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back to article Sprint modem straddles 3G, WiMAX

Sprint has unveiled a wireless modem capable of jumping between its old-school CDMA cell network and the fledgling 4G WiMAX network it recently launched in Baltimore, Maryland. "Sprint intends to be the leader in 4G and bring the wireless Internet to life," reads a canned statement from CEO/TV pitchman Dan Hesse. "This first-of- …

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Sprint needs to do 1G right

Have you ever had customer service ask you why you needed a reprint of a bill? Well, if you are with Sprint you might have. Sprint re-defines bad customer service. To top it all off, Sprint can't even do basic service right. If you call a Sprint customer, you'd better pray the calls go through. If it does, it is a miracle. And while you are in a call, be happy if the call last any length of time because likely it will be dropped. There is a reason Sprint is losing customers by the millions.

So I have to wonder, why on earth would anyone want to trust Sprint for anything when they can't do the basics right? If the foundation is sorry, the whole house will fall down. Do 1G right first, THEN focus on 2G and 3G and 4G.

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@ Wade Burchette

You can easily log on to the web site and pull up your bill in PDF form and reprint it yourself. Not sure why that's so hard to do?

As for calls not going through or calls dropping, I haven't had that problem with Sprint since they first started service in the Dallas area. Maybe you had a crappy phone?

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Not to be pedantic..

Not to be pedantic, but Sprint skipped 1G (analog) entirely. Otherwise.. agreed. I've heard they have customer support problems, and generally rather poor voice network (even in areas where the data network is good.)

Before claiming the CDMA network is TOO outdated though, most of it has EVDO Rev A, which does 3.1mbits/sec down and 1.8 up.

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Handover?

So, does this gadget hand-over between WiMax and 3G and if so how?

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Can we please stop calling it 4G?

Its not 4th generation, its the late alternative to the late 3rd generation. Wifi on steroids, if you must.

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3.5G?

What's the maximum speed of "3.5g" ? I get that on my N95 8GB and also occasionally connect my laptop using it and get really decent speeds for web browsing, and even downloading isn't too bad.

Does WiMax/4G or whatever you want to call it add much in terms of speed?

I find that the 3.5G connection loads web pages easily when connected to my laptop and using a web browser such as Firefox or IE, but feels nowhere near as fast when browsing on my actual mobile.

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@ Wade

Simple really. It is cheap. I've been a Sprint customer for the better part of 10 years. The service was never great. Most people agree that the entire company went to crap when they bought Nextel. I'm not sure I saw a stark delineation there, it seemed to start out mediocre and has slid inexorably towards abysmal.

It is also MUCH cheaper than anyone else. Probably at least 30% So I put up with the worst customer service in the history of capitalism, and phones that may or may not get a signal inside our house. Which BTW is not the phone's fault. We've had many phones, currently a Treo 680 and HTC Vogue: not exactly low end stuff.

Is this "value"? Probably not. But in truth I do believe Sprint is only slightly worse than all the other HORRIBLE phone companies. If I were willing to pay half again as much I could have a fractionally better customer experience from a fractionally less incompetent group of mindless drones. And there would be a infinitesimally better chance my phone would work in the house - although I have heard several dreadful stories of Verizon in our area too. And I can't envision ever willingly giving ATT money. So, 'eh, they're all crap. At least I'm paying the fewest dollars possible for the privilege of their abuse.

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Progress

I think it is great. All the other carriers will be able to see what Sprint did wrong and wireless data overall will benefit.

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