Sprint has finalized multiyear wireless services infrastructure build-out agreements totaling approximately $3 billion with Lucent, Motorola and Nortel. The contracts involve new switching and radio hardware and software for cell sites, capacity augmentation, and Sprint's EV-DO (Evolution, Data Optimized) wireless high-speed data network deployment. The contracts also include future 1xEV technology upgrade options. This investment helps insure Sprint continues its wireless industry leadership by expanding and strengthening its network coverage, deploying new services and supporting continued customer growth.
Sprint, the leader in wireless data services, announced last June its plan to provide next-generation EV-DO wireless service at peak data rates of up to 2.4 Mbps to major U.S. metro areas during 2005. Sprint expects to spend about $1 billion of the $3 billion investment total to upgrade its network to EV-DO technology which will accelerate mobile device data speeds up to 10 times faster than on today's network.
Markets involved in the service launch will be announced in the near future. Users will experience superior application and service performance on EV-DO-capable handsets and laptops equipped with EV-DO-enabled PCS connection cards. Sprint's migration to EV-DO will be relatively easy because of its nationwide wireless network design featuring a single, leading technology. Site upgrades merely involve incorporating a new channel card and additional RF carrier, without the need to replace the existing infrastructure. Sprint's wireless infrastructure build-outs in the United States are divided among three vendors:
* Lucent Technologies received a three-year contract to enhance Sprint's nationwide 3G network, including CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology. It will upgrade Sprint's existing Lucent-supplied base stations with an additional RF carrier where needed and provide key elements of its IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution.
* Motorola Inc. received an extension to the end of 2006 of its existing CDMA infrastructure supply agreement, involving CDMA2000 1x base station equipment and related services as well as Motorola's mobile broadband CDMA2000 1xEV-DO solution in markets served by CDMA 1X infrastructure.
* Nortel Networks received a three-year contract to deploy enhanced CDMA wireless infrastructure equipment including radio base stations, controllers and switching platforms, the new Packet Data Service Node 16000, and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO equipment where required.