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Summary:

Sprint Nextel, which announced tepid earnings yesterday is looking to wireless broadband to add a little sizzle to its bottomline. In conference call with analysts, Sprint-Nextel CEO Gary Forsee said that the company is moving the deployment schedule up by a quarter – from first quarter […]

Sprint Nextel, which announced tepid earnings yesterday is looking to wireless broadband to add a little sizzle to its bottomline. In conference call with analysts, Sprint-Nextel CEO Gary Forsee said that the company is moving the deployment schedule up by a quarter – from first quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2006.

“The success of our lab testing for EV-DO Rev A drove our decision to advance the deployment timeline, and I am pleased to report that we will make this exciting new service available to 40 million persons by the end of 2006,” he said. Sprint says it will have have 200 million EVDO POPs by end of the year.

Sprint, perhaps is feeling the pressure from AT&T/Cingular’s 3G services launch, and Verizon which is planning to aggressively rollout its own EVDO-Rev A service. EVDO Rev A is much faster version of the current EVDO Rev 0 technology and is capable of providing 3.1 megabits/s down, and 1.8 megabits/s upstream service. This opens up many possibilities, including high quality VoIP calling and better video streaming.

This quarter, our engineers demonstrated the first EV-DO Rev A over-the-air transmission, featuring average download speeds of 450 to 800 kilobits per second, and average upload speeds of 300 to 400 kilobits per second. We are successfully demonstrating applications, such as all-IP video telephony, high-performance push-to-talk, multi-user video conferencing, real-time gaming and video streaming — new applications which are expected to unlock tremendous new growth opportunities for our company.

Wireless data can help Sprint help blunt some of the pain caused by cheaper voice minutes. In the most recent quarter, the company had wireless data ARPU of $7.25, which is about 12% of the total ARPU. Wireless data revenue was nearly $850 million, an increase of nearly 70% year over year. The company said that Aircard business is posting robust growth, with Aircard revenue increasing 77% year over year and it has nearly 1.2 million Sprint Power Vision subscribers, up 57% sequentially. These are good indicators that wireless broadband can be a savior for the company.

  1. This makes me wonder. Are EVDO Rev A services accessible from the EVDO PCMCIA cards currently on the market? Or will I need to upgrade if I get one in the next few months? I’ve been strongly considering it.

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  2. you will need to upgrade the cards. i think that is the key here. that might be the big challenge for these guys

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  3. What will the CABLES do to fight this PUSH to the Mobile Wireless Crowd??????
    skibare

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  4. As a Treo 650 user that doesn’t quite see enough value to upgrade to a 700 model, this is just one more reason to wait for the next model (750?) to come out.

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  5. Jesse Kopelman Friday, August 4, 2006

    skibare, the cables have already done it — they have formed a joint venture with Sprint to offer a uniquely branded 4Play.

    Rev A is all well and good, but my XV6700 cost $400 and I’ve only had it a few months, so I’m not that eager to buy a whole new device just for the network upgrade. When it comes time to upgrade the device we’ll see what networks are out there, UMTS and WiMax included.

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  6. So Rev. A will be significant for those who need to upload. But it also cuts down on the latency. It also provides a foundation for a new and improved ReadyLink as well as some video sharing/communications services.

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  7. Sprint is not doing Rev A due to pressure from Cingular/Verizon. They are doing it because they need Rev A’s low latency and uplink speed for a new PTT service that will replace Nextel’s PTT. Their target is to begin dismantling iDEN by 2010. Rev A is needed before they can do that. Dual-mode RevA/iDen phones are coming in the Fall to begin the transition.

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  8. I cant wait to get dual mode Iden phones this fall, and uprade my Rev A laptop card for christmas.

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  9. When sprint gets it in the Houston area, I will be in line. I already have their EVDO Rev 0 service and it is fantastic.

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  10. I have a question: which is better, the new EVDO Rev A card from Sprint, or the satellite broadband offered by HughesNet (through DirecTV). I have rea that the claims for Rev A are up to 3.1 Mbps, but other articles that put the download speeds at much lower than that. can someone help me out? Thank you in advance. JTG

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