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.
Sprint has network problems. Major problems. And they've gotten a lot worse lately. Really, really bad. Not all areas are affected - and in fact some have improved already, but more and more areas are getting so bad that Sprint's 3G data is completely unusable there, especially since the introduction of the iPhone. Troubleshooting and update my phone's "profile" and PRL didn't help, as evident from the screenshot #2 you see below.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012.
If there's one thing the iPhone 4S seems to be screwing up after its very successful debut, it would seem to be Sprint's 3G. Since the launch of Apple's newest iThing, Sprint 3G speeds have absolutely tanked for users in many areas. How widespread is the problem? Well, this 45-page (and growing) thread with nearly 700 replies over on the Sprint Community forums would seem to indicate the answer is "very."
The problem has affected everyone - as shown by lackluster results from some of our own Sprint devices of late while on 3G.
Update: Looks like WiFiKill was in violation of Google's terms and conditions, as it "could be used in a way that is harmful to devices, networks, or users," per Google itself. No worries, though -- the dev has the free version available on his forum, and if you want to show some donation love, you can grab the ad-free version from SlideMe.
Have you ever wanted to evict someone from your Wi-Fi network for whatever reason?
Regardless of what carrier you're currently shackled to, you have to admit that Verizon's LTE rollout is very impressive. Already the 4G service is available in more markets than Sprint's - despite being publicly available for about half the time.
Well in just three days (July 21st), even more metropolitan areas will be blanketed by LTE - 28 more metropolitan areas, to be precise. This Thursday, customers in the following areas will be able to turn on their ThunderBolts, DROID Charges, or Revolutions and experience the power of 4G for the first time: Decatur and Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.; Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului-Wailuku and Lahaina, Hawaii; Carbondale, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Baton Rouge and Hammond, La.; Springfield, Mass.; Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Charleston, S.C.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Olympia and Tacoma, Wash; and Charleston, W.Va. The company is also expanding its 4G LTE network in Phoenix, Ariz.; Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Northern New Jersey; Dallas-Ft.
T-Mobile's faux 4G network, also known as 3G HSPA+, is receiving a major update today in 56 more markets, which should double the maximum theoretical data throughput from 21MBps to 42MBps for compatible HSPA+ devices.
In addition to increasing connection speeds, T-Mobile is promising improved network capacity and reliability in the upgraded areas.
Got you on the title for a second, didn't I? With all the buzz (har har) surrounding Google+ lately, there's been near endless speculation about whether the new social network will have what it takes to "defeat" its biggest competitor: Facebook. In fact, it seems taken for granted that Google+ and Facebook are like oil and water - two things that simply cannot co-exist in harmony. As you may have guessed from my title, I think this is an absolutely silly discussion.
Update: According to two separate Verizon memos intercepted by Droid-life, existing Verizon customers can keep their existing data plan pricing when renewing or upgrading. Unfortunately, as with all offers of this type, just how long it will last remains to be seen. But, given that the BIONIC is coming some time soon-ish, it seems very likely that existing Verizon customers will be able to get the device without being forced into tiered data.
$3.99/month for basic and $9.99/month for premium (30-day free trial available) buy you streaming of various catalogs of music from the web (à la Pandora) as well as syncing of your own library to Sony's cloud servers with subsequent playback from said cloud (à la Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Music).