Sprint on Thursday turned on its high-speed EvDO network in at least 13 cities, offering widespread, DSL-like wireless Internet speeds—a move that should bring much-needed competition to the wireless data world.
Sprints launch is progressive: The network will start off small, with coverage in some cities (typically in downtown areas or airports) and expand to 60 cities by early 2006.
According to Sprints John Polivka, the service is now running in parts of Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Boise, Idaho; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis; Reno, Nev.; Las Vegas; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; Raleigh, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Sacramento, Calif.
By the end of this month, Sprint will turn on service in Austin, Texas; Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Des Moines, Iowa; Fort Myers, Fla.; Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; Miami; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; and Tampa, Fla.
As of this writing, Sprints online coverage maps did not show any active EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) coverage, but Polivka said they would soon be updated.
Sprint joins Verizon, which has EvDO in 43 cities, and Alltel, which now has service in four cities.
Sprint has no EvDO phones yet; the service is, for now, only for laptops.