Sprint iPhone Owners Complaining About Slow 3G Data Speeds

By , Oct 16, 2011

You have to feel for Sprint customers, don’t you? First they had to wait four years to get their hands on an iPhone, and now that they have it, their data network doesn’t appear to be coping too well.

As Macrumors is now reporting, there is now a fairly long thread developing over at the Sprint support forums, where iPhone owners are reporting issues, mainly of the “my iPhone’s 3G data connection is soo slow” variety…

One upset iPhone 4S owner took to the forums, armed with a screenshot of a Speedtest.net report which clearly shows his download speed of 0.16Mbps. While the immediate thought is that perhaps there is an issue with reception in his area, or maybe a faulty mast, it appears his other phone isn’t suffering from the same issue.

“This is the speedtest screen capture I did on my brand new iPhone 4S.  As you can see, I got .016Mbps down and 0.05Mbps up.  For those of you want to say maybe the network is just slow in my area.  I did the same test with Samsung Epic Touch with 4G turned off at the same spot.  It’s 3 times faster.  Is sprint crippling iPhone data rate, or there is something wrong with iPhone CDMA radio itself.”

That’s pretty damning.

As well as reports across other forums all over the internet, our very own Jeff Benjamin also noticed this exact same phenomena when testing iPhone 4S handsets on all three US carriers – Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.

The results didn’t make great watching for Sprint, with the newcomer a distant last in our admittedly unscientific tests.

Interestingly, Verizon’s iPhone 4S suffers no such issues, which suggests that the problem is not CDMA hardware-related. Whatever the issue is, it’s a Sprint issue.

Before everyone gets all angry at Sprint, this wouldn’t be the first time a carrier has struggled under the strain of an iPhone release. It’s taken AT&T four years to begin to cope with the amount of data US iPhone users get through, and it’s entirely possible Sprint is simply struggling to keep up. Having said that, if reports that other handsets  performing normally are correct, a network outage probably isn’t to blame.

Are you a Sprint customer packing an iPhone 4 or 4S? Is your data flowing as freely as you’d hoped?

You know where the comments are!

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  • Eljobso

    Funny I get the same results as the picture on Verizon in NYC…soooo slow I kind of miss AT&T, don’t call that many people though, but is so annoying that the “best” network sucks in NYC but in outer states the speed is awesome…too many people I guess, but still we all deserve the same service quality

    • Joe

      How is the reception on ur verizon iphone in nyc? I’ve been with att since the 1st iPhone and it’s dropped calls constantly in manhattan..soo wanna go to verizon heard they’re much better with signal strength

      • Drea B

        Verizon is HORRIBLE. Don’t do it!

    • Drea B

      I had Verizon when I was living in NYC. Worst. Service. Ever. I’d be on Broadway with absolutely no reception. They switched my phone out 3 times. No change. Never again.

    • leonidez

      I live in Orlando, FL and have been experiencing dreadfully slow data speeds, .15 mbps! I’ve returned the iPhone 4S and will be switching to ATT. I called Sprint and all they could tell me that it was due to the substantial amount of iPhone activations at once.

    • leonidez

      I live in Orlando, FL and have been experiencing dreadfully slow data speeds, .15 mbps! I’ve returned the iPhone 4S and will be switching to ATT. ATT is at 5 or 6 mbps!

  • Dsteven

    and i was thinking of getting a sprint iphone. definitely not happening after seeing this

  • http://none The iOS guy

    People should know better than to go with sprint. Seriously they’ve always sucked

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-YoDuh-Castillo/674406718 sOleFresh

      +1; nothing against Sprint users, but i myself have tried them in the past, was not worth my hassle..

  • http://twitter.com/geekinit geekinit

    Someone should test different 3G phones on a Sprint microcell. Two phones side by side could be on two separate cell towers. I’ve used the jailbreak app Signal on AT&T and my phone clearly sees 4 different AT&T cell towers.

  • TPreston

    I’m one of the sprint customers you speak of and after waiting all this time it was worth it coming from Black Berry. I have noticed slowness when comparing with my friends iPhones through AT&T but none of my calls drop ever and the cost of my Data package is awesome! I’m happy right now.

  • Alex

    Im seeing similar results around .20 mb most of time. Once in awhile it clocks in at around .90 mb in some of the spots I tested it. This sucks beyond belief.! I hate Sprint.

  • Techman

    I could just be because of all the new activations. The Sprint network has never had so much stress at once and is not use to it. It will proably get better

    • CrazyBraulz

      +1 This could be true with all the new trafic in the network.

  • Brent

    I sadly had to switch from AT&T to sprint on my families plan to save money which is nice. But from the iPhone 4 I had to the iPhone 4s on sprint I can say I understand why AT&T is more expensive. The iPhone on sprint is so so slow I feel like I’m on old school dial up. Hopefully they fix something rather soon. Or they will have to take away unlimited Internet to help with the traffic.

  • Dave

    I live in Chicago and I get 4 MBs down and 2 MBs up. Also have not dropped a call yet.

  • http://rulethenation.com Pukka

    Yea those speeds are nasty, in Canada our speeds are around 4-6mbps consistently. US needs to catch up.

  • Mcsteven

    This is an EASILY rigged test. My AT&T iPhone 4 pulls up idownloadblog.com in 5 seconds flat on my 3G network, without clearing the history or cookies. This is the epitome of a bias test. My wife got the 4S on AT&T (she switched from slow Verizon by the way) and its even faster than my phone. So yeah bro, take your fake speed test and shove it…

    • https://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy

      If you’re talking about Idb doing the test, then you are an idiot, because at the start of the video, they cleared the cache and cookies.

      • josh

        he’s not an idiot speed varies from city to city and most parts of Miami my phone on ATT is faster than my friends phone on Verizon dont know about sprint in Miami though.

  • Mcsteven

    On another note; Sprint is only in business cause they have massive government contracts. They’re the crappiest company money can buy…

  • Erik

    3.49 Mbps down 1.19 Mbps up in kent, Washington on AT&T. Have gotten much more than that at times.

  • Mike

    Sprint is for poor people.

    • https://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy

      Hahaha!!!! The most expensive plan is for poor people?? Do your research.

      • CrazyBraulz

        +1 hahahaha

      • http://reddit.com bbarlow88

        How is Sprint the most expensive plan? They are they cheapest out of the 3….how about YOU do your research.

  • leviboxer

    So is T-Mobile here in the UK on my iPhone 4, does seem a lot slower than when it was jailbroken! Guys is there a way to downgrade back to 4.3.3?

  • leviboxer

    T-Mobile UK now
    Download – 0.34Mbps
    Upload – 0.07Mbps

  • Dsjjr

    Something is wrong with the speed test app. I’ve been getting slowly speeds from the app on my Wi-Fi and I tried a few other apps that give more accurate speeds. For some reason the app is bogging down.

  • xCoreyx

    I have an iPhone 4S on Sprint, and my 3G works great. Maybe it’s my area but I haven’t had any issues anywhere I’ve been. I constantly have awesome service.

  • Dave

    When I do the test with wifi I get 15 down and 7 up. When I turn wifi off on my 4s I get about 4 MBs down and 2 up. I’m on AT&T. Just face it sprints speeds suck.

  • Joe

    When you did the test using the speedtest app you didn’t have all of them pointing to the same server. The AT&T was pointing to a diffrent server then the other two so the results on speedtest aspects of this test are not that valid.

    If you wouldn’t mind could you do the speedtest app aspects of this test again with all servers using the same server. Also it is possible that having two phones on either side could cause the one in the middle to have some signal issues. So doing each phone on the table away from other phones would be the best way to test this.

    All the best…

  • josh

    I have AT&T in Miami and I haven’t had any issues my speed varies from 1Mbps to 6Mbps Download and .4Mbps to 2Mbps Upload depending in which part of the city I am but overall I am very satisfied with the speed and Service

  • Chris

    I am a sprint customer… yeah… in Indiana.. after getting a $500 phone bill… with calls constantly being made from NY to Cuba… having Sprint argue with me about the validity of my refusal to pay…( i used my personal wormhole to make calls from Valparaiso, IN then from Queens, NY to Cuba all in the same afternoon…) reading about these speeds makes me think maybe just waiting out my contract until Feb and just surviving with my Reclaim… Sprint is crap.

  • You are your own worst enemy

    This has happened three times now. I wonder when people will finally figure out that it’s the iphones that cause it. Not as in “they’re so hip and cool always downloading things!”, but as in “apple built them that way and patented it. Bringing down networks is a bug and a feature.

    iphones don’t act like most other phones. They rapidly connect and disconnect to save battery. They constantly swamp the carrier signal. It wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t so damn many of them.

    Sprint has had smartphones for quite a while now. Some recent Android phones were better at displaying and sucking down data than an iphone would ever dream of. You could VOIP your data cap away in a few hours, Android users are just as much facebook fanatics and youtube tards as iphone users, And they still didn’t mess up the network.

  • RAWR

    I talked with a service rep on the phone and she gave me a solution.. well kinda, she told me to update the PRL. to do this you dial in the “phone” app :) ##update# or ## 873283#. It seemed to work for about an hour, I ended up getting speeds at 1.09Mbps download and 0.66 Upload with a Ping of 113.

    Also i Live in the north houston area

  • rodavici

    My Sprint 4GS is going back tomorrow – great when everyone sleeps but the rest of the time I get maybe 200Kbps down at best.

    Late at night I got 0.40dn/0.83up on Sprint, dropped in a Vodafone SIM and roamed onto AT&T – expensive exercise, but got 1.78dn/1.05up with them.

    Been as bad as 0.01dn/0.13up on Sprint – would rather spend the money to get an off-contract AT&T iPhone and go back to them.

    Sigh…

  • Henry

    Im on the upper east side and my Verizon ipho!ne 4su is horrible. Data speeds and congestion sucks! Ill be porting right back to at&t

  • Todd

    I was just in NYC last weekend and my AT&T iphone sucked everywhere. The 3G service was slow as can be while my wife’s Verizon iphone worked well all over the city. Any apps I used took forever to load and forget about google maps. It took so long for things to load I was able to walk everywhere using a paper map before anything would show up on my phone.

  • sMurph

    iPhone 4 on Sprint. 283ms Ping Rate. 0.08Mbps Download. 0.03Mbps Upload.
    Runnit a test on an iPhone 4 on AT&T in the exact same location gets 4.0Mbps Down and 1.93 Up. I am almost regretting leaving AT&T for the Sprint unlimited data plan. It’s not really unlimited when you have to wait forever for something to download.

  • John

    Not an iPhone user here. But I am on Sprint, and i do have a possible solution.My HTC EVO Shift, a 4G phone, always had very poor 3G speeds, similar to the ones posted here. 4G, was fast, and I can’t complain about it. My 3G speeds were at 0.15 mpbs download, which is complete crap. Now, the way I fixed this, was to edit my MSL settings. The phone came preinstalled to work with 1G ONLY, thats right, 1G ONLY. It said 3G because HTC forced the phone to report 3G no matter what the actual signal was. After I got the MSL code, i edited the settings as is written in this guide http://www.goodandevo.net/2011/01/how-to-get-faster-3g-speeds-and-better-music-streaming-on-your-rooted-htc-evo-sense-only.html I cannot comment on if this works with teh iPhone, but Sprint is probably limiting the phone to be on 1G only. And by the way, I live in NYC, I get an average of 1 mpb downlaod speeds. My peak was at 3 mpbs, which is a low 4G speed and high 3G speed.

  • stephanjackson80

    I have two new iPhone 4 I got two days ago and the speedtest was 1304ms download 0.00 upload 0.05 in Odessa tx.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Lee/1830098106 Mike Lee

    I am a new sprint customer as of today with a iPhone 4 located in Dallas – Fort Worth, tx. At work (i30 and las Vegas trail) I get 1.8mbps and at home (i20 and 360) I am getting less than half that. If it doesn’t speed up then I might consider trading it for a android.

  • http://twitter.com/atlmimi mimi clark

    I am a sprint customer who had an android on the network before and I am thinking about going back to my droid because the iPhone sucks on sprints network

  • William Fisher

    I am brand new to both sprint and the iPhone and I came over from cricket. I had better connection speeds with cricket. I am very disappointed with the 3G network on sprints end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Perria-Wilson/1442906330 Perri’a Wilson

    iphone sucks…. you cant talk and surf the net .really the Iphone wasn’t designed to do anything while talking (said the sprint rep ) UM i think u should have told me that before i gave u 600 dollars for the phone MF um blue tooth has been invented so there is no need to hold the phone to your face while talking/ and almost every phone has spearker doesn’t it ? HELLO APPLE get with the times And thats not all i have to pay for the free GPS app to give me audio directions.now it will give u instructions that u must read for free but isn’t reading text while driving illegal what kind of bull crap is that? free is free isn’t it? well i guess not. surfing the net is like old dial up soooooo slow 3G/4G my ASS and if i ask suri anything half the dam time she says i cant help u try back later like this bitch got something else to do with her time (suri is the phone app that is suppose to answer your ? for those who didn’t know) iphone sucks big time im going back to droid oh and it doesnt have half the apps droid has good grief (well they seen me coming)

    • http://www.facebook.com/troopersweet Jeffrey Lee Sweet

      I had an AT&T iPhone before coming over to Sprint for unlimited data, what a mistake. The best speed I can get is .05 And with the AT&T iPhone you can talk, surf, whatever, all at tghe same time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonsayshi Jason Walker

    I desperately wish I had not chosen to utilize any smartphone on the Sprint platform. Yes, the rates are decent and the customer service is not totally abysmal. However, Sprint’s problem is “being a mobile communications company.” I could start a call center tomorrow and sell phones with a ridiculously cheap monthly plan, and simply not build any towers. The monthly rate for the customers would be phenomenal, I would be cheery when the customers called, and they would have service on par with Sprint’s data on most days. I may become a billionaire. Sprint is truly a horribly underpowered firm, fraudulently offering “data” plans minus the “data”. The FTC should step in and offer all Sprint customers a chance to walk with no cancellation fee.

  • Abe

    This phone is too slow!!!!!!!

  • Sang Kang

    I live about a mile down the Sprint HQ in Reston VA… I get about the same 3G speed as stated in the article… Had Touch Pro 2 and now Galaxy S3… Both doing 20kbps down and 15kbps up, often dropping signal altogether one too many times.