Having been a Verizon EVDO subscriber almost since the day it rolled out in Orlando, I'm now well out of my 2-year contract and took the opportunity to evaluate a very cheap alternative: Sprint. I hear a lot of talk about how Sprint's coverage just doesn't stack up against Verizon's, but given the extremely deep (employee, thanks to family members) discount I am able to receive through Sprint, it was worth a good look.
I asked my Sprint-employed family member for the goods, and soon I had a Sierra Wireless AirCard 595U like this one:
The 595U is the latest-and-greatest Rev-A EVDO device that Sprint is pushing these days, apparently. The real test of coverage, for me, would be working while riding in a car on the trip from Orlando to Tavares, Florida. The trip takes us over several 2-lane county roads, and even with Verizon, used to include one dead zone (around Lake Jem, although this has resolved with the Rev-A upgrade earlier this year). I kept my Verizon card handy for the trip, just in case Sprint failed miserably. So how did they do?
Just fine. No dropouts, not even a fallback to 1xRTT. Way to go, Sprint.