[OP-ED] @Sprint – AT&T and T-Mobile Merger? Who cares?

Sprint-android-featuredIts been in the news for a while, and has caused more than a stir amongst the wireless community. The AT&T T-Mobile merger will definitely change the wireless carrier market as we know it, taking one of the more popular carriers and combining it with one of the least. Among the avid protesters Sprint sits up at the top, having talked about merging with T-Mobile themselves and adding in the supremacy that AT&T will possess upon approval, it’s…

Its been in the news for a while, and has caused more than a stir amongst the wireless community. The AT&T T-Mobile merger will definitely change the wireless carrier market as we know it, taking one of the more popular carriers and combining it with one of the least. Among the avid protesters Sprint sits up at the top, having talked about merging with T-Mobile themselves and adding in the supremacy that AT&T will possess upon approval, it’s not hard to see why. While I see the reasoning behind Sprint’s rebuttal to the merger I really don’t see how it will bother them.

Let’s look at the spectrum, you have AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon as of right now and they all have certain things they provide to the Android community.

  • Verizon, besides offering a superior service to the nation, has quite a selection of Android devices. What you’ll notice about a lot of these offerings are, they’re the same. Different sizes, different cameras, different brands. These are about the only differences though, with the exception of the XOOM and the Droid X2 (which looks EXACTLY like the Droid X, yay originality), the basic layout of all there phones including some of the newer ones are the same things we’ve seen redone many times over. The hardware in question is close to a year old at this point and is still being promoted as new high-end equipment. Single-core phones with 1GHz processors, dual cameras, LED flash and 720p video capture has been done many times, it’s nothing new. Look at the HTC Thunderbolt, Samsung Droid Charge, and the LG Revolution, aside from LTE and big screens they’re old news.
  • AT&T is not far from that same classification, however I feel they should get far less credibility for anything. The biggest complaints pertaining to AT&T have to do with negligence. Less than desirable dealings with customer service, “4G” phones without “4G” speeds, and up until recently no selection of Android devices. I don’t feel that AT&T is a crappy carrier, however I believe that they crippled themselves severely falling back on the iPhone for so long. At this time they have three decent devices with more on the way, but it’s kinda of late in the game for a drastic flip toward Android support.  Although aside from the Atrix they suffer from the same faults I mentioned about Verizon, the phones offer the same things we’re use to seeing.
  • I really can’t say a whole lot of negative things about T-Mobile. Having been a customer of all the carriers except Verizon I liked them the most, having only switched for reception purposes. T-Mobile has been among the top supporters of the Android Community since it first started. They continuously offer developer friendly devices and even give said devices to developers free of charge. They do offer a lot of phones that are similar to the other carriers in the same areas mentioned above however, their new devices rolling out are all trend-setters. Top of the line, rock your socks off devices. Of course the G2X is seeing quite a bit of problems, but that’s not really that uncommon with new devices. Thanks to their great customer service all said problems are addressed and the customers wishes are respected whether it be a new phone or no phone at all.

That leaves Sprint, the only one of the major carriers that offers a truly unlimited data plan. I feel that Sprint gets bypassed, it seems as though all the news reflects on the other carriers. While this may be due to the simple fact that they relied on the same device to push them through a year or just advertising. Their Android selection is rather small compared to Verizon or T-Mobile, but their success with the EVO 4G alone is a lot to gloat about. For the longest time availability for that device was slim to none. A year later that device still selling, bringing in anywhere from $150 to $200 in stores on contract, which is pretty good considering it’s age. The launch of the EVO Shift 4G was a success as well, much like the Verizon “Droid” campaign Sprint has pushed the EVO line to the max. It’s likely that we’ll see that sort of advertising ramping up again soon with the EVO 3D and EVO View 4G inching closer. Sprint has also been a very developer friendly carrier, – despite the recent news about the Photon 4G – all of their device offerings have seen more than their share of development and are embraced by the community. It’s already known that the new HTC EVO 3D will share the fate of the Sensation 4G – coming out with a signed bootloader – however, HTC has already put a foot in the door stating that they will be releasing software to reverse this.

After migrating to Sprint a couple of months ago, I didn’t feel that I would actually like them as much as I did T-Mobile. I have to say that I like them as much or more, and I absolutely love my EVO 4G. The real strength I found in Sprint was not the data speeds nor the unlimited service, but rather the price and the coverage. I often found myself cruising around town and watching my myTouch 4G go from HSPA+ to nothing in a matter of minutes. Which rarely happens with Sprint, I have 3G coverage 95-percent of the time even way out where I live. As far as price that was my big deal when switching from T-Mobile after coming from AT&T I was accustomed to getting my wallet ravaged every month. However, I find that I’m paying about the same that I was for my T-Mobile service. All in all, I’m happy with my decision and I’m looking forward to grabbing a HTC EVO 3D when they hit the stores. Sprint shouldn’t be overlooked they have a lot to offer, and well that should mean something especially since their not paying me to write this (hint hint). =)

 

[Note: These are my personal views, not the views of AndroidSPIN as a collective.]

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