Welcome to high-speed wireless Internet in almost every major city and regular 1xRTT on most highways. At least, that’s what the marketing literature says. How does it work? Pretty damn good.
I got the unlimited plan and it was pretty fun checking traffic information in Kansas City while driving through reading the latest news on CNN. The speed is fast (typically 700-800 kbps, nearly 1 mbps at times) and latency is only 250-300 ms most of time (that’s overall, compared to say 50ms on a cable modem). I haven’t found a place yet it doesn’t work – Tulsa, Kansas City, Omaha, Minneapolis/St. Paul. Yeah, mostly midwest but I haven’t hit the east coast yet (is there anything there that is still above water?) and the left coast is probably not in my near-term travel plans. But the map shouldn’t lie.
Why Sprint? They support Tulsa (my home area) compared to Verizon that for some reason seems to be everywhere EXCEPT Tulsa. I overlayed the maps and was surprised to see the void over Tulsa/OKC for some reason. Oh well, I’m sure it’s a market issue with some contracts or frequency availability that is blocking them. After all, we can’t get a local CPK either. :(
Even at 1xRTT on highway 71 south of KC and near St Joseph wasn’t bad, but the slightly better than dial-up speed left me waiting for more than my 5 mbps standard allows. However, the speed of the wireless broadband is more than enough to keep me satisfied for almost anything. I didn’t do any gaming on it yet, but that’s in the pipeline I’m sure.
Oh, and Skype worked like a champ aside from the extra 1/3 second lag on voice compared to regular broadband links. I will say that due to the lack of a true firewall with the wireless connection, I get a bit higher connection quality than I get behind my firewall at home. I haven’t tried video on the wireless yet since my notebook doesn’t have a webcam, but you can imagine I’ll be trying that soon.
Oh, and don’t ask where I’m posting this from, since I believe my seat back is supposed to be in an upright position and my personal items stowed in preparation for ta…..