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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:25 PM
 
42 posts, read 32,812 times
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Hi,

I am shopping for a new service provider, and would like to know what you all think. I have had Sprint for about 10 years, and am thinking about switching. In fact, I am currently trying out Verizon right now.

With Sprint, I've had limited service at work (but I work in Arlington, VA, and no one in my building has great service). And i have numerous dropped calls whenever I'm talking on my phone on the way home to Largo.

So far, with Verizon, I have horrible service at work, and haven't tried it out on the way home yet.

Anyone have any experience in this area? Suggestions? For what I would pay for Verizon, I'm not sure if it's worth it, if the service is not absolutely superb.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:15 PM
 
1,065 posts, read 647,729 times
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When you say 'at work' do you mean inside an office building? Many buildings have so much stell and cabling in them unless there are signal boosters inside the building service is lousy (unless you are right at the windows and sometimes not even then) I have worked for employers who as part of the corporate contract had boosters in the building for the corporate carrier. Very often we could get favorable deals from that carrier. The problem was when that carrier wasn't the carrier I preferred (Which was based on coverage where I live based out in the ex-urbs)

I will say that coverage at work sometimes depended in what was in the buildings near where I worked. There are some building in this region that actively interfere with cell service in their buildings and that sometimes leaks to cover nearby buildings.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:18 AM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
8,031 posts, read 5,463,188 times
Reputation: 2678
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJSW View Post
Hi,

I am shopping for a new service provider, and would like to know what you all think. I have had Sprint for about 10 years, and am thinking about switching. In fact, I am currently trying out Verizon right now.

With Sprint, I've had limited service at work (but I work in Arlington, VA, and no one in my building has great service). And i have numerous dropped calls whenever I'm talking on my phone on the way home to Largo.

So far, with Verizon, I have horrible service at work, and haven't tried it out on the way home yet.

Anyone have any experience in this area? Suggestions? For what I would pay for Verizon, I'm not sure if it's worth it, if the service is not absolutely superb.
When you say PG, you are going to have to specific because that covers a large territory. You won't get the same service that you would get in Eagle Harbor that you would get in Oxon Hill. My recommendation is you look at the coverage map and see for yourself, which provider has the best service.

4G LTE Network | Verizon Wireless
http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: PG County MD
83 posts, read 73,943 times
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I actually have Verizon and get great service wherever I am in the region, except for maybe my mom's house in North Laurel.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
3,072 posts, read 2,282,571 times
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I'm using Virgin Mobile which uses Sprint's network. I have also had Verizon for almost 10 years. Verizon became too expensive, so I cut the cord to contracts and went with Virgin Mobile. Two Android phones with unlimited data and a combined 750 minutes of talk for $80. With Verizon, which now has tiered data usage, we were topping out at $130 even with a discount. Honestly, I can't tell the difference in service. I have been all over the DC area with both phones and Virgin's Mobile/Sprint has been just as solid as Verizon. Even traveling south to Florida I didn't experience any noticeable lack of signal from Sprint even while streaming music in the car. I agree with MidVallyDad, some buildings create dead zones for any cell service.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Fort Washington, MD
678 posts, read 634,459 times
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I have had Sprint for a long time too. In the Midwest, Sprint is fantastic. Here, it is far less so as you know. From my experience, switching to an iPhone from my Android based phones (last Android phone was the Epic 4G) really made a huge difference in phone call quality and number of times my call would drop. At my Crystal City office, I can still make fairly decent calls while on the 9th floor, and my reception when at home in Fort Washington, MD is great. On my old phone there were two distinct dead spots that would cut my phone conversations during my commute to and from home, but with my new iPhone it does not have that issue. As a previous poster noted on price differentials between Sprint and Verizon, my recommendation is to consider keeping Sprint and upgrading to an iPhone 5.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
3,072 posts, read 2,282,571 times
Reputation: 1205
Quote:
Originally Posted by molukai View Post
I have had Sprint for a long time too. In the Midwest, Sprint is fantastic. Here, it is far less so as you know. From my experience, switching to an iPhone from my Android based phones (last Android phone was the Epic 4G) really made a huge difference in phone call quality and number of times my call would drop. At my Crystal City office, I can still make fairly decent calls while on the 9th floor, and my reception when at home in Fort Washington, MD is great. On my old phone there were two distinct dead spots that would cut my phone conversations during my commute to and from home, but with my new iPhone it does not have that issue. As a previous poster noted on price differentials between Sprint and Verizon, my recommendation is to consider keeping Sprint and upgrading to an iPhone 5.
I agree. It depends on what type of phone you have. Or, what people don't realize, what type of case you surround your phone with. When they test these phones, they don't test them with metal, plastic, or silicone cases wrapped around them. OR at least I don't think they do. For example, I just went from an LG Optimus to a Samsung Galaxy. I did notice that the new Galaxy has less signal strength than my older phone. There can be many variables from what type of antennae each manufacturer uses to the materials in the phone. Even the different types of mobile CPUs can affect signals in some ways. Since I purchased a plastic case for my Samsung, the signal is even worse. I don't get any dropped calls, I don't talk much anyway, but I noticed the data downloads are more cumbersome. I can see the difference in the bars when putting the case on. So, that's one thing to consider.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:29 AM
 
42 posts, read 32,812 times
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Thanks for the feedback. I actually had no dropped calls on my way home; however, once I got home, one of my calls dropped twice :-/. It was definitely my line that dropped because once I got on my landline, I was fine. So now I am thinking about trying AT&T.

Many people suggested that it could be the phone (Samsung Galaxy S3), and I thought that was ridiculous, but I guess it's true. I usually try to avoid Apple products (just my own, personal preference) but I may have to give the Iphone a try.

I am dyyyyying at work without service, and yes, it is definitely my building, however some have much better service than I do. Clearly, there is some magic formula involving service provider, type of phone, and location in the buiding, but I am determined to figure it out.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:31 AM
 
42 posts, read 32,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
When you say PG, you are going to have to specific because that covers a large territory. You won't get the same service that you would get in Eagle Harbor that you would get in Oxon Hill. My recommendation is you look at the coverage map and see for yourself, which provider has the best service.

4G LTE Network | Verizon Wireless
http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp

Thanks for the links. Maps are definitely helpful.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Hyattsville, MD
294 posts, read 302,856 times
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Well, I've had every major network provider over the last ten years, since I've been in Prince George's County and Washington, DC. That of course includes Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

I've had Sprint longer than most. Sprint was absolutely horrible for me about 80% of the time, but they also had the cheapest rates and were the easiest to get approved for. Sprint had a GREAT time period between around late-2008 until 2010. I'm not sure what happened, but my service went from the crappiest around, to being on-par with Verizon. Then (I can literally name the exact month and year) in October 2010, something mysterious happened, and Sprint's service once again tanked and it never rebounded. Thought it was just something in this area, but being a member of several tech sites, people around the country were posting all types of threads saying that in October 2010, their Sprint service mysteriously crapped out as well. One person even posted a link to an investigation their local news did, about how Sprint's service just went down the toilet out of the blue. Sprint has never given a real response or acknowledged what so many people were reporting.

I had Verizon for about a year, and while their service was stellar, their downside was their insanely higher rates (highest in the industry) and they are usually not willing to compromise or work with customers as easily as other networks. They are quite snobbish.

I tried out T-Mobile for only a month, and their service was pretty decent, but I hated their terrible selection of phones and with T-Mobile, service is really patchy. It could be great in one area but five miles up the road it could be the worst ever.

Going back to Sprint... after years of craptacular service, increasing rates, random inconsistent phone bills every month, guaranteed dropped calls daily — sometimes dozens!, paying for 4G but never getting it even though according to Sprint I was fully covered, and their lackluster selection of top-tier smartphone offerings, I finally took the plunge and went to AT&T. I was very skeptical because AT&T is known for being just as bad as Sprint, if not worse. However, they also had a crap load of phones I was really interested in, particularly the new Samsung Galaxy Note. One of my colleagues had AT&T and lived in my area, and I asked her did she know about all of the horror stories and what her experience was. She told me she had heard the horror stories, but she had nothing but great experience with AT&T. I did the one month trial, and I was shocked at how great AT&T was in this area. With Sprint, I had became accustomed to many dropped calls per day and terrible internet data speeds, plus don't even think about getting 4G inside of a building. On AT&T, the calls were crystal clear, 4G LTE data INSIDE of my home, and I had a top-tier smartphone I loved. My bill actually came out a bit less per month on AT&T than with Sprint, but I did have to give up unlimited data with Sprint. However, since I never got decent data, anyway, that was a non-factor.

March will mark one year with AT&T, and I am still relatively happy. I called AT&T, recently, to complain about a feature issue with my new Galaxy Note 2, and AT&T gave me a $10 monthly credit for the next year, so my bill is now well under a $100/month. I used to have to call Sprint many many times a month because of service issues. Since being with AT&T, I've maybe called them about five times, and only two (three) of those times were service related problems.

You can try pre-paid, but most pre-paid networks seem to run on Sprint's network. They are significantly cheaper than post-paid, but each also have their downsides so you need to do your homework. As far as AT&T, I've used my phone in Northern Prince George's and Southern Montgomery Counties in Maryland; Washington, DC; and Northern Virginia (Fairfax County). Great service for the most part, especially in DC. I average about 4G LTE data between 50-57Mbps down and 16-22Mbps upload. DC gave me the highest speeds on average, but I've gotten higher speeds here in PG County. I'm usually 4-5 bars on the voice call end, 5 bars being the absolute highest. Hope my long rant helped lol!
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