Sprint 3G's worst showings came in Atlanta (200-kbps downloads) and Dallas (300-kbps downloads). The service did not hit average download speeds of greater than 1 mbps in any of the cities we tested. Upload speeds were no better, reaching the 500-kbps mark in only one city, San Francisco.
The company claims that 80% of its customers have 3G/CDMA devices. As part of Network Vision, Sprint is souping up the CDMA network equipment at its sites to increase signal strength, which will result in better data speeds and coverage for 3G devices, the company says.
Sprint says the upgrade will also improve voice service, which runs over the CDMA network. Sprint notes that it began running its CDMA voice service on a new spectrum band (800MHz) in the first quarter of 2013, which it believes will improve in-building coverage and reduce dropped and blocked calls.
Despite our test results, Sprint says that the network overhaul is already having positive effects on its 3G service. In Chicago, for example, where the overhaul is nearly complete, Sprint says that its 3G sites are handling about 30% more traffic on average, and that download speeds have increased by about 15% for sites with upgraded backhaul.
Tune in tomorrow
Tomorrow on TechHive, we'll give you the results of our 20-city study on the speed of 4G networks in the United States. We'll also have a new infographic with a bevy of details on the amazing new LTE networks everyone's talking about.
We'd love to hear about your own experiences with 3G networks. Are the speeds we recorded in your area about what you experience day to day? Let us know in the comments!