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Sprint/Nextel Raises Speed Limit To 3.1Mbps

11/17/2006 09:43:00 AM Eastern

Overland Park, Kansas – Sprint/Nextel raised the data speed limit in eight markets as part of its plan to roll out Revision A of CDMA 1x EV-DO technology to more than 40 million people in 21 markets by the end of this year.

The latest four markets to turn on Rev. A are Buffalo/Rochester, Hartford, Boston and Pittsburgh. They follow the recent launch in Seattle, San Diego, Las Vegas and Milwaukee.

By the third quarter 2007, Sprint will extend the Rev. A footprint to match its EV-DO Rev. 0 footprint, which currently reaches more than 170 million people but will be expanded to more than 200 million people by the end of this year.

EV-DO Rev. A ’s faster data rates will enable video telephony, multi-user videoconferencing, voice-over-IP, music on demand, video messaging vs. picture messaging, high-performance push-to-talk, and faster file transfers, Sprint said. The first Rev. A products are wireless laptop-PC modems in the PCMCIA Type II, USB, and ExpressCard form factors. Phones with embedded Rev. A will be available in the first quarter.

Rev. A accelerates data download speeds to a theoretical 3.1Mbps from 2.4Mbps and accelerates upload speeds from 135kbps to 1.8Mbps. On average, however, real-world download speeds for individual subscribers will accelerate to 450-800kbps from 400-700kbps, Sprint said. Real-world upload speeds will accelerate to 300-400kbps from a current 50-70kbps.

Rev. A and Rev. 0 subscription prices are the same. Customers signing a two-year contract may be eligible to receive unlimited data usage for $59.99 per month, with no separate voice plan required. Other service plans currently range from $39.99 per month for 40 MB to $79.99 per month for unlimited data usage with a one-year agreement.

Although Rev. A has launched in eight markets, Rev. A speeds aren’t available everywhere in those markets. For example, Rev. A coverage in the Hartford area is initially concentrated along the Interstate 91 corridor from downtown Hartford to Bradley International Airport and in and around Greenwich, New Haven and Norwich where wireless data demand is said to be highest. However, coverage will gradually expand.