i would recommend updating those on your phones and see if it makes a diff.

  • Sam

    134 down, 498 up, 497 ping (averages from 6 tests at about 12:30 - 1pm) in Central San Diego

  • Tommy

    Here's an update, did these tests around a local Target on Sawyer street. Again, I am located in Houston TX...

    http://i.imgur.com/APKq5.jpg

  • wackadroid

    I blame it all on the iphone. ever since sprint decided to take on this phone we have gotten screwed six ways to sunday. prices go up service goes down. i live in nyc and im on a stock NS4G and I typically keep mine on 3g all day and i do alot of dropboxing, emailing, and browsing. ive never had what i would call a MAJOR issue where my phone just didnt work for an extended period of time. i find that the 4g signal is spotty at best unless im standing still or in a place with windows. if i go in a building with no windows, forget it, i have to wait until i go outside to do some data intense tasks.

    • Tommy

      I started getting bad speeds way before the iPhone. the iPhone just pushed it to the next level.

  • yelrx8

    In Bay Area, Palo Alto -> 101 and San Antonio:
    200ms / ~100kbps down / ~250kbps up !?!?
    (didn't change from perceived upgrades)

    In comparison, WiMax 4G at same location is typically:
    100ms / ~4Mbps down / ~1400kpbs up

    So happy the iphone 4S debut didn't affect my WiMax!

  • mike

    I did the updat 230/320 ping 126 same result as it was before

  • Cody

    Still crappy signal and speeds for me just south of Houston in Pearland. I updated my profile and PRL on my Nexus S 4G and now I am having a hard time even getting the speed test to run.

  • mike

    I did the updat 230/320 ping 126 same result as it was before hope sprint do something about this soon

  • David

    Sprint 3g is almost unusable in the Plano, TX area. I just ran a speedtest and got 896 ms ping (woah), 33kbps down and 40kbps up. Yes, it is on 3g, lol. I pretty much don't use my phone for data apps other than email unless its on WIFI which defeats the purpose and makes me mad whenever I see the $10 data access charge. I've NEVER been able to get 4G anywhere but outside. Who wants to go outside every time they want to access the net? This is rediculous, I used to have AT&T and Iphone and thought that was bad, this is WAY worse.

  • TheDudeAbides

    2075 down, 535 up. on 3G w/ SGSII ET4G, Valencia, cali

  • Scott

    ping 306 d/l 357 u/l 647 in Phoenix AZ at about 5:30pm today, huge improvement.

  • William D

    I live in Mission District in SF, my speeds are average actually, a lot of 200+/-kbps as usual, some lower, some higher. Outside around the corner, it hit 1000kbps surprisingly, but that isnt typical.

    In San Jose, speeds went from 1200kbps and 1500kbps to 30-40kbps overnight. Something is wrong big time.

    Sprint has now become the laughingstock network, and personally, since I reported on this OVER A YEAR AGO, I see them finally taking note of it and instead of upgrading the network like they should have a year ago, they will use this as an excuse to kill unlimited data (I heard rumors they are doing it in January 2012 on all devices).

  • http://gthing.net sam

    I got some network updates pushed to my phone November 1 at like 3 in the morning. I wouldn't have noticed except that I was using my phone at that time. 3G speeds did seem to be much better. That was in LA.

  • Guirae

    In the least creepy way possible, I live very close to you. I live near SFSU near Diala Pizza. I'm getting avg. 1.5 mpbs down (hit 2.3 once) and around 0.6 up. Definitely have noticed a change.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That is very close to me indeed. Howdy, neighbor!

  • RockingmyEvo3D

    Yes I personally can verify here in NYC I have recieved using 3g consistant ping 72ms download 1971kpps and 945kbps upload. This is definately great for using 3g service. I couldn't figure out why that update just started out of the blue but what a great surprise.

  • Tony

    Seriously thinking about going to T-Mobile. I know, I know, but at work I get Ping 663 0.13 down and 0.15 up. Guys with T-Mobile full bars, 4g and this is deep in building. BTW, I work at a govt facility and I don't know why Sprint service sucks balls here, but it certainly does. T-Mo full burn! "SMH" I so want to stay with Sprint, but they just opened up 4G in my hometown for T-Mo. What's a man to do???

  • Eric

    I am seeing improvements in the Raleigh/Durham NC area. Went from averaging 50kbs over the past few months to over 1Mbps today!!!

  • Nate

    Yakima, WA here after update of profile i am sitting at constant 100-130ms/700k-1.3m dl/500k ul. after 5 tests. and 4g i got 70ms 12mb dl 1.5mb ul yesterday.

  • ntaparagod2

    170kbps Download 140kbps Upload 130ms Ping here in Waterford Michigan.

  • Fadakar

    My iPhone gets 1.12 Mb/s in an area that used to get no service on my EVO 3D. I literally have only seen my iPhone drop to 2 bars or lower once. They're really working fast on this upgrade. I love it. :D Can't wait for a real 4G network next year!

    • Scott

      Too bad its an iphone.

  • jody

    i got a samsung epic 4g on boostmobile it's the same company as sprint same 3g towers an before i use to get 973kbps download 523 upload but now i get 1963kbps download an 780kbps upload im in the north miami,fl area sometimes ill also be in the 1500kbps most of the time if there high usage on the towers but i never change my prl an i won't lol

  • duplissi

    bouncing from 700k to 1.4m down with around 300k up in auburn maine (near portland) photon 4g

    actually i just did a speed test and got 152ms ping 1669kbps down and 268kbps up!!!!!

    also on 4g i consistantly hit 7-9mbps with a weak signal.

  • http://tijil.org/fcc_sp_02-11-11.png Tomas – University Place, WA

    University Place, WA - Abysmal speeds, no change, zip 98467.

    http://tijil.org/fcc_sp_02-11-11.png

  • http://facebook.com/lamarw LW

    I'm rooted on CM7, but about to reflash back to stock and then update my profile. For now I just did five 3G SpeedTest.net runs and got :

    Pings - 90ms, 137,94,120, 102

    D/L - .69 Mbps, .49, .71, .33, .71

    U/L - .69 Mbps, .47, .56, .82, .79

  • Liono1787

    Improvements?!?! Its been getting worse..
    Ohio
    D/L - 163 kb/s, 165, 157, 105
    U/L - 43 kb/s, 24, 100, 142

  • boe

    I'm in Los Angeles - Speeds down are barely usable 100-200k and upload speeds can't be measured they are so slow.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Speeds have been in the crapper today again. More promises from Sprint of tower upgrades. They need to do a whole lot better than that.

  • MizzK

    Middle Tennessee area. EVO 3D. Average 1.7 m down, 53 k up, ping 132. Wasn't prompted for the update, just woke up the other morning to a message that said my phone had been updated. Rooted, CleanROM 2.7. Previous averages 900 k up, 321 k down, ping 154.

  • Austininte

    Im definately seeing the upgrade. I normally average 3G speeds of 1000k and since Nov 2 , I'm gettng + 2000k now.
    Austin has always had the best Sprint speeds due to being a test location for their 4G service.. I have seen 4G speeds increase as well.

  • emil f gallo jr

    brother am I missing something here? why are you messing around with 3G when wiFi hooks you up? Sorry if I am out of place here. but... if you have it why not use it? I use Speedtest net 30 times a day both on my laptop and my htc evo design 3G/4G cache two times a day on this phone.. just now my test was Ping: 136 Download: 8.97 Mbps Upload: 1.34 Mbps. and I get that with WiFi on.. this is what my computer gets as well... and I use the Clearwire Spot... wimax ...(unlimited) .... las vegas..