Sprint as a data source?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Kyle Lockhart, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Kyle Lockhart

    Kyle Lockhart Lurker

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    How does Sprint compare to other data sources out there? I have a Sprint data plan (unlimited, 4G LTE) and am curious about its worth when chasing. It's been tested on one chase back in November of 2013, but other than that there hasn't been much luck.
     
  2. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    Where are you chasing typically? I had Sprint for a time until I could afford to get Verizon again. Along most interstates, you're in good shape unless you're in parts of Dixie or getting into West Texas or the Rockies states. Off the interstate is where things get iffy. In some areas, especially in states like Iowa, Nebraska, and parts of Kansas where US Cellular has a large number of towers, Sprint users are allowed to get full speed data off of US Cellular towers when they don't have Sprint service. Outside of those areas though, Sprint simply does not have good rural coverage on their own once you're away from the interstates.

    I know a few chasers who have Sprint as their primary service, and use a prepaid hotspot from either AT&T or Verizon to ensure they have data while chasing. The primary major hole with Verizon is western parts of Illinois (which AT&T generally covers fairly well), and for AT&T there are fairly large holes in the Northern Plains (which Verizon covers well). Other than that, data coverage is fairly similar between the two.
     
  3. Kyle Lockhart

    Kyle Lockhart Lurker

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    Typically I chase locally. I haven’t been out of state other than northern Illinois (near Rochelle, I live in Indiana). It’s whenever something pops up locally.
     
  4. GPhillips

    GPhillips EF3

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    If there's a Sprint Tmobile merger, the result should be better High Plains and Northern Plains coverage than Sprint alone now has.
     
  5. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    I didn't know this was even being talked about. The question would be whether they'd keep T-mobile's GSM based network or Sprint's CDMA based. Keep in mind T-Mobile has very little coverage in Nebraska. I had them when I first started driving trucks, and from Cheyenne to Lincoln it was roaming the entire way. The Dakotas are even more limited (Sprint very limited is as well), and Sprint actually has more in Kansas and Nebraska via their roaming agreement with US Cellular. So I don't think it would improve things for Sprint customers in that area.

    That said, I've said for a while that a merger between Sprint and US Cellular would not surprise me in the least. They already have agreements with each other to use each others' towers

    @Kyle Lockhart, I think for your area you'll be ok. I didn't know you were in the midwest, which is why I asked where you'd be chasing. It appears looking at their coverage maps that you'll be in decent shape just about anywhere in the midwest. If you want to supplement that with a prepaid data plan, I'd recommend AT&T for your area, simply because of the data hole Verizon has in western Illinois.
     
  6. Kyle Lockhart

    Kyle Lockhart Lurker

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    Thanks! This summer’s gonna be the test!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. GPhillips

    GPhillips EF3

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    @Drew T, I was just going from the functionality of the coverage maps available here: https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/lte-comparison-map
    Of course it's a t-mobile website and who knows how accurate it is, but their coverage across NE has expanded greatly in the last 3-4 years. With Sprint, I've always had terrible coverage in western NE.

    But I hadn't thought about the CDMA vs. GSM issues if they merge. Hmmm. Maybe the coverage wouldn't be all that much better.
     
  8. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    T-Mobile has very few of their towers in NE. It's all roaming for them and AT&T both for most of NE. Far western NE (Talking west of the 80/76 split on 80) was the main area I had issue with Sprint. East of there I did fine because of their agreement with US Cellular.

    I did see today that the merger announcement is official. Which makes me wonder what's going to happen with US Cellular. I wonder if the feds are going to force Sprint to sell some of their towers to US Cellular to satisfy regulators (merger still has to be approved by regulators)
     
  9. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    That said, it does seem to open up a merged Sprint/T-Mobile as a viable primary line (with a Verizon backup data source) as long as you stay south of I-80. For me though, who has a single line, There aren't enough savings for single lines to go anywhere but Verizon for my primary. If I had multiple lines, it might be a different story, but I'm not paying much more for Verizon for a single line than I was for Sprint or T-Mobile. The only major hole I have chasing is western Illinois, but a prepaid AT&T hotspot is enough to cover that.
     
  10. Randy Jennings

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    I would not trust any carrier's maps. As I noted in another thread, between my chase partner and myself, we have Verizon, AT&T, and T-mobile. We almost never have coverage on T-mobile except in mid and large cities in TX and OK. Even on major US highways where the map shows coverage on T-mobile there is none. Verizon and AT&T both almost always have coverage. You milage may vary in other areas. I can't speak to Sprint, as it has been years since I had them. I should point out that Daniel Shaw who chases and streams from coast to coast and border to border (and sometimes into Canada), uses Verizon and AT&T.
     
  11. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    I think the OP will be ok in Illinois and the like. Certainly better off than I am with Verizon in western parts of that state (there is a huge hole for Verizon in Quincy and points east till almost Peoria). That's the main place where I'd need a backup for Verizon.
     
  12. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    And Sprint. And a booster.
     
  13. Randy Jennings

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    That is good to know. I knew he had a booster, but I did not know he had Sprint. I guess he needs to update his equipment list on his website,
     
  14. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    Probably an oversight. I remember seeing some pics of his loadout a few years ago, and one of the hotspots had a Sprint logo on it.

    He also brings a Telestra phone with him. Whether he uses it on Telestra while here, or if he just jacks an AT&T SIM card into it, I do not know.
     

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