By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CDMA 1x carrier Verizon has completed its rollout of Revision (Rev.) A of EV-DO (EVolution-Data Optimized) high-speed data technology, and Sprint is about 98 percent of the way there, company spokespeople said.
In converting all of its EV-DO Rev. 0 markets to Rev. A, Verizon offers accelerated Rev. A data speeds to 210 million of the 260 million people in its footprint. Verizon also has plans to further expand Rev. A to markets currently lacking Rev. 0 coverage but declined to disclose a timetable.
For its part, Sprint said it has already extended the faster Rev. A technology to 98 percent of its current EV-DO Mobile Broadband Network to reach 203 million people out of the 208 million people covered by EV-DO. Sprint also plans to extend EV-DO Rev. A coverage beyond its current footprint to reach about 230 million people by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said.
Today, EV-DO speeds are available in about 80 percent of Sprint's CDMA footprint, and Rev. A reaches about 78 percent of Sprint's CDMA footprint, the spokeswoman added.
In the Sprint network, Rev. A promises to expand system capacity and accelerate data downloading to an average 600Kbps to 1.4Mbps, with 3.1Mbps peaks, compared with Rev. 0 downloads averaging 400Kbps 700Kbps, Sprint said. Uploads will accelerate to an average 350Kbps to 500Kbps, with 1.8Mbps peaks, compared with Rev. 0 uploads averaging 50Kbps to 70Kbps, Sprint noted.
In the Verizon network, Rev. A promises the same download speeds as Sprint, but Verizon quotes slightly faster average upload speeds of 500Kbps to 800Kbps.
For consumers, the technology means a 1MB file can be downloaded to a notebook PC or PDA phone in about eight seconds and uploaded in about 13 seconds, Verizon said. The faster speeds, Sprint noted, "are comparable to some DSL offerings" and will enable such new applications as wireless VoIP, high-speed video telephony, music on demand and enhanced video streaming.
For Sprint, Rev. A will enable an upgraded push-to-talk (PTT) service in early 2008 over its CDMA network to rival the quality of its Nextel PTT service over the carrier's lower bandwidth iDEN network. The new service, using Qualcomm's QChat technology, will also give users access to the more than 20 million walkie-talkie subscribers on the Nextel iDEN network, the carrier said.
In the meantime, Sprint launched its third CDMA 1x phone incorporating iDEN-network PTT. The Motorola ic902 became available in June at $299 with two-year contract through all Sprint distribution channels.
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