Sprint Includes Retailers In Wireless 'Net Service

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PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Sprint has included computer and consumer electronics retailers in the launch of a new service that delivers broadband wireless Internet access to residential and business customers.

The service, called Sprint Broadband Direct, was launched this week here and will be rolled out to consumers in more than 100 cities by the end of 2001, when it will be available to about 60 percent of U.S. households, the communications provider said.

In Phoenix, the service is available through a Sprint toll-free number, the sprintbroadband.com web site and 29 retail outlets, including eight Best Buy stores. The remaining outlets are computer stores.

Sprint is using spectrum in the 2.5GHz band reserved for MMDS services. MMDS stands for Microwave Multipoint Distribution System or Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service. The technology can be used for wireless cable or wireless data services.

Sprint's service, priced at $39.95 per month for unlimited usage, delivers an always-on digital connection with typical download speeds of 1-2Mbps with bursts of up to 5Mbps. Uploads rates are up to 256Kbps.

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