Is Sprint's LTE coverage exaggerated on its website?

Is Sprint's LTE coverage exaggerated on its website?
The testing shows Sprint's LTE coverage was wanting

The testing shows Sprint's LTE coverage was wanting

A company called Advanced Frequency Engineering (AFE) tested the LTE service of Verizon, Sprint and AT&T in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City and Atlanta markets. The tests revealed that not only did Sprint's LTE service not have the same reach as the other two carrier's LTE signal, it also was not as good as advertised on Sprint's own website. Site surveys and LTE availability tests showed that while both Verizon and AT&T's LTE signal reached across the entire area tested, Sprint's signal did not work in 75% to 90% of each market AFE looked at. The testing involved 1,000 miles of drive-testing and fixed testing using Samsung handsets and other equipment.

Based on the stats, where Verizon and AT&T scored 100% coverage in Dallas, Forth Worth, Kansas City and Atlanta with their LTE signal, Sprint's LTE signal was available in just 10% of the Dallas market, 15% in Atlanta, 20% in Fort Worth and 25% in Kansas City. Another problem is that according to AFE, Sprint's coverage is actually short of what the carrier claims online. Below, we have a map of Sprint's LTE coverage in Dallas from AFE's testing compared to a map used by Sprint displayed on its website. You can see the difference.

Sprint launched its LTE service in July and hopes to cover 123 million POP's by the end of the year.

source: FierceWireless

Comparison of Sprint's Dallas coverage from the testing (L) versus what the carrier claims on its website

Comparison of Sprint's Dallas coverage from the testing (L) versus what the carrier claims on its website



1. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

of course it is exaggerated, as Sprint is under GI-normous pressure to deliver.

9. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

Sprint LTE is practically non existent here in Atlanta. When it does show LTE in the status bar, I get excited so I get online or run a speedtest, then sure enough, it starts to go fast then it hangs up, fails, and switches back the CDMA. I thought maybe something was wrong with my GS3 so I took it to a Sprint service rep. After speaking with him for a few minutes he came clean and said, "It's not your phone man, it's the LTE, it's not ready yet." I said, "But what about the coverage maps on Sprint's own website? It shows that Atlanta is blanketed with LTE!?!" "That's the projected coverage. It's supposed to reflect that coverage sometime around the middle of October." He replied. I was shocked! How can Sprint try to pass off projected coverage as their current coverage?!? Nowhere on the website does it say projected coverage. This is false advertising! It makes me wish that somebody would file a class action lawsuit against this bulls**t!

22. crysiswarmonger

Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

1st. Sprint is a bunch of liars. 2nd. They have never had coverage of what they claimed. I switched earlier this year to get away from the lies and poor service that just went down hill year after year.

2. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

I'm not surprised. Sprint has never been good with data. It works in many many places, but never "fast". I however don't drop any calls with Sprint. awesome. Plus i use wifi. I can't see Sprint ever having fast data, even after network vision.

4. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

I know what you mean, I do not get drop calls either with AT&T and I live in NY, well Brooklyn to be exact, in my house T-mobile and Verizon do not work, I do not know why, I haven't had a sprint person in my house, so I do not know how well they work, but my cousin had sprint before and I let her join my family plan, she say AT&T service is better.....I told her might be depending on the phone, because I remember have a Motorola phone and it always had better service then my HTC phones, I think they use a better antenna, but so far I have not had a single drop call on my Galaxy Note, I will admit few years ago, I had drop calls with AT&T, but the service is way better then before.....this is just my opinion though

7. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 580; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Motorola is sorta known for using better radios and I have to agree everyone says that you drop calls on AT&T When ive hade them for about 6 years, lived in 3 different states and have never had the issue. Now sprint does have its "spikes" where a noticable increase In speed is seen but those dont come frequently. And @bitslizer sensorly maybe crowd sourced but is not the most accurate with LTE.

10. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Motorolas and Nokias tend to offer better reception than other makers. Experience pays off!

3. bitslizer

Posts: 27; Member since: Jul 29, 2010

not sure how AFE do their testing, but this is the same area, crowd sourced coverage map by sensorly showing pretty much the coverage area very similar to the Sprint official map, not that sensorly map closed to the road driven by people, if no one drove by that spot, you don't see coverage but you can extrapolate/guess coverage base on the spot already reported


Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 28, 2012

I run Sensorly all the time and just mapped at LEAST 30K points....ATL coverage is definitely Exaggerated!!!!!

8. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 580; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Just read your comment after writing mine above and yes it is exaggerated.

5. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Hopefully Sprint can snag Metro before T-Mobile does. That would benefit Sprint greatly. Generally speaking Sprint is usually ahead of their competitors in many ways. They were of course the first carrier with 4G (too bad its not like att which uses both LTE and HSPA+), the first carrier with Live TV, and not to mention usually ahead on phone models. Its ashame to see them behind in this significant category. Best of luck Sprint!

13. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Four things: 1) AT&T has the best phone selection of any carrier then Verizon 2) Sprint was the first to have "4G" but it was such a fail its not even worth mentioning. WiMAX is so spotty and unreliable that it shouldn't be something to bath about 3) Sprint always had terrible data speeds. Since 2010, their speeds have gotten worse and worse. Instead of spending billions of dollars on the iPhone, they should have used it for their nnetwork 4) Sprint in my opinion is in last place. T-Mobile will outshine every carrier next year with LTE Advanced and HSPA+ 42 as back haul.

16. thunder18

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

1) AT&T still has a better selection than Verizon due to being able to accept unlocked phones from the vast supply of GSM phones available. 2) Sprint had to jump the gun to WiMax at the time. The spectrum auction they won for the 2.5gHz block required them to roll out 4G in a specific amount of time and LTE was not ready for primetime by that deadline. 3) Wholeheartedly agree. Though if I were in their shoes...I don't know if the decision would have been any easier to make. Bleed customers because you don't offer an iPhone and upgrade the network or spend $15 billion on iPhones so you can keep your customers. Not the position I'd like to be in and a gamble whichever you choose. 4) This may be true. Still, I'm curious to see how Network VIsion pans out by the time it's completed.

19. e.wvu unregistered

Improved speeds by 1 percent. Lol.

20. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

At&t has the best phones??? Since when?? Sprint and Verizon are one and two (not in that order necessarily). Sprint had/has: 1st 4G phone 1st 3D phone not requiring glasses 1st phone with Live TV 1st dual screen phone Let's look at todays lineup Sprint vs at&t Evo 4G LTE > One X GS3 = GS3 iPhone 5 = iPhone 5 Photon Q > Captivate Glide The only thing I prefer about at&t is their Windows Phone lineup. Now as of Sprints "Speeds" their 3G is as fast as Verizons. Sure at&t has faster 3G but at&ts 3G coverage is STILL PATHETIC. There are still many areas that lack 3G. As of Wimax, at the time it was superior. Another reason why they were ahead. Unfortunately for them, LTE ended up being superior. However there are areas near here that got Wimax, and in that same are at&t runs 2G -_-'. Lastly, T-Mobile needs to worry about call coverage before anyone will take them seriously!!! They could have the best data ever, but if it doesn't work in many places, then what does it matter?? Also Sprint would have had a better build on their LTE network had the government not blocked huaweii from establishing their network (sounds like for good reasons tho). Now sure a lot of what we both said is opinion, I think my opinion owned yours.

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You listed things that really don't matter. First 3D phone? How popular are 3D phones? The only reason why the EVO 3D sold was because it was Sprint's flagship at the time. Dual screen phone - too bad it really never sold. Look at AT&T; Lumia 900, Lumia 920, Galaxy Note. Oh and that One X+ is better than the EVO 4G LTE sorry. Sprint's 3G is a total joke a lot of areas in the US. 0.08kbps is as fast as 1.2mbps on Verizon? 4.5mbps on AT&T? Nope. T-Mobile's call coverage is better than Sprint's imo. I've been in a lot of cities and never had a problem. Sprint should have waited to deploy LTE instead of WiMAX. It would save saved them money and they could have had LTE in more cities than AT&T. "Now sure a lot of what we both said is opinion, I think my opinion owned yours." Sorry but you spoke too soon. You can try again next time.

25. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Bahahaha.. You made me cry a little while I was laughing. Way to mention the HTC One X+ and the Limos 920 which aren't even out yet! Way to fail!! Your using future phones to compare to Sprints current lineup. Pathetic! Sure the Note was nice but at&t lost its exclusive rights and now Sprint too will enjoy the Note II. I do like the Lumia 900, and that's Sprints weakness is not having a flagship Windows Phone model. Supposedly though they are supposed to have a Windows Phone 8 model for the holiday.

26. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Blah PA needs a mobile site! Back to where I was now.. I like the fact that you don't deny at&ts horrid 3G coverage. There are huge portions of areas that at&t doesn't have 3G! You can complain about Sprints speeds, but I haven't seen a non 3G network with Sprint in a very long time (minus 4G). If I go 3 miles outside of town at&t hits edge. Weak! As for Sprints speeds, I've tested their 3G vs Verizons. Here Sprints runs nearly twice as fast (mainly because Verizon is bogged down here). I also had a good laugh at your T-Mobile coverage joke. You said it works great in every "city" you've been in, but their rural markets are awful! Yes ill acknowledge Sprint isn't #1 in that category but it works in so many more places. To make put the nail in the coffin, just look at their roaming partners. Sprint roams off of Verizon, while T-Mobile is with at&t. Sprint/Verizon > T-Mobile/at&t. Did I mention I work with all 4 carriers and own 3 of the 4? Im quite in touch with the carriers/phones. Are you so sure of yourself still? I can keep going on.

29. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

I got bored and looked this up :) Sprint 3G crushes at&t and T-Mobile. Granted it's two year old data, I don't think these companies are expanding 3G very often ;)

11. palmguy

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Other Sprint 1st: color screen phones, camera, and video phones 1st in the US.

12. threeline

Posts: 308; Member since: Sep 11, 2011

Sprint is full of it! Their coverage is so spotty in PHX especially on the west side, but you call the the service department and check Sprint's coverage maps and they say your signal strength is strong for the area. This charade has been going on for years and I have reached my limit with these guys. I am not believer in Sprint anymore or any of the future services they are touting, I mean what good is an "unlimited plan" if you can't access any of the data? It takes me almost 5 - 10 minutes to download an app or to update an app on Sprint's network in westside PHX, hell it took 15 minutes to download a song from the PlayStore the other day! I don't expect network vision or LTE to change this because Sprint's LTE coverage will be spotty as well, as proved in this study. I will be taking my family plan and moving on.

14. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Every carrier has deadzones, if Sprint doesn't currently work in your area then get rid of the service. No one, including Sprint, wants you to keep a service you are not going to be be able to use. Everyone knows Sprint is upgrading their entire network at the moment, there are issues is many markets, others are working just fine. If you cant wait for Network Vision, you are better off switching. I don't know about this exaggeration of maps as I dont have 4G LTE yet, its coming by the end of the year, so I will test coverage map accuracy then. However, voice, 3G and WiMAX maps in my area pretty spot on. As mentioned above by another user, Sprint is under a lot of pressure to turn on LTE so who knows.

17. thunder18

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

D/FW was one of the launch markets for Sprint's LTE and I have seen LTE once...from the 69th floor of the Bank of America tower...for a service that was supposed to be available from the end of July. Sprint, I love you, but you're making it harder and harder every day. Sprint customer since 2001

15. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

I agree with much of the comments above as Sprints speeds in my area were so horrid not long ago that there was no point in even attempting to use it. I couldn't even load a mobile page without dropping signal 1 mile from the tower with full signal. But they have made their improvements to 3g (and the 2g) towers we have here and things work good enough now. I average 1mps down and around 400kps up. Good enough from it not working at all. No carrier here has 4G of any kind so not holding my breath there. But, here is my issue with Sprint: There is NO EXCUSE for the amount of 2g reception that they are still running. They are rolling out 4G towers, for the 2nd time now, but so many places are left struggling on 2g. What the hell Sprint. I really hope that they reband the Nextel network to their LTE as I was told soon after they shutdown Nextel.

18. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

I think that people need to remember that these are networks we are talking about. It won't ever be in every neighborhood with at least 2 bars or service. If it doesn't work out well for you, that's what your trial period is for. If you are an idiot and deal with crappy service for outside that period, then stop bitching. I'm with Sprint because of the price, phone selection, and low dropped call ratio in MY area. Yes, i do use wifi most of the time. I realized all of this during my first 14 days, so i stuck with them. No way i'd ever give my money to Verizon. T-Mobile is confusing and lower now in customer satisfaction. ATT, i have nothing against, but they are a tad more expensive than Sprint. GO SPRINT! Every carrier has it's faults with different business ethics.

21. ibap

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

We left Verizon for Sprint when our daughter was in high school, because Sprint's phones (along with Alltel and T-Mobile) worked in her school, but Verizon flat-out did not. She was in so many extra-curriculars, it was a major issue. I once texted her when she was in the orchestra pit in the auditorium to tell her there was a tornado warning, when Verizon and AT&T were totally impossible. Alltel and T-Mobile had their own coverage issues, so were a no-go for us. Now that she's off in college, we may make another switch, but we've never had dropped call problems with Sprint. We've got a Sprint femtocell at home, where Verizon never worked well, and T-Mobile is an absolute zero. I detected 4G on Sprint in Columbus before they'd even announced it, and it is markedly faster than 3G, but that is only where I work, and not where I live.

24. Valanten

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 07, 2009

Sprint is lying not only about their 4G, but about their 3G as well! For example east of Illinois on a major highway like I 80, in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania ... their internet speed is slower than 2G or in many places simply does not exist.

27. DSmithee unregistered

Soooooooo, I guess if I'm currently on Virgin, I'll be waiting for-EVAH for LTE here in South Florida?

28. miladkhahil

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 08, 2008

I believe it ... Unfortunately i have sprint and its very slow in the Detroit suburb

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