Welcome to the iMore Forums Create Your Account or Ask a Question Answers in 5 minutes - no registration required!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 38
Like Tree2Likes
  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    wateron's Avatar
    iMore Newbie

    Posts
    24 Posts

    Default AT&T, Sprint or Verizon?

    Getting a new 4S for my wife (our first iphone) now. Want to wait till next year to get my iphone as I want the LTE version. Want them both on the same provider for the family plan. Which provider should I get my wife's phone on? Will all 3 providers have LTE service next year?
  2. #2  
    E_Brown's Avatar
    iMore Expert

    Posts
    900 Posts
    Global Posts
    1,743 Global Posts
    iOS Version
    5.0

    Default

    Verizon will probably have the largest LTE coverage at this time next year.
  3. #3  
    Bias X's Avatar
    iPhone Pro

    Posts
    595 Posts
    iOS Version
    6.0

    Default

    Order of largest probable coverage.
    Verizon
    At&t
    Sprint - if they even get it rolling.

    Though the 4S will probably be the best on At&t due to the HSPA+.
  4. #4  
    BillBerry's Avatar
    iMore Newbie

    Posts
    12 Posts
    Global Posts
    33 Global Posts
    iOS Version
    5.0

    Default

    The VZW and Sprint iPhones may offer LTE next year, but only Apple/Carriers will know the true answer. Keep in mind when selecting your new carrier that only Sprint will be offering an unlimited data plan with the 4s, unless you are grandfathered in from a previous plan.
  5. #5  
    liquidzoo's Avatar
    iPhone Intermediate

    Posts
    487 Posts
    Global Posts
    524 Global Posts
    iOS Version
    4.3.3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iBilly View Post
    Keep in mind when selecting your new carrier that only Sprint will be offering an unlimited data plan with the 4s, unless you are grandfathered in from a previous plan.
    For now.

    AT&T and Verizon both changed their policies, after saying (Verizon at least) they wouldn't initially. AT&T did it only after they saw the extent of network usage, Verizon had the plans in place prior to release (most likely from the Droid usage).

    Though I have no idea if there are plans to do so, it would not surprise me to see Sprint go to a tiered data plan within a year.

    The VZW and Sprint iPhones may offer LTE next year, but only Apple/Carriers will know the true answer.
    AT&T is more likely to offer it before Sprint (they have a larger LTE infrastructure in place now, where Sprint focused on WiMAX instead at first), but my guess is that Apple will release an LTE iPhone when they feel that the world markets are ready and built up enough, not just the 3 big US carriers.
  6. #6  
    impaler's Avatar
    iMore Intermediate

    Posts
    470 Posts
    Global Posts
    531 Global Posts
    iOS Version
    7.1

    Default

    I'm torn on this. I live in the DC area right now, which has horrible AT&T coverage...constant dropped calls, etc. I'm grandfathered in on AT&T unlimited data, with my 3GS, and will definitely pre-order a 4S tomorrow. I've always liked Sprint, and since they both will offer me unlimited data and unlimited calling to any mobile on any network, that's a wash. So that leaves the calling coverage, which is hugely important to me. I'm also moving to Alaska in January and I hear bad reports from everyone up there on coverage. The coverage maps don't really help, as they all state they're wonderful there, but real world practice determines coverage.

    What do you all think? Any big Sprint or AT&T fans out there? I'm really fed up with AT&T, but will keep them if it means I have more flexibility...and data while talking isn't that critical for me.
    --
    iPhone 5s Space Gray 64GB (AT&T), iPad 3 LTE 64GB (AT&T), MacBook Air 13" (Mid-2011), Apple TVs Around the House, Time Capsule 3TB
  7. #7  
    jd78's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    28 Posts
    Global Posts
    32 Global Posts

    Default

    I've have Sprint for awhile now and never had any problems with it. I hardly live in a large city and we even have 4G here. Sprint is in the process of upgrading their network by combining their spectrum, something they refer to as "Network Vision". It was reported a month or two ago by some tech sites that go to go to the Sprint HQ i think. From what I read it will allow them to get better coverage and building penetration. It will also allow them to easily switch from WIMAX to LTE when that day comes.
  8. #8  
    CR4V3's Avatar
    iPhone Nanite

    Posts
    8 Posts
    Global Posts
    88 Global Posts
    iOS Version
    5.0

    Default

    Personally speaking, I will probably be switching back to Big Red for the 4S.
  9. #9  
    tmadsen's Avatar
    iMore Newbie

    Posts
    48 Posts
    Global Posts
    106 Global Posts

    Default

    I have Sprint, and haven't really had any issues. We moved sort of out into the middle of nowhere (albeit in Texas) north of Dallas, and we get good 4G most of the way up to the house (I use wifi at home - it's convenient, and fast) and to supplement our signal at home, we have an AirRave, which they usually try to charge you for, but if you make a fuss over having to pay extra to get a better signal at home, they waive the monthly fee. We bought a new house, and no towers close by for a while, so it was hard for the signal to penetrate our house. The AirRave makes that a non-issue. I can't believe I would even suggest this, but wouldn't you want to wait until around your move time so that you would have the 30-day opt-out period to see what kind of signal you get up there?
  10. #10  
    Chorizoman's Avatar
    iPhone Nanite

    Posts
    5 Posts
    Global Posts
    119 Global Posts

    Default

    I Cant Wait .. Im A Sprint User And I Sticking To Sprint. Unlimited Baby... Yeaaaaaaaaaaa Boieeee
  11. #11  
    elusivmd's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    40 Posts
    Global Posts
    44 Global Posts
    iOS Version
    iOS 5

    Default

    I was thinking of switching to AT&T from Sprint but after I saw on AppleInsider the data speeds won't be close to 14.4Mbps I couldn't justify the $40+ increase in my monthly bill. Plus unlimited everything freak rocks.
  12. #12  
    mobile79's Avatar
    iPhone Beginner

    Posts
    78 Posts
    Global Posts
    167 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chorizoman View Post
    I Cant Wait .. Im A Sprint User And I Sticking To Sprint. Unlimited Baby... Yeaaaaaaaaaaa Boieeee
    This for me too.
  13. Thread AuthorThread Author   #13  
    wateron's Avatar
    iMore Newbie

    Posts
    24 Posts

    Default

    I've been thinking about how I will be using the phone for data & I will probably use it 80% of the time at home on wifi. In this case I suppose it doesn't really matter about the speed of the carrier's data on 3g or whatever, correct? Therefore shouldn't my primary concern be telephone reception in my area (San Jose, CA)
  14. #14  
    Conan Kudo's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    20 Posts
    Global Posts
    39 Global Posts

    Default

    One thing that you need to make sure you check into is the policies of the various carriers that the iPhone can run on:

    Looking at AT&T:
    * No unlimited data plan anymore, but their tiered plans are cheaper for most people
    * Slightly less expensive than Verizon on talk and text plans
    * UMTS/HSPA+ network means fastest network for iPhone with average speeds of 4-7Mbps
    * No extra roaming conditions
    * Required to pay extra to use tethering/mobile hotspot

    Looking at Sprint:
    * 5GB Data cap applies for 3G data, only unlimited on WiMAX
    * After hitting 3G data cap, Sprint can throttle you to below GPRS speeds (roughly ~10-20Kbps)
    * CDMA2000 1XEVDO Rev. A network means average network speeds of 250-400Kbps
    * Stingy roaming limit: allowed to use up to 300MB on roaming and 800 minutes of talk time on roaming
    * Strong penalty for exceeding caps on home or roaming networks: Sprint can terminate your contract and assess ETFs at their discretion.
    * Required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot (5GB tethering/hotspot cap)

    Looking at Verizon:
    * Very expensive talk, text, and data plans
    ** Data plans are tiered, and are not cheaper than old unlimited plan
    * CDMA2000 1XEVDO Rev. A network means average network speeds of 200-600Kbps
    * Roaming limit: If excessive use of roaming is detected, penalties will be assessed in the form of additional minute and kilobyte charges
    * Extremely reliable network
    * Required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot

    Looking at T-Mobile:
    * Cheapest data plans, all unlimited but with throttle caps except for 200MB plan
    ** Throttling does not affect EDGE users
    * Cheapest unlimited talk and text plans
    * GSM+EDGE network means average network speeds of 200-600Kbps
    ** HSPA+ network averages 5-12Mbps, but iPhone can't use it
    * No extra roaming conditions
    * iPhone not available subsidized
    * iPhone can be used on prepaid network
    ** Prepaid network has access to T-Mobile roaming partners
    * Not required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot on prepaid
    * Required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot on postpaid

    Simple Mobile:
    * Runs off of T-Mobile network
    * Simple plan options, hence the name
    * No roaming with T-Mobile's partners, only use core T-Mobile network
    * Not required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot

    Wal-Mart Family Mobile:
    * Runs off of T-Mobile network
    * Cheap and small plan buckets
    * No roaming with T-Mobile's partners, only use core T-Mobile network
    * Tethering not allowed, but it works anyway
    Last edited by Conan Kudo; 10-07-2011 at 07:12 AM.
  15. #15  
    zackawee27's Avatar
    iMore Pro

    Posts
    506 Posts
    Global Posts
    1,004 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Conan Kudo View Post
    One thing that you need to make sure you check into is the policies of the various carriers that the iPhone can run on:

    Looking at AT&T:
    * No unlimited data plan anymore, but their tiered plans are cheaper for most people
    * Slightly less expensive than Verizon on talk and text plans
    * UMTS/HSPA+ network means fastest network for iPhone with average speeds of 4-7Mbps
    * No extra roaming conditions
    * Required to pay extra to use tethering/mobile hotspot

    Looking at Sprint:
    * 5GB Data cap applies for 3G data, only unlimited on WiMAX
    * After hitting 3G data cap, Sprint can throttle you to below GPRS speeds (roughly ~10-20Kbps)
    * CDMA2000 1XEVDO Rev. A network means average network speeds of 250-400Kbps
    * Stingy roaming limit: allowed to use up to 300MB on roaming and 800 minutes of talk time on roaming
    * Strong penalty for exceeding caps on home or roaming networks: Sprint can terminate your contract and assess ETFs at their discretion.
    * Required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot (5GB tethering/hotspot cap)

    Looking at Verizon:
    * Very expensive talk, text, and data plans
    * CDMA2000 1XEVDO Rev. A network means average network speeds of 200-600Kbps
    * Roaming limit: If excessive use of roaming is detected, penalties will be assessed in the form of additional minute and kilobyte charges
    * Extremely reliable network
    * Required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot

    Looking at T-Mobile:
    * Cheapest data plans, all unlimited but with throttle caps except for 200MB plan
    * Cheapest unlimited talk and text plans
    * GSM+EDGE network means average network speeds of 200-600Kbps
    * No extra roaming conditions
    * iPhone not available subsidized
    * iPhone can be used on prepaid network
    * Not required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot on prepaid
    * Required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot on postpaid

    Simple Mobile:
    * Runs off of T-Mobile network
    * Simple plan options, hence the name
    * No roaming with T-Mobile's partners, only use core T-Mobile network
    * Not required to pay extra for tethering/mobile hotspot

    Wal-Mart Family Mobile:
    * Runs off of T-Mobile network
    * Cheap and small plan buckets
    * No roaming with T-Mobile's partners, only use core T-Mobile network
    * Tethering not allowed, but it works anyway

    It looks like the best plan will be Sprint as long as you don't go over you're gbs
  16. #16  
    Conan Kudo's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    20 Posts
    Global Posts
    39 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zackawee27 View Post
    It looks like the best plan will be Sprint as long as you don't go over you're gbs
    I added it a bit later to the list because my Internet connection snapped, but I'd like to mention that T-Mobile throttling policies don't apply to GSM+EDGE users.
    zackawee27 likes this.
  17. #17  
    zackawee27's Avatar
    iMore Pro

    Posts
    506 Posts
    Global Posts
    1,004 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Conan Kudo View Post
    I added it a bit later to the list because my Internet connection snapped, but I'd like to mention that T-Mobile throttling policies don't apply to GSM+EDGE users.
    But, then you would have to buy an unlocked verison of the iPhone which could cost up to 600 dollars
  18. #18  
    moneymike47's Avatar
    iMore Intermediate

    Posts
    372 Posts
    iOS Version
    7.0

    Default

    There are ups and downs for all three networks and as far as LTE in general goes, Verizon is your best bet cause they'll have the best coverage before others. As far as the iPhone and LTE, AT&T is the better bet because of the antenna. Sprint has unlimited data packages which always play a role, but if you're a first time iPhone user, data usage shouldn't be a problem
    iPod Touch 3rd generation 8GB
    iPhone 4 32 GB
    iPhone 5 32 GB
    Thanked by:
    zackawee27 (10-07-2011)
  19. #19  
    zackawee27's Avatar
    iMore Pro

    Posts
    506 Posts
    Global Posts
    1,004 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moneymike47 View Post
    There are ups and downs for all three networks and as far as LTE in general goes, Verizon is your best bet cause they'll have the best coverage before others. As far as the iPhone and LTE, AT&T is the better bet because of the antenna. Sprint has unlimited data packages which always play a role, but if you're a first time iPhone user, data usage shouldn't be a problem
    So heavy users: Sprint

    Light users who want dependable service: Verizon

    Users who want HSPA+ and Antennas : AT&T
  20. #20  
    Conan Kudo's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    20 Posts
    Global Posts
    39 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zackawee27 View Post
    But, then you would have to buy an unlocked verison of the iPhone which could cost up to 600 dollars
    Not necessarily true. If you know why rate plans cost as much as they do, you can actually figure out the true value of purchasing an unlocked phone to use with a carrier. The numbers may surprise you!


    Individual plans on each carrier:

    AT&T
    Base plan: 900 minutes $59.99
    Add texting: Unlimited text $20.00
    Add data: 2GB $25.00
    Total: $104.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    Sprint
    Base plan: 900 minutes + unlimited text + 5GB 3G data $89.99
    Total: $89.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    Verizon
    Base plan: 900 minutes $59.99
    Add texting: Unlimited text $20.00
    Add data: 2GB $30.00
    Total: $109.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    T-Mobile (Postpaid - Value plan)
    Base plan: Unlimited minutes + Unlimited text + Unlimited web (2GB HSPA+ data) $59.99
    Total: $59.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    T-Mobile (Postpaid - Classic plan)
    Base plan: Unlimited minutes + Unlimited text + Unlimited web (2GB HSPA+ data) $79.99
    Total: $79.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    T-Mobile (Monthly4G)
    Base plan: Unlimited minutes + Unlimited text + Unlimited web (5GB HSPA+ data) $70
    Total: $70 (w/o taxes and fees)

    Family plan (assuming two lines) on each carrier:

    AT&T
    Base plan: 700 minutes $69.99
    Add texting: Unlimited text $30.00
    Add data for two lines: 2GB $50.00
    Total: $149.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    Sprint
    Base plan: 1500 minutes + unlimited text + 5GB 3G web $129.99
    Total: $129.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    Verizon
    Base plan: 700 minutes $69.98
    Add texting: Unlimited text $30.00
    Add data for two lines: 2GB $60.00
    Total: $159.98 (w/o taxes and fees)

    T-Mobile (Postpaid - Value plan)
    Base plan: Unlimited minutes + Unlimited text + Unlimited web (2GB HSPA+ data) $99.99
    Total: $99.99 (w/o taxes and fees)

    T-Mobile (Postpaid - Classic plan)
    Base plan: Unlimited minutes + Unlimited text + Unlimited web (2GB HSPA+ data) $139.98
    Total: $139.98 (w/o taxes and fees)

    T-Mobile (Monthly4G)
    Base plan: Unlimited minutes + Unlimited text + Unlimited web (5GB HSPA+ data) $70
    Multiply by two for two lines
    Total: $140 (w/o taxes and fees)

    Analysis of costs

    For a 16GB iPhone 4S locked with a two year contract on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon it costs $199.99 upfront + the sales tax for the phone unsubsidized ($649.99). Plus, over the course of 24 months, you are paying roughly $480 to $600 for the phone itself. Assuming the minimum of $20/mo on subsidy, you would be paying roughly $680 + sales tax on item valued at $649.99.

    For T-Mobile postpaid, the Classic plan includes the subsidy, the Value plan does not.

    Obviously, T-Mobile Monthly4G does not include the subsidy either. On October 16, Wal-Mart will exclusively offer a $30/mo Monthly4G plan with unlimited web (5GB HSPA+ data), unlimited text, and 100 minutes of talk with 10 cents per additional minute. Additionally, T-Mobile will launch a $60/mo Monthly4G plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited web with 2GB HSPA+ data.

    In any case, if you were considering Sprint, then note that over the course of two years, you'd have paid $2360 for the iPhone 4S 16GB and the monthly bill for an individual person and $3520 for a family plan with two iPhone 4S 16GB models.

    With AT&T, you'd pay $2720 over the course of two years on an individual plan. On a family plan of two lines, you'd pay $4000 over two years.

    With Verizon, you'd pay $2840 over two years on an individual plan. On a family plan of two lines, you'd pay $4240 over two years.

    With T-Mobile, you'd pay $2090 over two years for an individual Value plan. With a family Value plan with two lines, you'd pay $3698 over two years.

    If you chose to go with the T-Mobile Monthly4G $30/mo plan that will be offered in Wal-Mart stores, you'd pay $1370 over two years for one line, and $2740 over two years for two lines.

    Note that these calculations are done with the plan configurations described at the beginning of this post.

    However, there's another advantage with an unlocked iPhone 4S. You can resell it at a much higher value than a locked one. Sprint and Verizon iPhones depreciate in value extremely quickly, while AT&T and unlocked ones don't. And unlocked ones are valued much higher than AT&T versions. So if you wanted to get the next iPhone that comes after the 4S, you'd be able to more easily sell your iPhone 4S if it was a factory unlocked model in order to pay for the new one.
    Last edited by Conan Kudo; 10-07-2011 at 03:34 PM.
  21. Thread AuthorThread Author   #21  
    wateron's Avatar
    iMore Newbie

    Posts
    24 Posts

    Default

    Making my head spin trying to figure out which way to go. I see the unlocked iphone isn't coming out till November @ $649 & is GSM only.
  22. #22  
    Evan_Beezy's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    19 Posts
    Global Posts
    29 Global Posts

    Default Sprint for price

    Well seeing how Sprint is going to be rolling out LTE next year so the iphone 5 can have a selling point i wouldnt shy away from them for that reason. For pricing Sprint has the best BY FAR. Unlimited minutes to any cell phone (YES ANY U.S. CELL), unlimited text and data included, 1500 min just for landlines and still with nights and weekends that start at 7. You cant go wrong with them...check you coverage though.
    Thanked by:
    CarrieMK (10-07-2011), zackawee27 (10-07-2011)
    zackawee27 likes this.
  23. #23  
    CarrieMK's Avatar
    iPhone Intermediate

    Posts
    103 Posts

    Default

    I have been with Sprint for 9 years now and they have treated me very well. I have noticed in the last few weeks that my 3G service has improved quite a bit. I have priced other providers and for the money and services offered imho you just can't beat Sprint. Also, now that they will have the iPhone maybe I can possibly get my son the device he really wants
  24. #24  
    Conan Kudo's Avatar
    iPhone Newbie

    Posts
    20 Posts
    Global Posts
    39 Global Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wateron View Post
    Making my head spin trying to figure out which way to go. I see the unlocked iphone isn't coming out till November @ $649 & is GSM only.
    Actually, I can probably guess that it isn't GSM-only. It'll probably also work on networks that offer CDMA microSIMs. After all, au by KDDI in Japan is a CDMA carrier that uses CDMA microSIMs and the iPhone 4S is compatible with that network. It is also launching on au by KDDI next week.

    Currently, only MetroPCS and Verizon Wireless offer CDMA microSIMs. However, next month, U.S. Cellular and C Spire Wireless will launch their LTE networks. With that launch, they will be offering CDMA SIMs and CDMA microSIMs. Like Verizon and MetroPCS, they will brand them as 4G LTE SIM cards, but they will include the CSIM program. That means that CDMA2000 devices that support CDMA SIMs will be able to use them to connect to the network. This completely bypasses the MEID database and phone programming that most CDMA phones have to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanBlive91 View Post
    Well seeing how Sprint is going to be rolling out LTE next year so the iphone 5 can have a selling point i wouldnt shy away from them for that reason. For pricing Sprint has the best BY FAR. Unlimited minutes to any cell phone (YES ANY U.S. CELL), unlimited text and data included, 1500 min just for landlines and still with nights and weekends that start at 7. You cant go wrong with them...check you coverage though.
    Data on 3G for Sprint is not unlimited. There is a throttling cap. Also, AT&T also now offers unlimited to any U.S. cell phone too. Though T-Mobile offers unlimited to any U.S. phone number for cheaper than Sprint.
    Last edited by Conan Kudo; 10-08-2011 at 09:21 AM.
  25. #25  
    CarrieMK's Avatar
    iPhone Intermediate

    Posts
    103 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Conan Kudo View Post
    Actually, I can probably guess that it isn't GSM-only. It'll probably also work on networks that offer CDMA microSIMs. After all, au by KDDI in Japan is a CDMA carrier that uses CDMA microSIMs and the iPhone 4S is compatible with that network. It is also launching on au by KDDI next week.

    Currently, only MetroPCS and Verizon Wireless offer CDMA microSIMs. However, next month, U.S. Cellular and C Spire Wireless will launch their LTE networks. With that launch, they will be offering CDMA SIMs and CDMA microSIMs. Like Verizon and MetroPCS, they will brand them as 4G LTE SIM cards, but they will include the CSIM program. That means that CDMA2000 devices that support CDMA SIMs will be able to use them to connect to the network. This completely bypasses the MEID database and phone programming that most CDMA phones have to do.



    Data on 3G for Sprint is not unlimited. There is a throttling cap. Also, AT&T also now offers unlimited to any U.S. cell phone too. Though T-Mobile offers unlimited to any U.S. phone number for cheaper than Sprint.
    3G data on Sprint is unlimited. There is no throttling. I have never since I got my first smart phone 3 years ago been throttled, and believe me, we use lots of data, and most of it is while on 3G.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions