Sprint is working with Apple to fix slow data speeds, as the carrier looks to keep its customers and new business partner happy.
The Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier reportedly sent an internal e-mail to its representatives confirming a “nationwide issue” connected with data speed problems, according to The Next Web. Sprint did not offer any information on the cause of the problem or possible resolutions, but the email is the first sign the carrier is addressing the issue.
Sprint’s subscribers complained of slow data speeds after the launch of the iPhone 4S, which lead to a record number of activations on its first day. Reviewers found the carrier’s data speeds were down 300 to 500-kilobytes per second on the 4S, as well as on Android models.
Sprint’s internal e-mail suggests the company is acknowledging the problem, but the carrier’s new public statement downplays this issue.
“Overall, iPhone performance on the Sprint network is consistent with our expectations and the rest of our high-end portfolio,” Sprint said. “Sprint also did benchmarking of Sprint’s iPhone against competitor’s iPhones and the testing showed little to no performance difference.”
Sprint may be having serious, minor or no problems at all with its network, but the carrier has a lot to gain by diffusing the situation. The availability of the iPhone on the network has given Sprint a significant boost in business, but if users begin experiencing or even believing there are problems with the service, the company may lose thousands of potential customers.
Customers experienced issues with the original iPhone and iPhone 3G’s data speeds on AT&T, but there was no other carrier available if they wanted Apple’s device. Now, users have other options, leaving Sprint with no choice but to fix potential issues as quickly as possible.
Sprint also likely wants to keep Apple, its new business partner, as happy as possible. The iPhone
maker does not like its devices being associated with any sort of problem, since it aims to maintain a good track record with the public. Sprint is reportedly set to pay Apple $20 billion over the next four years for the rights to the device, and any issues that could hamper sales may prove costly.
The magnitude of Sprint’s network problems hasn’t been truly defined, but as long as there are rumors of slow data speeds, the carrier is in a tenuous position. Sprint needs to fix whatever issues it has to encourage customers to purchase the iPhone on its network.