The Pros & Cons of Sprint Vs. Verizon

by Max Power

Sprint and Verizon are two of the largest cellular voice, smartphone and high-speed data providers in the United States. In deciding between the two, consumers must balance factors including smartphone availability, phone and data coverage and subscription cost. For instance, a consumer who does not care about using a smartphone may be attracted to Sprint’s lower cost. Customers may use a specific Verizon phone, however -- such as the iPhone -- and prefer the services despite the higher subscription fees.

iPhone

Verizon presented a strong appeal to smartphone users by beating Sprint to the rights to sell the popular iPhone. Verizon became the second nationwide cellular carrier to offer the phone. Sprint’s failure to offer the iPhone may have placed the company at a costly disadvantage, since Sprint’s customers may not have the patience to wait for the company to offer the iPhone.

Smartphone Pricing Plan

Historically, Sprint has clearly won the affordability war. For example, Sprint has been known for offering a smartphone plan with unlimited data, texting and voice for $70 per month. During this same time period, Verizon’s equivalent plan cost consumers $90 per month. In the fall of 2010, Verizon announced a test offering of a reduced pricing plan apparently designed to match Sprint’s pricing. The new Verizon plan matched Sprint's $70 per month cost, as well as Sprint’s features, with the exception of voice minutes, which Verizon limited to 450 per month. Sprint's equivalent plan continued to offer unlimited voice minutes.

4G Data Network Pricing

The Sprint 4G data access plan for computer users has also been known as being more affordable than the equivalent Verizon plan. The Sprint 4G unlimited data plan has been priced at $50 per month for unlimited 4G access. At the same time, the Verizon 4G plan was limited to 5 gigabytes (GB) of data at a cost of $50 per month or 10GB for $80.

4G Coverage

Sprint got off to a head start with 4G coverage, providing 4G access to customers in 62 cities at a time when Verizon’s equivalent product was available in only 38 cities. The architecture of these systems varies by provider. The Sprint 4G product uses the 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) band with a possible download speed of 128 megabits per second (Mbps). The Verizon 4G network uses the 700 megahertz (MHz) spectrum, with a possible download speed of 199Mbps per second. In the New York City area in 2011, a 4G speed test was conducted by Computer World Magazine which concluded that Verizon’s 4G network offered much faster service.

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About the Author

Max Power started writing in 1996. Power was responsible for providing coverage of local and state governmental affairs for a web-boom-era news and civic-affairs news website. This experience provided him with a range of in-depth knowledge about legal, civic, political and governmental affairs. Power holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in history.

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