Sprint Mocks AT&T, Offers "iPhone 4G" via WiMax Overdrive


Sprint now joins Verizon in taking jabs at AT&T's network and the iPhone, offering an "iPhone 4G" in their latest TV spot via their Overdrive WiMax hotspot (think 4G MiFi).

Sprint claims the best solution to AT&T's supposedly slow 3G speed is not the next generation of iPhone (which won't be called the iPhone 4G due to LTE networks not being deployed for a year or two yet), but rather your current iPhone connected via WiFi to their beefed up 4G WiMax network.

So, with Verizon targeting the iPad via MiFi and now Sprint going after the iPhone via WiMax (when they could be focusing on their own devices like the Droid and the Palm Pre) are they hoping to prop up the modem business by surrendering device mindshare to Apple?

Thing is, last we checked AT&T has the fastest 3G data speeds available on any US carrier and that's good enough for us. But for those unfortunate souls out there with less than desirable AT&T service is this something that you would ever be interested in? And if you're already tethering your iPhone to a Sprint Overdrive, what kind of speeds are you getting?

Watch the ad after the break!

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Sprint Mocks AT&T, Offers "iPhone 4G" via WiMax Overdrive


These devices sound great, but adding another $50 monthly expense in addition to my current mobile phone plan is just ridiculous. Wake me up when they provide a service with a similar cost structure like what AT&T is offering for the ipad. No commitment, fees only if I need it.

I would absolutely get a sprint WiMax hotspot device for my iPhone and coming iPad if I could drop AT&T's $30 iPhone data plan - in a heartbeat. I live in Austin and Sprint's WiMax network is available here, so I've already thought about this quite a bit.

macdaddynews has an interesting view on Sprint's commercial. they see it as a complete lie. it turns out Sprint's 4G network isn't really that much faster than AT&T's 3G. Sprint's commercial uses the average 3G speed of all the networks combined, including Sprint's very slow 3G, and compares it to Sprint's 4G network when it's at its best. AT&T's average speed of 3G is 1.4 Mbps, not 600 Kbps like the small print in their add suggests. Check it out http://www.macdaddynews.com/?p=1756

Why on god's green earth would i want to go to sprint. They could have 10g and I still wouldn't sign on with them. Been there done that worst mobile experience ever. Sprint can f off.

Prior to going with att I switched from verizon to sprint. That lasted 6 days. Was by far the worst service I have ever had. Speed was absolute garbage even when it was on 3G (which was very rare)and dropped more calls in that week than the total of 4 years with verizon and last year with att combined.
My att speeds dominate both verizon and sprint. Maybe im just in a good area but good ridings to the other 2.

Sprint's 3G speed is soooo slow at average of 1.3 mbs compared to AT&Ts so called average. Right. And at least Sprint's 3G is reliable vs ATTs shoddy network. And 4G gets a consistent 7mbs, with frequent trips to the 12mbs range. So 10x speed is definitely and exageration on Sprint's part (and altogether misleading when they talk specifically about AT&T), but it's still much faster.

And if you compare Sprint's 4G coverage to ATT's 3G coverage whos is shoddy?
ATT's average is moving up as they turn on 7.2mb down, EVDO on Sprint has nowhere to go in terms of speed bumps. I get average 2mb down on 7.2 down in Miami where its active. So presumably ATT's 3G is faster than Sprint's 3G.
So then you have to compare ATT 3G coverage to Sprint WIMAX and there's not contest whos coverage is shoddy. You cant pick and choose where your argument applies when you want it to. Youll ONLY get that 4G speed in a VERY select few areas so right now its moot. ATT's 3G covers MUCH more of the nation than WIMAX.

oh and lets not forget getting 7mb down DOESNT MEAN the phone will react faster. The PHONE HARDWARE is the bottleneck! There's only so fast the browser will render and such no matter how many mbps down youre pushing.
so this argument may be negligible in the end really.


I had a Sprint phone years back. I didn't have any problems with their coverage, but their billing was horrible. My plan wasn't a pre-paid plan at all but if I went over my minutes they would shut off my service until I made a payment. It didn't matter what day of the month is was and it rarely coincided with my paychecks. I would end up going days at a time with no phone service at all at least once a month while I waited for my paycheck. If they had just sticked to the regular monthly billing date and charged me for my over-usage then it wouldn't have been a problem.
This was a long time ago though and their billing may have improved since then. But after that, I'd never go back to Sprint again.

Well in Toronto, Canada I get consistent 2.8-3.2mbps on my 3GS using the Rogers network, and a couple times got in the 3.5mbps range. The network is 3G+ and supports up to 21mbps but the 3GS' speed is 7.2mbps so it seems the devices get at best half of their stated mbps which is probably the bottleneck.

Oh and I know why sprint has 4G B-Cuz they Only offer it like 20% of America....They have the the money that's why they offer a 69.99 plan b-cuz nobody likes sprint they Suck!!!!

I'm good with commercials that turn up the pressure on tethering, but I came to AT&T from Sprint. After two attempts to buy a Pre that went badly (day early after an hour of waiting; my wife's phone number eligible, but mine not after 45 minutes of set-up), I made the reluctant switch away from Palm and our five-year relationship with Sprint.
The day I walked into an AT&T store just to consider switching was the day I was sold. The customer service experience was night-and-day different. Someone took my name immediately, placed me in the queue, and was then polite and helpful while I waited. We haven't had problems yet, so we'll see how that goes, but AT&T sold me with service, not speed.
I'm not a fanboy--there are still aspects of Palm I miss on my iPhone--but I hope to never return to Sprint.

It's silly to completely write off a company based on a local experience. It all depends on where you live. Where I used to live ATT was better than Sprint but where I live now, Sprint and Verizon dominate. Call/signal quality and Data speed is vastly superior. In fact, ATT is non-existent in many areas I roam. As for customer service, I do everything through Sprint's echat which makes it pretty easy. But even the local sprint store is better than the ATT store which is run by a bunch of jerkoffs. But again, that only applies to where I live now. Can't apply this experience to anywhere else. Even to the one in the next county!

Oh, and the PCworld test pnly covers 13 cities which is only a fraction of the coverage out there. Hell, if they included Los Angeles and other parts of Socal, the numbers for ATT would surely drop considerably.

Dumb question but doesn't Sprint only have 4G in only a few cities and I thought there are no 4G phones yet, isn't it a different antena?

Sprint has numerous cities with 4G. Go to sprint.com/4G and see if you have it there.
But when you guys are rocking your bottlenecked AT&T data network, I'll be on 4G with Sprint =)

MacBoy15 and Chris can go suck it. Sprint speeds are much speedier than Verizons, & t-mobils. Sprint is second to at&t. Do your research well, not by a garbage can.

Ya just looked it up, I'm in LA so it's not here, closest is Vegas and the only devices listed that work is their wimax hot spot. So a 4g Radom network that no stand alone phone works on...ya that makes sense.

@randOm: point taken, but my local experience is relevant to where I am. If we move, we'll have to reconsider.

Sounds like a good idea. If I can call over skype, then I don't need AT&T. Skype has unlimited wifi calling to US fir only $3. I'm sure that wifi us about $50.

I'm all for options, but there's no option here: I'm not about to go spend more money than I do for my AT&T/iPhone service. For the few times I'm not around WiFi (which isn't often since my campus is completely wireless), AT&T 3G works just fine.

Sprint is the best... Good plans and decent coverage. We just droped all our company phones from AT&T and went to sprint and every one is happy with the service... It's consistant.

I think it's silly to put a Sprint-based news in here, while there are only AT&T people here (assuming everyone here has iPhones, right guys?)
OF COURSE they will hate on Sprint.... It's the competition (well, one of them) and some people here are just a tad bit too much on the AT&T side (fanboys?)

What exactly is 4g metwork. You still cant browse the internet while speaking. And I am hoping to see a sprint phone on the 4g network so i can challenge the data speed and at the same time make my calls. 4G is just a name and a way to encourage people to join. When your CEO comes out in commercials and speak about other carriers and how cheap it is to join sprint did it for me. That clearly shows how they are really doing as a business when millions of people switched in the last 2 quarters alone.And no its not Iphone the reason the switched its because they suck, and their billing procedure is the worst. And im in NYC!!!

well with 4g you can browse and talk.. And the htc supersonic will be announced on wed at ctia.. So they will have a phone to use there 4g

Thanx for the info. lets hope and see it can live to the "4G" hype and open the doors for the U.S. carriers cause Docomo in japan has for years now. But for now ill stay with my storm as personal phone and iphone 3gs for work, until proven its

@Edie lol I'm on AT&T tard boy what the hell do I care about tmobile and verizon for. Verizon is just as bad a sprint. Don't tell me what I experienced on sprint. And who wants to carry this thing around with a phone and pay another fee. Bunch of sprintards.

I did some research at a Sprint store, and this could actually work pretty well. Sprint's 3G data speeds are a little slower than AT&T's (1.4 mbps vs .8), but Sprint 4G (5 mbps average with spikes over 10) vs AT&T 3G is no comparison. The thing will go in order of 4G WiMax, 3G EVDO, then 2G 1x. So it's not completely useless outside of a 4G area. It is pricey but if speed is what you care about regardless of cost, go for it.

Been an Iphone user for years now. I can appreciate Sprint just for the plans, the price and what they have to offer. At&t plans as well as Verizon are like $40-$50 more for comparable features. The Sprint plan for $69.99 with everything data, 450 minutes and unlimited mobile to mobile to ALL mobile phones, not just those on the Sprint network is a fabulous plan, I would like to see the other providers match this. Here in NC, where you have AT&T it is great but there are lots of "dead" spots that are quite frustrating.
Maybe a sprint 4g overdrive is an expensive addition to your Iphone plan, but.....what if you are in a 4g area for Sprint, and you buy the Overdrive to replace not your Iphone plan, but your Cable Modem Internet at home plan? You would have fast internet at home for you laptop AND anywhere Sprint has coverage and AT&T doesn't..Just a thought

@Edie - I'm not sure how you came up with spending a total of $90/month. WiMax for $50 AT&T monthly plan for $72 = $122. To break this down further, over one year you'd pay $600 more to use a WiMax. No. Thank. You. Like I said, wifi and 3G work fine for me. Sure, sometimes AT&T's 3G craps out on me, but even that's not very often. Plus, my campus's wifi speeds max out the iPhone hardware. Here's a speed test from this morning.
Test Date: Mar 21, 2010 10:30:21
Connection Type: WiFi
Download: 7396 kbps
Upload: 6285 kbps
Ping: 198 ms

I'd be interested in Sprint service for the iPhone. I've heard (secondhand, of course, and I've taken it with a healthy grain of salt) that Sprint offers the best 3G experience in the country.

Why will I pay for $50 more on top of my plan for a Sprint 4G? AT&T's 3G is fastest of all carriers. Besides, there's no Sprint 4G coverage in the most important market of all: Southern California (Los Angeles/San Diego/Orange County/Santa Barbara).
Imagine yourself with three bulges in your pants, in front, to your left is the iphone, to your right is the Sprint WiMax device.

Um , obviously it gives the iPhone a WiFi signal, not a voice network connection. So that ad is worst than the Verizon ones. Looks nice though...

Out if all the people I know in the central Florida area only two have had reliable service with sprint. That's out of a few dozen people. So I guess it has to do with where u live just like any company. I love my service with AT&T and my iPhone, think I have had two dropped calls since I got them in October. I was on tmobile for 7 years and only ever had data issues with them because their 3g is so new.

After owning a first-gen iPhone until after the 3GS came out, I switched to a Palm Pre, and then to a Hero. I have to say that while I still loved my iPhone, I preferred the Pre to the iPhone, and the Hero to the Pre.
The iPhone's keyboard is better than the stock HTC keyboard on the Hero, but the stock Android keyboard (which I've hacked onto my Hero) is about the same.

Sprint got the best 3 G network .. not as large as Verizon ..but it's reliable.. and fast... AT&T has the worst.. I think that's pretty much common knowledge..
Besides that .. why wouldn't Sprint target the Ipod Touch instead of the Iphone

The truth about wireless carriers is that they all suck. What they don't want you to know is that once we have 4g broadband saturated with speeds reaching 100 mb or more you will never complain of dropped calls. Phones service will be delivered by using voip technology. You can carry decent conversation using 3G. 4G will only drive more to voip. Skype will be allowed to operate on Verizons smartphones soon. I understand there are applications for the Iphone that also could deliver phone service using that application. It is just a matter of time when all we need is one service wireless broadband at the lowest price. Voip providers are expanding rapidly and finding an inexpensive provider will be easy. The days of proprietary phones and service will be ending. More power to the consumer.

We tested the iPhone 3GS with the 4G Sprint Overdrive. We're getting 45kbps download and 330kbps upload. That's much slower than AT&T's 3G connection from which we get 2377kbps download and 351kbps upload.
On the other hand, when the MacBook Pro uses the overdrive, we get 4580kbps download and 940kbps upload.
There appears to be some kind of incompatibility or conflict in optimization algorithms between the iPhone and Overdrive. We tried tweaking the RTS and Fragmentation threshold but could not get any better download numbers on the iPhone 3GS using the OverDrive.
The iPhone 3GS clocks 8550kbps download and 7735kbps upload when using our WiFi connection to Comcast cable internet, so we know it's capable of much higher download and upload speeds when used in WiFi mode.
In about a week, we plan to test the iPad WiFi to see if it fairs better.

We ran the latest firmware updated on the Sprint Overdrive. We now are getting 1500kbps downloads on the iPhone 3GS and 3000+kbps on the iPad WiFi.

"On the other hand, when the MacBook Pro uses the overdrive, we get 4580kbps download and 940kbps upload."

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