If you read this blog a lot you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I make fun of Sprint a lot. The company isn’t always easy for a techie like me to like, because they’ve made some really wacky decisions. Their technology is not only unlike any other carrier in the US, it’s unlike any carrier in the world today, based as it is on older, 2000s era tech and some draft 4G technology.
Add to that, instead of buying wireless spectrum in the same ranges as AT&T and Verizon, they’ve bought some truly oddball chunks of radio waves for their high-speed network. They also have some frequencies in the expected areas, but between making bad choices and absorbing other companies they’ve ended up with a portfolio of frequencies that is just really, really different from the rest of the US wireless world.
So what can you do if you need a cellular booster? Cellular signal boosters work in the five bands that are used by pretty much every other carrier, but not with Sprint’s fairly oddball ones. The good news here is that Sprint’s voice frequencies are a pretty good match to everyone else’s, so something like the weBoost Connect 3G will help you get crystal-clear calls inside as long as you have as little as one bar outside.
For data though… it’s hard to know what you’ll get. Frequencies vary from cell tower to cell tower, so a booster like the Connect 4G might help, then again it might not. It’s really up to you to decide if you want to risk the extra money. The good news is that if the booster doesn’t actually help you with data, it’s still going to help you with voice and it’s not going to make anything worse for data. That isn’t going to give you a lot of comfort if you’re having trouble connecting to Sprint’s bizarrely-provisioned LTE network, but at least you know that you haven’t completely wasted your money. You also know that your non-Sprint friends will get great signal when they visit and also that you yourself are all set to get strong wireless internet when or if you decide to switch carriers.