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Will I get Sprint 4g even if map says 3g coverage in my area 0 Recommended Answers 8 Replies 1 Upvote
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I really want to switch to Google Fi.  I live in an area with excellent solid (not extented) 4g Sprint coverage and have been super happy with Sprint's network.  Problem is when I look at Google Fi's map it has my area as only having 3g.

I really don't want to go through the hassle of dropping my current cell carrier, getting a Google Pixel, swapping my number over, all to find out I'm stuck at crappy 3g in my area.

What are the chances Google Fi will actually have 4g in my area and Google's map is wrong?
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Hello Geoff.  In my opinion, the map relates more towards data speeds than cellular protocol.

There is an excellent chance you will still see LTE on your phone (especially since you see it now on Sprint).  The map describes more of the speeds you'll get if you tried downloading something in that area.
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Thanks Dean, I appreciate the response.

Does that effectively imply that I'll have the same speed and coverage that I have right now, but the speed that I have right now is considered 3g speed as far as Google's map is concerned?
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Probably yes.  The word is that Google Fi has an agreement with the three US carriers it uses (T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular) that the data is the same as a postpaid customer on that carrier.

The benefit with Google Fi is that it's a prepaid MVNO, so if it doesn't work out you can port away without any restrictions or termination fees.

Also remember, in order to take advantage of the three carriers, including Sprint, you have to have a Fi-enabled phone (Pixels, Moto X4/G6/G7, Nexus 5X/6P, etc).  A Fi-compatible phone will only use T-Mobile.
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I will agree with Dean.  The coverage maps are more to give an idea of what to expect.  There are too many variables involved to create exact maps of coverage.  They do ok considering though.  If you have good Sprint coverage, you should have no problem with Fi using a designed for Fi device.
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I totally agree what others have said. The Fi coverage maps are very conservative.
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I have Sprint 4G LTE now (never more than 2 bars- maybe 15-20 mpbs up 8 down.) T-Mobile says I would have 4G LTE, but Google says I I'll only get 3G. I need the phone for an emergency hotspot tethered to my laptop. Do you think that will work better than my sprint alone? or do I likely need an additional hotspot, antenna or booster anyway? I know, you are just making an educational guess...
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What you have currently with Sprint would be what you have with Fi at minimum. You also get the added value of T-mobile with Fi. Without knowing your zip code, I think you would be fine with Fi (just an educated guess) without a booster or external antenna.
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As others have posted, coverage map accuracy varies.  You might want to ask those that live close to you what they use for service and how reliable it is as an indicator of what to expect in terms of performance.  I live in a marginal cellular area and Google Fi works for my needs (data, text, calls) even though I rarely reach speeds of 20 down and 8 up.
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