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Sprint Is Improving Its Network to Eliminate Slow Data Speeds Plaguing iPhone Users

by Killian Bell | December 1, 2011December 1, 2011 3:00 am PDT

Slow data speeds on SprintDespite waiting years for the iPhone to arrive on Sprint, some of the carrier’s customers are less than happy with the data speeds they’ve been experiencing on Apple’s hugely popular smartphone.

Early adopters of the new iPhone 4S — a device with improved data speeds which promise to “double the maximum HSDPA data speeds to 14.4 Mbps” — are actually getting connections as slow as 0.01Mbps, despite full 3G signals, as shown in the image on the right.

If you’re one of those unfortunate few, you’ll be pleased to know that Sprint is in the process of rolling out “network enhancements” that it hopes will significantly improve iPhone data speeds, according to CNET. Thanks to both customer feedback and the investigations carried out by the carrier itself, it has been able to identify where changes were needed to provide a better service.

In a statement to CNET, Sprint’s vice president of product development, Fared Adib, said that the “initial response to the improvements has been very positive.” Adib added, “Sprint continues to monitor device and network performance to ensure that customers get the performance they expect from our products.”

For some Sprint customers, the launch of the iPhone certainly has not been the momentous event that it should have been. Gabriel Mayhugh, a musician based in Chicago, said that his data speeds on Sprint are consistently slow:

“I live in downtown Chicago and experience this constantly ever since I purchased the 4S. I become so frustrated when my friends on Verizon opened Web pages in less than a quarter of the amount of time it takes me. Downloading apps–forget it.”

And Mayhugh is by no means alone; a forum topic dedicated to the issue on Sprint’s customer service board has now received more than 1,700 comments from disgruntled customers, with over 376,000 views. But it’s not an issue every Sprint customer is experiencing, according to CNET:

To be sure, the problem isn’t universal. CNET conducted a test of data speeds in select locations in Manhattan and found Sprint had generally performed better than Verizon Wireless’ version. The test found no speed issues with the Sprint iPhone 4S.

One of the biggest advantages to grabbing the iPhone on Sprint is that it’s currently the only U.S. carrier to offer customers unlimited data on the device, and some are very happy with the carrier. Adib maintains that customer satisfaction for the iPhone is “very high,” while customer service calls and return rates have been “extremely low.”

The carrier has promised to take the issue seriously for those who are affected, however, and its improvements will hopefully increase data speeds for those who have been suffering since October.

What have your iPhone data speeds like on Sprint? Are you happy with them?

[via CNET]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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