Sprint Internet Service
With about 50 million wireless customers, Sprint is the 3rd largest wireless network provider in America. They are a nationwide carrier, offering both voice and data plans. Their networks support 3G and 4G technologies.
Sprint's 3G plans use a CDMA wireless network (like Verizon's), while their 4G data plans utilize a newer WiMAX technology developed by Clearwire (also known as Clear).
As with all wireless networks in the U.S., things are in a state of transition with Sprint. Their older 3G network offers very good nationwide coverage for travelers who require mobile broadband access. Sprint's 3G wireless coverage is almost as big as Verizon's 3G network, and it is actually larger than AT&T's 3G coverage area. So, if 3G coverage is important to you, then Sprint will be a good choice.
Understanding Sprint Wireless 3G/4G Plans
As of early 2011, Sprint 4G wireless is available in 70 major U.S. cities and counting. They are covering the most highly-populated areas first, so mobile data users in large metropolitan areas will be able to take advantage of Sprint's faster 4G WiMAX network.
The main benefits of using Sprint wireless Internet include:
- 4G WiMAX - The fastest 4G network currently available in the United States.
- Voice & Data - Plans that support using voice and data at the same time.
- Android - Sprint has dozens of popular devices using the Android OS.
- Smartphone - Use popular smartphones such as the HTC Evo Shift 4G.
- Tablets - The Sprint network supports low cost Samsung tablets using Android.
- Laptops - Connect your laptop with Sprint 3G/4G USB mobile broadband cards.
- Pricing - Competitive pricing for mobile plans compared with AT&T and Verizon.
With Sprint, you might see some plans tagged as 3G/4G. The main point to understand about Sprint's 3G/4G wireless plans and devices is that when you are in the 4G network coverage area, you'll be connected at 4G speeds, but you still get 3G wireless coverage whenever you roam outside of the 4G network's range.
So how fast is Sprint wireless Internet? According to PCmag.com's 2010 tests, Sprint's 3G network averages about 1 Mbps downloads and 300 Kbps uploads. If you are lucky enough to be the Sprint 4G network range, you will see an average download speed of 2.1 Mbps with bursts up to 3.2 Mbps maximum, and 500 Kbps average uploads.
This makes Sprint's 3G speeds about equal to Verizon's 3G speeds, and Sprint's 4G speeds would be the fastest mobile data downloads you can get (as of early 2011).
As has been noted, wireless High Speed Internet providers are in a state of change. Verizon and AT&T both have 4G LTE networks coming out to challenge Sprint for the prize of who has the fastest 4G wireless plan. Also, Sprint is the only U.S. carrier using WiMAX for mobile data, and there are rumors that they might also switch to LTE in the future.