As the iPhone 5 launch comes ever closer and three of the big four carriers rollout their 4G LTE networks its time to stat thinking about changing carriers.
Each of the three big carriers that currently sell the iPhone have their strengths. Verizon has a huge network that’s usually reliable, AT&T has a large and less reliable 3G/”4G” network and super-fast 4G LTE, while Sprint has lower prices and unlimited data. It’s that last part that makes me want to switch.
Actually, what really convinced me to make the switch Sprint was the carrier’s response to the FaceTime over 3G. While AT&T and Verizon remained undecided on the issue, Sprint came out and said plainly that it won’t charge extra for the service.
FaceTime isn’t a service I use too often at the moment, but that’s largely because when I’d want to use it either the other person or myself are out of range of Wi-Fi. I’d love to use the service over 3G/”4G”/4G LTE, but I refuse to pay extra for the service.
The unlimited data plans were what first made me want to switch, however. I don’t use my 2GB per month allotment on AT&T, but that’s mostly because the network is so unreliable or slow that all I ever do on my iPhone 4S while out of a Wi-Fi hotspot is check Twitter and maybe download an app or two if needed.
AT&T has a lot of dead spots in my area, which cuts into my usage. When I commute into Manhattan the bigger issue is reliability. Data just doesn’t work a lot of the time in Manhattan. AT&T’s 4G LTE doesn’t have as many problems, but I’m sure it will once the iPhone has 4G LTE and large number of users switch.
That reliability will be an issue as I look to move in New York City. I know Verizon is more reliable than AT&T, but it’s also much more expensive than both AT&T and Sprint, especially for family plans.
The only problems I see with Sprint as a carrier are its slow speeds and its slow 4G LTE rollout. I don’t know when the carrier will bring 4G LTE to New York City, but it should come soon. I fear that “soon” might not be soon enough for me, but that might be a gamble worth taking.
If it turns out the Sprint 4G LTE rollout is slower than expected I may have to turn to Verizon for its larger network, but that’s still a few weeks away. One thing is for sure, though: I won’t get and iPhone 5 on AT&T, if only because it’s cheaper to break a contract than it is to upgrade to a new phone in a contract.