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Thread: Sprint is dead. Long live Sprint!

  1. #1
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    Sprint is dead. Long live Sprint!

    This is the Sprint I remember as a teenager and wanted a Sprint phone soo bad!!


    https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/2/21...le-acquisition


    Farewell to the carrier that coulda been a contender


    It’s done. We now have just three major cell phone carriers in the US: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, which just completed its merger with Sprint. It’s been such a long time coming and has seemed so inevitable that the news — on April Fools’ Day, no less — felt like little more than a blip in the tech world

    If you’re a Sprint customer, don’t panic. Chaim Gartenberg has the answers on what’s next for Sprint customers now that the T-Mobile merger has gone through. There’s no need to worry that things will change significantly in the short term. And T-Mobile is doing what it can to offer some immediate benefit. Sprint customers may get access to T-Mobile’s LTE network if their phones support its bands and may get software upgrades to support T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G.

    T-Mobile CEO John Legere is stepping down. Over the past eight years he has brilliantly executed a strategy that combined a calculated leather-jacket-wearing persona, an even more calculated insurgent brand, and genuine improvements in both service and price. I have expressed and will continue to express concern that T-Mobile has undercut net neutrality and I still think long-term this merger will encourage the big three to raise prices. But the bigger picture is that two-year contracts and onerous data caps may still be widespread if it weren’t for T-Mobile.

    But I come here today not to praise John Legere, but to bury Sprint.

    When any big company goes down, it’s impossible to point to any single cause and say “that’s it, that was the mistake.” There are always a hundred “if but for” examples you could point to. I have often pointed to Sprint’s gigantic bet on WiMAX as the 4G technology of the future when LTE is what ultimately won out. I think that hurt Sprint’s chances but I also recognize that it’s an oversimplification to just say that WiMAX did it. You could do the same thing with the Nextel acquisition, too.

    So rather than a post-mortem, I want to celebrate Sprint’s glory days. Because once upon a time, Sprint was by far the best carrier for nerds who were into smartphones. I’m talking about the days before and just after the iPhone — so yes, this is praise for a time that’s more than a decade behind us now.

    But in those mid-to-late-aughts days, there was no better place to be a smartphone user than on Sprint. Verizon was literally turning off GPS and limiting Bluetooth while Cingular (soon to be AT&T) was struggling to figure out how to prepare its network for the iPhone onslaught. Both charged a lot of money to use their networks. And T-Mobile, well, it was doing its damnedest to get sold off to AT&T.

    Sprint, meanwhile, had a really solid CDMA 3G network, charged less than its competitors, and didn’t try to break smartphone functionality left and right in a bid to upsell you on its own services. If there was such a thing as “uncarrier” in those days, it was Sprint.

    And actually, I want to just mention that Sprint was more willing to work with people who had questionable credit, too. Sometime that could feel a little predatory, but often it meant that people who would otherwise not have access to a cell phone could get one.

    I base that observation not just on my own experience (I was very bad with money!), but on what I saw in the community that formed around Sprint. In those pre-Reddit and pre-Twitter days, we hung out on various vBulletin forums — shout out to Howardforums in particular.

    Many of us came to those communities because we were looking for the not-so-secret program called SERO — the Sprint Employee Referral Option. It was a way to save some money on your bill and it wasn’t that hard to acquire if you could talk to the right person.

    But while you were hustling your way into a SERO plan, you discovered a group of people who were just as excited about the latest Windows Mobile or PalmOS smartphone as you were. It sounds (and is) quaint, but the combination of all of these things was a big deal. Sprint genuinely made technology more accessible to a wider swath of people than other US carriers.

    Were it not for its prices, its openness to new technology, and the communities that formed around those two things, I probably wouldn’t be writing these words to you right now.

    Sprint even had 2008’s version of a disruptive plan, the “Simply Everything” plan that offered unlimited voice, texting, and data — a relative rarity in those days.

    Whatever fight was in Sprint dissipated ten years later as it quietly prepared itself for a T-Mobile acquisition. Sprint was never mighty and never quite managed to compete successfully against its larger competitors. But for a time it served an underserved group of people when other carriers wouldn’t.

    Ex-T-Mobile CEO John Legere deserves credit for turning that company around and taking up much of the work that Sprint started. He got attention by cursing while wearing a bright pink T-Shirt. But take a moment to remember that ex-Sprint CEO Dan Hesse got attention by calmly walking the streets of New York in black and white.

    Rest in peace, Sprint.



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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    This is the Sprint I remember as a teenager and wanted a Sprint phone soo bad!!


    https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/2/21...le-acquisition


    Farewell to the carrier that coulda been a contender


    It’s done. We now have just three major cell phone carriers in the US: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, which just completed its merger with Sprint. It’s been such a long time coming and has seemed so inevitable that the news — on April Fools’ Day, no less — felt like little more than a blip in the tech world

    If you’re a Sprint customer, don’t panic. Chaim Gartenberg has the answers on what’s next for Sprint customers now that the T-Mobile merger has gone through. There’s no need to worry that things will change significantly in the short term. And T-Mobile is doing what it can to offer some immediate benefit. Sprint customers may get access to T-Mobile’s LTE network if their phones support its bands and may get software upgrades to support T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G.

    T-Mobile CEO John Legere is stepping down. Over the past eight years he has brilliantly executed a strategy that combined a calculated leather-jacket-wearing persona, an even more calculated insurgent brand, and genuine improvements in both service and price. I have expressed and will continue to express concern that T-Mobile has undercut net neutrality and I still think long-term this merger will encourage the big three to raise prices. But the bigger picture is that two-year contracts and onerous data caps may still be widespread if it weren’t for T-Mobile.

    But I come here today not to praise John Legere, but to bury Sprint.

    When any big company goes down, it’s impossible to point to any single cause and say “that’s it, that was the mistake.” There are always a hundred “if but for” examples you could point to. I have often pointed to Sprint’s gigantic bet on WiMAX as the 4G technology of the future when LTE is what ultimately won out. I think that hurt Sprint’s chances but I also recognize that it’s an oversimplification to just say that WiMAX did it. You could do the same thing with the Nextel acquisition, too.

    So rather than a post-mortem, I want to celebrate Sprint’s glory days. Because once upon a time, Sprint was by far the best carrier for nerds who were into smartphones. I’m talking about the days before and just after the iPhone — so yes, this is praise for a time that’s more than a decade behind us now.

    But in those mid-to-late-aughts days, there was no better place to be a smartphone user than on Sprint. Verizon was literally turning off GPS and limiting Bluetooth while Cingular (soon to be AT&T) was struggling to figure out how to prepare its network for the iPhone onslaught. Both charged a lot of money to use their networks. And T-Mobile, well, it was doing its damnedest to get sold off to AT&T.

    Sprint, meanwhile, had a really solid CDMA 3G network, charged less than its competitors, and didn’t try to break smartphone functionality left and right in a bid to upsell you on its own services. If there was such a thing as “uncarrier” in those days, it was Sprint.

    And actually, I want to just mention that Sprint was more willing to work with people who had questionable credit, too. Sometime that could feel a little predatory, but often it meant that people who would otherwise not have access to a cell phone could get one.

    I base that observation not just on my own experience (I was very bad with money!), but on what I saw in the community that formed around Sprint. In those pre-Reddit and pre-Twitter days, we hung out on various vBulletin forums — shout out to Howardforums in particular.

    Many of us came to those communities because we were looking for the not-so-secret program called SERO — the Sprint Employee Referral Option. It was a way to save some money on your bill and it wasn’t that hard to acquire if you could talk to the right person.

    But while you were hustling your way into a SERO plan, you discovered a group of people who were just as excited about the latest Windows Mobile or PalmOS smartphone as you were. It sounds (and is) quaint, but the combination of all of these things was a big deal. Sprint genuinely made technology more accessible to a wider swath of people than other US carriers.

    Were it not for its prices, its openness to new technology, and the communities that formed around those two things, I probably wouldn’t be writing these words to you right now.

    Sprint even had 2008’s version of a disruptive plan, the “Simply Everything” plan that offered unlimited voice, texting, and data — a relative rarity in those days.

    Whatever fight was in Sprint dissipated ten years later as it quietly prepared itself for a T-Mobile acquisition. Sprint was never mighty and never quite managed to compete successfully against its larger competitors. But for a time it served an underserved group of people when other carriers wouldn’t.

    Ex-T-Mobile CEO John Legere deserves credit for turning that company around and taking up much of the work that Sprint started. He got attention by cursing while wearing a bright pink T-Shirt. But take a moment to remember that ex-Sprint CEO Dan Hesse got attention by calmly walking the streets of New York in black and white.

    Rest in peace, Sprint.



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    3 for now. Have to see how Dish pans out

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  3. #3
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    The article was a good look back.

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    Sprint now joins the ranks of Nextel:
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...;s-over…

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    Sprint is dead. Long live Sprint!

    I remember selling for (Vodafone) Airtouch Cellular which became Verizon Wireless in 2001.

    I used to be secretly jealous of Sprint. I mean at the time if you had Sprint service then everything worked: inbound calls, voicemail, SMS, Picture Mail and even its PCS Vision web pack.

    At the time with Verizon you had to worry about some features only working in certain: “digital,” areas. If you were unlucky enough to be in a digital/analog transition zone with li’l Big Red call reliability and message delivery were unreliable.

    Besides being technologically superior for its day Sprint also had all the modern cool looking flip phones.

    Many don’t know this: For quite a stretch Sprint was growing faster than any other US wireless carrier, had the largest all-digital-PCS network, had the clearest voice quality, the fastest data network and for the longest time had the highest ARPU right along side Nextel.

    RIP Sprint. “Time to hit the bricks.”

    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    At the time with Verizon you had to worry about some features only working in certain: “digital,” areas. If you were unlucky enough to be in a digital/analog transition zone with li’l Big Red call reliability and message delivery were unreliable.
    Yes, digital networks were new back in the early 2000s. Many phones also had analog, which would work on all networks. I traveled a year outside of metro areas and mostly was on analog roaming. That was Tracfone service, and you got charged double to roam outside of your "home" area. Also had TDMA digital, but not sure which carrier was being used. This was not cheap, but I was connected anywhere when few had cell phones!

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    IMO, They had cool flip phones(Samsung).They look ultra modern with the silver color and blue led lights. Unlike the boring black phones everyone else had. My mom ended up getting me an Ericsson phone from Cingular and didnt like it. But Cingular grew on me and only change carriers once before going back to Cingular.

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  8. #8
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    I base that observation not just on my own experience (I was very bad with money!), but on what I saw in the community that formed around Sprint. In those pre-Reddit and pre-Twitter days, we hung out on various vBulletin forums — shout out to Howardforums in particular.

  9. #9
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    This article struck a chord with me. My first smartphone was the HTC Mogul in 2007 right before the first iPhone came out. I found the super cheap and awesome SERO plan, and it served me well for a long time. I remember not being impressed with the iPhone, and at the time I remember the Mogul having many more fun and geeky functions than the iPhone. That was also the time I discovered HowardForums and SprintUsers. SprintUsers was too restrictive with free speech if you weren't in the cool kids' club, so I stuck with HoFo. Even though my join date says 2012, I've been with you guys since 2007. Got locked out of my first account for whatever reason I can't remember.

  10. #10
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    Sprint is dead. Long live Sprint!

    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    IMO, They had cool flip phones(Samsung).They look ultra modern with the silver color and blue led lights. Unlike the boring black phones everyone else had. My mom ended up getting me an Ericsson phone from Cingular and didnt like it. But Cingular grew on me and only change carriers once before going back to Cingular.

    Sent from my SM-G975U1 using HoFo mobile app
    Yep. Back when every Verizon Phone had the same Red interface & Cingular seemed to keep their flip phones fairly cheap and boring using WAP for web, Sprint had well built Sanyo Phones with Power Vision & multi-media capabilities.


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    Those Sanyo phones were well built. Do they still make phones?
    Quote Originally Posted by techfranz View Post
    Yep. Back when every Verizon Phone had the same Red interface & Cingular seemed to keep their flip phones fairly cheap and boring using WAP for web, Sprint had well built Sanyo Phones with Power Vision & multi-media capabilities.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    Those Sanyo phones were well built. Do they still make phones?

    Sent from my SM-G975U1 using HoFo mobile app
    Sanyo sold to Kyocera and then the quality began to decline on the Kyocera flip and feature phones. The exception was the rugged Kyoceras but those are still good today.


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    I had never considered Sprint until someone gave me a Boost phone. Tello was the only cheap mvno I could put on it without unlocking.
    I was pleasantly surprised how good Sprint coverage was in the areas I frequented (TX & LA). And cheap! $7/mo for T,T& data.
    And if someone wants Tello, they and I get $10 credit each for the referral. (I have not been compensated by Tello)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortyd999 View Post
    IMO, They had cool flip phones(Samsung).They look ultra modern with the silver color and blue led lights. Unlike the boring black phones everyone else had. My mom ended up getting me an Ericsson phone from Cingular and didnt like it. But Cingular grew on me and only change carriers once before going back to Cingular.

    Sent from my SM-G975U1 using HoFo mobile app

    I loved my first Sprint phone, I think it was branded by Sony where it was not a flip put the mic flipped, it was like a stick that flipped down
    .

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfriz View Post
    I had never considered Sprint until someone gave me a Boost phone. Tello was the only cheap mvno I could put on it without unlocking.
    I was pleasantly surprised how good Sprint coverage was in the areas I frequented (TX & LA). And cheap! $7/mo for T,T& data.
    And if someone wants Tello, they and I get $10 credit each for the referral. (I have not been compensated by Tello)
    I've still got a StarTac activated on Tello "pay as you go" which is 1c/min - you cannot activate that plan anymore and i've been working on the same $30 balance for a few years. It's really a great service.
    Verizon: Grandfathered UDP
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT&T: Premium & More w/ Free 100Mbps VDSL2 "for life"
    Sprint: Premium Unlimited (for 100GB hotspot!)

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