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Sprint/Nextel To Raise Speed Limit

Overland Park, Kan. — Sprint/Nextel will raise its data-speed limit sooner than planned.

The carrier will begin its rollout of CDMA 1x EV-DO Revision A technology in the fourth quarter, having earlier this year announced plans to start the rollout in the first quarter of 2007. The new plans call for extending the Rev. A footprint to more than 40 million people by year’s end, then extending it to match its EV-DO Rev. 0 footprint by the third quarter of 2007.

The Rev. 0 footprint currently reaches 153 million people but will be expanded to more than 200 million people by the end of this year. Previously, Sprint planned to expand Rev. 0 to 180 million people by the end of 2006.

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

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.