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Handhelds Media (Apple) Wireless Networking

Why Apple's iPad Has Been Good For Sprint 76

Posted by timothy
from the one-more-thing-to-carry dept.
itwbennett writes "Today, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in an interview with Om Malik that the iPad has been good to his company because many people are opting for the Wi-Fi only iPad and pairing it with Sprint's 3G/4G Overdrive MiFi device (which the company sells with a special Overdrive case for the iPad) rather than choosing an iPad 3G that is limited to AT&T's network."
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Why Apple's iPad Has Been Good For Sprint

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  • Good to know. (Score:3, Informative)

    by jra (5600) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:06PM (#34070626)

    Now, of course, Sprint's WiMAX network is *not* 4G; the ITU said so, last month, in an announcement covered here.

    But whatever it is, it's good to know people like it better than AT&T's... cause I'm getting an EVO in a couple weeks.

    Anyone using Sprint "4G" in Tampa yet?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)
      They like it better than AT&T's network now. The problem with AT&T was that they did not anticipate the influx of new subscribers that would actually use their data network. AT&T really needed to upgrade their infrastructure. If these people moved to Sprint, then Sprint would have the same problem unless they upgrade too. Same problem, different network.
      • One big difference is spectrum rights. Sprint has a (comparatively) massive swath of spectrum in their "4g" bands which should make it pretty easy for them to handle a pretty large uptick in data use.
      • Never mind AT&T's data network. Normal telephone calls drop in their garbage network. I guess it surprised them that people actually wanted to make phone calls too. Their network has been horrible forever. When I lived in L.A. and had AT&T service. I complained to their customer service about the constant call drops and was told .. "but hey! We have the best coverage of any carrier in Barstow!". Nice to know that both families that live in Barstow can call each other, because user's who live

        • by MogNuts (97512)

          I know it's cool and all to knock AT&T now, but c'mon guys. Think about this rationally. They're just networks. And you have other networks. Yes, we should have more competition and providers should be better for us. But you're all forgetting the simple solution, which I have done.

          Sign up and test all 4 networks (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile). They all have 30-day windows where you can cancel and not be locked into a contract (T-Mobile doesn't even have a lock-in). Get it, test it in all the

    • by frieko (855745)
      Just to be fair, the planned LTE networks that Verizon and AT&T are calling 4G don't meet the definition either. However, both WiMax and LTE have true 4G upgrades in the pipeline.
  • by mveloso (325617) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:07PM (#34070632)

    Indeed! Now all that needs to happen is for Sprint to sell a VoIP kit with an iPad/iPod Touch, MiFi, and Skype/Google Voice. Whoa nelly!

    • by hedwards (940851) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:16PM (#34070674)
      Unless I'm greatly mistaken, that's already possible with some of the Android phones. I haven't personally tried it, but I believe it is possible with the Nexus One and presumably other phones of similar or better features.
      • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:35PM (#34070730)

        Unless I'm greatly mistaken, that's already possible with some of the Android phones.

        Who cares? The entire point of VoIP on an iPad is to make it into a hilariously gigantic phone.

        • Boombox of the '10's?
        • It would have been cool for the granny at home on Skype crowd if it had a built-in camera. So I bought granny a netbook.
        • by c (8461)

          > The entire point of VoIP on an iPad is
          > to make it into a hilariously gigantic phone.

          I don't think the N-Gage [sidetalkin.com] is going to let go of that title so easily...

        • by nobodie (1555367)

          Mistaken thinking my friend. What I am waiting for is a meego tab/pad/slate with 4G so that i can carry that in my manpurse, my little clip-on blue tooth headset with minimal controls on it and there I am. If i need to call I tap in my commands on the tab/pad/slate unit, the bluetooth picks up automatically both in and out, one tap on the control answers the phone, i can have all the goodness of 4G when i want it, all the ease of a bluetooth phone headset (which i use the hell out of right now with my 4 yea

      • We do it with a sprint phone! The Droid based Samsung moment. We camp, er make that live for a day or two in a RV a lot. Powering on the Overdrive and putting it in a known good reception spot (high on the RV shelves for instance) allows us to use the wireless connection to roam freely and chat, voip, or other internet activity without fear of a constantly in and out connection. Note to RVers, the standard antennae should be down (and off) or your overdrive will hide from 3G signals.
    • Acronyms are so passe nowadays. So it should probably be called the VOIPADIFYPOOGLE package...
    • I wish they'd stop inventing new names, and confusing the consumer (me). MiFi is just s 3G device that creates a local Wifi node in your home. Correct? So call it that: Portable WiFi.

      Is this device from Virgin considered a MiFi too?
      What about the USB dongle underneath it? Rather pricey.
      http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband/ [virginmobileusa.com]

    • by iainl (136759)

      Having just got an iPod Touch, unless I'm doing something wrong there's no way to receive Skype calls unless you're actually _in_ the Skype app. So it's not hugely useful for that.

  • Odd (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I find this rather odd. The battery life must be terrible and having to tow around two devices annoying.

    It seems to me that the iPad should have just come with either
    a) A real USB port that a 3G Data dongle (or in this case Sprint/Verizon fake-4G) can plug into and not break the device
    b) An option port, where the iPad already supplies most of the hardware, and this option port is simply the appropriate radio (CDMA, GSM, UMTS, WiMAX, 802.11bgn+) like how laptops do it. The ipad is reasonably large enough to

    • It seems to me that the iPad should have just come with either

      Rather than your two overly technical options which sound just as annoying and don't give you WiFi for other devices, you could also just buy the 3G iPad which requires no contract and lets you go month to month buying service if you like.

      • you could also just buy the 3G iPad which requires no contract and lets you go month to month buying service if you like.

        You mean, YOU can. I have a 3G/GPS iPad, and the 3G feature is useless, because ATT doesn't serve this area. Verizon does, but I have to tell you, at the rates they're charging for so little data with their widget (which I'd have no trouble slapping into our car), I'll stick to wifi anyway. Heck, even our McDonald's has free wifi, I just drive into the parking lot and I'm on, and wit

        • by SHaFT7 (612918)
          They put up with it because it is convenient. Anything that the masses don't have to "think" about is one less "worry" for them. Sometimes this is good. Most of the time it is not.
      • by Phroggy (441)

        But the 3G iPad is only compatible with AT&T's network in the United States. If you want to use Sprint, you'll need extra hardware.

        And since when are overly technical options not desirable on Slashdot? :-P

  • Pop Quiz (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For what percentage of the American public is Sprint the fastest network? 5%?

  • by ad454 (325846) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @12:09AM (#34070834)
    The WiFi-only version of the iPad and the iPod Touch are both missing one key feature present in the 3G iPad and iPhone, that I personally consider to be very important. And that is GPS! And that is a shame, since GPS maps look especially nice in the iPad's XGA and the retina display on the latest iPhone and iPod Touches.

    There are external GPS hacks on iOS devices like:

    But these are awkward to use, and in my experience, a lot of GPS software does not work with these hacks, as they do with Apple's built-in GPS receivers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by digitallife (805599)

      That's funny, GPS on my base model iPad works great.

      • by rsborg (111459) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @01:37AM (#34071080) Homepage

        That's funny, GPS on my base model iPad works great.

        And won't work in the boonies.

        The iPad wifi "GPS" is based on wifi points, and can work somewhat in the city, just like the original iPhone did.

        There is no dedicated GPS chip in either.

        • by farnsworth (558449) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @02:05AM (#34071158)

          That's funny, GPS on my base model iPad works great.

          And won't work in the boonies.

          The iPad wifi "GPS" is based on wifi points, and can work somewhat in the city, just like the original iPhone did.

          There is no dedicated GPS chip in either.

          The GPS on my iPhone 4 doesn't work in the boonies, either. Or if it does work, it takes far too long to lock a signal making it essentially useless.

          • That would be because it's not gps. It's triangulation of signals based on nearby cell towers and relative signal strength. No towers? Outta luck! Only one tower? Sucks! You're 10 miles off. Like the GP said, just drop the $80 on a Garmin or TomTom or what have you.
            • by vijayiyer (728590)

              Yes it is. The cell towers help acquire the satellite signals. Pilots can use an iPad 3G for moving map charts as long as they acquire the satellites first on the ground.

        • LMAO
          You think I get great locations in apps like google maps from *wifi points*? I knew apple hating was in fashion, but I didn't know checking your brain at the door was cool too.

            • Apple doesn't even include that software in iOS devices anymore, and furthermore it was used in addition to cell and gps technologies to speed up location data, never as stand alone location finder. Clearly anyone who thinks iOS devices use wifi points to find location has never used an iOS device. For example, my fathers house out in the boonies has no wifi networks in range, and yet My iPad gets the location perfectly. I don't even know why I'm talking to you.

    • by hitmark (640295)

      I guess the reason for this is that they make use of online routing.

      I suspect this is done to save battery (and storage) by cutting down on the cpu usage (as well as allowing the map data to always be up to date).

      Not that it would matter much, if said devices could use a bluetooth gps dongle with a third party provided offline map and route solution.

  • and your phones are locked. And yet in Namibia a third world country it is illegal to sell locked phones.
    • and your phones are locked. And yet in Namibia a third world country it is illegal to sell locked phones.

      Yes, that's why so many Americans are migrating to Namibia.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      You misunderstand what 'Free' means in American English. It means that the government is not allowed to exploit you - that job is left to corporations. See also: Libertarianism.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by puto (533470)
      Yes, I will take the locked phones instead of your high level of Aids, Malaria, and high unemployment. And of course the trafficking in Child labor. Yes you can stay in paradise.
  • by prichardson (603676) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @03:03AM (#34071308) Journal

    Contrary to the summary and many comments here, the iPad is unlocked. It will take any micro-SIM.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad#Storage_and_SIM [wikipedia.org]

  • I read the headline like "Why Apple's iPad Has Been Good For Spirit"

  • Is this just a troll summary to generate page views, an ad for Sprint, or are the submitter & editor really that brain damaged?

    Other than the outrageous upcharge, iPad 3G models have the same Wifi abilities of the non-3G iPads and are just as able to use cellular data portable hotspots as Wifi-only models.

    I'm sure "Why would you?" is the obvious retort, and while *I* wouldn't, I can imagine that some people end up with 3G iPads because they didn't pay for them, they bought them used or they want to use

  • The 3G version has wifi too...I bought it for the GPS. I have AT&T data service on my iPhone. I have a problem with having to pay double to get it on the iPad. It's not like I'm going to be surfing on two devices at the same time. Why can't I punch my account into the other device. And it wouldn't be too difficult to look at the packets for the device serial number and only allow one of them to work at any given time.

  • ...but if you were to root your Evo, and install the wireless tether app...4G Ipad...problem solved.

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