Sprint has recently deployed 5G in the Chicago area and has put an impressive coverage map online. Needless to say that I had to go to a Sprint store to see if I could get a demo of their 5G network. My expectations where high because they did advertise 5G in their windows.
When I asked inside what they could tell me about their new 5G service, I was shown the three 5G devices they currently have in stock, the US Version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, a 5G smartphone by LG and the HTC Hub. Unfortunately there was no 5G coverage inside the store. I was told that there is some patchy 5G coverage in town but that obviously did not help much to get a feeling for the network inside the store. I then asked how fast their 5G network was but the most I could get out of the sales person was “it’s pretty fast”. Hm, a bit of an odd sales strategy if you ask me. As a prospective customer that wouldn’t have incited me to go for their network.
Anyway, at least I got some info on pricing. Their ‘Unlimited Plus’ plan with a 50 GB data limit per month would cost me $75 a month, an S10 5G for $1299 would cost me $54 a month and an additional $19 for insurance which would land me at $148 a month for the contract, taxes probably not included. Ok, now that’s quite far away from the €20-30 you pay in Finland for truly unlimited data but probably not extraordinary for the US.
And that’s pretty much all I could find out in the store so I have to continue to rely on reports such as this one that puts Sprint’s 5G service in the Chicago area in the 100-300 Mbit/s range. Let’s see if that improves over time because I can easily get such data rates over LTE in Europe without a sweat.