Sprint starts its high-speed wireless upgrade

Service provider rolls out EV-DO Rev A and reveals city-by-city plans

Sprint this week announced that it has begun its EV-DO Revision A wireless rollout.

San Diego is the first city where the wireless service provider is offering EV-DO Rev A support, which offers upload speeds of 300Kbps to 400Kbps, and download speeds of 450Kbps to 800Kbps.

EV-DO Rev 0, which is what Sprint and Verizon Wireless offer today, networks support upload speeds of 50Kbps to 70Kbps and download speeds of 400Kbps to 700Kbps.

Sprint also announced that it plans to have EV-DO Rev A deployed in a total of 21 markets by year-end.

The markets are: Baltimore; Boston;  Buffalo, N.Y.; Denver; Detroit; Hartford, Conn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas;  Milwaukee;  New York City; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Pittsburg; Providence, R.I.; Sacramento, Calif.; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The wireless service provider says that EV-DO Rev A is better suited for applications such as high-speed video telephony, music on demand, video messaging and large file uploads.

Sprint customers will have to buy a new wireless device to reap the benefits of Sprint’s upgrade. Even if you’re currently using Sprint’s Power Vision wireless data service in San Diego, you will not see the higher speeds unless you purchase one of the new devices the wireless carrier is offering from Novatel Wireless, Pantech, Sierra Wireless or Linksys. The prices for these devices range greatly depend on the length of a customer’s service contract.

Verizon Wireless says it is currently testing EV-DO Rev A, but has not revealed the markets or where it will first commercially rollout the service. Verizon Wireless announced that it is using Motorola gear to upgrade its EV-DO network to Rev A.

Sprint says it is concentrating its initial EV-DO Rev A upgrades to airports and business districts, but plans to upgrade its entire wireless data network by the end of 2007.

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