Mobile Telephony

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Mobile Telephony Feature Article


October 24, 2006

Sprint Delivers on Rev A Promise

By Robert Liu, TMCnet Executive Editor

Delivering upon its promise to accelerate the rollout of next-generation 3G networks, Sprint has upgraded its Sprint Power Vision Network with the faster EV-DO Revision A technology in San Diego. In a press release, the cellular operator claimed the market is now the first in the country to have the technology commercially available.
Earlier this year, Sprint said the Rev A upgrade, which boasts faster average download speeds of 450-800 kbps and average upload speeds of 300-400 kbps, wouldn’t be available until the first quarter of 2007. But in August, the company accelerated that timeframe until the current fourth quarter. The Sprint Power Vision, which covers more than 164 million people, rolled out last October.
Sprint said San Diego is the first of 21 markets where it will roll out Rev A this year with coverage expected to reach more than 40 million people. Coverage in most markets will initially be concentrated in airports and business districts where wireless data demand is highest and will expand to include Sprint's entire market footprint. Overall, Sprint plans to reach more than 200 million people in the U.S. with mobile broadband data services in 220 major metropolitan areas by the end of 2006.
The other markets scheduled to launch this year are: Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Mo, Sacramento, Calif., Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Detroit, Milwaukee, Boston, Buffalo, N.Y., Hartford, Conn., Newark/Trenton, N.J., Providence, R.I., Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia.
The upgrade isn’t just a boon for Sprint but also for its entire ecosystem of vendors and partners. For example, Lucent Technologies (News - Alert) is getting a lift from both Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which have been taking delivery on its newly released Rev A solution since September. That, in turn, has helped Lucent meet sales and profit forecasts for the latest quarter – its fiscal fourth quarter and likely to be its very last quarter as a publicly traded company upon the completion of the Alcatel (News - Alert) merger. It’s a sharp contrast to the previous fiscal third quarter when Lucent disclosed a revenue shortfall after marquee GSM customers like Cingular (News - Alert) Wireless began to curtail its enormous capital expenditures.
In addition, Sprint will make its newest mobile broadband USB modem, the Novatel Wireless (News - Alert) U720, available in early November. Other Sprint suppliers include Pantech and Sierra Wireless (News - Alert). The Novatel device sells for a suggested retail price of $249.99 or is available for as low as $49.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement and mail-in-rebate.
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.


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