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Users Say Sprint Epic4G 3G Upload Speeds Limited To 150kbps 138

Posted by timothy
from the some-limitations-may-apply dept.
Miamicanes writes "Nearly everyone who owns a Sprint Samsung Epic 4G and has benchmarked its 3G performance has discovered that its 3G upload speeds are apparently limited to 150kbps. So far, Sprint has not officially acknowledged it as a problem, nor has it indicated whether this might be a firmware bug, a PRL issue, tower-related, or the result of a deliberate policy to cap 3G upload speeds. Regardless, the problem is causing widespread anger among Epic4G owners, many of whom have bitterly noted the irony of being charged a $10 surcharge so they can endure data transfers that are slower than they had 4 years ago (and a quarter of the speeds enjoyed by Evo owners on the same 3G network)." Cellphone networks are fickle beasts; can anyone out there with an Epic provide a counterexample?
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Users Say Sprint Epic4G 3G Upload Speeds Limited To 150kbps

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @10:25AM (#33627122)

    Movies and pictures shot with your phone. Runs into the 100 megabytes for a couple of small movies.

  • by brenddie (897982) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:00AM (#33627414)
    Information about the $10 "4G tax" can be found in http://explainthefee.com/ [explainthefee.com] . There's a new post about how to cancel service without paying ETF in case you want out
  • Re:*Only* 150k? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:02AM (#33627438)

    150 kbit, not bytes. Your 100k a sec is about 1000kbits /sec. To put it in terms of your connection, its like getting 15k a sec

  • Re:*Only* 150k? (Score:4, Informative)

    by magamiako1 (1026318) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:03AM (#33627444)
    150Kbps, not KBps.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:05AM (#33627456) Homepage

    Exactly. Most contracts will include a dispute process of some sort or another. For business contracts, once the dispute is filed, you stop paying and they can't disconnect you for not paying. For individual contracts, I can't speak to it, but I suspect that the local and state laws may have something to add to that where consumer protection is concerned.

  • Re:Opps (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:06AM (#33627470)

    That's not this device's only Epic fail:

    1. The GPS is useless (fails to find location side by side with perfectly working Droid, iPhone, and Palm). Even with wifi on.
    2. It powers off randomly.
    3. Application icons start opening the wrong app (necessitating a restart).
    4. Turning on Navigation sets the system volume to max.
    5. The battery lasts less than 10 hours if you use it at all.
    6. The minimum screen brightness is uncomfortably bright in a dark room.
    7. The minimum volume hurts your ears though the supplied headphones
    8. Connecting to 4G causes all network use to fail

    The upside? The keyboard is pretty great. The screen looks great. The camera is great. It is an Android phone. That's it.

  • by puto (533470) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:11AM (#33627490) Homepage
    I use a Nokia E63 and I use VOIP on an almost daily basis. I keep an 8 gig memory card in it and on the odd occasion when I am leaving the office and not dragging around a laptop, I will tend to put creatives from current campaigns on the phone just in case one of the traffickers "misplaced" their copies. I can upload them from my phone.
  • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:26AM (#33627594)

    Since when is the market bearing a cost a justification for over pricing? No business has a right to massive profits, especially when it's the result of maintaining a oligopoly over the particular market.

    What massive profits [google.com] are you talking about? If you had even remotely bothered to type in a few search keywords, you would know that Sprint is losing money $250M every month. The claim that they are charging above-market prices or maintaining an oligopoly is absolutely inconsistent with the facts.

    If anything, a company that's consistently (five straight quarters) posting losses should be raising prices or cutting costs since obviously they cannot burn through money forever. What's more, Sprint spent billions [arstechnica.com] deploying WiMax, so it's sort of silly to accuse them of failing to keep up infrastructure. If anything, they are desperately trying to capitalize on their first-to-market status on 4G.

    [ Market pricing or not, they should fix the Epic's upload problem. I was responding to the narrow and entirely incorrect (and trivially verifiable!) claim that Sprint is making massive profits, when in fact they have posted a loss in the last 5 quarters. On a personal note to the OP, please verify your claims -- at least where it's trivial to do so. ]

  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:29AM (#33627612)

    Sorry, but that doesn't make any sense. If it were an intentional limitation on the Epic by Sprint, then they would have done the same thing on the Evo, which has been out for several months. Or they would have ADDED the limitation in an update.

    Besides, we are talking about the 3G and not even the 4G connections. Something else is going on...

  • I happen to have N900 myself and given the powerful stuff this phone enables me to do having good upload bandwidth is really damn useful. But, I can imagine several use-cases for non-N900 users too: video chat applications, uploading pictures and recorded video to whatever service your phone supports, some mobile MMO-like games,etc. Especially uploading video tends to take a damn long time if your upload limit is set to very low, and any kind of multiplayer games usually benefit from the lower latency.

    My guess to them limiting the upload bandwidth so low is the fear of people using mobile networks for P2P. It is a reasonable fear and it most likely does happen, but is their network really of so poor quality that it can't handle such loads or is it just a just-in-case? That's the question. Compared to my provider here in Finland I have about 700kbit/s upload bandwidth, atleast when I tested it on my N900 and no limits to the amount of data to be transferred.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:06PM (#33627876) Homepage

    Either you don't know what's going on or you're purposefully spreading misinformation. Virgin and Boost are Sprint. Cingular is AT&T. Really there are only 4 companies to speak of: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. And it'll probably be down to 3 in the next few years.

    But these 4 companies don't compete very vigorously. If anything, the cost of SMS messaging leads me to believe they're coordinating.

  • by fortfive (1582005) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:52PM (#33628230)
    Unfortunately, most contracts require dispute resolution through a mediator of the service provider's choice, who almost always side with the service provider. And, thanks to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, it is up to the mediator to decide whether the mediation clause is fair.
  • the point is if you count the number of companies that have as capital assets real live TOWERS

    ATT owns towers
    Sprint owns towers
    Verizon owns towers
    T-Mobile Owns towers
    everybody else rides on those towers (with of course peering agreements giving you towers owned by say Verizon having a Sprint transponder and an ATT transponder)
    Virgin mobile IN THE US uses sprint towers (and the sprint PRL)
    Nextel is owned by sprint and is i think being phased out (BOOST uses nextel/sprint towers)
    Cingular is ATT
    Cricket leases tower space from whomever

  • by RubberDogBone (851604) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:13PM (#33628388)

    Virgin Mobile sold their US operations to Sprint. Virgin Mobile never owned their own network in the US; it was always just rebranded service (an MVNO) from Sprint running on Sprint's network. Yes, Virgin US is a CDMA service, unlike Virgin's GSM service elsewhere.

    Recently they decided to get out of actively running a US wireless operation in the US and sold the business and licensed the brandname to Sprint. Virgin Wireless UK has nothing to do with it any more.

    So Sprint is now four main brands: Sprint, Nextel, Boost, and Virgin US, plus half or so of Clear. Sprint also provides MVNO support to about half a dozen other smaller brands.

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:19PM (#33628436)

    The most credible theory I've seen so far is that the towers and/or Epic4G don't recognize each other as being capable of EVDOrevA, and are falling back to rev0 (which, conveniently, has a reverse data rate of almost exactly 153kbit/sec). I personally doubt Sprint would have done something as stupid as blatantly throttle Epic4G owners down to 150kbit/sec, because they're smart enough to know that Epic4G owners were going to be pulling out the benchmarks and comparing metaphorical penis size with Evo owners from day one, and anything that blatant would have been discovered *instantly*.

    The good news is that if it's just a tower-phone identity issue, it's almost certainly something that can be fixed. The bad news is that if it requires tower-config changes, Sprint will probably try to work it into their normal progressive maintenance schedule instead of doing whatever it takes to deploy a potentially-disruptive fix immediately.

    Hence, my primary motive for getting this story to Slashdot: harness the power of public relations to light a fire under Sprint's feet and force them to escalate this to a matter of their highest and most urgent priority, instead of plodding along and allowing Epic4G owners to languish at 150k for the next few months.

  • Re:Opps (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:15PM (#33629238)

    That's not this device's only Epic fail:

    1. The GPS is useless (fails to find location side by side with perfectly working Droid, iPhone, and Palm). Even with wifi on.
    2. It powers off randomly.
    3. Application icons start opening the wrong app (necessitating a restart).
    4. Turning on Navigation sets the system volume to max.
    5. The battery lasts less than 10 hours if you use it at all.
    6. The minimum screen brightness is uncomfortably bright in a dark room.
    7. The minimum volume hurts your ears though the supplied headphones
    8. Connecting to 4G causes all network use to fail

    The upside? The keyboard is pretty great. The screen looks great. The camera is great. It is an Android phone. That's it.

    As an Epic owner, I can only say that your entire post is a fail. I won't argue that your phone might have issues, but that doesn't mean the Epic line has those issues. I haven't had a problem with any of those supposed issues. The closest is the GPS. It took a few moments to get a lock on me while I was indoors. After a few moments, it put me on the other side of the wall I was sitting next to. I think thats well within a respectable margin of error.

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