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Is Sprint suffering from 4G perception issues in New York?

Sprint has been vocal this year in marketing its deployment of the first 4G network in the US. The release of its newest flagship smartphone, named the Evo 4G, reinforces this message upon consumers.

What doesn’t seem to be so well known outside of enthusiast circles is the fact that 4G is only available in limited areas. Sprint has certainly publicized this limitation and has said which US cities currently enjoy, or will enjoy 4G coverage during 2010.

However the anecdotal conversations I have had suggest that, at least in New York City, some people trying out the Evo 4G make the logical assumption that they are experiencing 4G speeds. Of course in reality they are not because Sprint is still only at 3G in NYC. Unfortunately this shows when using the Evo 4G.

I’m concerned this is a potential perception issue in the making for Sprint. Most of the people I have spoken with in NYC who have tried out the Evo 4G have come away disappointed with what they perceive to be Sprint’s 4G network. They’re surprised to see slower than expected page and Youtube loading speeds. Of course they’re actually experiencing a 3G network on a phone that has 4G in its name.

They walk away perceiving 4G to be no different to 3G and question why they are being asked to pay $10 extra when AT&T just very publicly lowered their data plan costs (albeit with a 2GB cap).

The question is, when Sprint’s 4G really does come to New York City will the Evo 4G pick up steam or will local inhabitants already have formed a false impression of Sprint’s 4G speeds?

Neil Berman


Jun 18, 2010 - Posted by | Analysis, Mobile | , , , , ,

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