Users report Sprint iPhone 4S units have data speed issues

Oct 25, 2011
Tech

Though the iPhone 4S has taken off on Sprint’s network and the company saw all its pre-orders for the device sell out long before the smartphone actually launched, some users are reporting issues with data speed on the carrier’s network. The Next Web has the report, in which it says that Sprint and Apple are […]

Though the iPhone 4S has taken off on Sprint’s network and the company saw all its pre-orders for the device sell out long before the smartphone actually launched, some users are reporting issues with data speed on the carrier’s network.

The Next Web has the report, in which it says that Sprint and Apple are working to deal with the apparent data issue, and an internal email from Sprint seems to confirm the issue is “nationwide.” Sprint, for its part, told The Next Web that the issue is more likely network optimization issues, but that it’s watching the situation very closely.

Sprint is the third-largest carrier in the U.S., behind Verizon and AT&T, and its network has never had to house a device quite so popular as the iPhone. There have been reports for years of speed issues on AT&T’s network because of the high degree of iPhone popularity, so it’s not unfathomable that even with whatever preparations Sprint made before the phone was launched, there are still some kinks in the system.

In The Next Web’s story, it was the reported that the internal email contained reference to a “Service Settings” update, which could point to the file on the iPhone that contains access point information carriers ping when an iPhone connects to the network. That very well could be part of the network optimization Sprint is talking about.

Customers complaining online

Forum threads are popping up on Sprint.com, where users are complaining of performance issues, and other outlets such as Ubergizmo are reporting issues among users as well. But Sprint told The Next Web that it’s received very few returns of the iPhone 4S, suggesting it’s not likely that it’s a hardware defect or some other such problem.

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So basically, whatever issues users may be facing, it’s up to Sprint (perhaps with the help of Apple) to deal with them. From the looks of things in the forum threads, while the issue is widespread, it’s by no means consistent. This probably points to a network unaccustomed to iPhone traffic, just like the other big carriers experienced. On the plus side, Apple has been around for two other carriers that have been introduced to its extremely popular little smartphone, so hopefully the tech giant will have something useful to contribute to help Sprint shore up any problems users might be having.

In the meantime, as one forum user mentioned on a thread, it might be a good idea to report any data issues you’re having to Sprint. Even if the company can’t help, the information about users with issues may be helpful to the process of dealing with the problems.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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