Sprint to Spend $1 Billion on 3G Upgrade

The carrier says it will offer CDMA Ev-DO services in select markets in the second half of the year.

Sprint Corp. on Tuesday announced plans to spend $1 billion upgrading its wireless network to support 3G technology.

Promising average data speeds of 300K bps to 500K bps and bursts of up to 2.4M bps, Code Division Multiple Access Ev-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) will allow for high-speed multimedia data transfers, said officials at Sprint in Overland Park, Kan.

"Customers are telling Sprint they want applications that take advantage of the higher wireless speeds, and we intend to deliver," said Sprint President and chief operating officer Len Lauer, in a statement. "Imagine downloading music, videos and games to your wireless handset or laptop in a fraction of the time it takes today. Or download your companys product inventory or a spreadsheet of a couple hundred kilobytes in a matter of seconds. Ev-DO makes it possible."

Sprint plans to roll out initial service to select markets in the second half of the year, with deployment to most of its major metropolitan markets in 2005, officials said. Currently Sprints highest-speed networks use CDMA 1xRTT technology, which offers speeds of 40K bps to 60K bps, with occasional bursts of up to 144K bps.

Sprints Ev-DO rollout competes directly with that of rival Verizon Wireless, which has announced plans to deploy Ev-DO to 30 percent of its markets by the end of 2004.


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