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Please share  your experience with Sprint hot spot.  I've had 2 now since Sept' 9th and am still unable to stream. Sprint tech support says it's a tower repair issue. I'm hoping that's the case, but I'm getting impatient as we are about to hit the road for the winter. Thanks.

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This thread requested experiences with the Tech Connect+; I’m reporting about mine so far.  Sorry for the long post.

 

I'm excited about the possibilities with Tech Connect+ service with Sprint.  I purchased the service on Sunday Nov. 13, 2018 evening and my Franklin R910 mobile hotspot device arrived today (Tuesday) around noon.  While working other tasks, I charged the device. When I got around to powering it on, it would not connect to Sprint's network, showing "No Service" on device.  

 

Sprint’s network maps indicate great coverage at my current location (at home RN), so I figured it was time to call in help.  From the FMCA FAQ for Tech Connect+, I saw instructions for contacting Sprint’s Tech Support at (800) 543-3622, and to have the “PTN” (device mobile number) at the ready.  I found the number (but not labeled as “PTN”) by connecting to the device via WiFi, and it is on the "About" page; it showed "My Number 0000009444", which definitely did not look like a proper telephone number to me.  Dauntless, I called Sprint, but unfortunately, without a valid mobile number the support system would not let me in, booting me with a message something like call back when you have the number.  

 

I've been in this industry for nearly 40 years, so not a dummy; but, at this moment I was stuck.  Since it was raining and cold outside, I was determined to not have to find and visit a Sprint store (I’m otherwise an AT&T customer).  During my research before buying, I had read various forums on FMCA.com.  I recalled seeing a name, Jason Gabbard, of FMCA who was helpful to a fellow who had a problem.  I chose to reach out to him.  Problem was, there was no contact info for him, so I called FMCA at (800) 543-3622, asked for him and left a telephone voice message.  About 15 minutes later I received a call from Brett, who apparently works for Jason.  That was 3:15 pm.  

 

We did some research, like photo of special numbers inside the phone and information from “About” page and “Debug” page.  Feeding all that to him, Brett agreed the PTN was bogus, even though I appeared to be registered properly in the two distinct systems that he accessed.  We terminated the call while he investigated further.  A few minutes later, he called me back, had worked some magic, and then conferenced in a Sprint fellow on the phone with me for the final steps.  We walked through the unit powering on, registering properly, upgrading etc.  The problem was resolved by 5:15 pm.   Actually, Brett had to excuse himself briefly near the end of the call; apparently the building was being locked up for the day, and he needed to let them know he was still there! 

 

After the hotspot found Sprint, it upgraded itself fine.  My provisioning of the device password and two SSIDs for WiFi was trivial. Playing with the menus via the web interface was reasonably informative.  Connecting from my devices seemed painless and reliable.

 

Unfortunately for the OP, I cannot speak much about the performance of Sprint’s network, as I’ve only had a few minutes of experience with it.  The email and web pages I’ve messed with have loaded fine, but I haven’t had a chance to try out much video.   

 

The hotspot for my initial performance check showed only 3G (and network of eHRPD) connection, not LTE, so that was disappointing, especially since I’m in an area with “4G LTE excellent signal”. 

·     The SpeedSmart app on my iPad (older model, Air 2 running iOS 12.1) showed not stellar results: latency of 748 ms, download of 1.12 Mb/s, and upload of 2.48 Mb/s using 4.03 MB at 6:24 PM ET.  

·     Compare that to my iPad running through its 4G connection to AT&T, with latency of 777 ms, download of 8.83 Mb/s, and upload of 1.62 Mb/s using 11.86 MB at 6:39 PM ET.  

·     Compare that to my iPad running through its WiFi connection to AT&T fiber, with latency of 6 ms, download of 57.14 Mb/s, and upload of 72.96 Mb/s using 133.0 MB (while the Netflix video discussed below was running).  

 

Rebooted the hotspot and it came up LTE

·     Reran SpeedSmart, latency of 55 ms, download of 2.33 Mb/s, and upload of 0.32 Mb/s using 3.01 MB at 6:43 PM ET, which seemed to be repeatable over the next few minutes.

 

I did watch a few minutes of Fox News via DirectTV app on my iPad for a while.  Netflix took about 15 seconds to initially buffer the video, but it seemed fine for the few minutes of test.  Fox and Netflix were viewed while LTE was held onto by the hotspot.  

·     Reran SpeedSmart during Netflix, with latency of 587 ms, download of 2.44 Mb/s, and upload of 0.35 Mb/s using 3.16 MB at 6:56 PM ET.  This weekend will be more informative to me, as I plan to watch several college football games.  I’m not planning on rigorous tests, but just wanted to give some initial results.  YMMV.  

 

Also, the battery level seemed to drop quickly; down to 70% about 1-1/2 hours into using the device.  However, I don’t have confidence in my view here, since I didn’t check the charge level when I started and I rebooted the device multiple times throughout the afternoon (causing power-expensive signal reacquisition attempts each time).  I don’t think I’ll care about battery life, since the hotspot will mostly be plugged into power in the coach.  

 

Kudos and thank you to Brett of FMCA for excellent member service.

 

Alan

2017 Tiffin Allegro RED 37PA

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee (diesel) lurking behind

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Last month I signed up with the Tech Connect Sprint Hotspot.  Knowing that Sprints coverage isn't as good as Verizon  was willing to try on our last trip.  In New Orleans for a week and never had good service, slow e-mail etc.  In Houston and Galveston great service every time I asked for it.  In Santa Fe works great.  I am returning the Sprint Hotspot and cancelling my account due to the New Orleans experience and now Verizon has a true unlimted program I just signed up for.

Just my experience on one trip.

 

Larry

Santa Fe, NM

2010 Haulmark Motorcoach

2017 Jeep Cheroke-toad

race vintage Formula Fords

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The fact that you cannot attach an external antenna on the Sprint Franklin (no TS-9 ports) makes this a nogo for me.  An external antenna would go a long way in improving coverage in the places I plan to go. 

Verizon is still has the best coverage, with AT&T coming in second.  T-Mo is getting much better if you have a T-Mo phone with Band 66 and 71. One problem with T-Mo is that they don't have hotspots that use band 71 or have TS-9 ports.   Note that on any carrier, if you have an old phone or hotspot it may not have all of the carriers bands built in.  Thus your neighbor with a new phone/hotspot may have coverage, while you do not.

 

Update:  T-Mo now has a hotspot with band 71.  Unfortunately, still no TS-9 ports.

Cheers,

Dave

Edited by daveandpam309
update

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We are full timers and were hot spotting our Verizon iPhones for our Internet and TV streaming data service,  we soon noticed that Verizon started throttling to the point we could not watch streaming video.  YES Verizon says UNLIMITED but the small print says UP TO *****. 
 Sick of being extorted by Verizon and fully aware of who’s got the largest network and so on, we decided to cut back our Verizon Unlimited Plan changing to their 8gig plan saving $50 (not including the extra overage charges) We decided to try out the Sprint device which costs $50 unlimited.  
This is still year one, but we have yet to have no service from Sprint, we have enjoyed quality images on our Amazon Streaming, with no apparent throttling and no overage charges whatsoever!
We realize the day may come when Sprint fails us, we will deal with that when it comes. 
Our ONLY disappointment so far was when I logged into Sprint.com to view our account.  I was shocked to see that Sprint only Charges $39.99 for their Hot Spot Unlimited service and that FMCA is topping that up with a whopping 20% fee. I feel that is a bit excessive.  

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folkie.   Welcome to the Forum! :)

I'm also surprised at the 20% fee!  What I have heard about Sprint, it depends where you are located. 

Have a Happy, Healthy,  New Year!

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I have had mixed-experience with Sprint.   The Franklin R910 is a piece of garbage in my opinion.   We use our RV about 3 months out of the year, we live in Northern California, so we do not necessarily have to escape the weather, it's just for a change of scenery.   We are also in a rural area, and California is probably the worst for rural Internet service in the US.   We do have a "barely functional" DSL, with speeds that have not improved since we bought our house 25 years ago. 

After receiving the R910 from FMCA, I thought I would be a little creative and put the Sprint SIM in a MOFI-4500 I had from a brief trial of service from UbiFi.com. UbiFi was good, just quite expensive (about $90 / month) and they only offer AT&T - which was very slow in our home base area, if you are interested, it is here - https://www.ubifi.net and would be pretty much universal service, just slowish at about 10 mbps.    I do have Internet service at the house when we are here, it's also not very good and I'll usually work in my home office using whatever cellular device I have. The DSL is basically just for the home automation stuff, and the TVs work somewhat reasonably well on it (one at a time). 

Anyway, for about 6 months during our winter "home" span of the year, the MOFI 4500 worked fabulously with the Sprint SIM in it, literally, it never went off - never a reboot, dropped connection, etc.   I do have an external antenna for it mounted on the roof of the house, and another one on the RV.   When using either, I just plug it into the coax going to the roof and it always has perfect service/coverage.    The MOFI is not as fast as the Franklin device, it's a little older and doesn't aggregate antennas like the Franklin does, but it is also commercial-grade and very reliable. The MOFI also works with any carrier / any technology. 

About a week ago, Sprint seems to have noticed, and the MOFI will only stay connected for about a minute before losing service.   Nothing I did would work to get around it, the logs just show it being booted from the network.   I put the SIM back in the R910 and it works fine.   Unfortunately.. we went from about 60 mbps of service from the Sprint/MOFI solution to back to around 6 on landline DSL (for the house).   I still run my business and I teach MBA / graduate classes for a major univeristy via video conferencing, so that's an issue... I'll probably end up doing a satellite service for the house or some other weird solution.  The limited data plans on the others would get eaten up pretty quickly with all the video conferencing that I do.

The R910 experience is truly awful - it seems to overheat at about 12-14 hours if I leave it on, (which then breaks the alarm and automation on the RV), I popped the battery out of it thinking it would avoid an overheat, but works even less then - only staying on for about 20 minutes before rebooting.   The total hours of usage on the R910 that I have shows about 30.. so it's not like it is "worn out" by any means. 

The Sprint service itself is fairly decent - when in range of a tower, I hit 70-80 mbps with the device, which is actually slower than my iPad Pro with it's Sprint service - I routinely reach over 150 mbps with that (on cellular!).   Coverage in the Nevada Great Basin (which we travel across frequently to escape California's communist leanings) has been very spotty on Sprint - many places we stop, we get zero service, on our Sprint phones or the hotspot.   When it works, it's great, but there are a lot of "off" places.

Verizon coverage is generally better, but I think the network is a little slower.     AT&T does seem to have the best coverage, but it is very slow..  I originally had an AT&T SIM in the MOFI from Unlimitedville and I never got above 8 mpbs.. it wasn't worth the enormous cost increase versus the regular old telephone company DSL for the house, but it did seem to work pretty much anywhere. 

My two cents - I would recommend FMCA offer an upgrade-plan with better hardware like Unlimitedville or UbiFi does - offer both the easy-to-use little made-in-China Franklin things, but also the Sierra Wireless MOFI 4500 devices or similar for an extra setup cost, although they are a little complex to use - just ship them pre-configured.   People will be MUCH happier with them.   "Unlimited service" really isn't unlimited if the thing crashes every 6-8 hours. 

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On 4/3/2019 at 11:19 AM, scojohnson71 said:

I have had mixed-experience with Sprint.   The Franklin R910 is a piece of garbage in my opinion.   We use our RV about 3 months out of the year, we live in Northern California, so we do not necessarily have to escape the weather, it's just for a change of scenery.   We are also in a rural area, and California is probably the worst for rural Internet service in the US.   We do have a "barely functional" DSL, with speeds that have not improved since we bought our house 25 years ago. 

You may have already checked with your phone company about upgrading your DSL.  We live in rural northern Vermont and were tickled to finally get DSL after years of satellite internet (ugh!).  We got the fastest available at the time, 7Mbps, and a few years later got a flyer about available upgrades. I called, they sent a tech out who replaced our DSL modem with a current AC capable modem/router. The upgrade used "bonded" pairs and we ended up with 22Mbps max with a tested speed of 16Mbps vs 6Mbps for the old system.  The telephone wire into your house has 2 pairs (4 wires), but only one pair is required for the phone. Bonded pair creates a 2nd phone line and bonds the 2 for faster speeds. Fiber or repeater upgrades in the area probably accounted for additional speed. 

 

Thanks so much for your review of the Sprint plan. We had Sprint for over 20 years and spotty connectivity drove us to Cricket for much better service. This and the Verizon reviews are pushing me to the Verizon prepaid unlimited plan for $65 with auto pay. 

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I gave up on sprint today. I came on the  forum to see how to cancel.  Tech support was reading from the Franklin owners manual.  I have had little to no internet for almost a month but the coverage map says excellent 4g.   I just went with Verizon Prepaid.  Thanks for the info on it. I have sent an email to FMCA so I know they will help me cancel so you need not reply with that info.  Just sharing my opinion.

 

 

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I was surprised after I switched over to Verizon prepaid unlimited to find that the unlimited plan does not allow you to use your phone as a hotspot.  The 8GB plan does allow it so I switched to it.  This month (April) they are offering the 8gb plan with an extra 7gb (15 total) for the life of your plan. So we have two phone with a total of 30gb.  I opted for auto pay to save an additional $10 so my total bill with PA taxes is $81 and some change. 

I also lost the ability to see any of my past bills on Verizon.  I am going to work some more on that today.

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