* Implementation starts in 4th quarter 2006
* Upgrade will provide users with a mobile DSL experience
* Total mobile broadband footprint to cover 200 million people by year end 2006
* First over-the-network connection successfully completed
* EV-DO Rev A devices to be available to customers this fall
Sprint today announced it is ahead of plan for the expansion and evolution of the Sprint Power Vision(SM) network -- the nation's largest wireless broadband network covering 153 million people -- that allows users to access audio, video and data applications with handheld and connection card devices. Under the accelerated schedule, Sprint plans to begin its roll out of the upgraded technology known as EV-DO Revision A during 4Q 2006 with coverage expected to reach more than 40 million people by year end.
With the evolution to EV-DO Revision A, users in markets where it is rolled out, will experience faster average download speeds of 450 - 800 kbps; and average upload speeds of 300 - 400 kbps. These data rates can enable richer applications and services such as high-speed video telephony, music on demand, video messaging, large file uploads and high performance push-to-talk capability.
Overall, Sprint plans to reach more than 200 million people in the U.S. with mobile broadband data services (both EV-DO Revisions 0 and A) in 220 major metropolitan areas and 908 airports across the country with its Power Vision network by the end of 2006. By 3Q 2007, Sprint's Power Vision network will be completely upgraded to the faster EV-DO Revision A.
"Sprint's mobile broadband leadership is demonstrated by our success in rolling out the largest network, providing the latest devices and the widest array of mobile entertainment and business content," said Len Lauer, Sprint's chief operating officer. "By accelerating our EV-DO Revision A deployment, we are expanding the number of ways our customers can use the service to make their digital life simple, instant and productive."
Last week Sprint successfully completed the first EV-DO Revision A data connection over the Sprint Power Vision network in San Diego, CA. This development combined with a series of other positive performance tests drove the decision to speed up the deployment plan. Additionally, Sprint has been demonstrating applications such as all IP video telephony, high performance push-to-talk (walkie-talkie service), multi-user video conferencing, real time gaming and video streaming of both content and live web cams simultaneously.
"We have taken this technology out of the laboratory and are currently integrating it into our network," said Kathy Walker, chief network officer at Sprint. "We are really pleased with the results and excited about rolling it out to our customers."
In conjunction with the rollout of the upgraded mobile broadband network, Sprint will market a variety of EV-DO Revision A compatible devices, starting first with connection cards offered in PCMCIA Type II, USB, and ExpressCard(TM) form factors. These devices will also work on the current Sprint Power Vision network.
The power of Sprint networks make it best positioned to deliver unmatched mobility products and services for customer solutions. Mobile broadband customers can currently access the Sprint Power Vision Network with the Sprint Power Vision Smart Devices (PPC 6700, Blackberry7130e, and Treo 700p by Palm) and Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards (Novatel Wireless Merlin S620(TM), Sierra Wireless Aircard 580 and the Sprint PC-5740). Consumer data devices include Sprint Power Vision phones from Samsung (A900 and A920), the MM 7500 by Sanyo, and the Fusic by LG. In addition to these devices, many other manufacturers have products with embedded modules that can access the Sprint Power Vision Network.
Additional information on Sprint's Mobile Broadband network including coverage maps showing current and future coverage, Mobile Broadband service plans, and the latest access devices can be found at http://powervision.sprint.com/mobilebroadband/